Everyone likes to blame their ex for things.
“They treated me bad. They cheated on me. They were a moocher.
I cannot trust people anymore. I worry. I get depressed.”
Everyone is effected in one way or another by the relationships we have with others; the lovers we have taken. How they have broken and destroyed us over the years of wear and tear.
But, have you ever thought about how you have affected those you have left behind? I have. Lets take it back a few years to the high school age to my first major relationship. Relationship number three. For fucks sake, lets call the ex in question Jamie.
When I got involved with Jamie, they were quiet, shy, and kind of a little weird. I took everything for granted. This would end up being the very first love of my life, and I single-handedly drove the entire relationship into the ground and thew myself face first into a depression that would alter the course of my life, and how I would handle every lover since.
Jamie said I love you first. I didn’t say it back. It was thanksgiving, and it was over the phone in front of their entire family. And I did not say it back. I embarrassed them entirely. To be fair, I didn’t even know what I heard. It was very rushed, and quiet. I was not sure what they had said, I only assumed.
I broke up with Jamie over something petty and stupid. I wasn’t getting the attention I wanted and I did not care about their priorities. I was the priority. Needless to say, I regretted what I had done the second it happened. I begged to take it back. It was too late. I had broken Jamie into little bits and pieces.
The following weeks, and months, and years, were a rinse and repeat cycle of disaster. Jamie would stay friends with me, but only in secret. They had told so many things to their friends about me it was impossible to be friends in public, because after all, I was a terrible person. I hurt them. Who would let their friend be around someone who didn’t even care about their feelings in the slightest? Not me.
I liked to tell myself it was because Jamie still loved me. We would meet, and kiss, and be together. Jamie would have a series of girlfriends after me. This was littered with lying to me, lying to them, cheating on them with me, every possible bad affair cliche in the book. Jamie always treated me like a gem in private. But in public, I was garbage. I didn’t understand then, but I do now. I was the bad guy all along.
I would do anything for them. I even cheated on one of my relationships for them. I can’t say I am happy with myself. But I was in love, and they loved me back. Even when we were with other people, we kept drifting back together. I called it fate. Destiny.
I would have to prove acts to them. Prove my feelings. Prove that I love them more than the person I was with. Wear a string tied around me like a collar smeared with their name. Property. It would take only a clear of their throat, a nod of their head, and I would do whatever they motioned at the time. I was trained like a dog.
After long years enduring this, I began to see things differently. I began to see. Jamie was no longer shy and cute. Jamie was demanding, expectant, the kind of person who would cheat on every relationship they had ever had, expected others to cheat and do whatever they wanted for them or they would be punished. Jamie used people. Used me. This is what breaking their heart had done to them. They became as heartless as I was when I tore them to shreds. I had created a monster.
I no longer wanted this in my life, but Jamie was no longer the kind of person to let their dog off of a leash. They finally dangled what I had wanted for years in front of me. A chance at another relationship. But I was no longer a little lap dog. I was a fearless hunting dog, and I set my eyes on what I wanted. I gave Jamie one chance to change. Show me they could be the kind of person I wanted to be with. The person I fell in love with in the first place.
Jamie was no longer this person. They failed.
It never worked out. I would leave Jamie behind with one last kiss and move on with y life. And eventually, Jamie would be in a long term relationship with someone who they loved. I don’t know if they treated that person right, or cheated. I know that when we were in the same place, our eyes would still find each other like magnets. I would smile and turn away.
In the long run, I really hope that Jamie finds love. I feel sorry for what I have done, and for anyone else I have hurt in the past. I don’t even know that girl anymore, who would hurt people without a second thought.
That’s the thing though, isn’t it? I am no where near the same person as I was before. I could never dream of treating someone so horribly, even cheating. I am filled with regrets, and if you put that girl in front of me I would not recognize her.
I am different now because of the relationships I have been through. I have been broken, cheated on, lied to, used. But I cannot say my hands are clean, for I have also done these things to other people. People I cared about. People I loved more than I loved myself. I am a monster.