What Do You Do When They Come Back?



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By A Mender



When the end had come, finally come, nothing felt worse in my entire life. Having to see him with the new girl all the time, yet seeing him stare at me. None of it made sense then and none of it makes sense now, nearly five years later. For some reason this person in particular was able to affect me in a way no one else had and I still can’t figure out what my attachment was.

Yes, he was attractive and smart, and he could be fun. I loved how much he talked to me and seemed to rely on my advice and respected my intelligence. But he also had a dark side, a mean side that I would only discover one horrible night with those damaging, cutting words.

It took time, but eventually the scar on my heart healed over to the point where he did not affect me at all. I never thought about him much, certainly never saw him, and he went on with his life with her, and I went on with my life without him. I had heard he’d had a baby but I knew nothing else.

Then one day, after four long years of absolutely no contact, I received a Facebook request to be his friend. You have got to be kidding me, I thought. My immediate reaction was to delete the request. I found it odd, this request. Not only because of the way things ended and the time away, but because he was still in a relationship. He found my profile even though it was private, and we were never even Facebook friends back then. What did he want?

Given my curious nature, I decided to accept the request. Let him see how fabulous my life is without him! For months on end he randomly liked some of my photos, yet never said a word. Why friend someone if you aren’t going to say anything? It was absurd.

I think many of us have this fantasy that the person who broke our heart will come back and admit they were wrong, or at the very least acknowledge the hurt and apologize. I think we all long to hear someone we loved tell us "I always loved you and I’m sorry the way things ended."

But it was not to be. He never said a word and, after nearly eight months, I commented on a photo he posted of his toddler. Random emailing ensued over several months, and it felt so familiar. He was happy for me, happy I was doing well, and said my life looked pretty amazing now. Yes! Mission accomplished!

Could we ever be friends? Like we were before? Minus the intimacy? I had appreciated his friendship so much and writing to him from time to time felt so natural. Until recently. 

He has made it clear he wants my friendship, for what reason I do not know. We do not even live in the same country anymore. He is not interested in me in any other way, but our last conversation turned from sunny to shady in a quick way and brought me back, however briefly, to the darkness. We talked about the past. He claimed not to remember really anything that had happened except that during the time we were arguing he was hooking up with other people and admitted that he had never considered me more than a “friend with benefits".

I don’t know what makes me more angry; the fact that he would say such a thing to again hurt me, or the fact that he’s a damnable liar and I have almost two years of journal entries to prove my case. If he truly wanted to be my friend, why would he jeopardize that with his insensitive, cruel comments?

The tears, which had long ago stopped flowing, started to flow again. I felt guilty, like a fool. Why do I allow people in my life who hurt me? What does that say about me? I should have known better! I had only remembered the positive and tried to see him as a good person, the one I once knew. 

My friends tell me to delete him from Facebook and for good from my life. I will. When I’m ready. It will be soon, that’s for sure. I’m disappointed in myself for letting him not only cut me once, nearly five years ago, but again. I must use it as a tool though, to learn from. He doesn’t deserve my friendship. He never did.

writer photo

A Mender

An anonymous Mender sharing their story. If you'd like to share your story anonymously, send it to: hello@letsmend.com.