What It Feels Like To Be Broken Up With

By Mariel Almaria // As Told to Jessica Lamberty

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What It Feels Like To Be Broken Up With

I lost two things that day: my boyfriend and my best friend; but not by my doing.

You ended this.

You chose to leave me.

You wanted to be free.

You did this to me.

We were happy once. I remember it perfectly, the way you would open up to me in the ways no one else knew existed. I was shy, but there was something about you that made me feel safe. In the beginning, I was blinded by love, but as we approached our eighth month, my thoughts were clouded by anxiety, stress and fear. Sure, we had problems. I won’t deny that. But we would always work them out, so what happened? I know I told you I didn’t want to talk to you anymore, but little did you know that it was your fault. You were already moving on. Even now, I want to tell the others that you’re mine, but then the reality sets in. If we didn’t have time for each other before, there is no way we’ll have time now. You lied to me, playing silly mind games to trick me into pleasuring you. You told me I was your one and only, but after I discovered the truth, our relationship spiraled down. I trusted you, and that is a thing you will never get back from me.

You broke up with me to “be yourself.” You felt free, but I was always trapped behind the bars of judgement. A lot of people “know” my story, and they call me derogatory names. I never even did anything worth shaming me for. Sure, I’ve snuck out and lied about it, but to call me  “psycho”– that stings. Even in other relationships after ours, I felt attacked by my past. It was so lonely, especially when my “friends” would bet on how long it would be before we’d get back together again. Not only did I feel judged, I felt used. You told me you loved me, but I was wasting my time on someone I could never have. I’ve wasted three years now going back and forth with you. I’ve left my other blossoming love affairs just for the chance to be with you once more. You tricked me into believing that we had a chance, and when I was finally happy again, you came back into my life and played me.

When you came back, it broke me because my heart would skydive right back into the whirlpool from which I had just escaped. To me, your presence meant a second chance; maybe we could be together again, just like we used to be. I believe in second chances with all of my heart, but maybe is such a big word. My heart ached for you, but my conscience screamed to let go. I know that if we ever do date again, it won’t be the same. We have both changed so much and our broken pieces don’t fit together anymore, but we keep trying to create a masterpiece.

If it was me breaking up with you, I wouldn’t have lied to you. I wouldn’t have taken our time for granted or changed who I am for you. I don’t sugar coat anything, and I would stay true to who I really am, not who you changed me to be. Between the counselors and my mom, I tell myself that I’m young and I have all the time in the world to find “the one,” but I can’t help worrying that I’ll end up alone.

I often wonder if things would be different if time erased itself and we could start over again. I would make our time together last.

You told me that you “never liked me” and that “I never gave enough.” Was this why you broke up with me? I never really knew, so I tried to give more. I put myself out there and tried to conform to the person you wanted me to be, but you are irreplaceable and the hole in my heart can’t be filled by anyone else. We went so long without talking, so I let myself fall for others; but for some odd reason we keep coming back to each other. You said that we could still be friends, but we both knew that was not going to happen, especially when the gossip started spreading. The others would say things to you, and you would believe it before you even asked me if it was true. There were so many questions surrounding us, like what we did and why it ended. It was painful trying to answer them without knowing why myself. I hid among the fading wisps of cloud nine, clinging to what we once had and fearing the future. Would I ever find anyone else? What would life be like without you? I lost myself in the idea that everything was in my head.

Maybe you’ve taught me more about who I am and what I want in relationships, but I can’t seem to let go of your slang or your mannerisms. I tell you that I’m not afraid anymore; that you don’t make me jealous or anxious; that you’re not the reason for my misery. But I know it’s not true. I am afraid–afraid that I will never fill the hole you put in my heart. I try to forget you so you won’t consume my every thought.

In the end, I know we won’t be together again.

If you knocked on my door tomorrow, I would be different.

Every day, between mascara waterfalls, I put on my brave face and I try to forget you.

But here’s a little secret between you and me: the only thing that’s left of me is my brave face.