An Open Letter To The Old Me, One Full Year Post-Toxic Relationship

Dear Alyssa,

Love was always so desperate. You were always desperate for love. It was almost like it had to happen very soon or else that would be it for you. Love is beautiful and you have always dreamed about what it would feel like.

You thought you knew what it felt like.

You were bought by the fact that love was magical. You were supposed to know that it was love because he looked at you just the right way and you felt the fluttering in your stomach. Deep down, those butterflies scared you, but you thought about it for no more than 10 seconds.

You were supposed to know that it was love because he called you pretty and found different ways to win your heart. He said the things you wanted to hear, and it was music to your ears. You thought you were happy because you thought you found love.

I don't want to be like you ever again. I don't want to go into my next relationship so quickly and assume that some guy is mine forever. I mean, what are we dating for? I don't want to be like you and think that toxicity is love.

It is far from love, but it wears the same disguise.

You wrote about this relationship. You were 100% sure that this guy was the one for you. You constantly thought about him and did many things for him. Through all of that, there were the negatives. The negatives you thought were fake.

How could you not see this? You were blindsided. By the manipulation, by the lies, by the feelings you thought were real. Two years was all it took for you to realize that he was toxic, and he was not for you. Two years too late.

How are you now? Dead and gone. You died the moment you left him one year ago, and you were just a whisper into a goodbye. Who came out of it? I did.

I was the product of your heartbreak, a stronger you. There were no tears shed. Why? Because it wasn't love; it was toxicity, and you fucking knew it. It stared at you in the face, and you didn't feel a damn thing.

He insulted your figure. He fought with you. He got jealous of you, made you think that you were the one at fault, the one to blame for his flaws and mistakes. He broke your heart, but as you were, you believed a good outcome was due because you got through everything with him. "Through thick and thin," right?

Way wrong. Off course. Off-track. Blindsided. A touch of pain, but no tears whatsoever.

But it's okay. Every little thing about him was left behind with the old you. I'm so proud of you. The way you handled everything was perfect, and I never thought you were capable of standing up for yourself. I never thought you would leave him.

But you did, and here I am.

One full year of being single, away from the drama. I didn't have to wake up and send messages right away. I didn't have to deal with the constant pain, the fighting, the stress that it caused. You were at a low point with school and everything, that it would have killed you if you kept at it.

I'm glad you gave it up, and I'm glad I graduated college with no one but myself.

I'm happy that I can be single, worry about me, and start over with love. I know now that I won't be like you ever again. I know my worth now, and what he said/did to me will never happen again and won't ever be tolerated. Toxicity is dangerous and should not be mistaken for love.

Your ghost is here with me. It is a gentle reminder of how strong I thought I was, and how strong I really am now.

Love always,

Alyssa

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