Good morning! It’s bright and early on a Sunday, and boy did things happen in the span of about 7 hours. I woke up around 5 am this morning, and for some reason, I reached out for my phone. Heart skipping a beat, I saw that Nick had sent me a message. But it didn’t seem like just any message – it seemed full of intent, and lengthy.
So I read it. And man… it was a message full of anger and resentment.
I want to say that I had no idea he resented me, but am I really surprised? My breaking up with him left him with nothing, because our relationship was a shimmering illusion that made us both feel like we had everything. It made us feel like we needed nothing else. I wrote a response, but there’s something I want to acknowledge to myself first.
He kind of made me out to be some villain, a terrible girlfriend who deviously plotted out isolating my boyfriend from the world so that I could have him all to myself. I never, ever, ever, ever meant to make things like that. I know that in my heart. He always told me he hated everyone. I know I should have encouraged him to hang out with people more. But I NEVER wanted things to end up the way they did. I never realized how unhealthy our relationship had truly become until now, knowing how he really feels about me.
Anyways, I wrote a long response back, addressing everything he said:
“I know you don’t expect a response from me and just wanted to get all the thoughts out of your head, (which is totally understandable, I hope you feel more relieved now) but, I just wanted to acknowledge some (if not all) of what you said. I don’t know if it’s in an attempt to answer some of your questions or to explain myself but either way, I feel the need to and I hope that’s okay.
I know weren’t stopping me or discouraging me from ANYTHING. Literally, when I wrote what you read on that day, that was something I explicitly noted – that you always, always supported me in everything I wanted to do. That you never held me back, that you always gave me my freedom to do what I needed or wanted. That was a huge part of why this was so hard for me to do.
If you couldn’t tell by how much I was crying on the day this ended, this hurt me too, so much. I wish I could have explained better in person why I wanted this, rather than letting you read something I wrote, out of being unable to express myself.
You encouraged me to be my own person, do my own thing, be my own person, hang out with my friends, do whatever I wanted to or needed to. I didn’t do the same for you. You were self-sufficient before me – I wasn’t before you, or even during our time together. Why? Because of my deep-seated insecurities and anxieties, ones I had long before you, and ones that grew during our relationship. Insecurities and anxieties that I need to work on and eradicate; yes, on my own, by myself and FOR myself.
I’m sorry that I only realized this truth now, so deep into our relationship. But you’re right – I do want to do things on my own for a while. Things that I thought I wasn’t capable of doing on my own, or for myself. Not because I EVER thought you were holding me back or stopping me. Not because you EVER put my ideas down or discouraged me from being my own person. But, because I haven’t been on my own for a while. Because I finally realized that I can’t be in a healthy, well-functioning relationship until I properly and truly love myself, until I’m confident and comfortable with just me. But also, and importantly, because I didn’t want to feel exactly what you feel towards me now – resentment.
You have every right to resent me, and our relationship, for the way you’re feeling right now. You noted that you were totally self-sufficient before our relationship, and that I took that away from you? I didn’t mean to. I honest to God had no intention of isolating you from others. You need to know that, to somehow believe that. It was the LAST thing I ever wanted for you. Looking back, the same way you are now, I regret so much – I regret monopolizing most, if not all, of your time at university. I regret not encouraging you to branch out more, to do your own thing and hang out with people other than me. I never, ever, ever meant to make myself the only person you could rely on, just to suddenly take that away. I can’t begin to express how sorry I am for that.
Being completely honest with you, you’re totally right – despite the happiness, our relationship was clearly unhealthy. Looking back now, I think the “tension” you mentioned was whatever fear and anxiety I had left over of you cheating on me. (Actually, even before that, I know I was insecure about our relationship.) But to me, the worst of it came after that.
All I knew was that one day, you went out with your friends, and the next day, my entire life was turned upside down because you decided to sleep with one of them. So, did I encourage you to hang out with people the way I should have? No. Was I intentionally trying to hold you back from having friends as a result? Absolutely not.
However, I do understand that not encouraging you was wrong, however unintentional it might have been. I’m not asking you to excuse my jealousies or the tension I created – only that you try to understand why they were there in the first place. Whatever security I was lacking in myself, came out into our relationship. Even that time you went out with that guy friend of yours to a bar to see him off; even though you explicitly told me you weren’t drinking, I tried my hardest to hide the intense sense of fear and anxiety I had at the thought of it.
Me feeling anxiety about you wanting to go out to a bar with a friend, should NOT exist. In a healthy, well-functioning relationship, you should be able to go out with whomever you want, enjoy your evening drinking or not drinking, without me sitting at home, preparing myself for the worst possible outcome. Bringing this all back to my point now – a main reason I did this is BECAUSE of my own personal insecurities that I need to work on.
