Editor’s note: The Brown and White does not usually publish anonymously written content. Due to the intimate nature of this letter, however, the editorial board determined that its author will remain anonymous.
A letter to my past abuser,
You did not hit me like some other boys would. You did not rape me, touch me, or attack me in any way. However, emotionally, you were the most abusive person I knew. You knew how to get inside my mind and how to control me and yet I was in love with you. I was in love with your smile and your smell and your hugs. I was in love with your apologies that would lead me back to you thinking that it would be better this time. I did not see what you were doing to me. I could not escape. My friends asked why I liked you. They asked why I stayed. I didn’t have an answer.
You did what any good abuser would, you gained my trust. You were my best friend. You told me your secrets and let me care for you. When you were feeling sad I would stay up until 3am talking to you night after night. You told me that I was the only person who really understood and who could help you. You would allow me to tell you that I loved you and then would talk about how you missed your ex while I patiently listened, feeling like each word you spoke was a dagger through my heart.
I gave you everything. I gave you my attention, my love, my lips, and my happiness. You gave me false trust, self-inflicted scars across my arm, a broken heart, and tears that fell too many times to count. You destroyed the bond I had with one of my best friends because if you couldn’t have her, then why should I? You led me to believe that I was worthless and ugly and that I didn’t deserve to live while I showered you with compliments. All I wanted was your approval and your love but instead you would ignore me for weeks on end and just as I was getting over you you would text me again, begging for my forgiveness, and like a fool I would go back to you.
Two years this went on for, but each day I grew a little big stronger. You got a girlfriend who you claimed you loved, but you would still text me asking for me to come over and asking why we were no longer together. I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t want to hurt you like you hurt me. I didn’t want to tell you that I had long ago thrown out the blades and undone any ties that bonded me to you. I didn’t want to say the words that I was thinking. That you were abusive and I wanted nothing to do with you. I didn’t want you to hate me.
You still attempt to control me, even now. Four years later and you only now tell me that you were always in love with me. Four years later and you only now tell me how much you cared. Four years later you still try to pull me in and manipulate me, but I won’t let you. You are no longer my life line and you are no longer my problem. The pain you inflicted is in the past and for the first time ever I can finally say: I hate you for what you did to me, and I hope I never have to meet someone like you again.
A girl who’s ready to move on
Abuse does not always show itself in black and blue. Sometimes it is your mind and heart and confidence that becomes bruised. If you are in a relationship, know what you deserve and know how you want to be treated and if you suspect your relationship is going south get out. Do not wait around until it’s too late and you are trapped.
If you don’t know how to get out of a relationship you suspect is emotionally abusive, get help. Don’t be afraid to approach a teacher, friend, or counselor. Don’t let others tell you that what you’re feeling isn’t real and that abuse can only be physical. Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual and no one deserves to be treated like that.
I know how hard it is to be involved with someone who won’t let you feel happiness and I ended up battling depression and anxiety for years. Honestly, I still am. Don’t let a partner define how you will feel about yourself for years to come. You are worth so much more than that.