I wrote and rewrote this letter a million times. And as I let more and more time pass the letter changed.
I was heartbroken and confused, my girlfriend of six months hadn’t dumped me, she had simply stopped speaking to me. She wouldn’t reply to my messages or phone calls (or seven minute long voice note, followed up by a two minute recap). Eventually she started unfollowing me on social media, all the while I was sat with no clue what was happening. It was cruel and it hurt more than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
The first time I wrote this letter I was still madly in love with her, the next time I was filled with anger, the time after that I was accepting then I was numb and well now, now I think I’m just being realistic. So I’ve decided to post snippets from each stage of my grieving process, and maybe it will help someone else who’s been through a breakup too.
Madly in Love
I wish you hadn’t pushed me away, I wish that you could see that I could be here for you in whatever way you need, even if that means just giving you space. I wish you had communicated with me what you needed instead of pushing me out. I would have waited forever for you to feel better, I wouldn’t have abandoned you just because things were hard. I’m not sure if I’ll ever stop loving you, it makes no sense to me how we went from talking about growing old together to pretending like each other don’t exist. I never understood when people said they couldn’t sleep or eat after heartbreak, it never seemed that serious to me. But here I am, a walking zombie and one stone down. I don’t want to move on, I don’t want to get to know someone else and give them parts of me. I want to be walking through the woods with you, hand in hand, laughing at nothing. I want to be lying awake at 2am on facetime with you when I have work the next day at 8am, I want things to be how they were before.
Honestly reading that back makes me boke (is this a word in other countries? When that wee bit of spew comes up in your throat?), it’s actually almost embarrassing to read but at the time I was so pathetically in love with this girl. I would have done literally anything to be with her. I knew it was silly, but the heart wants it wants and clearly mine wanted to be a pathetic wee bitch.
I don’t deserve this. I’ve been patient and waited, wondering all the time if it’s something I’ve done wrong. Saying to myself ‘maybe if you hadn’t done this, or handled this differently things would be better’. I’ve made excuses for you and blamed myself. I’ve cried myself to sleep and stopped eating. I’ve sat, tears streaming down my face, and not been able to tell my parents what’s wrong because I’m not out yet. I’ve felt lonelier than I have in years and all because you couldn’t be bothered to send one text. Just one message. Every morning I’ve woke up and felt numb, every night I’ve lay awake for hours just wondering and wondering where I went wrong. It’s cowardly and pathetic to ignore someone you supposedly care for. I never asked for much, all I needed was one small piece of communication, a text to say you couldn’t cope with a relationship right now. But no, you chose to be a coward, you chose to block and unfollow me, and not even all at once. No, instead you drew it out, unfollowing me on different things after weeks and weeks. You knew I wouldn’t block you, that I didn’t have it in me. You knew you were being cruel. I didn’t deserve it.
I can be pretty quick to anger and often say things I regret, so in retrospect this one is actually pretty tame. A part of me wanted nothing more than to yell at her and tell her how awful she was (my friends were in full support of this one, one even offered to drive me to her house, thank god we didn’t cross that line of crazy). In truth, the anger didn’t last long. I couldn’t find it in me to stay angry with her, I wanted to hate her; hating her would have made moving on so much easier but the truth was I kind of understood why she had done what she had done.
I don’t think I fully understood how bad things are for you. I didn’t realise how much you were struggling and I’m sorry for that. In my head all I saw was me losing you, I didn’t consider that for you a relationship would just be too much right now. In hindsight, I handled things wrong, I said I would give you space and I never. If I could go back in time I would tell myself to calm down and give you the time you needed to heal. All I want now is for you to be alright, I hope that one day soon you’ll find happiness again, and I’ve accepted now that that happiness won’t be with me. And that’s OK.
This one I’m like yeah that’s all grand Nicola, well done on being the bigger person blah, blah, blah. But you’re making excuses for her. You didn’t realise she was struggling because she refused to talk to you, you aren’t a mind reader. As for the whole giving her space comment, I waited two months for her to reply to me at one point, which I think is more than enough time. If my friend came to me now and told me their partner hadn’t spoke to them in two months I’d be telling them to dump their arse so fast but at the time I genuinely believed if I just kept waiting she would come back to me (because yes, I am that dumb). You will all be glad to know that I have since realised this is entirely stupid, and that two months of literal zero contact is not in any way acceptable.
There isn’t a letter for this one. I just spent weeks not really feeling anything. I got up and went to work, I ate some (nowhere near enough) food, I worked out, I scrolled social media then went to sleep, woke up and done it all on repeat. On the weekends I did anything I could to avoid being alone, I went on dates with people I had no interest in, I got blackout drunk, I even offered to work over time. This was probably the worst time because I didn’t feel sad anymore, I just felt nothing and a part of me worried I’d just always feel that way. I was watching myself fall apart but I didn’t have it in me to care.
The Final Letter
I’ve realised relationships and breakups and even people aren’t black and white. Eventually, I stopped feeling numb, or sad or angry. Did I still have the occasional moment where I missed what we had? Sure. But I also realised that I was acting like a heart broken teen and needed to belt up. I in no way had any sort of healthy coping mechanisms but it’s true what everyone says, time does heal all.
For months all I wanted was for things to go back to how they were. I sat wishing and hoping that you would reach out to me, I convinced myself that in a few more months you’d be ready. We’d have a conversation about everything that happened and we’d get back together. It was all I wanted, you were all I wanted. I realise now how unhealthy that was. I’m not angry anymore, not bitter, I’ve accepted that we weren’t meant to be that realistically we would never have worked. I need a lot of reassurance in relationships and you need space. When things get difficult you cut and run (my therapist would say you should speak to someone about that just FYI), I realise now that I can’t be with someone who can’t communicate their needs properly.
I’ve accepted that I’ll never get an answer from you, that I’ll never truly understand what went wrong. But I can accept that you weren’t in a good place and as such handled things poorly. I can understand that you weren’t coping and that a relationship was too much for you, although I don’t think I’ll ever understand why you couldn’t voice that to me. I deserved better than how you treated me, that at least you have acknowledged, so I guess I’ll just have to accept that I’ll never know the “why?” I’ve also accepted that I responded poorly; initially I didn’t consider that you might be struggling too much to speak to me. All I saw was me being abandoned. I don’t blame myself for what happened but I do at least acknowledge that I had flaws too, that the way I reacted pushed you further away. It would have been easy to hate you but you were the first girl I ever loved, and honestly probably the first time I’ve really known what it feels like to genuinely be in love with someone.
Loving you and losing you hurt more than anything but I’m glad it happened, because despite the hurt I got to realise how amazing it feels to love another woman.