An open letter to the boy who nearly destroyed me

Subject: An open letter to the boy who nearly destroyed me
Date: 15 May 2015

Although I would love to address this letter to you, doing so would cause more problems that I simply cannot handle and so I hope that instead this letter finds you anonymously perhaps through our mutual friends on social media and for once you understand the crushing effect your actions have had.
I would like to ask you some questions. Do you ever sit at night and cry into your pillow, sobbing into the early hours of the morning and then mask the dark circle under your eyes, splashing water on your face so you can tell you housemates you just had “a rough night’s sleep."? Have you ever gone for a run at 6 in the morning because you can't sleep and broken down in the middle of a field when the song "how to save a life" plays on your iPod? Have you ever spent hours debating whether you can face leaving the house today, cancelling on friends and almost having a panic attack in shops? I have. I have done all those things and so much more. I have sat on the floor of the kitchen and sobbed until I lost my voice. I have lied about feeling ill to friends because I have spent my afternoon crying so much that I'm scared what will happen when I drink alcohol. I have broken down at the lcr and then while trying to leave a friend’s house to go home, cried so much I collapsed to the floor and physically couldn't move. Do you understand that this is because of you? That your actions and words have caused so much chaos, have created the wreck that is writing this letter. I can't even call myself human, you took my humanity when you abused my compassion and my friendship.
It was only natural that we would become friends. We we're both so far away from home, so isolated from our communities. I have always been that quiet girl, the one who makes friends slowly and haphazardly. You were the guy who could hold a room captive with your dazzling personality and lyrical accent. And you chose me to be your friend. The mousy northern girl with no immediate likeable qualities. At first I was happy to be your friend, sober you were a caring, happy person, always ready with a compliment and some cheery advice. But then the drinking started. At first it was manageable, everyone gets drunk at freshers and does stupid things. Not everyone gets mugged though. That's the first time I cried at uni. The day after you got mugged on a night out where I'd left early, I phoned my parents and cried. I would never have done that a month ago, I should have seen the effect you were already having on me. The drinking got worse though. The paranoia got worse, the insomnia, the smoking, the work ethic all got worse.
I tried to help. I stayed up with you when I should have gone to sleep, I supported every one of your attempts to stop smoking and tried every positive reinforcement about yourself. But the drinking won. Every time you picked up that bottle, you lost a little bit more of the sane you. I could feel it all slipping away in my fingers and I couldn't stop it. Our flat became colder. There was a new tension, a division, that when you were sober you tried to mend but drunk you would just drive that wedge in further. Halloween is when you reached your new low. What 19 year old girl wants to spend Halloween night bare foot on a pile of glass and rocks trying to convince her best uni friend not to drown themselves while the rest of our house slept unaware? I stood on that riverbank for an hour trying to convince you to come back inside, not to end your life or murder your ex. After I eventually put you to bed I spent that morning cleaning broken glass up from our kitchen and tidying all the mess you'd made, simply smiling when one of our housemates commented on my early morning cleaning.
I kept that smile when you apologised late afternoon then came barging in to my room at half 11 demanding I go out with you and the flat downstairs. That smile stayed stuck to my face as I danced sober in wonderland, keeping one eye on you as I saw your smile slowly slip away. I forced that smile to stay when you demanded we go to Lola’s even though everywhere was closed and ran off. All I wanted to do was sit down and cry but I didn't, I walked with your other friends after you. However I couldn't keep the smile when the police caught you weeing in the street, the smile slipped further when you have them false information and started getting sarky, the tears started to fall when you tried to run and they pinned you to the ground. And I fell, when they threw you handcuffed into the back of the police van. That night I listened to my sad playlist on repeat and cried so much that I honestly thought I had used my lifetime’s worth of tears. But you seemed determined to test that. When you came back that day, you came back drunk. You laughed at what had happened. You couldn't give a crap about any of us who were sat in the staircase waiting your return. It was only later after you'd sobered up that you began to understand the implications. But knowing you like I now do I question whether you truly did understand what you had done, the hurt you had caused. We we're all just expendable to you, players in your game of chess against yourself. Because the only winner in this situation is you and you have no empathy towards those pieces you sacrifice to win. For some reason I amused you. Maybe it was my low self-worth, or traumatic past but you decided to keep me around. Under conditions of course. I bet you were secretly pleased when our flat decided not to live with us anymore because your drunk behaviour had caused them to despise you and by association myself. They further isolated me from people other than you, you always used to say that I was your rock but it seemed it was me who was forced to rely on you. Isolation was part of the terms of our friendship, you didn't have other friends, you couldn't have other friends, and as soon as they discovered how unstable you were when drunk they would disappear leaving you sobbing in the street.
