To The Boy Who Changed Me
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To The Boy Who Changed Me

Just another open letter from a crazy ex-girlfriend.

To The Boy Who Changed Me

You’re probably thinking, “oh sh*t, my ex is writing a hate letter and a tell-all about our roller coaster tycoon relationship with terrible fallout.” But if you’re thinking that, oh honey you’re wrong. This isn’t some sappy pity party nonsense and it’s not a trash-my-ex tell all; it’s a journey. And it’s my side of our story to tell…

When I met you…

I wasn’t expecting anyone to enter my life the way you did. I was OK and then I met you and I was incredible. I was so reluctant to like you because I was in denial that I could be liked the way I deserved. We also had mutual friends and I just didn’t want to take the teasing. But spending three hours on the phone with you every day and swapping embarrassing #artsy Snapchat selfies drove us into an incredible friendship and an undeniable chemistry.

So you took me to your formal…

You showed me your world and I handed you my heart. In one weekend, we spent over 24 hours confined in a car together, subject to heart-to-hearts and victims to not-so-awkward silences. I was introduced to all of your friends and your drunken ways. It was exciting to say the least. And to end a wonderful weekend, you invited me to be a significant part of your world; and thus our crazy relationship began.

And I fell in love…

Before you, I had never been swept off my feet, but then you came along and I was blindsided by love. I hadn’t yet met someone I could truly call my best friend or really give my whole heart to but you changed everything for me; you were that person. It was amazing and young and fresh and exciting and you were sweet and funny, and just like me in so many ways. It was addicting. I was swollen with delight that I had someone so special, that I had you, constantly reminding me that happiness is tangible. It was incredibly overwhelming and breathtaking; it was my first time in love.

But when you revealed your mental illness….

Every part of our functioning happiness came to a pause. It was like a betrayal to my heart that I could love someone so much, but hate such a huge part about them. Your mood swings were frustrating and your depression was numbing. I couldn’t blame you for your sadness, but sometimes I couldn't find you through it either. It complicated us in so many ways.

And we just became complicated…

We fought all the time. Every other day it seemed like our relationship was resting on the edge of a cliff. And neither of us fought fair. It was the war of low blows and devastation; things were said that scarred us both and no matter how bad we wanted to move on the next day and be re-consumed by love, we couldn’t forget how much pain was caused. We weren’t nice people when we were fighting with each other.

So like all terminal relationships, we broke up. But like addicts we relapsed. Things were only more complicated when we chose to turn our long distance relationship into a neighboring couple. When you joined me at school, no one thought we were going to last, and against all my heart, I didn’t either.

It hurt but I couldn’t let you go…

The problem with your first time being in love, is that it also means the inevitable first heartbreak. We were crazy wrong for each other. We threatened each other with our lives and the knowledge that we could both ruin each other with. We created drama to the point where people didn’t want us around: together or separate. And even though we realized all of this was going on, I still couldn’t let you go. I was convinced that giving you my heart meant never getting it back, so I was determined to stick it out.

But then you hit me….

And my world came crashing down. In one slap across the face, all of the drama and control and abuse and pain flashed through my mind. I was infuriated and humiliated and confused and heartbroken and emotional and devastated and relieved all at once. I knew everything was about to change and it wasn’t going to be easy.

And things weren’t easy…

Because real heartbreaks aren’t easy. Plain and simple.

When I changed…

For a very long time I gave my energy to you and the battle trying to revive us. When you denied me (rightfully, and wrongfully of me to think we were worth saving or even fixable), I spent all of my worth and energy trying to get over you. But what I realize now, many months later, is that my energy should have never been wasted on trying to get over you or ahead of the game.

Relationships are not about who has a fuller heart or who bares more of themselves; they are not about giving up or giving in and they have no association with sacrificing who you are and what you deserve. Breakups are not about who can move on first or expose the ugly skeleton of the other in the more demeaning way. They are not about numbing yourself to pain or avoiding glorious memories. All of it: relationships, breakups, love, heartbreaks, are about allowing your heart to feel and exploring yourself, but having the incredible pleasure of sharing it with someone else, and withstanding it without them.

This isn’t a hate letter to my ex, or a pity party for me: it’s a reminder to everyone that happiness is tangible, regardless of who you fall in and out of love with. Happiness is tangible regardless of how you ride the roller coaster that is life.

To the boy who changed me…

You didn’t change me, I changed me. But reminding myself of who I was with you, who I let myself become because of you, awakened me to the me I’ve always desired to be: happy. I cannot thank you for the way I came about my change. I cannot thank you for turning us both into destructive monsters. But I appreciate the memories gained and the lessons learned, the opportunities to love and be loved, the experience of a true heartbreak. I am long past loving you, and deep in love with loving myself. Because of how we fell apart, I was able to pull myself together. Because of love, I was able to grow up.

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