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Thank You for Teaching Me How to Love By Crushing My Heart

I never understood the term “heartbroken” until it happened to me. I never believed that such sadness could actually cause physical pain. But sure enough, I found the rumors to be very true. A good amount of time has passed since I said, “enough,” to the relationship that was never going anywhere…and to you, the boy I fell head over heels in love with. But, like with any first love, I think about it often and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

My thoughts range from thinking about the happy parts to the passionate parts, and of course the sad parts. But mostly, my mind still travels to the hurtful parts.

Like the time you told me I never knew what it was like to work even remotely hard a day in my life. That was the day I realized that the person I looked up to so much didn’t look up to me or respect me at all. But I ignored it.

Or when you couldn’t be there when I was going through my bouts of depression and would cut me off and not talk to me for weeks. But I stayed quiet and alone, waiting desperately for you to call.

Or when you cheated on me while you were on vacation and thought you got away with it. But I never addressed it, and regret it to this day.

Or when you drunkenly asked me why I wasn’t some other girl in bed and made me question everything. But I never mentioned it again after that night because I was too embarrassed.

Or my personal favorite: your response to me when I first told you I loved you. You may claim to have forgotten but I surely haven’t and I don’t think I ever will. “Sit on my face”. Those words resonate daily with me.

You crushed my heart, plain and simple.

Everyone told me that things would get easier as time passes, and sometimes I find that to be true. But other times, I think back and I still want to punch you in the face. I fantasize about running into you somewhere, anywhere, and slapping you. I still cry a lot. And other times I want to just forgive you and forget it all. But that has been a work in progress.

I get mad at you often, thinking of how you have tarnished the idea of being in a relationship for me and for making me hate the idea of ever falling in love again. I get mad at you for making me feel so broken and unwanted. I get mad at you for having played with my heart when you didn’t have the capacity to reciprocate my feelings, which you knew so well. I hate that my first time uttering those three little words was wasted on you. Saying that for the first time is something I can never get back.

But despite all of this, there are some days where I don’t hate you so much and I can remember that those words you spoke and things you did to me came from a place of hurt. They came from a place of self-loathing, something I tried to help you see past, but you never were able to. I don’t know if you ever will be. I hope you will, because like I always said, I know there is so much good in you, despite what you did to me.

And as much as I want to, I cannot hate you because you taught me so much, something I’m just realizing literally as I’m typing this. You taught me to stand up for what I feel and demand what I need, even though I didn’t do that with you because I didn’t have the courage to until I ended it.

But I think the most important thing you taught me was that you are not allowed to be a coward and be in love. It is not possible. I put everything out there for you, as scary as that was, and unfortunately it didn’t work out. I hated myself everyday for a very long time for being so open and trusting and for letting you seep into every aspect of my heart.

But, the more I think about it, I’m SO thankful that I didn’t let your fear of love keep me from my honesty and ability to feel. I’m so glad I caught myself before I shrunk who I was and lived small and sheltered and incapable of expressing emotion, which is what you were teaching me to do. I’m so glad I kept my heart open.

As hurt as I was (and may still be some days), I needed this to happen…and not because I deserve the pain, but because I deserve to know how to love and how not to love. And if there is any good that came out of this it’s that my ability to give parts of myself to someone else has remained unwavering. In fact, I think that that particular ability has only grown stronger because I’ve realized I never want to live in your fear and experience the world from your point of view again.

A friend once told me that, “living life too far from the edge doesn’t come with a view,” and she is so right. Living as a coward and in fear does not produce results, in any part of life. And that is not something I am interested in doing. I am only interested in standing on the edge again and taking in all that the world has to offer me, because it’s a lot more than you could ever give me.

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