Letter to the Boy I Thought I Loved

Dear Boy,

I thought I was head over heels in love with you. I thought I knew exactly what that meant. I thought if I loved you enough, it would make up for the fact that you didn’t love me at all. 
I used to blame myself for a lot. It’s okay if you don’t treat me all that well, I’m just lucky you even hang out with me. It’s okay for you to hook up with and sleep with my friends, you’ll realize one day you were meant to be with me all along. It’s okay if you don’t let me see my other friends, it just means you want me to spend all time with you. It’s okay if you’re mean to me, I was in the wrong anyway.

You selfish, manipulative jackass. How dare you make me feel like that? How dare you make me feel as if I am nothing without you? 18 years old and my entire self-worth went down the toilet and it wasn’t all that great to begin with, which you knew and used against me. You treated my problems as if they were meaningless. You treated me as if I was expendable and I probably was to you. I watched you go through other female friends as if we were all sitting on shelves waiting for you to pick us. And when you did, we were supposed to act like you bestowed this great kindness for letting us be around you. 

The worst part about you is your god damn charm. You could get women to tell you anything. I told you everything I hated about myself, every insecurity, every reason I thought I was going to be alone forever. Then when I no longer fit your standards, you used everything I ever said against me. I believe the words you used were “fugly”, “horrendous personality”, and “fat”. The best part was how you did it. You wrote all those things on my Myspace. You were ahead of your time with cyber bullying. I watched you do it to other people and then you did it to me. Always braver behind your computer.

I cried and cried until I became furious and finally told you to never contact me again, once and for all. You damaged me for other people. You made me distrustful of most men for a long time. You made me doubt if my best friends even really liked me. I’m not going to lie, it took me years to build myself back up. To make myself better. To feel as if I deserved happiness and love again. But I did it.

It wasn’t like a switch where I just turned off any feelings I had for you. They changed over the years: love to hatred to missing you to hating you and then one day, it happened. I realized I had gone months and months without even thinking about you. Not until someone mentioned your name and it was as if, I realized how free I was of you. You were gone, truly and finally gone. Of course, your words linger on my darkest days but then I remember who you are and how you mean nothing to me anymore. You were just a bad couple of years in a life filled with so many good ones. 

I still haven’t run into you and it’s been seven years. I like to pretend it is Fate’s way of telling me how right I was in my decision to cut you out. And I honestly have no clue how I would react if I saw you. Punching you in the face seemed like a wonderful option for years. But now? I’m stumped as to what I would even say or do. I know what you would do because as much as I hated you, I still knew you better than anyone else. You would act as if we’re still best friends, as if nothing happened between us. I’d rather not pretend.

As much as I hated you, you did me a favor. By leaving your side, I found my way back to my real friends. The people who love me unconditionally have constantly been teaching me to love myself the same way. The way you never could. 

It’s funny when we’re teenagers and we think we know what love is. Maybe some do.

I certainly didn’t.