To Him, From the New Me.

girl-1287403_1280About this piece: As a teenager, Prithiva suffered abuse in her first relationship. After 5 years that relationship ended. This is a letter back to her ex, her abuser, telling him how she has grown over these years and how she is thankful for whatever he taught her. 
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You were the only relationship I had, and maybe that is the reason why I have no faith in relationships today. So here’s to you, on the day we entered this disaster.

Dear ex,

I don’t know if I ever loved or even liked you in the first place. Maybe our relationship was just a product of everybody else’s mind and persuasion. But yes, you were the only relationship I’ve ever had, so I guess you could be applauded for that.

Thank you for tolerating my crap and ish for two years straight. Thank you for catering to my obsession of walking around in parks. Thank you for teaching me how to play cricket and rugby.

But the thank yous end here.

I wish I could articulate the severity of what you did to me, but I’m too scared to put it into words. Our relationship was exceedingly toxic, and I know you know this. But maybe you have not yet understood what all you left me with, so let me break it down for you.

You left me with scars, only scars. Every time I strip my clothes I see marks everywhere. Marks left by you, your hands. Marks that materialized each time you pushed me to the ground.

You lifted me up afterwards, but your hasty pull also left bruises on my arms.

You left me with insecurities, plenty of them. Each time we kissed, it sent shivers down my spine. But not the romantic kind, the scary kind. You were always so rough, so dominant, and I always thought maybe it was me who didn’t know the basics of making out.

You always asked me for another kiss, and I always complied, for I didn’t really see myself as being kissed by anyone else.

You left me skeptical. I lost all faith in relationships. For years I lived under the delusion that relationships are virulent. I still live with this fear, though I’ve repressed it far inside my mind.

I couldn’t have taken another two years of being treated as a material object.

You left me weak, and I turned it into strength.

So, despite all this, I hope you find love. True, pure, unadulterated love.

I hope you don’t have to be rough with her. I hope she gives you the contentment I could not.

I hope she doesn’t forget that you like your cheese sandwich burnt. If she does, though, please don’t raise your hand or voice at her. She doesn’t deserve to be damaged like me.

I hope you run to shield her when she comes crying to you. Take her in and just console her.

I hope you react sensibly if she ever tells you she has been sexually harassed. Not in the turbulent way you did when I told you. Please don’t shout at her, or create a scene. She would already be traumatized, no need to push her beyond limits.

I hope she knows you the way I did and understands you better than I ever could. I hope you never have to use force with her.

I hope you abused me enough to never persecute anyone again.

Dear ex,

I hope someday I can talk about you or see you straight in the eye without shaking like a leaf. I hope I can attend your wedding with a smile and not a grimace.

I’ve come a long way, and I hope I can go even further.

Thank you for spending two years of your life on me. Thank you for being an example of everything I never want again.

With conflicting emotions,

The new me.

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Prithiva Sharma is a student from India. She is a literature enthusiast and an animal lover. She loves to write and is currently juggling studies and writing. She also has a blog, something akin to her personal diary where she shares her experiences of facing physical abuse and sexual harassment as well as facing death.

Germ Magazine guest author
… is a contributing guest author for Germ, which means the following criteria (and then some) have been met: possessor of a fresh, original voice; creator of fresh, original content; genius storyteller; superlative speller; fantastic dancer; expert joke teller; handy with a toolbox; brilliant at parties; loves us as much as we love them.

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