I’m Not Jealous You’re Back With Your Ex (Because I’m So Grateful To Be Free Of You)

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Suddenly, right there before your very eyes, everything you held on to for so long drowns in the reality that it was all a cold, messy lie. Everything you convinced yourself of in order to give the person your all means nothing now.

I always knew she was what you truly wanted. When I saw that you two were back together, my initial feeling was happiness. I felt a sense of relief for you because it looked like you had finally gotten back the one person who made you feel the safest, but that’s not to say I wasn’t angry too.

Angry that what we had was a lie because you lied to me, over and over again. But mostly angry not because you didn’t end up with me, but because there was no need to destroy me in the process of winning her back. Was I the one who left you? Yes, and it took all the strength I had in me. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t also have to put myself back together piece by piece after I left the construction site that was your life. I tried to go back, I groveled, pined, begged, and pleaded for you to stay in my life. I didn’t understand how she and I were so different. I didn’t understand how you could ignore me after I broke your heart, but stay friends with her after she had broken it. Then I opened my eyes and snapped out of it.

Here’s the plot twist though: as I reflect on my experience with you, I realized that she and I were the same at one point, we had one huge thing in common. We viewed you as the ultimate prize.

We both tried to keep you in our lives because we convinced ourselves that you added value to them, and that you couldn’t survive without us. That, my friends, is the grueling and exhausting game of manipulation at its finest. I didn’t last because I stopped playing. Her, on the other hand? She never stopped playing.

I realized that from the day you entered my life, you had never relinquished control of her. Even after you grasped complete control of me. You stayed in contact at all times, no matter how many times we argued over how uncomfortable it made me. I knew that you had been together for a decent amount of time, but I also knew you had been broken up for a few years before I came along. You convinced me (and yourself) that she was the only person you’ve ever had whom you trusted whole heartedly, but honestly, how could you have trusted her when she broke your heart? You couldn’t, it was just all a game to you. I let you have her because you used your fucked up childhood as an excuse to never trust anyone again. You would only trust her until I earned your trust with time.

People like you convince your partners that you don’t trust that we won’t leave you like everyone else has, which ultimately manipulates us into staying, manipulates us into enduring your abuse. I can admit that I felt bad, I pitied you, so I stood by as you slowly, and painfully, pierced your hooks in me, and ultimately destroyed me little by little, every second you were in my life. I let you convince me that you needed me to survive, that it was my responsibility to neglect my own standards and emotions in order to keep you afloat. I convinced myself that the emotional and physical abuse you dished out wasn’t your fault; it was just a reflection of how you were shown love growing up.

But when it comes to her, let’s put it this way: you never finished writing your chapter with her before you started writing your chapter with me.

You can’t overlap chapters; you can’t overlap relationships. Sure, give a short summary in the beginning of your new chapter, but don’t make it one of the conflicting elements in your new chapter. A summary is an explanation of your past; it is not a discussion you have every day. You mentioned her at every chance you could, but told me it was over and that you loved me. I was your everything now. You talked about her fondly, too fondly. You made comments asserting that it was not your choice to be apart from her. You went as far as providing me with a detailed list of why you could never be together (of which included facts such as her parents loathing your existence and you fucking her friend after you broke up). Which in my head is all the convincing I’d ever need to believe she would never take you back. Wrong.

So question is, am I jealous she has you again? Am I envious of her life with you? Nah. I pity her.

Thing is, you two lasted years, while we only lasted a matter of months. Not because I was anything short of amazing, but because I was stronger than her. I let you have control of my emotional and physical health for a short while, until I opened my eyes and saw the destruction you were causing in my life; the game of manipulation you thrived off of. I realized that who I am doesn’t get played. I had never allowed anyone to fuck with me before; you had just caught me in the weakest time of my life. You took advantage of my temporary emotional instability. I was grieving the loss of a very close relative, which fucked up my interpretation of life and my perception of the people around me.

My vulnerability convinced me you were there to help, when really you were only there to destroy. But what’s her excuse for putting up with you? Nothing, she doesn’t have one. She’s weak, and I hope she comes out of the fog sooner this time around. You use and abuse at every chance you get. It’s not just who you were with me, it’s who you are as a human being. Nobody can help, save, or fix you. You are who you are and that will not change – whether it’s her or me standing next to you.

I hope for her sake she wakes up and doesn’t let herself drown in you, again. Abuse involves a psychological game of manipulation and the only way to resign as a player is to understand that staying IS worse than leaving, and that your game-maker can no longer include you in their game of destruction if you quit – if you leave, if you prevent any and all kinds of contact. If she wants to be able to write her happily ever after, she has to let you finish your chapter on her by excusing herself from your story. Otherwise, the game continues.

Sure, exes can be friends. But not when your ex is a master manipulator who fiends for control over his lovers. You can’t be friends with someone like that, nobody can. As long as they are in your life, they have some form of control of it. They are professionals; it is what they are good at. And we, as victims, fall in love and play the game as a result. Once you fall in love with someone, you form an attachment. But here’s the hard truth: you can’t hold on to attachment and stay in contact with a manipulator if you want to take control of your own life.

So no, I am not jealous of her. Did I love you? Yes, absolutely, with my whole heart. But I am free now – you do not control me and I am not jealous of someone who let you control them both while they were in a relationship with you and while you were “just friends.” That’s weak shit, and I have no reason to feel envious of someone who continues to fall for your games. I set myself free, and I pray for the sake of her sanity that she finds the strength to do the same. I hope she finishes her chapter with you the same way that I did: letting go of the attachment, but keeping the lesson. TC mark

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Mother. Teacher. Believer. Survivor. Follow Michelle on Instagram or read more articles from Michelle on Thought Catalog.