An Unsent Letter to My Last Ex-Girlfriend
by Shaun Terry
I love you and I always will. I don’t blame you. I’m conflicted. I’m angry, but I know that it’s not really you that I’m angry at, so I’m sorry. I feel insecure because I failed at another relationship and I’m insecure because I did things in our relationship that I said I’d never do again. I disappointed you and disappointed me, and I’ve been hating myself for it. But I think I’m done doing that.
Sometimes, two people meet and they admire each other. They feel an instant spark and there are things about them that are so unique and exciting, so they make seemingly small compromises because that’s what people do when they want to be close with someone. The thing is that I’ve never known until just now, but there’s a way to be in a relationship so that you don’t feel threatened, attacked, or neglected, and that’s how we both felt, isn’t it?
I wanted us to be vulnerable, to put all our cards on the table, and to not blame each other, and you wanted space so that things wouldn’t explode and so that you could think. So I shared and I pleaded and my face bowed in the middle and you sensed my desperation and it felt like an affront to you. And I got upset and you got upset and you asked for space, but I insisted and you felt trampled. It was unfair. It was awful.
You’re an amazing person. We both have things that we could do better, but that’s not really the problem. I’ll always admire you. I think about you all the time. I fantasize about good things and bad things and impossible futures of little consequence. The memory of you is imbedded in my mind like straw in dried Mississippian mud. Your memory will always be there. I’ll always hope that you’re healthy and happy and getting plenty of love.
But where we are is where we’re supposed to be. Now, we can both experience love how each of us was meant to experience it. We loved each other so well, sometimes, didn’t we? But we didn’t give the love that each other’s hearts required. And that’s okay. Neither of us meant for it to happen.
I don’t know why you did what you did. I don’t know why you just left like that. It felt like rejection, but I know that it was just self-preservation. Maybe you can explain it to me, but you certainly don’t have to. I’d love to have coffee with you. I’d love to dance with you and write a song with you like we were always supposed to. I’d love to make love to you one last time.
But things are better now for me, and I’m sure that they’re better for you. There’s someone who’ll come to the table with me, even when they’re angry, who’ll set aside their ego and tell me what they’re feeling and why, who’ll work hard to consider my feelings and I’ll consider theirs as we explain all the stupid things about us and about each other that are driving us just a little crazy, and by the end, we’ll know each other just a little better and we’ll love each other for it. And there’s someone out there who can make you feel safe, and there’s someone out there who can make me feel cared-for. There’s someone who gives you space, someone who provides the security that they want for themselves, for their lover, and for their family.
So thank you. I’m lucky to be where I am today, and I couldn’t be here if it weren’t for what you did for me, even if I felt tortured because of my own fears about what it meant about me. I now understand that it didn’t mean anything bad about either of us. I love you and I always will. I believe that at least some part of you, whether you realize it or not, still loves me, but it’s okay if I’m wrong. Whatever the truth is, we’re both okay and we’ll continue to be okay.