dear ex-lover.
dear ex lover.png

It took me a long time to decide whether I was going to post this.  I kept going over it, trying to decide if I should share my story with others. Several reasons held me back--the biggest one being that our relationship was very important to me.  It still is. 

I knew this post would be dark and that it wouldn't be pleasant for me to write.  I also knew it would hurt to open up because there were a lot of things that happened in our relationship that friends and family were clueless about.  I was afraid to post this because it would put me in the position to be judged, however, I knew it would help a lot of people & that was my deciding factor. 

When we got together we didn’t waste any time.  Looking back, that's probably why our relationship was such a disaster, it was built on infatuation, lust, and immaturity.  We never built a friendship.  We hardly knew each other, but I knew how you made me feel.

That “getting to know you” phase is a bitch.  It makes you think the person you're dating is perfect.  It makes you excited, passionate and clouds your judgment.  Infatuation intensified our initial attraction, which confused the both of us.  We thought we were in love, when in fact we were just obsessed with the idea of each other.

That’s probably why our relationship was such a disaster, it was built on infatuation, lust, and immaturity.

I loved a challenge and that's what you were.  I was your first girlfriend and the first girl to hold your interest longer than 60 seconds.  I felt so accomplished when we were finally official. All those other girls couldn't do what I did.  I was “wifey”.  I was special.  I proved everyone wrong and turned a hoe into a king.  I managed to lock down a man who was known for being a player.  Oh, how foolish of me.

Do you remember our first argument, Ex-Lover?  We were together for about two weeks.  I was spending the night at your apartment when someone called your phone.  I was slightly taken aback because it was almost one o'clock in the morning.  Once I saw how you reacted when you answered, I knew it was another girl.  

She asked you what you were doing, you said nothing.  I remember how tense you got, turning your back to me to continue the conversation.  You were so awkward and I had never seen you that way.  You didn’t bother to mention that you were with me, your girlfriend.  Something wasn't right.

When I asked you who it was, you lied without missing a beat. You said it was your guy friend asking you about some music. 

I knew it was a lie. 

You knew it was a lie. 

But you continued with your story, expecting me to believe you.

I got so angry.  How dare you lie to my face. Ex-Lover?  You had no reason to.  So I got up and stomped out of your apartment, slamming the door behind me.  Although we made up, that should've been my red flag to leave. Neither of us was ready for the storm that we were about to create.  

However, I was foolish.

From then on there were numerous girls I had to deal with, each one hurting me more than the previous.  It got to the point where I would pray your phone wouldn't ring because I didn't want to have that icky feeling at the bottom of my stomach--the one that makes you nauseous and immediately gives you a headache. Hearing your phone go off would cause my mood to instantly change, regardless of who it was.  The fact that it could be someone who could potentially take my position made me sick.

You made me feel like I was battling for the top spot--like at any given moment a girl could step up and take my place.  Have you ever been in a constant competition, Ex-Lover?  It's like walking across a field of landmines, one wrong move and that's it.  You're done. 

You would do things that were totally disrespectful but I would swallow my pride and not say a word.  I didn't want to upset you because it would cause an argument and give someone an opportunity to take my spot.  It drove me fucking insane.

Girls would flirt with you, you would flirt back.  You'd tell me it didn't matter because at the end of the day you were with me and I shouldn't worry about harmless flirting.

Again, bullshit.

I’d never dealt with a partner who brought other females into the relationship.  Hell, this was my first real relationship.  I didn't know how to deal with the stuff you did because I wasn't ready to be with someone.  I was so young and so naive, I thought tough times meant putting up with the disrespect.  I took your words over your actions and believed that was true love. 

The constant women in our relationship took a toll on my self-esteem.  It made me question myself and wonder if I was as good as a woman as what I thought I was.  I questioned my worth and found invisible flaws.  It put me into a depression.  I wanted to change everything about myself.  This is not to say that was all your fault, Ex-Lover. I should've loved myself enough to tell you to go fuck off, but I allowed it.  

I thought tough times meant putting up with the disrespect.

I don't want you to think I put all of our problems solely on you.  I played a huge role as well.  My temper would cause our arguments to go from 0 to 100 in a matter of minutes.  I would do childish things to piss you off; be passive aggressive, slam stuff, give you the silent treatment. I would post subliminal Facebook statuses knowing you would see them.  I would never address the situation at hand and always expected you to approach me.

I would place the blame all on you and never take full responsibility for my actions.  You would shut down causing me to become belligerent until finally, I would storm out

Our arguments went from talking in harsh tones to all-out screaming matches.  We would say terrible things to each other, trying to top what the other had said.  I would throw things... plates, shoes, glasses, anything to try and get you as furious as I was.  I hated when you shut down because you wouldn't talk to me. You'd ignore me and it would make me feel crazy like I was completely out of my mind.  I would continue to rant and rave until you would tell me to get out of your apartment.

Our arguments became battles, Lover. 

