For My Ex’s

So today I was told that basically I was a HORRIBLE girlfriend back in the day (high school). I was mean, bossy and insensitive to people’s feelings. (Which was also a turn on I guess.)I was told that I was selfish and left people feeling used.

In truth he was right. I had no regard for the hearts that I “broke” I was only feeding on the emotions of any young man that I could trick into caring about me.

It wasn’t something I did purposely, I didn’t set out on a daily mission to find a heart, capture it and then slowly break it. What I do realize now was that I was using these poor unfortunate souls to fill a hole in me that was left by the lack of attention or affection that I needed from home.

My experience with men for as long as I could remember had been violent and inappropriate. So by the time I was 14 or 15, I had what I felt was a complete understanding of what was on most men/boys minds…sex.

But what I realized very early on was that I didn’t HAVE to give them what they wanted to get what I needed.

Like a predator I would seek out boys that were probably just as damaged as I was. And I would give them the thing that they really wanted…attention. I’d listen to their fears and life stories. How their mothers were on drugs or caught up with different men, how they basically felt invisible. Boys who longed for the attention of an absent father and a mother who just never had time, I sympathized because I understood those feelings. I would let them know that I could see them. That their hearts where safe with me…and I would destroy them slowly.

I tried to care. I tried to love them the way I could see that they loved me. Some people will say that a teenager knows nothing about love. I disagree. I think that when you’re young you experience the purest form of love, because it hasn’t been tainted with lies and distrust yet. You haven’t been cheated on or dumped. No one has left you for a younger prettier model of yourself yet.

So it’s not that I didn’t love these gentlemen, I just didn’t know how to show it. From the time I was about 14 I had what I would call a steady boyfriend. He would get my attention and my time. I’d care for him deeply but never would give all of myself to him. I didn’t want to be weak. And from what I saw, sex made women weak. So I would have another boyfriend to balance out that feeling. Always on the other side of town and at a different school. And usually there would be an older gentleman somewhere in the middle of the mess. Someone who would buy me nice things and give me compliments tell me how special/ beautiful I was. Because all he wanted was sex…so all I wanted was what I could take before he figured out it wasn’t going to happen.

For the four years I was in high school I had what I would consider three long term relationships. Two that lasted about two years and one that lasted a year. I loved these three gentlemen. Two of them I still love to this day. But it didn’t stop the 12 other “relationships” that ran concurrent and also consecutively around them.

I justified my actions that they more than likely where cheating on me because I wasn’t having sex with them. That’s what helped me to not feel guilty. I remember my brothers saying that I needed to sit down somewhere before one of them broke my neck. I’d basked in the attention I got from them and their friends. I was a “beast” as they put it, being that I could have two or three guys at the house one after the other, sometimes introducing them, always collecting from at least one of them, be it money, alcohol to drink or weed to smoke. That was my worth. The cost to be in my presence, I suffer for that now.

I never considered myself a pretty girl. I just knew what to say to get guys attention and got very good at keeping it. I learned very quickly that the sooner I took sex off the table but left the “conversation” of sex in the room; it was all I needed to get what I wanted. Didn’t matter if it was a teenage boy, an older married man or a true love. Not everyone is ruled by their genitals when they are in love.

What I never considered was that once I gave into what a man wanted the power would shift and I would become the one who was in competition for love and affection. I was so good at making people feel desired and wanted that when my time came I fell for the same trap I’d set for so many people so many times before. I let a familiar face and friendship mislead me. And I paid for all the pain I caused.

I spent a lot of my life trying to make up for the terrible things I’ve done. I broke a boy’s heart; I know I did because 18 years later he still can’t look at me. I lied and mistreated a few. All because what I needed from them was more important than what they may have wanted from me. I have even tried to revisit my past relationships. Hoping that the love they once had for me still dwelled in their hearts; still wanting them to fix my brokenness.

In the end I think I only got back what I gave. My high school sweetheart who I loved for years after we broke up took me for a ride. And I felt used, cheated and lied to, but I think that maybe he felt justified.

My mistakes were that I expected the love they had for me to be the same. Not alter or change just because we were grownups now with real life experiences and failed relationships.

What I’ve learned is that you can’t go back. You can only apologize for the pain you cause. But when you use people and take from them what you need and leave them bleeding, that wound doesn’t heal.

So the “ex” that told me how horrible I was to him, I apologized and I asked him to forgive me. I need him too.

I had no idea the damage I was capable of doing at the time. I was just trying to heal myself selfishly. I have spent a long time waiting for the ones who have hurt me to acknowledge their actions and apologize or at least give an explanation for it. That hasn’t really happened yet but it’s only right that I do the same for the people I have hurt. So I have made the decision to seek out people I have wronged and if an apology is what they need then I am woman enough to give it to them. This may not do much for them but I have to try. I can’t very well forgive those who have wronged me holding on to guilt now can I?