To all the boys I’ve hurt before….
There have been times when I have loved so deeply that I thought I would never love again. That feeling of finally feeling like you’ve got it and that everything makes sense. I’ve had that. I’ve had that multiple times.
Five times to be exact.
The first was in middle school. I was depressed. I had just been forced out of my virginity and into a cycle of cutting, smoking, and drinking. I was going out of control and It was all happening so quickly. When suicide felt like the only possible exit, he entered. We met online, through MySpace to be exact. He was perfect with long skater blonde hair and fair skin. He was everything an emo girl wanted, and I was determined to meet him. When we finally did it all happened quickly from there. While I was falling in love with this amazing guy I continued to fall down my slipper slope of depression. The common ground that kept us afloat- suicide. Ironically enough we found love in a space that seemed no one else could relate to. We made a pact, a sick, dark pact, but it was the most real I’ve felt in months. If I ended it, he would, and vice versa. All very Romeo and Juliet like, we stayed in that darkness together, sharing depressing quotes and listening to The Spill Canvas. There was a safety I felt in him, in that moment. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. As our relationship progressed we became inseparable. But of course, with a relationship built on death cracks would be revealed. There were lies, deceit, cheating, and more depression. Questions I never thought I’d be faced with were coming at me fast and I got in over my head. After meeting another man, quite opposite than mine, I had second-guessed everything. This man was bubbly, not deep, and light-hearted. He was new and fresh and made me feel grateful for the breaths I was taking and life I was still living. I threw everything that I had away. I hurt the one person who had promised to never hurt me. No Matter What. That was what we used to say to each other. No Matter What- death, cuts, tears, whatever life threw at us, we were going to be together. Because a relationship based on death is bound to find life, and flourish if we were to have been strong enough. I guess I wasn’t. I ripped it to shreds, I broke his heart and broke the pact. One of the first times I felt true heartache from something I had loved so much yet didn’t deserve.
High school passed, and I remained mainly single. A few flings were had, but nothing I was able to pour my heart into like him. Until college. Freshman year, first day of class in my Into to Psych class, with over 200 people I had sat towards the back with my friend Laura. As overwhelmed freshman, we scoped the crowd, seeing who we liked, who was smart, who we wanted to stay away from, and who could potentially be cute enough to go after. Then he walked in. Boy number two. Unbeknownst to me, what started as lust at fist sight, quickly turned into a four-year relationship. Madly in love, I had found my best friend. We had sleepovers every night, he knew everything about me. As awkward freshman turned into slightly less awkward sophomores we continued to live college together. Yet, this year things shifted. I began to have second thoughts as I always did in relationships. I tried to ignore them, keep them out of sight and mind, but eventually I was my own worst enemy. An amazing relationship quickly turned to an up and down cycle of cheating, lies, and unfaithfulness. All by my doing. For the next three years we battled my inner demons. I needed the attention of others, through posting Instagram photos, texting boys I met on campus, and going to frat parties with my sisters. I was trying to live a single college life all while keeping my love on a string. I was unfair and cruel. He did anything for me, and yet I couldn’t give him the loyalty he had been begging for.
Junior year I met boy number three. While still dating number two. At a sorority event, I saw him for the first time. Behind the camera, documenting our fundraising success, I couldn’t keep my eyes off him. I had never seen him before I was certain of it. He had an I Don’t Give a Fuck attitude that was strong, almost pungent. I had to get to know him. As any teenage girl is capable of doing, I creeped hard enough to find him on Facebook. And added him. I started to blatantly like his stuff, clearly sending my message of intent. Notice me. As I would like a post of his, he would like a picture of mine and so on. I had butterflies and I knew he was playing my game. I had shoot my shot, and he didn’t turn it down. Until after I liked a picture of his old enough to be clear that I had creeped for some time and a notification popped up. I was excited as I saw, “blank liked your photo”. I clicked on the red alert only to find he liked a picture of me and number two. From a week ago. OH. OKAY. As sick as it was, I enjoyed the asshole move and continued. Eventually getting the courage to message him. Messaging turned to texting and soon I had lied to number two to hang out with number three. A harmless walk around his neighborhood had turned what was supposed to be a 30-minute study break into a two-hour conversation. We were the same and completely different at the same time and I was incredibly intrigued by it. Though our friendship stayed completely appropriate, I knew I had already developed strong feelings for three. Eventually being in love with two and three simultaneously.