Then we became physical.

I blame our first physical fight on me.  I was drunk out of my mind.  Do you remember what you did that night?  You locked me out of your apartment and kept my phone.  I had no way of getting home, no way of calling someone to come and get me.  I stood outside for what seemed like hours until you finally got tired of me banging on your door and let me in. Then I snapped. 

I don't remember too much from that night.  I know I was screaming how much I hated you and I kept hitting you.  Punching, shoving and slapping.  I remember you trying to subdue me, pushing me on the bed and choking me until I begged you to stop.  By the time you let go, the cops were at your front door.

I was screaming how much I hated you. I kept hitting you.

We got away with it that night.  I don't recall the conversation we had to get the cops to leave us alone, but I do know we were lucky.  I ended up passing out on your bed while you slept on the couch.  The next morning I felt like I had done a full body work out. I was so physically and mentally exhausted from the battles we continued to have.  I wasn't even sure how to resolve the one we were currently in.  I had never gotten physical with any of my past lovers, so this was a first.

Again, this should've been a red flag, but I didn't take heed.

We didn't talk for a week.  Not talking when we were angry with each other became a pattern as well, both of us being too prideful to fix the problem.  Once we did get over a fight, we never discussed it.  It was like it never happened.  Almost like painting over a hole in a wall.  It's so obvious that the hole is there, but rather than patching it up, you paint over it thinking no one will notice.

Once that fight happened, Ex-Lover, the gloves came off.  We declared an all-out war on each other.  Arguments weren't used to solve our issues, they were used as weapons to hurt each other.  It became who can hurt the other person more?  Who can do the most hurtful thing? 

How in the hell did we call this love?  It was so awful.  It was sick. Yet, neither one of us wanted to call it quits.  We didn't want to let each other go, even though we were actually enemies.  We were so toxic but yet we still loved each other.

Arguments weren’t used to solve our issues, they were used as weapons to hurt each other.

There weren't always bad moments, there were good moments too.  The trips we took out of town, the days we laid on the couch holding each other, the talks of our future, our inside jokes.  You were my first boyfriend and I could be completely silly around you without being judged.  We'd make up songs and dances, have freestyle battles, and make up code names for each other.  Do you remember when we flew out to Chicago?  Although the trip was ruined halfway through because of our arguing, we still got to see the Bulls play.  I will never forget those moments.

When things were good between us, they were amazing.  Nothing or no one could replace what we had when we were on good terms.  It was such a high.  I will never forget that feeling and I used to find myself missing it.  No one could hold me like you held me, Ex-Lover.  No one could kiss me like you could.  I was yours, you had all of me.  Nothing could change that.

But when things were bad, they were hell. 

When we would make up, it was orgasmic. It's like we argued just to make up.  How sick is that?  We craved that high of making up so we would purposely hurt each other when we were on the outs.  We broke each other down, just to bring each other back up.  It was a fucked up equation and yet we seemed to have it all figured out.

Then you took it too far.

You cheated. 

The night I found out, we were in a good place.  We had exchanged promise rings and made plans for me to spend Christmas with your family.  I was on that high, but I knew something wasn't right. 

We broke each other down, just to bring each other back up.

I went through your phone and saw the texts and pictures.  To say I was devastated was an understatement.  You had this woman, her friend, & her child in your car.  You were texting her like she was me.  You were lying to her when you were with me. You met this woman's mom and you had yet to meet mine. You slept with her while still sleeping with me. 

Several things happened that night.  I realized how much I loved you and how much of myself I gave to you.  I foolishly and blindly trusted you, even though you weren't worthy of it.  Though we spent the majority of our time hurting each other, I still loved you with everything in me.  Unfortunately, that night, you broke me.

When you're devoted to someone and they betray you, it's like they spit in your face.  I never thought you would sleep with another woman. Why I didn't put it past you, I don't know... But I just never thought you would.

For a whole month, we didn't speak to each other.  I went home to my family for Christmas and you went home to yours.  When we finally reconciled, it was never the same.  I was angry that I was hurt & you caused it. 

From then on the war got worse.  I wouldn't let you forget what you did to me and you wouldn't let me forget I promised not to bring up the past.  I now realize I should've left when you cheated.  I wasn't equipped to handle a man who stepped outside of what was supposed to be a committed relationship.  To be quite frank, I wasn't even equipped to handle a committed relationship.

Ex-Lover, you know I have a hard time letting go.  Every bad thing you did to me in the past was brought up in every argument and you hated it. Every argument we had was your fault and you hated that as well. 

Why we didn't call it quits, I don't know.

After you cheated my life consisted of me going through your phone, Facebook, and Twitter.  I would search your apartment to find something, anything, that proved you had another woman over.  I became obsessed.  I would take small things and make them big.  I never wanted to leave your side because I thought if I was always with you, you wouldn't have a chance to hurt me again.  I would question every single thing you told me.  The trust was virtually nonexistent.  

