Looking back, I see the red flags. I see the things that should’ve been signs to run the hell away and never take another glance. I was 18, naive, too trusting. You were 23, selfish and knowing exactly how to manipulate people.
If I wrote down all the ways you’d hurt me in the last few years, I’d have a novel. The truth is, you don’t know half of them. I was always afraid to make you mad, for you to yell when I pointed out you were wrong or being hurtful. For a while, I just stopped.
You were back and forth. Lying and cheating and saying cruel things when you couldn’t get your own way. Pushing and pushing and hurting me so many times. So many, James. And I’m certain that if I knew everything, I’d be more hurt.
Did you cheat on me the way you did with her? Did you ever mean it when you said you loved me? You’ve said for months now that you never. I wish I didn’t believe it.
I feel sorry for her. I used to cry when you were with her, used to be heartbroken. Shattered. But I know you’re saying the same things to her. You’re treating her the way you did me. And that’s… nobody deserves that. You have her wrapped around your little finger, your manipulation having her believe I’m the devil, not trusting my warnings and attempts to help. But that’s okay, I don’t blame her, you had me thinking the same thing about her, once, too.
The truth is, hurting people makes you feel powerful. Strong. It buries your worst fears and insecurities beneath a twisted grin. I’m sure that’s why you do it. I even remember you telling me that once, calling me and telling me over and over that you wanted to hurt me because it made you feel powerful. You deny it.
I try to get over you and all you’ve done, but it hurts. It really fucking hurts. You messed with my head so much that I still sometimes doubt myself, that I still believe I’m the worst kind of person, that I somehow have these terrible intentions without even realising it. But right now, I know that it isn’t true. It isn’t. You just want to feel strong and powerful and to manipulate people as much as you can so that you can feel better about yourself.
I forgave you for everything. Over and over. I came back and never stopped loving you. More times than I can count you accused me of things that never happened. I came back, trusted you, loved you… then you left me for her. And now she is going to suffer the same fate.
The thing is, part of me still loves you. Still wants to believe there’s good inside you somewhere. That part tries to find a way you could have done all those things and still be a good person. But you’re not. You’re not, and I hope you grow. I hope you grow to be better, find someone you truly love and never treat her the way you’ve treated everyone else.
I love you, James. I wish I didn’t. I really wish I didn’t. Beneath the anger and hurt I think I’m always going to. But simultaneously, I hate you and the way you treated me.
I’ve never really liked myself, but you brought a kind of loathing I’ve never experienced. I hate myself. I hate the way I think and feel but I know it’s because of you. Because of the emotional abuse.
Just. Grow. Please. Become better and love truthfully.