I knew it the minute I unblocked you from my phone that I had won. The desperation in that text I got minutes after running into you at the bar was absolutely proof that I had come out the winner from this mess.
I wanted to believe you when you apologized for how you treated me. But you weren’t sorry. You were apologizing because a handful of our mutual friends read about how poorly you treated me on the Internet. You were sorry because I had told the world exactly who you were. You were sorry because I made it very clear you were not the gentleman that I met two years ago. You were sorry because I finally didn’t want you anymore.
I hear that you’re still with her. Not that it’s anything significant; because apparently you use her like she’s your own personal plaything. And while it’s mildly humiliating to have you still in a thing with the girl you left me for, I wasn’t as hurt as I thought I’d be. I hear that you’re still treating girls the way you treated me, which makes me feel sorry for her. I’m sorry that she thinks she doesn’t deserve better. I’m sorry that she feels that badly about herself that she will cling onto you, even when you take home other girls right in front of her.
I hate that I almost believed your apology. But when I told you to tell me the same thing when you were sober and you couldn’t, you proved that you were exactly the same man who told me I wasn’t worth anything compared to her. Another year and nothing has changed about you. It almost makes me sad that you’re still treating women this poorly. I could never fathom someone being like that, but you’ve proved to be the exception.
I may not be with anyone, but I’ve got enough self-respect to know that I deserve someone who values me. I don’t deserve someone that treats me so appallingly, and neither does she. All of us deserve a person that is going to treat us well and I’m here to say that if someone is being treated anything less than perfect, it’s not a relationship they should be in. That’s a very hard thing to acknowledge, and it took me a year to realize it, but you’ve helped me figure out that no matter how long it takes me, I’m not going to settle for anyone that even remotely treats me the way you did.
I hope you know that I’m very aware you’re not sorry. You’re sorry you got called out on your behavior. But you’re not sorry for anything you did to me. If you were, you’d be sincere about your apology. You’d tell me you’re sorry when it’s light outside. You’d let me go. You’d allow me to move away from you and to be angry with you and to be disgusted by you and you’d allow me to write articles about it without getting defensive and mad.
Because I hear your empty apology, but I also know what it’s like to think that I deserve that kind of half-hearted gesture. I’ve been one of the people who think they don’t deserve any better. The people that are crying themselves to sleep at night because they feel absolutely nothing in their soul and the people who have to fix their puffy, tired-from-crying eyes and smile for the rest of the world. This is for the people who are told by wonderful people that they’re fantastic, and who take the compliment, but don’t believe it.
You see, I can’t tell you what to feel. I can’t tell you to be really sorry — I can only hope that you are. I’ve thought it could never get better, I’ve thought that I’d never be worth anything. I’ve felt in my bones that anything I did had no effect on anyone. I’ve felt the aching that only happens in your bones when you lie in bed at night, staring at a phone. I’ve felt the way the tears sting as they surface in your eyes but you blink and force them away because you’re in public. And I finally realized I’m worth something. Write it on a mirror. Cut the people who don’t make you feel amazing out of your life. Start hanging out with people who make you feel good, not ones who start arguments and demean you and belittle you. Surround yourself with a support group. It takes everyone a different amount of time to not only realize they’re worth something, but to believe it — and if a person repeats it to themselves every day, maybe they’ll start to believe.
I hope you read this story. I hope you read this story and realize that you faking an apology because you want me to want you again does nothing. Would I appreciate an apology? It’s always nice. But if it’s not sincere and you don’t believe the words you’re saying, it’s never worth it. Let me move forward and build myself up a little bit more each day from the rubble to which you once reduced me.