In the end, breaking them both. In the end, throwing away two amazing people because I didn’t have the guts to tell one about the other. I continued down two years of lies, deceit, and cheating. Not physical cheating, but emotional. I was so confused. I was so distraught. I didn’t want to face the fact that I had dug myself a grave and I had to lay in it. Alone. So, I walked around it, jumped around it, did everything I possibly could to not fall into it, only digging it wider and deeper. Until eventually it was surrounding me. I love you’s turned into I hate yous. I never want to see you again. Voicemails. Blocked.
So, I did what I knew best, I ran away from the issue. I moved. 600 miles away. But I took those problems with me. I had lived my last four years in this trap, it was all I knew of myself. All I knew were through these two guys. But the hurt continued and eventually two cut ties. Without a word. Without an I’m sorry, he was gone.
Months passed, and I started drinking more. I was going out to the bars every week, Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights. I would drink myself into oblivion which never felt like a problem because my roommate was right there with me. Being a drunk, blurry, mess. Creating memories. Is what I used to say. It’s all worth it because we are creating memories. A particular bar we used to go to had a bodyguard. Eventually him checking my ID turned into full conversations and while my roommate pranced around the bar, I wanted to sit and talk with number four. I didn’t know he was going to be number four, I had no intentions of so. But when number four asked me to go on a walk, I should have known. A four-hour walk led us down a path very similar to number three. Strong feelings emerged as number four passionately kissed me goodbye. The largest problem with number four was something that should have scared me away. Should have been a deal-breaker. Should have sent me running to the hills. Marriage. Yup, he was married. And not just married but married with two children. I was aware of this from the time I met him. I told myself that I was able to keep my emotions out of this and let lust do what lust does best. When casual make out sessions turned into sex, and sex turned into dates, three months later I found myself staring in the mirror questioning what I was doing. I looked in the mirror and tried to tell myself that I didn’t care for him, that I was not in love with him, and that if he broke up with me right now I wouldn’t feel any hurt from it. I continued to tell myself this to avoid getting hurt. When the words he said felt more passionate than anything anyone has ever told him, I let my eyes say everything I was too afraid to say. I didn’t want to be the one that came on too strong, so I let him take the reins. When he told me he liked me, I made sure he was positive before reciprocating. When that attraction turned to love, I made triple sure that he wasn’t just saying it because he thought that’s what I wanted to hear. From with the most passionate sex I had ever had, I knew that his words were true. And so were my feelings.
That ended in a fire. Affairs were discovered and words that were said were taken away in fear of losing everything. Hurt hadn’t hit me until months later when I realized that all that time spent convincing myself I wasn’t romantically involved, only led to deep rooted feelings. A security in knowing that I loved him, but he couldn’t be mine. That I had to keep in arm’s length but close enough to feel his heart. This was the best type of relationship for me. I couldn’t hurt, I couldn’t cheat, I couldn’t be the bad guy. I was comfortable in this situation. Which was so fucked.
Number five has come and gone. He is the small fling that I ghosted. He is the guy I made plans with and bailed. He is the number I’ve ignored. The DM I’ve deleted. He’s the one I couldn’t like quite as much as he liked me. He has been the second-thought and the random hook-up. The let me buy you a drink and the I’ll never use you. He is the passerby and the week-long texting that eventually fades back into strangers.
To all the boys I’ve hurt before… I am sorry. I know that means very little when it comes to love. But it is the most I can do at the moment. Because of you all, and myself I am afraid to love. I am afraid to give myself to someone because I know I will hurt again. You all have given me bits and pieces of everything I could have ever asked for in a relationship. And I took it all for granted. I wanted more. I wanted different. I wanted new. When things got hard I wanted easy. When the honeymoon phase faded away, I wanted to see how fast I could find it with someone else. I was always one foot in and one foot out the door. Never being able to fully commit, I blame myself for throwing it all away. The cause of this is unknown. The cure of this is unknown. The next boy is unknown. But as I realize that I’m not sure where this stems from, it leads me to believe it cannot be changed. And because of that, there will be another. And another. This is not a happy ending of me finding love and kissing on a lacrosse field. This is real life.
So, to all the boys I’ve hurt before and to all the boys I will hurt in the future… run.