Our relationship was not healthy or well-functioning because I MYSELF was not healthy or well-functioning, due to the insecurities I have. And, they clearly made it into our relationship and made it into something that wasn’t healthy for either of us. And now, you resent me. You felt trapped by the inequality of freedom in our relationship, something I didn’t intentionally mean to create. But that’s a huge, huge red flag of unhealthiness in what our relationship was.
At the end of your letter, you said you weren’t angry with me – I think you are. But you have every right to be. I don’t expect you to forgive me anytime soon. And even though I now believe this separation will be beneficial to the both of us, I’ve left you after taking so much from you, without meaning to have done so.
I tried to apologize on that day for what my insecurities did to our relationship, and to you, and you tried to brush it off – well, clearly it had a huge impact on our relationship and your current state of being, so let me apologize now. I’m sorry for making you feel isolated and trapped. I’m sorry for making you feel like you couldn’t do the things that I did, without making you feel like there was tension. I’m sorry for taking up so much of the time that you needed to grow as your own person, without me.
Without realizing, I became my own worst fear – the controlling, manipulative girlfriend, who was so afraid to get hurt, that she basically kept her boyfriend to herself. I can’t begin to express how sorry I am for that. That was truly the last thing I wanted for us, for you. I hope you accept my apology, if not now then one day.
I am definitely not angry at you for expressing yourself – if anything, I’m so happy that you did. I hope that you got out everything you wanted to say. I didn’t see this as an attack at all; trust me, I understand how good it feels to write everything down and get it out. And you had a lot to say. You have a lot to feel.
I’m going to work on myself now, and that’s what I intend to do for a long time. Those insecurities and anxieties I have stem from a place inside me that is deeper than I can understand, but that’s why I’m in counselling now. It’s something I should have done a long time ago.
Despite everything, you brought so much good into my life – you encouraged me to be more confident about my body; you made me feel like a goddess, something that I’m so happy stayed with me, and will continue to stay with me. You pushed me to believe in myself, to do better for myself, brought momentum and motivation to my life. You’re a part of the reason that I can really push for change in myself now, for the better. I’m going to continue to better myself, continue to grow as a person, to love myself the way you encouraged me to do.
My goal one day is to be able to be in a relationship where I don’t ask anything of the other person, because I’ll have finally found whatever I was lacking in myself. I only wish I could have done more good for you, too. I wish that I could have met you at a time that I had everything I needed to be in a healthy relationship. I wanted it to be healthy with you, so much. But it wasn’t. My selfish little heart wants to say, “maybe one day we can have that.” But I can’t be selfish. I don’t expect or even want you to wait for me to become whole. Live your life without me, find what you need in yourself and do everything you want to do.
My hope for you now is that you do all those things you wanted to do. Travel, better yourself, become self-sufficient again. Meet new people, make new friends, date girls who ARE where they want to be in life in every way, and see the difference that can bring to a relationship. And, most of all, I hope you will be happy. I want nothing more than for you to be happy. I know that’ll take time, but it’ll come.
My deepest hope is that one day, you won’t resent me anymore. That one day you’ll be able to remember whatever good times we had, without your memories being clouded by the realization of how unhealthy our relationship had truly become. Please believe me when I say that was the last thing I wanted. And even though I really want us to be friends too, I think your heart needs to heal first. Take whatever time you need. Do whatever you have to do.
I don’t expect a reply, so this is where I say goodbye. I said I would message you in a while, but now I don’t know when, or even if, it would be appropriate for me to. I just want us to talk eventually, knowing that you don’t resent me. I think after this, you should choose when that time will be. I don’t mind if it’s months, or years even. Or maybe it’ll be never, I don’t know. I guess we’ll see how it goes as time passes. Take all the time you need.
I will always care about you. You became such a huge part of my life. And even though we’re heading in separate directions now, and even though you currently resent me, I hope that one day you can still remain a part of it, somehow.
Take care of yourself. Put yourself first. Be that good person I know you are. Excel in your internship as I know you will. Pursue your ambitions and be successful. Do everything you want to do, that your heart desires for yourself. Grow, and live your life as fully as you can. Learn everything. And please, please be happy. Good luck with everything you do, and know that I wish you nothing but good and happiness, as you deserve.”
I’m pretty sure I said everything I wanted to say. He read it, and didn’t reply, but that’s okay too. Deep little part of me wanted him to assure me that he didn’t resent me – I can’t ask for, or expect that. He clearly does. Maybe one day, he won’t.
For the first time this week, I finally feel like I’ve gotten some kind of closure. The reality of our break up is finally sinking in, and I think I’m finally truly ready to start moving on with my life. For the first time since it’s happened, I am now completely sure that this is what was needed, not just for me but for him as well.
