I didn’t know what love meant because I never loved myself

I didn’t know what love meant because I never loved myself

I didn’t know what love meant because I never loved myself

Dear Tom,

There are a few things I want to say to you. I don’t even know how to start this or how to put my thoughts into words but I’ll try my best.

You were my best friend. Despite all the issues I was having with myself, you were always there for me. I’m sorry for the fact that I did not step up and that I did not know how to grow in life. How to let go of the pain, how to move forward. Instead, I hid the pain behind self-pity, partying and mostly you. I pushed away the pain because I was not ready to face it. By not dealing with it, by not allowing myself to heal, I couldn’t love you properly. I didn’t know how to, I didn’t know what love meant because I never loved myself. I hope this makes sense – it’s hard to find the right words and to open my heart on something so sensitive. Back then, I didn’t trust myself, so I let everyone else lead my life. I never questioned the path either, I just accepted life as it was because I didn’t believe that I could change it, which reflected into our relationship. I used to self-sabotage a lot before I realized that I didn’t have to. I lived entirely by my emotions at that time. When I was sad, nothing could be positive, when I was angry, I had to let it out. I did not even consider that my actions and my emotions are two entirely different things.

The worst part is, I think we had it right. I think we were good together. We made each other happy. We worked. It was just the timing that didn’t. I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Maybe that’s what’s hardest; there was nothing wrong with us, just with me. Or maybe what’s worse is knowing that it just wasn’t enough. But I don’t blame you, it couldn’t have been easy, being with someone who needs constant reassurance, someone who got down for sometimes no reason at all. I know that you tried so hard to keep me steady. You saved me from drowning for such a long time, even though I knew it was hurting you too. You were the first guy to love me properly, and I clung to that for longer than I should have. When you left, everything I’d been denying and trying to hide for years hit me all at once. It was really bad, but at the same time it was what I needed. It made me see that the only relationship I needed to have was the one with myself. I have grown so much since then. These past months I learned so much. About myself, about life, about love. I’ve noticed that once you understand that you’re the toxic person (which I definitely was), everything about you changes. You move different, you think and act differently. I’d like to hope you’d be proud because, despite anything I’ve said or done, I still care about how you feel and how you see me.

I’m doing better, but to say I never think about you would be a lie. From time to time I miss you a lot. It’s so strange to think that someone I knew so well is now a stranger to me, that sometimes I go entire days without thinking about you. Most of the time I let myself forget because it’s easier. This isn’t regret, we had our reasons for ending it, and they are as valid as ever. But back at the start, we didn’t need any reasons to fall in love, we just did. I guess what I’m saying is just a small part of me hopes that you still remember what it was like before all the reasons, and that sometimes you miss me too.

Every now and then I wish I’d fought harder for you. I wish I saw that it’s my responsibility to look after my feelings and that it’s my fault if I get hurt. I wish I had been honest with myself sooner about everything. They say you learn from your mistakes and that’s definitely true, I just wish I didn’t make these mistakes with you. When I think like this, I tell myself that I can wish all I want, it’s not going to change anything. It happened and I can’t do anything about it, which brings me to acceptance. It is painful to lose someone you care about that you thought would be in your life forever, but I’ve accepted it. I’m not saying I’ve completely moved on because it’s obvious that I still love you, but acceptance is definitely the right word to use here. I have forgiven myself for the things I’ve done because I realized I didn’t know any better and that has helped me a lot. I know that I’ve grown and that I would do it a 100 times better if I could do it all over.

Thank you for teaching me that love comes into your life so unexpectedly sometimes, just like you did. Thank you for helping me heal from wounds I didn’t think I ever would. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for loving me even when I couldn’t love myself. Thank you for the years we spent together. Thank you for teaching me that life isn’t all bad. Thank you for being there for me, for being patient and kind. Thank you for being you. I truly hope that you find happiness, I wish you peace and love and everything good. And I wish the same for me. I hope you’ll find someone who can give you what I couldn’t. And I can’t speak for you, but you will always be in my heart.



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