Our relationship became my second job and it was exhausting.  The bad had always outweighed the good, however, now it was more apparent.  We had another physical fight that left me to have surgery on my foot and that was the day I made you promise me that if we ever put our hands on each other again, we would be done.  We both agreed but what I didn't realize was that just gave us more ammunition to hurt each other with words.  It gave us more ammunition to break each other down mentally and emotionally, which is something we took full advantage of. 

Our weekends would consist of us drinking, smoking, eating, and sleeping.  Together we never did anything productive.  I tried my hardest to make you a better man not realizing that I wasn't trying to improve you, but change you.  I was trying to turn you into a one-woman man, but in reality, you weren't ready.  I should've known that you can't build a king, they build themselves.  If you really wanted to be a one-woman man, you would've committed to it.  There was nothing I could say or do that could've changed that.

Our relationship became my second job and it was exhausting.

When we had our final fight, we should've seen it coming.  It was so predictable.  We were fed up with each other but held it all in.  You were tired of me accusing you and I was tired of your disrespect.  One of us was bound to snap, it was really only a matter of time.  The question was who was going to snap first?

It was you. 

You let me have it.  You pushed me into the glass mirror in your room and shattered it. You did things to me that day that I will never forget.  You hurt me. 

All I could think was B, how in the fuck did you end up in this situation?

You threw me out of your apartment with no shoes, no car keys, no phone, and in my pajamas.  When you finally gave me my keys, I drove to my friend's house.  She took one look at me and said she was calling the cops.  Enough was enough.

Even then, I begged her not to.  I was still trying to look out for you, to remain loyal.  I thought about your career, about you.  I wanted her to let it go... I actually regretted going to her house, Ex-Lover.  I wanted her to understand that the fight was both of our faults, that it wasn't just you beating me, we were actually fighting.  I got my hits in too. 

But she said it didn't matter and to get my shit because she was calling the cops.  Not even an hour later I was at the precinct filing a report.

I still blame myself for how things panned out.  They labeled you a woman beater even when I tried to tell them you weren't, that we were both destructive, toxic people.  We weren't ready for what we wanted--a committed and loving relationship.  We wanted to be soul mates, but we just weren't ready for it.

We didn't belong together.

When we broke up, it crushed me because I wasn't expecting it.  One day we were planning to go out of town, the next I'm filing a police report against you.  I wasn't prepared for you to leave my life so abruptly.  I didn't even have a chance to say goodbye, which I suppose is a good thing considering we just didn't know how to end the relationship.

We made plans to get married, to have kids and to spend our lives together.  In hindsight, I realize how stupid we were.  Could you imagine bringing a kid into our war zone, Ex-Lover?  Can you imagine how fucked up that kid would've turned out?  Thank God it ended when it did.

We wanted to be soul mates, but we just weren’t ready for it.

We were addicted to each other.  We were addicted to the abuse, the fighting, the high, and the toxicity.

We were addicted to hurting each other. 

The scars left from our battles are still here.  The countless disappointments, distrust, and pain.  It's still here.  It's gotten easier to deal with, with time but there are moments where I still find myself thinking about it.  I think back to all the hurtful words that were said and all the hurtful things that were done.  I curse myself, then I curse you.

See?  I'm still the same. I'm still at war with you.

Sort of.

I now know when to walk away, Ex-Lover.  I know never to ignore the red flags, because they're there for a reason, to prevent from getting hurt. I cannot afford to be broken again.  I can't put myself back into that place... That dark place where there's no hope, no dreams, no nothing. Just you.

It's a terrible place. 

You're left to deal with those broken pieces and to answer questions that the other person has the answers to.  It's a pain so deep, that it's not just emotional, it's physical as well as mental.

You broke me and left me to put the pieces back together.

I once believed that I could never forgive you for that. Which is funny.  Of all the hurtful things you did to me, what took me the longest to get over is that you left me.  Remember that high we had, Ex-Lover?  The one where we would destroy each other, only to turn around and make up?  In the end, you destroyed me, but you didn't come back to fix me.  You left me craving that addiction and I despised you for that. I wouldn't wish that feeling on my worst enemy. 

But I got there.  Slowly but surely, I healed.  When I was with you, I thought I was a woman, but I was not.  I was a little girl trying to play house with a little boy.  We didn't know any better.  Realizing that helped me put the pieces back together.  I believed that I would never be whole again, but I learned so much from our relationship.  I broke those destructive and toxic habits I had with you.  It took me being alone to learn how to love myself.  I even thought that I would never be able to have a healthy relationship, but I was wrong.  I wasn't able to do that when I was with you because I thought our actions were normal.  I believed that that was how two people in love were supposed to act--loving hard but fighting harder.  I was so stupid, Ex-Lover, and so were you.  My only hope is that you learned from our mistakes, just like I did.  

The craziest thing about all of this is that I still have love for you.

I always will.



- a brown skin girl.

Brittani GainesComment