Self, Heartbreak

A Love Letter To My Emotionally Abusive Ex

Photo: istock
emotional abuse, love letter

Dear F*ckboy,

I bet you don't even realize the damage that you’ve done. You may have never physically hit me but the emotional trauma you brought upon my life has definitely left a mark.

I bet you don’t even feel guilty because that’s just who you are. Actually, I’m sure that if you ever read this article, all you’ll be able to think is that I’m a crazy, overdramatic and overemotional bitch...

That’s OK, though, because deep down we both know the truth and I hope karma comes back to bite you in the ass.

In case you were wondering, by definition, an emotionally abusive relationship consists of verbal or psychological abuse that leads to depression, anxiety, and possible post-traumatic stress disorderMy relationship with you left me feeling stuck and helpless, and led me straight down a path of depression, anxiety, insecurity and self-harm.


In September 2014, I was a happy 18-year-old, just starting college. I had never been in a relationship or even been kissed at this point. Then you came along. You were Mr. Popular, the basketball star. All the girls loved you, the guy who was never told no.

Out of the blue, you gravitated towards me. I didn’t understand why, but I liked it. We started hanging out. I was insecure and you saw that as the perfect opportunity and ran with it. You made me feel special and beautiful, like I mattered.

For some reason, I was blind to all your f*ckboy tendencies: your obvious lies, the possessiveness, the way you'd subtly put me down by making little side comments, and the fact that nearly every time we had a conversation you always needed something. Whether that be money, sex, or a ride somewhere. It's like I refused to acknowledge that I was being used.

We started spending a lot of time together. As a matter of fact, I started seeing you every day. For the first few months we never went on dates but that didn’t even matter. I was perfectly OK just spending time with you, chilling around the house doing nothing.

On February 11th, you gave me my first kiss and took my virginity, all within 20 minutes. I remember this date exactly because I later found out you were in a relationship at the time, and to make matters worse, February 11th happened to be that girl’s birthday.

That Valentine’s Day, you didn’t call me or text me at all. I never imagined that February 11th would be the official start of the worst year of my life. I gave you the opportunity for us to be in a FWB, no strings attached relationship. But you told me you wanted me, and only me, and that we should be monogamous, so I agreed.

As a result of that conversation, I started to give you all of me. No matter what time it was, if you called, I came.

When you had a job, I made sure you got to work on time and made it back home safe. When you were out of work, I financially supported you and fed you, even though I was just as broke as you were and also in the process of preparing for the biggest move of my life.

Basketball was your dream. Every day, I took you to the gym or to Venice Beach and sat in the bleachers until the gym closed or the sun went down so you could get work in. I attended every single one of your games and cheered you on in the sidelines. I was your number one fan.

When you told me about your Multiple Sclerosis and how badly it affected you, I vowed to always be by your side. I took you to doctor’s appointments. When you had bad reactions to your medicine, I sat there with you and held you until you felt better. I cleaned up your vomit countless times.

In a twisted turn of events, you decided to repay me by beating me down to a point where I felt worthless and insecure.

When I tried to leave, you would blow up my phone and show up on my doorstep unannounced. It made me feel helpless and completely controlled by you.

You used my vow to always be there as a way to guilt-trip me into giving you chance after chance. We were two months in when you had your first temper tantrum, which included name calling and verbal attacks. 

Then I found out about the cheating. You cheated on me with at least 10 women that I know of, and now one of them is pregnant.

I still don’t know why I stayed. It's like I was stuck. Maybe it’s because I felt bad for you, or maybe it’s because I vowed to always be there and I wasn’t one to break promises. Frankly, a small part of me was just f*cking stupid and thought we could make it work. 

To be completely honest, I still don’t know what it was about you that I couldn't quit, but I regret all of it because you were responsible for bringing me to the darkest point in my life. In fits of rage, you constantly told me how ugly and fat I was, and how I would be so much better for you if I changed the way I looked.

