My phone displays your number and I ignore the call, as I have several times for the past week. There’s no point in talking because I said all I had to say in the minute and a half it took me to break up with you. You leave me a voicemail and I hesitate for a second before deciding to listen.
Imagine my surprise as I hear you calmly thank me for setting you free. You tell me you’ve been working on yourself and trying to find a job and you’re grateful for what I did for you. This coming from the same person who once told me if anyone saw me naked, they wouldn’t be attracted to me and in the next breath told me I was beautiful. The same person who would cry and smash himself in the face on my kitchen floor while asking me why I never tried to help when I nearly lost myself trying to help you. The walking contradiction that crashed into my life and altered it forever.
I will never tell you you’re welcome. I won’t return your call, you’ll never hear my voice again and I hope to God we never find ourselves in the same room. Not because I’m afraid of you but because the two of us are fire and gasoline. When we come together, we burn everything around us because we’re terrible for each other. Sometimes people meet and change each other for the better, but when it came to you and I, we both turned into the worst versions of ourselves.
In the four years we were together, I was stripped down to nothing. A starving, self-injuring wraith who dragged down anyone who tried to help her. I lost friends I’d had for years and my family had to distance themselves from me because my negativity was toxic to them. I did drugs I would never have touched before. I remember laying on the bed as my body temperature went haywire and my clothing began to burn my skin from the fistfuls of pills I’d swallowed and I was so convinced I was going to die that I actually welcomed the respite from this downward spiral. You became controlling and abusive, constantly suspicious of my whereabouts. I suffocated under the weight of trying to reassure you and nothing would satisfy your suspicions.
I remember your anger and jealousy. You were certain every man I spoke to wanted to fuck me and you’d take out your frustrations on me. I remember the day you beat the shit out of me for talking to my sister’s ex-boyfriend on the internet rather than paying attention to you. I remember the taste of blood in my mouth and I remember holding you as you apologized for hurting me.
I remember thinking I deserved it.
As I sit in my cafe staring at the blank screen before me, struggling to put all this into words, I listen to your message and I hope for your sake it’s true. I hope you really do get the help you need. I hope you find a steady job and a girl you can love in a positive way. I hope you find some happiness in this crazy old world and in a way I feel grateful to you for showing me exactly the qualities I don’t want in a partner. Before you, I didn’t know what I wanted. I had just come from an emotionally damaging friends-with-benefits arrangement and had been baffled when you wanted to call me your girlfriend. Truthfully, I wasn’t ready for a relationship. I didn’t know who I was or how to begin finding myself.
I’m sorry we wasted so much time on each other, but at the end of the day I don’t regret taking a chance on you. You reminded me of my father, you became a huge part of my life, and you ultimately helped me find the strength within myself to become the person I am today. I want you to know that although it’s not and never will be okay that you once saw fit to raise your fist to me in anger and manipulate my emotions until I relied solely on you for self worth, I have found it within my heart to forgive you. You weren’t the first person to hurt me and you probably won’t be the last, but the ground I’m standing on today is much more solid than what I stood on before.
There were moments when I really loved you and moments when I couldn’t stand the thought of you and both of those experiences changed my perspective on relationships. I feel like because our relationship was so toxic, I’m strong enough now to know exactly what I’m looking for and never settle for less. I really tried to make it work but at the end of the day, we didn’t belong together.
The last thing I want to do is hang on to negativity, especially after living with it for so long. I wish I had been able to set you free sooner, but at the time I wasn’t ready to stand alone and I guess you weren’t either. We became codependent on each other. I needed your negativity to stay miserable and you needed me to ignore you in order to feed your negativity.
Go forward in love. Learn from your mistakes with me and make sure you don’t repeat the patterns. I bear you absolutely no ill will and I’m not even angry with you anymore. I’ve gained the ability to recognize when someone’s chapter in the book of my life is finished and I know now how to cut those ties. It’s not easy, but it has to be done. I broke up with you to set myself free but I’m happy to know it’s worked out well for you. That my entirely selfish and incredibly healthy decision has worked out positively for both of us is the icing on the cake for me.
Thank you for calling to let me know. I hope it’s the last call I ever receive from you.