I could never leave you sobbing in the street, both because I am not that person and also because you could never let me. When you were drunk at 4 in the morning it would be my door you would knock on, my phone which you would ring and text, my computer would light up with Facebook messages and I would bury my face in my pillow and pray. "If I don't answer maybe he will go away." But you never did. And then the phone calls would start from the people in our flat. "Are you ok?" "Why aren't you answering your door to him"?" "He wants to speak to you. Open the door." I would have class the next day, 10-5 with no breaks and no sleep and I would faint in a seminar, once every month. But I would still open the goddamn door. At one stage I left my door unlocked so you wouldn't knock and wake everyone up. It wasn't like I was asleep. The anticipation of your impending visit would fill me with dread. I would tense every time I heard a door open, shiver, when I heard a manic laugh and cower when I heard the drunken footsteps crashing in to walls on the way down the corridor. When we made better friends, found new housemates I thought it would change. Over Christmas you promised not to drink again, you seemed happier, less manic and depressed and I felt better.
I had good friends who I felt I could be myself with and I'd spend hours just sat in the corridor or in peoples rooms watching YouTube clips and talking. You hated that. It became a point of contention between us. In the end you had to make new friends, friends who had just joined uni and so had no idea of your true persona. But I was still your rock, the girl you'd go to, the girl with unlimited patience and a non-existent temper. But our fights we're getting worse, the drunk you was becoming more and more present and I was getting to the point of not caring as much anymore. So you made a point. You had to make me into the villain and my friendship with one of our other housemates was the perfect place to start. On that night when you followed us to Tesco drunk and shouted at us for being "shit friends and selfish c*nts" I wanted to hit you. Especially when you grabbed him by the face and tried to start a fight. When we walked back alone and you told me everything you thought about me, you made me so mad I almost did hit you.
But instead I swung my bag and stormed off to the park. I walked around that park for 4 hours alternating between crying and shouting and the next day when we spoke and you said "are you going to stop being a bitch yet?" It took all my strength not to turn around and break your nose. We made up eventually but that was the first time I saw how far me being isolated was essential to our "friendship." I won't write about all our fights, I'm not sure if I can even remember them all, I just remember the crying and the shouting on both sides. The ones I do remember I prefer to forget such as the one where you tried to hit me outside mantra and we both nearly ended up getting arrested for causing a public disturbance. The time when you got beaten up at Loft for fighting a bouncer and you couldn't understand why I only had mild sympathy for you after you'd told me you pushed him into a road. The time when our friends phoned me crying at 5 in the morning as I walked home from a night out because you had lashed out at them and when I confronted you , you swept a glass off the windowsill onto he wall near my head and then uninvited us all to your birthday. So many sleepless nights, so many tears and yet every time I cried in front of you, you would berate me telling me that I was stronger than this that I couldn't cry. I used to think I was. But you broke me. You tore down what remaining trust, compassion and love I had. And yet I still stayed your friend. I still thought I could save you.

Summer 2014 was a moment when you really outdid yourself. You attacked some of our closest friends and then lied about it, despite the fact they phoned me at 6 and then 8 in the morning in tears and one of our housemates saw the bruises. You then lied about it. You told me that it had never happened, that you'd tried to make amends anyway but they wouldn't accept it but that you weren't drinking ever again anyway because you didn't want to be the "drunk scapegoat." I had to convince one of our housemates to even move in to the house with you after that incident. He wanted to leave but I persuaded him to stay and told him you would change. At first you seemed to. Your student loan hadn't yet come through and the rest of us weren't going out that much anyway so you weren't drinking. And then you brought her back in to your life. Whereas we would nag you and try and stop you from trying to break into the loft on nights out she would encourage you and hide under police cars with you. While we said yes to one "quiet drink" she would say yes to four or five and then help you look for more alcohol when you finished the vodka bottle. Did you not notice that we started retiring to our rooms earlier and earlier each day or that as soon as you mentioned alcohol the atmosphere changed?
Who do you think hid all the alcohol and lied about one of our housemates taking it with him? The boys were at the end of their tether, there were talks of moving out and already we we're all cutting classes and suffering from lack of sleep. And then it happened you finally went step to far, you pushed us all past the breaking point. When you went out on 4th November I didn't not know that the next evening I would be on the phone to the police arranging a time to make a statement. You two went out so drunk but that was just a normal night. Me and the guys watched family guy as usual then hid all the electronics, all the alcohol and went to bed. When I heard the downstairs housemates voice telling you to fuck off at 2:10 in the morning I knew we were in for a rough night. When I heard my others housemates voice a bit later I was genuinely concerned. When you came in to my room I knew that I was not getting any sleep that night. Do you really think I wanted to listen to Christmas songs at 3 in the morning with two drunk immature adults? Yet you still dragged me up and I listened just so you would leave my housemate alone. I put your friend to bed and left you reminding you that we didn't need another noise complaint. For one hour I lived under the illusion that I would actually sleep before my Italian seminar. And then the fighting started. I listened as you two fought with each other under my room, as you played lady gaga songs at full blast from your laptop and found the alcohol we had hidden in the dishwasher and washing machine.
