The Aftermath~ An Open Letter to My Ex~

Dear EX,

As I sit on my couch in my living room surrounded by Christmas lights, the scents of fall candles in the air, and my remote control in my hand, I sat back as our favorite show, The Goldbergs begins. In that instant of seeing those familiar faces on the tv screen, I was transported back to the house we lived in years ago. I was suddenly back in the bedroom we once shared and you were laying on your stomach while I was hitting your six spots after a long day of working. We were both there, laughing and talking. We were together again, but somehow I was hovering above this memory. At that time in my life I was lost in you. I was in love. I wanted this relationship to work so badly that I ignored your drinking, and your verbal abuse. I gave up parts of me. I gave up parts of my friends and worst of all my family. I tried so hard to conform to what you wanted me to be. I had convinced myself that if I was exactly what you wanted and what you needed you would love me. But it didn't work. I could not be who or what you wanted and in the end I blamed myself. I played the movie of our relationship over and over again after you left. I picked myself apart and tried to pinpoint where I went wrong. I made excuses for you every step of the way and I carried the bulk of the blame for the demise of “us”.

In all honesty we were not good together. We were not a good fit. It has taken me years to realize this. But as these realizations were becoming more and more clear, I also realized ,with your actions since you left, that no one will ever be able to please you. No one will ever be good enough. No one will be able to play the role of your significant other exactly the way you want them to. I also realized it was not me. It was not me who did anything wrong because you were so impossible to keep happy and that had nothing to do with me. But I want you to know that the love I felt for you was real. I want you to know that I tried so hard to be everything you ever wanted. And when I could not be perfect, you tried to convince me it was my fault. I believed you and it destroyed me. After our relationship was over, I had an extremely difficult time letting you go. It was hard to let you go because you wouldn't let me. You were unsure of your feelings and you didn't want to lose me, so you kept me hanging on and I let you. I let you because I loved you. I waited for you. I waited for your calls and I put my life on hold “just in case”. I am not sure what angers me more, the fact that it happened or that I let it. The fact that I let you talk me into being your option may be the winner of this tough decision.

The weeks turned into months and eventually years past and you were gone, out of my life. But your memories, scents, and calls never really left. It was like you knew when I was about to move on so you dropped in on my life uninvited and stirred feelings up. After you disturbed the dust that settled around your memories, I had to start over. I had to get over you again. That familiar sting you so often left me with was back and it hurt as much the 100th time as it did the first.

I write some of this today because I want you to get help. You and I both know you need help, but as you have said many times you like who you are and you don't want to change. I am not sure if you understand how much destruction you have caused not only me, but so many others as well. You do have a good heart. I have seen your good. Your good is in there. It may be covered by layers of hurt, anger, depression, and addiction, but it is in there nonetheless. I hope someday you will be able to see who you are through my eyes. I hope you see how capable you are of hurting and destroying others and it bothers you enough to want to change. I hope it bothers you enough that you lose sleep and it is heavy on your mind and shoulders that you realize you not only need help, but also want to get it. I hope you get help and heal before someone does to your daughter what you have done to me.

I no longer love you in the same way I once did. I no longer want you in my life in the same way as you once were. I care about you and I wish you no harm. Someday I want to talk again and say these words to your face. I looked for closure at one point, but as time went on, I discovered you are not capable of telling the truth. Honesty is a foreign concept to you and I have accepted that. Since accepting you for who you are, I have been able to move past you and live a life I love. But at times you do come across my mind and today I felt as if I needed to write this to you. I want to thank you. I needed you to come into my life exactly when you did, stir stuff up, and leave the same way you came in, like a tornado. Without you being who you are, I would not be who I am today. Because of you someone will love the better, stronger, successful version of me. You once asked me years ago who I thought I was and up until now I had no idea how to answer that. But today sitting in my living room on my couch, surrounded by Christmas lights and the scent of fall candles in the air, as I watch The Goldberg’s, I do. I am Kelly Smith and I am sorry you lost me.

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