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I never thought I'd write this. I never thought it would be possible. I was convinced the very mention of your name would forever conjure the ugliest, darkest parts of me, swirling round in the pit of my stomach until seeping through my veins into every sinew of my body. A thick venom of resentment that made me hate everything, most of all myself.
How I let you gain that kind of control over me still baffles me to this day. I'm strong. I'm witty. I'm proud of who I am. You made all those things untrue, and I hated you for it.
In reality, this wasn't your fault. You cheated and you lied and you broke me down piece by piece. But I should never have allowed you to. I should have walked away from you the moment you showed me you didn't care about me, not really. The fact I went back to you, gave you power you did not deserve. The fact I kept going back, even when you were trying everything to push me away. That was all me, and that is why I hated myself.
I no longer knew who I was without you. Which now actually makes me laugh (I'm a pretty awesome human). I thought I needed you, I thought you would make me happy. I thought so wrong.
It took me two years and seven months to get me back. And now, I am thankful. Thankful that you left when you did.
I am not sure how or why but everything changed. Sitting in my kitchen talking to a friend a few weeks back, your name came up. Now usually I'd feel the bubble, feel my face starting to burn, feel utter contempt as a picture of you formed in my confused mind. But that feeling didn't come. I waited, but nothing.
I cannot remember the last time I felt that light. A huge grin spread across my cheeks and I felt elated. It was as if a dark cloud that I hadn't even realised was there had lifted from me. It wasn't a heavy load on my shoulders or a noticeable dark cloud. But a gloomy smog just atop either side of my head. Until it lifted I hadn't realised how burdened it had made me. The power I felt was overwhelming. Possibly one of the strongest emotions I've ever endured.
Don't get me wrong, I still lived without you. I survived in a magnificent way and I moved on to better things, places, and people. I had a wall up so high but I was lucky enough to have many special people peak over it and make themselves at home there. Each day was a great day and I did not waste those years on you.
Having said that, I knew each experience and new day I had would be made even better if you were still by my side. No longer as my other half, no, you'd lost that right to enter my heart in that way ever again. But as my best friend.
Every pun I found funny I knew you would too, every piece of scenery I witnessed I knew you'd revel in just as much as I. I just could not let go of the fact I had lost one of the best friendships I had ever known. I wished every day that we'd not blurred the line between friendship and relationship.
But, now that I know all of that, I can honestly say I am glad you are my friend. I can talk to you about my day without wanting you to have shared it with me. I can tell you about my plans being okay with the fact you're not in them. It's as if I've taken a trip around the world and ended up back at the beginning with you, home. Back to where we are good. We're good.
I had no idea I could reach this point. Not the foggiest that I'd lost so much of myself, until it all came back. I am shocked it took this long, but it has been one of the greatest adventures of my life.
I could say so much more, but for now, I will just say this:
You ruined a great thing back then, but I no longer hate you for it. And I no longer hate myself for allowing it.
I forgive you, finally.