When you came into my room at 6 demanding your old friend’s address, so you could go fight them, I told you exactly what I thought of you, I told you, you needed help and you screamed back at me and then left slamming my door so hard that the whole wall shook. I could hear you crying in the living room but for once I didn't feel guilty I had nothing but anger in my heart for you. You couldn't leave it there though you had to come back to subtract the apology you thought you deserved. When I wouldn't give it to you, you tried to play on my insecurities and when that didn't work you tried to bring my family into it. That forced me up and to bring our argument into the kitchen where my downstairs housemate interrupted just as you went to hit me. You then had to try and hit him, leading to me intervening and another argument to break out. When we left, I really thought that would be the end of it. I sat on my bed and cried as my housemate tried to comfort me. And then we heard the scream. Rushing downstairs we found both of you in the hallway.
She was lying on the floor while you stood over her shouting. As soon as you saw us you began screaming at us, saying that we had caused her to jump from our balcony windows. She hadn't. You lied and so did she. There is no possible way she jumped from those windows without injuring herself and managing to get to our hallway through a locked door. But still I tried to help her and you swung at me again. That's why he grabbed you. He grabbed you because you tried to hit me twice while I tried to pick up your drunk friend. There's a dent in the wall where you slammed his back into it while trying to fight your way back to me. When he overpowered you, you clawed your way along the wall and ripped the radiator off. I will never forget that moment. Me trying to pick up your drunk friend as radiator fluid arched all over our hallway as he tried to drag you further away and you still trying to claw your way back down the corridor. I was sure that when our housemates’ dad was phoned and on his way round you would stop but you didn't. It was all out fault, we we're the ones who had done wrong and you wanted us to pay. When I grabbed you at the top of the stairs and lifted you off the ground I only wanted you to calm down and not phone the landlord. I did not expect you to push off the bannister causing me to crash backwards into the wall. And I definitely did not expect what happened next. I cannot call myself a human as I feel I now lack basic human emotions. However you are the furthest thing from human possible. What kind of 21 year old bites another person on the arm so hard it leaves bite marks and bruises for several weeks? Apparently you. A fact you still cannot admit. Do I need to attach the pictures of this bite-mark and the bruises that were sent to the police ad evidence?
I feel even then you wouldn't believe it was you who did this. We had to leave the house until our landlord was evicted. I couldn't tell anyone about the bite marks until we we're away from you because when I did both housemates and their dad almost went back to beat you to a pulp. I had to do a presentation worth 40% of my grade after another sleepless nights at our friends. My dad had to drive 6 hours down to Norwich to take me away for the weekend before we could get a police escort to get our stuff. Do you know what you apology was? Look about last night-I am incredibly sorry for how I acted, I acted in a horrible way which not only was completely out of order but also completely unjustifiable. I'm not even going to bother trying to explain myself because there are no words, drinking was a bad idea as I’d received some awful news yesterday and I was just overly emotional, you nor the boys, who I'll apologize to also separately in person deserved how I treated you, I was just taking out my anger. I'm not sure where you want to go from here but I can say that I’ve had a day of deep reflection and I've decided not to just cut back, but give up drink completely, as I just can't trust myself anymore and I'm becoming just like my mother was, which really scares me. so again, I'm incredibly sorry, I understand if you don't forgive me as I'm not sure I would, but it is never going to happen again, you don't deserve to live with a person like that, I'll apologize a hundred times if I have to, I'm genuinely sorry. Yet you we're surprised when we shades we no longer wanted to live with you. You never contacted the boys and you we're out smashed off your face again the next week when you decided to harass my housemate to try and get to me. When you eventually got your police caution I thought it would end. That's the third time you've been in trouble with the police, they told you to stay away from me and I started the new term with such hope. But that was quickly squashed by the realisation that you would never leave me in peace.
You started your harassment before uni had even started again. She decided to involve herself in a Facebook discussion that had nothing to do with her and worst of all decided to bring you into the conversation as well. You couldn't even wait till uni had started again you just had to start with the bullying straight away. Threatening people who you have already assaulted when you have just received a police caution for assault is not wise. You should have expected the response you got from my friends on the status about it and also my messages to your trouble causing friend.
