An Open Letter to the First Boy Who Broke My Heart:
There's traces of you everywhere.
To the first boy who broke my heart,
I love you, and I think I always will.
I never received any closure at the end of us. You were apart of my life for so many years. You knew every one of my secrets, no mater how big or small; you knew me through and through. We would spend hours talking about how much we loved each other and wished we were together again rather than on opposite sides of the country.
You met me in my innocence. We were just kids that knew nothing of the world or what love was, but we really thought we had it all figured out in those moments, didn’t we? I really did love you more than anything; even more than I loved myself. You were my world, my future, my everything. I strived to gain your love, and to finally have you love me the way I loved you.
But that was never an option for you. Your love was always going to be filled with conditions. “Don’t do this, don’t wear that, look like this, don’t talk to this guy, text me back within this time frame or else there is a problem, tell me your every move.” I thought this was what love was, but it’s not. That was control. Every move I made and everything I said was twisted, analyzed, and dissected into something it never was. And no matter how it was looked at, I was always wrong. It was always my fault, never yours.
I couldn’t look at another guy without you accusing me of not really loving you, yet you could date and be with other girls, and that was okay. Because you made the rules. You dated the other girls, because I moved away, and it was my fault because, “if I was there, you would have dated me, but since I was gone you had to date someone else to help fill the hole in your life,” or at least that’s what you told me.
And I loved you so much I believed you.
My love for you was truly unconditional. It was so deep and true the oceans were jealous. And although loving big is good, it’s important to know how much you can carry, because sometimes it can be too big. My love for you was so big that it crushed me. It consumed every part of who I am. It became swollen with so many confusing lines that I was blinded that it was mainly tears and lies.
I was just something for you to use as entertainment. I was your “good girl.” The “perfect girl to settle down with,” as you liked to word it. We talked about how we shouldn’t date other people, because we knew we would be together in the end of it, but that was just how you always got me to stick around. Whenever you knew I was about to leave, you would throw that back in my face, and talk about how much you loved me and didn’t know what you would do without me, because you knew it’d bring me right back to you.
Because I loved you.
I changed so many things to please you. I always made sure to be available at specific times that I knew you would call. I acted and did things in a specific way I knew would make you like me more, and that you'd not be mad at me for doing them “wrong like always.” I wasn’t even me when you were in my life, I was a version of myself that I don’t even know. I did things that I never thought I would have to do just to make excuses and justify being with and loving you.
I always fought for you. I defended you to the ends of the Earth. Even after you would finish beating me down yourself with your words. You made me uncomfortable in my own skin to the point I could barely look myself in the mirror. I second guessed everything I said and did. I believed that this was love, and that you did this because you loved me. You made me believe nobody would love me as much as you “loved” me, while you were lying to me about having a girlfriend; and yet…
I still defended you.
Not a day goes by where you don’t pass my mind at least once. There’s Traces of you spread throughout everything I do. The bad habits I learned from our time together are still tangled throughout who I am as a person, and continue to make any future relationship more complicated than they should be.
My insecurities are frustrating, my constant apologizing is annoying, and my over communicating is “crazy,” but these are traits that I learned from you. And these are traits I’m trying to unlearn. I have a hard time trusting, because you made it so hard for me to ever believe in a partner completely, because you kept so many things hidden from me until I found them at the end.
You destroyed me.
And now I’m left putting myself back together piece by piece, but it is something that will take time. For the scars you left on me are so deep they are like war trenches carved into my skin. And my soldiers are still trying to recover, even after all this time.
And there will always be Traces of you with me.
Yet it has only made me stronger, and helped me have a better idea of what love really is. It showed me that not everything that glitters is gold, and just because someone says they love you, it doesn’t mean they do. There are good and bad people in the world, and sometimes, the bad ones disguise themselves as good people. It has taught me that although unconditional love is a good thing, you can not let it consume who you are. It showed me that I have to love myself first, and put myself before anyone else, because people will treat you how you allow them to treat you.
From you I learned that I am greater than I ever thought I could be. I have learned that I am worthy of a love so big, beautiful, and healthy, it makes people jealous. But in order to do that, I have to be in a healthy place mentally and emotionally before all else. I learned to always make myself and my happiness a priority, and to make sure my needs are heard, met, and validated. It showed me my true worth, and how I am worth so much more than you would ever be.
So I write this to the first boy I ever loved and the first boy who ever broke my heart not to say that I hate you, because I don’t. I love you, and I always will. Just not in the way I once did. I’m thankful for everything I have learned about myself and the world from our time together. And I’m thankful for our time together, because although I had so much hurt during that time that I now carry with me, I was happy; truly happy, at one point. And you helped me find myself again and discover my true worth.
I hope that one day you grow and become a better person for another girl and learn to love in a healthy way that is nondestructive to the person you give that love to.
The girl you say you never loved.