Letter to My Ex: The Day You Died

By an anonymous contributor

Dear J,

You recently sent me the following text: I love you. I will always love you. But you are dead to me. I know you did it to hurt me, to make me sad.

And it did.

It also made me resent you for trying yet again to manipulate me. Mostly though, that text made me want to send you love and congratulate myself for taking the high road. After all, I would never say those words to you. Maybe I should have.

I know the exact day you died to me. It’s etched on my heart because I go back to it, time and again, and I wonder why that day: Was it because I had just opened my heart to you again that morning? I told you how scared I was to start a family with you. I told you for what felt like the thousandth time how your drinking affected me.

You held me and promised it wasn’t a problem, that you had just been having fun, that I was overreacting again. I felt such profound relief then, probably because I knew how close I had come to throwing it all away. Your reassurance brought me right back to you. To us.

Maybe it wasn’t fair to go to the brewery that same day. Maybe I was testing you. At this point we were so far from everything that was fair and good and real. And deep down I knew it was just a matter of time, anyway. So when you got drunk and passed out on the couch again, something changed forever.

I thought you broke my heart that day.

But my heart had been broken long before that day – it broke the time you wrecked your car, the time you spent the night in a ditch, and every time you lied to me. Being with an addict is like watching someone you love kill themselves, slowly. Over time, and many broken hearts, you start to wish they would just hurry up already. Then you hate yourself for that.

When you’re always waiting for someone to die, eventually they do.

So it wasn’t a broken heart that day. Because your heart can only be broken so many times before it stops beating for the person who breaks it. That day my heart stopped beating for you. That is the day you died.

I love you. I will always love you. And I would never text you these words: but you have been dead to me for a long time. 

K.

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