What if we had continued our relationship? His resentment would have grown, festered, inevitably come out at me in unhealthy ways. I would have stayed silent, dependent, and unhappy, deep down. Even though I didn’t truly understand the nature of why this was right, I went with my gut. And now, I finally do understand. Intuition really does never lead you wrong.
I still feel so sorry for the way he is feeling now, as a result of what our relationship took from him. What I took. I had a year to process and forgive him for cheating on me. And, I got to do that with him at my side too. Now, he has to process his resentment on his own. I don’t think forgiveness will come that easily. As I said to him in my response – he can take all the time he needs.
This whole thing kind of makes me worry a little now. When will I know that I’m ready for a relationship? Like a real, healthy, well-functioning relationship? My little voice is saying, “When you are happy and whole. When you are comfortable and confident with just you. When your insecurities and anxieties become distant memories, rather than the guidelines you live by.”
…I need to listen to my little voice more often. Either way, my focus here isn’t bettering myself for the sole purpose of being able to maintain a relationship one day. That’s just supposed to be a bonus. My real goal here is unconditional self-love, self-acceptance, self-forgiveness, well-being and self-respect. My goal is to get my life back on track, for no one but myself. To be happy, to draw happiness from within myself, and from no one else. Those are my real goals for this journey that I’ve finally put myself on.
And so it begins. I can feel it in my… I don’t know, being? Whatever part of myself that seems to know best, that seems to know all. My intuition, my gut feeling. It’s telling me that now the healing will really begin. Today, I intend to put everything away. Every thing that needs to become a distant memory rather than a trigger for emotions. I know the sadness will linger for a while. But that’s okay. Because today, the strength began. The real acceptance, the closure.
Looking back now, there are some things that maybe I wished I could have added. Like, how I really think he should go to therapy. He can no longer speak to me about things, but he should be able to speak to someone. It’s so imperative that he continues to get his feelings out.
I also wish I could have conveyed to him, how much I loved him during our relationship. We were so compatible in different ways. I grew to truly care about him, in ways that no one I’ve ever been with got to experience.
Little voice is saying, “I know you want to hold on to the idealistic version of what your love was, and that’s okay. You love love. You never want love to be something that you view as wrong, or unhealthy. But it’s also okay to accept that sometimes, it just is. When you love someone but you don’t love yourself, you’re simply asking them to fill all the parts of yourself that are empty. The parts you were meant to fill on your own. And that’s a part of why the love feels so strong, and so right. Why it becomes so addictive.
One day, you will love yourself truly. And then when you share that love with someone else, it will be beautiful. If they love themselves the way you will come to love yourself, then the love you share together will be double the amount you’ve ever really known. Instead of trying to fill spaces in each other, you will celebrate your mutual self-love. The love you have for each other will be without conditions, without fear. That, is the kind of love you deserve. That, is the kind of love you can have, and the kind of love you’ll be able to give in return.”
Well gee, thank you little voice. You’re so right. It’ll be worth the wait. In the meanwhile, working on loving myself is an exciting prospect. I’m not alone, because I have me. And me is pretty great, if I do say so myself. I think I am a pretty good person – no matter what happens in life, I always try to keep my intentions as good as possible. I never want to hurt anyone intentionally.
I feel good about myself and how I handled the situation, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t suffered a great loss today. I think resentment is worse than hate. Hate has no direction – resentment is hate with purpose.
I’m going to be sad for some while to come. Things are going to come up that make me remember, things that make me re-encounter the feelings I so vividly experienced with him. And that’s okay. Sadness is a part of healing, a part of life.
It’s time to learn how to be my own best friend. And he said before me, he used to know that feeling. I hope he can get it back again. I know he will.
This week will be busy, there’s a lot for me to do. I will have distractions. But that doesn’t mean I can avoid my feelings. I really shouldn’t. So in the moments that sadness does over take me, I will let it. I will let myself feel it all the way down to the tips of my fingers and toes, let it flow out of my eyes if it needs to. Because I know that that’s what it takes to really heal, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.
I told him I will always care, and I meant it. I always will. But that little part of me that held out hope for the future, for maybe an attempt at a better relationship AND saving our friendship? It knows better now. I’d be lucky if we could salvage even a part of our friendship. And again, if that’s the case, that’s okay. I just don’t want to lose him completely. It’s just no longer my choice to make anymore – it’s his. So, time will tell.
I think that’s about all I can say for today. I have a lot to do – I have to work on my petition letter. I’m going to keep saying it to myself, over and over and over, until this becomes a reality. No more beating around the bush. It’s time. Time to take those necessary little steps in order to make up the big picture that is your future. So let’s get to it.
Love yourself always, and IN all ways.