An Unsent Letter To My First Love


I loved you. Hell, I’m probably still in love with you. You were the first person I was truly in love with. I could see living the rest of my life with you. The last month since you left has been the worst month I’ve ever lived through. It’s been days and nights of pure emotional torture. It’s been a long battle with depression, trust issues, and overcoming my worst fears. You knew my battles and demons, and you took advantage of my vulnerabilities so you could be selfish. So you could get your way. And now you’re gone, just like that.

It all started with a simple ‘hello’. When I met you a year ago, you were a lively, cheerful guy who sat across from me in a booth at a dimly lit pub. I still remember that day like it was yesterday – it was a Thursday, I had done my makeup a little nicer, and you, with your blue sweater and collared shirt, came with your friends and sat down. The evening felt a little whimsical and blurred; it was probably the drinks and the first ever shots I’d just thrown back. You were charming and so upbeat. When I got home, you had already sent me a message. And away we went.

Very quickly, the red flags presented themselves. I disregarded them even though they were right in my face. The demeaning talk of your exes, you sharing personal details about them, you ignoring my opinions, you making jokes about my body.

I was head over heels with you, so much so that I only focused on all the positive things you did, and dismissed anything negative. I saw anything nice you did through rose-colored glasses.

Fast forward – you told me you were in love with me, that you could see yourself marrying and having a family with me. I was overwhelmed with happiness knowing I felt the same. For once in my life, here was someone who cared and loved me. You took away my fears. You made me feel like we were invincible. It felt like all the brokenness and neglect from my past had faded away. You were the long-awaited light at the end of the tunnel.

I still clearly remember the one night we hugged goodbye after a late night at our favorite coffee shop on the corner, and we kept turning back to look at each other as we walked away. You kept waving. But then I saw you running back towards me. And when you finally reached me, I remember you picking me up, and spinning me around in your arms under the soft light of a streetlamp. Holding my hand all the way home, us laughing like we didn’t have a care in the world. In that moment, I could’ve died happy.

But it wasn’t all good. I hurt you and I wish I never did. We argued. We fought. Things from there took a turn for the worse. You started taking me for granted. Making jokes that made me look at myself in the mirror and pinch the fat on my sides. I only started eating more. You touched me in ways that made me feel used, ignoring my ‘no’s’, ignoring me when I said I didn’t want to have sex, and having to push you off me because I was scared that you might rape me. Being rough with me. But again in the back of my mind, I thought, ‘He cares about me. He loves me. He knows my mental health issues, and my history’. I believed in the good in you.

Months went by. And the last couple months we were together, everything seemed like it was getting better, and I was oh so, so happy. There were still things here and there you did to me to make me feel bad about myself – but things were getting better, so why think about that now? ‘Just focus on the good’, I thought. All my favorite, picture-perfect memories were being made – you kissing me on a summer evening on the beach by the water. Spending late afternoons under the tree on that hill we always sat on with the sun shining in our eyes, talking about everything and anything. Us laying on the grass and looking up at a cloudless sky. Watching fireworks at 10pm from the balcony with your arms wrapped tight around me – so reassuring, so secure like you’d never let me go.

And then last month, you left.

It was unexpected. No indication of anything wrong. We had been a little distant the last couple weeks, but we were busy and I didn’t think much of it. It was a Sunday at a dimly lit restaurant with our friends. And it was different. You weren’t the lively, cheerful guy with me that night. I asked you to sit beside me. You did. But you seemed uncomfortable when I touched your arm. Eventually, you moved seats and didn’t talk to me for the rest of the evening. When I hugged you goodbye in front of your friends and went in for a kiss, you pushed me away and said, “What are you doing?”. I saw this coldness in your green eyes I’d never seen before, that stared right through me like I was invisible. And as I left, confused, I had no idea that would be the last time that I would ever hug or kiss you, see you, or speak to you again in person.

That night when I got home, you texted me. “I’m excited to see you tomorrow for lunch.” I was too, but I then asked why you’d acted so cold. And what came next was what I never expected. You suddenly went into a rage. You blamed me for everything that happened in our relationship. You said I treated you poorly. You said you were done. It happened so quickly and so out of the blue, I instantly felt numb and directionless. And for the next month, I’ve been sinking into the worst depression of my life. You were a coward to end a year-long relationship by text.

After stepping back from it all, I was only then I realized all the horrible things you did to me. All the things you said to me and passed off as a joke. The times you stripped me of my clothes when I said I didn’t want to do anything. The times I thought you were going to rape me when you picked me up and threw me on my bed. The time you touched me under my clothes when I slept and I woke up, confused. And it broke me to realize finally, that you’d hurt me in a way I could never take back.

You felt like you had that power over me when I believed you’d never do anything like that to me. You felt entitled to my body because I loved you.

Last week, I heard you were already seeing someone new. It was like the break-up all over again, but 100 times worse. The pain was fresh, overwhelming, and raw – and it broke me. When I worked up the courage to message you, you told me your feelings had already been fading in the last few months of our relationship. Why then did you tell me even up to last month that you could still see spending your life with me? Why did you lie to me? I spilled my darkest feelings to you of heartbreak, loneliness, and sadness. All the raw emotions from the last month came tumbling out. I asked you to meet in person to get closure, but all you replied with was, ‘I’m sorry I blindsided you’. Then you blocked me. And that’s the last I’ve ever heard from you. You’re gone.

I’m broken. I’m losing my mind. I’ve been losing weight. More hair than usual has been falling out in the shower because I haven’t felt like eating. I drive tired, trying to focus on the dark road when it’s pouring rain. I lie in bed in the dark, struggling to fall asleep at 2am, only to have dreams about you being there next to me again under the tree in the sun, saying, ‘it’s okay, I’m right here, love’, as you usually did when I was having a bad day. 4 hours later, my alarm jerks me out of the dream, and I endure going back every day to the place where so many of our memories were made.

I don’t understand how you forgot about me so quickly, and how you’re happy now with a new girl. Why do I have to be the one picking up the pieces of what you destroyed? Why did you leave me feeling isolated like I’m going to scream and start crying at any given moment? Didn’t you take time to grieve what we had? Don’t you still look for me in a crowd? Do you see me when you look at her? Does she hug you and kiss you like I did?

But then I realized.

If you had cared about me at all, you would’ve had the decency to end things and give me closure in person. You chose to leave my life.

You deliberately chose to hurt me when you knew I was vulnerable. You chose to be selfish. You chose to be a coward and leave things unresolved. You chose to never talk to me again because I pointed out what you did to me.

You were my first love. And admittedly, you’ve given me some of the best memories of my life so far. Thank you for those memories. But now I wonder if you ever really loved me.

I gave you all my love, and you took it. You had that power and control over me, all in your hands. You took that love, and you broke me, and crushed me to the ground, and tested my limits.

But you didn’t destroy me.

So, this is me saying goodbye to you. This is me trying to move on. Not thinking about the promises we made to one another or the life together that we spoke of. This is me acknowledging that you’re probably not thinking about me anymore. That from here on out, our paths are going separate ways.

This is me acknowledging the pain that you burned into me, and healing from it. This is me not stopping to pause every day when I pass by that tree we used to sit under all the time to talk about our future and about life. This is me hoping you realize how much you changed my life when you hurt me.

This is me praying for you every night and hoping the next girl after me has it better.

Take care, love.