I Don’t Have To Forgive You To Move On From You

Christopher Windus
Christopher Windus

I’m not going to thank you.

Every text I spent hours worrying about, just to get no response. Every time I stood complacent, joking it off when you put me down in front of our friends. Every excuse I made for you, telling people you were just scared. Every time I turned a nice guy down at the bar because of you, when you were out hooking up with other girls. Every time you broke things off, just to come back to me a week later claiming you changed and that our love was enough. Those things make me cringe, because that is not me. I loved you so much that sometimes I worry I still do, but you turned me into a stranger. I was my weakest version when I was with you, and I will not thank you for that.

I can’t tell you how many quotes and stories I read when I was in the dark place that you sent me to, after you left me again. They all said to thank your toxic ex because they got you to where you are now. But you know what? You aren’t the reason I’m here now, surviving again. I’m here in spite of you.

This is my life, my triumph, and I’ll be damned if I let you take this from me, too. I will not thank you for what you did to me and for who I am now, after you.

I’m also not going to forgive you.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have accepted what happened in our relationship and that I am partially to blame. Not for the way that you treated me, because I did not deserve that, but I let you control me. I chose to love you instead of leave you. I am to blame for putting up with your treatment instead of putting my foot down. I will not dwell on our past in bitterness. I am good now, and I want you to know that I do not hate you. I have made peace with our past.

I accept that it can’t be changed, and I will use it to grow and become better and love stronger.

But I do not forgive you. The names that you called me and way that you treated me was not, and never will be, ok. If you ever were to apologize, I would be happy that you found compassion in your heart, and I would hope that it would be a sign that you were changing; that you were finding yourself able to truly love and open up. But I will not tell you, “It’s ok,” because it wasn’t. I was never “ok” when I was with you, and I will not pretend otherwise.

So to the one who broke me, just know this. I owe you nothing. I will look back on our happy memories with fondness, and use the bad to strengthen myself. You did not do this for me. This is me after you.

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