Dear ex-boyfriend,

Six years ago, I left you for good because I was afraid of you. That’s what it really boiled down to, that I was constantly afraid and anxious around you, and I couldn’t say anything to you without immediately cringing because of the possibility that I had just inadvertently started a fight. Six years ago, I left you, but in some ways, you are still in my life every day. The things that you did to me still haunt me, and even though I know that most men are not like you and will not treat me the way that you did, what you did to me makes it impossible for me to get close to someone else. The cruel irony of this is that that didn’t stop me from falling in love with someone; it just made it impossible to actually open up and start a real relationship with him.

You were wrong about me, you know. You said that no one else would ever want me or ever love me, and I believed you, but you were wrong. Even though it didn’t work out between me and the person I fell in love with, he thinks I am beautiful and smart and kind, and he makes me feel safe. I am worth more than you thought I was.

But if things are ever going to work out for me romantically, I have to learn to trust again, and I can’t do that while the things you did to me haunt me. I only know one way to make that happen. So. These are some of the most difficult words I have ever written, but. I forgive you for abusing my trust and my innocence. I can’t carry around this hatred and resentment anymore, and you don’t have permission to haunt me anymore. You cannot have anymore of my life.

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