It’s not because I’m weak. It’s not because I lack self-respect. And it’s definitely not because I am a victim.
None of those apply. I’ve grown so much since we met all those years ago, and even if any of those have applied to me in the past, they sure as hell don’t apply now. I’m a strong, confident, self-respecting, sure, well-articulated woman. But you wouldn’t know that. You don’t know me like you did then.
When you started hurting me three years ago, it was because I didn’t reciprocate the feelings you had for me. As you continue to hurt me now, it’s about the same thing. Every. Single. Time.
But I don’t have to like you romantically. I’m under no obligation to be interested in you in a more-than-friendly way.
I used to apologize. I was so sorry that we were such close friends and yet I couldn’t give you what you wanted from me. I was sorry that I gave you false hope when I tried briefly to reciprocate your feelings. I was sorry that I couldn’t make you happy. I was sorry that you couldn’t get over me. I chased after you and tried to heal our friendship every time you told me you liked me and I told you I didn’t.
I know it’s not all your fault. There are two of us in this situation. I’ve been wrong, too. And I’ve apologized for that, too. Easily, quickly, and without a doubt. I was always honest with you, always clear about my intentions, and I always told you what I was thinking when I was thinking it.
I won’t apologize anymore. It takes so much for you to apologize to me, while my apologies were so liberal. I thought they were bandages, covering scars that would heal eventually, and I plastered you with them. I have more respect for myself now than to apologize when I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s not me, it’s you.
All I wanted was my friend. My best friend, my confidant, my support system. Was all of that friendship, that closeness, an act?
I let you hurt me over and over again because I thought we would be okay. I thought our friendship was so resilient, and it had survived all of the hurt before, so why not again? And again. And again.
Every time we fought over the same issue, every conversation we had to try and fix us, and every time my heart shattered when it happened again, I let you hurt me over and over again because I thought my friend was still in there somewhere.
I overlooked everyone else telling me to cut you off, telling me our friendship would never work after feelings were involved, telling me I was making mistake after mistake, telling me we were being immature, telling me I was better than that.
No, instead I let you hurt me. I let you hurt me over and over again because I was selfish. I wanted my friend, I needed my friend, I craved our friendship. Apparently you didn’t crave me back. Not in the same way.
I can’t have you hurting me anymore. I don’t think I can handle another conversation about the same issue that ends in the same conclusion: you’re into me, I can’t say the same. Let’s try being close again, let’s try being acquaintances, let’s try not speaking anymore. We’ve tried. We’ve failed. And now here we are, years later, with the same barrier between us.
I give up.
I let you hurt me over and over again because I love you. Just not in the way you want me to.
Previously published on thoughtcatalog.com.
I write for Tangerine Bank, Thought Catalog, Observatory Media, and my own personal blog at sipswithchrissy.com. I'm a recent UofT grad with a background in writing, event planning, marketing, and mentorship. I've helped build a road in a rural community in Thailand, planned an orientation week for [...]