I know I said I was going to write about other things today, but I have something much more interesting to talk about.
I found my ex-boyfriend's blog last night.*
I haven't talked to him in almost ten years. And yet I'd be lying if I said I haven't thought of him pretty regularly since. Not because I loved him. But, because he didn't love me.
This is a boy who turned me inside out.
A boy who held me captive with his abuse. Even more so, by his promises to love me.
To have his attention was like having the sun warm your face. Guys wanted to be his friend. Girls wanted to be his lover. Everyone wanted his acceptance. Being on his arm made you proud.
He had money. He had beauty. He had women. He had friends. He had it all. He was going somewhere and you wanted to come.
This boy told me I was beautiful. I felt beautiful.
This boy told me I was smart. I felt smart.
This boy told me I was loveable. I knew it must be true.
But, when the boy would leave he would take the warmth with him. You were left cold inside, empty, wondering. He would give you just enough to keep you hanging on for more. But, he always took more than he gave. Always.
He dangled his love in front of you like an unattainable reward.
It wasn't what this boy was that addicted me. It was what he was not. He was broken. I wanted to fix him. I needed to fix him. Leaving wasn't an option. I would try. My God, I would try. I would gasp for breath from his suffocation. And yet he kept pulling me back under. Like a drowning man.
I was too healthy for him. I was too kind. Too feeling. Too giving. Too pure. It took me years to figure out that he wanted to break me; that his deeply flawed character prevented him from reacting to me in any other way.
I eventually freed myself from him, but the pain of his rejection remained. For nearly a decade I wondered why this boy's memory - his words - still had the power to hurt me, the wounds as fresh as yesterday.
I wondered what it was about this boy that compelled me so many years ago - a beautiful young girl with every option - to willingly sacrifice herself at the alter of his acceptance.
Last night I figured out why.
Last night I saw his picture.
Last night I read his words.
My stomach dropped. Him. It was him.
I read about his life now. I looked through pictures of his family. And yet I felt ...nothing.
How can that be? I thought. I was stunned.
I have thought of this boy countless times over the last decade, the memory of him a dull ache in my heart. How can I feel nothing for him? No desire to reconnect? No desire to say hello? No desire to flaunt my happy marriage and beautiful child?
I have carried the scars his words created for nearly a decade. And yet, I looked at his face and saw just a boy. A boy who probably doesn't even remember me. A boy whose life is pathetically unchanged from the way it was when I left him a decade ago.
I saw a stranger.
It was then that I realized it had never been about this boy.
Last night I realized what it has taken me nearly a decade to figure out: this boy represented my father.
*No, I'm not going to link him. Because I really do not want him to find me.