Unfortunately, I was so insecure in myself, I started to believe it. You called me a bitch and told me you hated me too many times to count.

My humor was my one coping mechanism in social situations. It was the one thing that quelled my social anxiety and yet you always made sure to remind me how unfunny I was every chance you got.

Eventually, I got so used to the criticism that when we went out to meet new people, I just stayed silent.

I'm still recovering. I see it in the way I struggle to talk to my colleagues at work because I don't want them to judge me. They're all such cool people and I just want to fit in. I feel it in the way I'm terrified to be in social situations. I'm 20 years old and even though I was with you for so long I've still never experienced a date. It'll probably stay that way for awhile though because the thought of approaching guys that I like is the scariest thing in the world. What if they're like you?

When I tried to leave, you threatened to expose private photos that I trusted you with. At times when you wanted to be intimate and I wasn’t feeling it, I was too scared to tell you no because you immediately turned to yelling insults, pressuring, guilt trips and threatening to expose those same pictures — all in an attempt to get whatever you wanted out of me. 

Eventually, I started struggling to get out of bed and crying myself to sleep. I smoked every day because I was constantly anxious, and the stress of pleasing you as well as my family led to me feeling unworthy and eventually led to self-harm and some really dark thoughts.

I don’t know why, but I confided in you. BIG MISTAKE. You acted like you cared. Little did I know, you would eventually use my issues to your advantage.

Whenever things went your way, I was the greatest person alive, but as soon as I was unable to do something or started asking questions, it turned into an argument. 

I wish I would’ve realized you were one of the main reasons for my depression and that by keeping you around I was only doing more damage to myself. However, the worst thing you did to me was your attempt to take away the one source of happiness I had in my life at that time. The one thing I was looking forward to: Australia.

From the very first day I met you, I told you how important going to Australia for school was to me. A month before I was set to leave, you put me out $750 USD, all the money I saved up to buy my ticket.

After being with you almost a year-and-a-half, I stupidly built up the trust to allow you to drive my car, and what did you do? You got my car towed. Who paid for it? Me. I still haven’t seen a dime of that money back.

My relationship with you left me broken, untrusting, insecure, feeling like a failure, and brought on a depression and anxiety that I still struggle with today. I don’t trust men whatsoever and I feel like I’m not good or beautiful enough for a relationship. I over-think everything.

I know what you’re probably thinking: What the f*ck are you writing this letter for? And how come you didn’t focus on any of the "good times"?

Well, I’m writing it to let you know you don’t affect me anymore. As for the good times, they're so outweighed by the bad they’re basically irrelevant. No matter what you think, the power you once possessed is gone. I no longer feel stuck, scared of you, or like I owe you anything.

It’s been a slow process but I’m slowly, but surely finding happiness again. I’m dealing with my self-harm, I’ve been seeking therapy, I’m sleeping easier, exercising a little bit more, making new friends, and I’m working and going to school, living my dreams in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. 

And guess what? I’m doing it without you. Because now I realize I never needed you in the first place and the only opinion that matters is my own.

You still try and contact me and harass me almost every day, trying to get me back in hopes you still have some small amount of power over me, because I know deep down you’re probably kicking yourself; a small part of you realizes you lost the best thing you ever had.

I could sit here and act like I’ve matured and that I don’t hate you, but frankly, I do. But I do want to thank you because you taught me that I deserve better and you taught me to value myself. Finally, I’m starting to realize my worth.

To this day, I still look at my self-harm scars to remind myself that I will never end up with a person like you again. People like you are just lessons. Everyone experiences sh*tty situations at least once in life that totally and utterly f*cking suck, but will ultimately make them stronger in the end.

My sh*tty life situation just happened to come in the form of you. You taught me exactly what to look out for in future relationships and even friendships. It’s still crazy to think there was a time in my life where I thought I could never live without you.

Now, I’m happy to say I’m perfectly content with never speaking to you again.