I stand by what I said in those messages, as I have told you and Dean or Students "I may be should have said it in a nice way but everything in that message is true." You couldn't leave it there though could you? You had to start harassing me at the lcr, following me and my friends around, constantly trying to get my attention and acting aggressively when you couldn't get it. When you grabbed me by the arm, to pull my down the stairs for ignoring you I was almost sick. I am physically repulsed by you. You have no right to ever speak to me let alone physically grab me. I only wish the bouncers had managed to find you to kick you out or that you had started something in the car park as every bouncer was willing to defend me. I went home from those two lcr nights and cried my eyes out and then spent the next week feeling drained and hurt. I went through all of the official channels I spent my time in and out of dean of students reporting every one of your harassments while also dealing with your attempts to appear the victim. You have a reputation as a crazy guy because that's what you are. You had that reputation long before your altercation with me. Now you're a crazy guy who bites girls. If you don't want that reputation don't earn it. It has nothing to do with me and it’s not my responsibility to stop people from saying that. Despite everything I was just about managing. The crying was far less than November/ December time and I could actually make it to campus for lectures without the crippling anxiety that greeted me first term. But then Valentine's Day happened. I was on a girl’s night out with two close friends I had no idea that by 3 am I would be sat crying outside on the patio to my recently asleep father. While you may not have poured the drink down my back I do not believe you we're not aware of your friends intentions, especially after you harassment of my friend at the bar. Was well within my right to turn around and shout at both of you and tell you to leave me alone and that I would get you kicked out of the lcr.
You, however, were not in your right to chase after me in the smoking area, saying "Don't think you can talk to me like that you bitch and walk away" and once again try to grab my arm. Again I eluded you found my friends and tried to enjoy the rest of the night. I'd almost got over the incident when you next verbally attacked me in the smoking area. You came up to me while I was talking to my friends in an area full of people and called me “A lying whore who deserved what I'd got. A stuck up bitch who was a fucking c*nt." And much more. You have since said that you wouldn't use the phrase "verbally attacked" to describe your actions there but then I would like to know what you think constitutes as verbally attacking someone, if that outburst doesn't count. I have never been as embarrassed or upset as I was at that moment. Everyone in the smoking area was staring as you ranted and raved and I stood crying behind my ex-army friend who could have taken you out in one punch, but didn't because I had asked him no too. I left that evening in tears, walking back in a haze and then phoning my parents because I was so distraught. Once again I couldn't sleep and ended up cancelling important group presentation work because I was unable to function. After that incident everything deteriorated again. The insomnia returned worse than ever as did the crying, the constant feeling of dread and sadness that eventually transformed into numbness. My personal advisor for uni told me that she was surprised but pleased that I hadn't dropped out of uni and to be honest so was I. In a way though I had. I stopped attending lectures and seminars, got extensions for my work and barley went on to campus out of fear of seeing you. I stopped communicating with friends and nights out became a thing of the past. All I wanted to do was give up.
When we last met you told me "I wouldn't know mental abuse of it hit me in the face and that you hoped one day I would be mentally abused so I would know what it feels like." I almost laughed. You have physically, emotionally and mentally abused me and my housemates. For weeks I would wake up and lie on the sofa in my pyjamas and when my other housemates appeared we would all sit there in an atmosphere of pure depression. If anyone did go out, alcohol would just release the pent up sadness. One of my housemates is intercalating and almost definitely has depression. My other housemate is being treated for depression by doctors and has just recently got over his insomnia. And me? I will never be able to forgive you for what you have done. You sat in front of me and told me that I need to accept responsibility for what I have done.
The only person (and I use this term loosely) who needs to accept responsibility is you. You have been the catalyst of almost destroying three lives and damaging many more. I have had to seek counselling and possible medical help because most days I struggle to find any motivation to make it through the day. I can either sleep for hours on end or not sleep at all. I have nightmares nearly every week and cry most nights. You stood before me and talked about how you felt and how I'd hurt you. I'm glad that the only hurt I have caused you is kicking you out of a house and wagging my finger at you while promising to get you ejected from the lcr. That almost makes me laugh. Not much does now a days you see, whenever I smile or laugh there's always a tinge of sadness because I can be having the best day ever one second and sat sobbing on the floor the next. I was the victim in this situation and though I didn't want to admit it at first you did a pretty good job of almost destroying me. But I am stronger than even you gave me credit for and slowly I am rebuilding myself piece by piece until I am able to stand tall again. This letter admits that you almost won but is also to inform you that almost isn't good enough and that you never will win. I have no mercy in my heart for you and so I will not wish you the best in life but rather wish that you stay away from me and my friends for the foreseeable future.

Yours sincerely
The girl who won't be destroyed

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