I drove by today. I didn't go down the street, I didn't go by the apartment we shared for eight months. In fact, I drove by a little faster than I had the rest of the road. I did, and didn't go by on purpose. I was on my way to work but I had time and I guess I could have gone out of my way, taken back roads, cheated, and zig zagged around. But that would be silly when I only had to pass that street, right? But when I went by I couldn't help but wonder. I wonder if the apartment feels empty without me and all of my things, I wonder if you come home and still half expect to find me standing on the counter tops because i was too short to reach some of the glasses on my own. If when you settle down to play a game you smell a faint hint of my semi Italian meals that I'd make for you. I wonder if it feels like a shell of the place it was, just like living there with you made me a shell of the person I was. Because while most of those sound like potentially happy memories they were laced with you telling me how I wasn't ever doing enough while I stirred whatever sizzled in the pan. Or I yelled at my whits end watching you make a mess when I had come home from work and once again, by myself, cleaned the apartment top to bottom. In the end I was afraid to even express those discomforts. Because in your eyes I wasn't allowed to complain. Despite working my ass off, I was never "working as hard as you". Despite taking care of you and your enormity of health problems including drug addiction I "had no reason to complain". I'd like to tell you that I've moved on from you. I'm not inlove with you anymore, in fact I fell out of love with you long before I left. But I'm still hurt by you. And I'm not the only one it's hurt. I moved on with a fantastic man. One who shows me more and more every day that what I felt for you wasn't really love but fear. Fear of being alone, fear of abandonment, fear of failure. And even with you verbally and bordering on physically abusing me I misguidedly saw ending our five miserable years as a failure. My new man is incredibly patient with me when I'm violently uncomfortable with him paying for anything for me even as simple as dinner, he's patient when I panic and apologize multiple times when I haven't done anything wrong, and he's patient when for seemingly no reason my mood drops or the smallest thing that's been said takes me to my lowest point. Because that's where you trained me to be. A few days ago was the first time I thought about you in any depth beyond recalling your treatment of me, since I moved out. I hoped that your new girlfriend made you as happy as the man in my life makes me. I hoped that you were less angry, that you had been able to go through treatment for your addiction. I hoped that you were able to reclaim your health, because at one point I cared, but also because I care about your new girlfriend, a woman I've never met. Because it would break my heart knowing another female was being sucked dry, just as it was done to me. Almost as though you sensed my thoughts you messaged me a night later and I was scared and had my boyfriend respond. I'm not ready to talk to you. I won't ever be ready or able to talk to you beyond this, an open letter. And you made sure of that when you described how you were going to modify your new girlfriend, and all of those modifications are already mine. You made sure of that when you came into my place of work after I expressed that I didn't want to see you. And when I had him answer you I was making sure you wouldn't ever try again. I don't hate you, because someone who's healing can't hate, we have to be strong and happy because we deserve that. But I want you to know that what was done to me wasn't fair. You ruined me. Despite that however, I still feel the need to thank you, for making sure I had this experience so young. You ruined me but it's letting me build myself back up into something new knowing what I deserve out of whoever I decide to let have me now. Thank you for showing me that I am strong enough to know when enough is enough, for showing me that I can leave, even when I'm a walking husk, for proving that even at my lowest low I am powerful enough to take back control. Im so happy now with what I'm doing and who I am. I'm pursuing my dream career and will have achieved it in the next month. I'm healthier than I have been in years. I haven't had a panic attack in months. I even feel secure enough in myself to try to fall in love again, real love this time, with someone who makes every single day with them an adventure. You've been the best lesson life could have thrown at me and I'll never hate that. So well and truly I hope you're doing well, I hope you're doing better. I hope life builds you up the way it's been building on me. And thank you every day, for ruining me.
An Open Letter To The Man Who Ruined Me, Thank you.
Subject: An Open Letter To The Man Who Ruined Me, Thank you.
Date: 12 Jul 2017