There have been a few times when I've wanted to write a letter to my ex. I even came close to sending an email once. To be honest, it was filled with ranting and venom. Maybe what I felt, but as he considers me unbalanced and ridiculous, it would have only fueled the fire.
But I think it needs to be written, whether he will ever reads it remains undecided. So here goes.
When you met me I'd already been suffering from mental health problems and had a failed suicide attempt under my belt.
Although I didn't see it at the time, I was so desperate to belong somewhere and to someone that my history at the age of 20 was littered with big mistakes and complicated messes. Mostly as a result of trusting others over my own judgement.
And so, we met at work. I had just split up with my fiance and had to pull out of buying a house. Outwardly I displayed confidence and loved a laugh and a joke. In private I cried. I had come so close to leaving home and becoming my own person I couldn't let it go. I found a cheap flat for sale and went for it.
You flirted with me all the time. Married and 17 years older than me I wasn't really sure how I should respond. I thought it was a bit of office banter. I did like you, you made me laugh and work was a fun place to be.
One day you asked to meet me after work. My internal alarm bells were screaming, but I didn't like to offend you by saying no. How ridiculous does that sound? I should have said no. I knew it then, I know it now, but I just couldn't say it. That night you kissed me and I didn't know what to do.
You offered to come and help do jobs in my flat. It was in a bad state of repair and I did need help, but I should again have said no. There was only ever going to be one outcome to this. It was a car crash waiting to happen. You told me how you were unhappy at home and I could genuinely see this was true.
It wasn't long before sex came into the mix. All the time I knew this was wrong, but I didn't know what to do or how to stop it. You seemed to really care about me. I couldn't hurt you by turning you away.
Within weeks your wife discovered the affair and threw you out. When you arrived at my door, you told me you had nowhere to go.
What else could I do? My weakness had brought us to this place. I literally thought to myself 'I've made my bed, I need to lie in it' I let you in, along with panic and fear.
Don't get me wrong, I did care about you. You were my friend and I felt responsible for you.
In the months after we followed a frightening and very bumpy road. I feared every knock on the door and every letter the postman brought. A venomous wife, solicitors threats and disappointed families. Just writing this brings back the knot in my stomach and the tears to my eyes. Is there any wonder my mental health problems worsened? I was so scared, I felt sick all the time.
You cared about me, I think, and I cared about you. This mess was of my making and so it continued.
Was I in love? At the time I presumed I must be. So when you said it to me, I said it back. I guessed this was what it was about. Looking back I knew it still wasn't right. I couldn't watch romantic films or read happy relationship stories. Why? Because they weren't real. No one felt like that did they? If I had accepted that it was possible to feel so much for anyone, I would have to admit that I was unhappy and living a lie.
I was not strong enough to face that as it would have brought the awful reality sharply into focus.
Again, do not get me wrong, we settled into a routine and for the most part we were good friends. But intimacy was always a problem for me and this regularly became a source of major fall outs.
The years progressed. We bought a house and I suggested we got married. To me, it seemed the right thing to do, the expected thing. I don't remember much of that day, but I do remember crying and I do remember making an excuse not to be intimate. On that day and the days leading up to it the alarm bells rang again, they were muffled because I couldn't face the implications, but they were there all the same. I wonder, did you hear them too? I just kept thinking, this was obviously my life so get on with it.
The years moved on and produced two wonderful children. With the children came a worsening of my mental health. You did try to help me, but you tired of it. You are firmly from the 'pull yourself together' brigade. If I made you unhappy I am truly sorry. You could be cruel and thoughtless at times and you had no understanding of the hold my illness had on me. But think back on what I've written, is there any wonder my health suffered? Do we not both need to accept some responsibility here? I was unknowingly living a lie, were you?
You made me feel a failure for being ill. I didn't need your help with this, I could beat myself up all on my own.
Daily life was up and down. Arguments and tears, sometimes you took your frustrations with me out on the kids. Or that's what I thought you were doing. I've seen you hit my daughter so hard across her face that she was thrown off her feet. She was probably around 6 at the time. you shouted so loud at our even younger son, his eyes had the look of a frightened animal. I could never forgive these actions, but I do accept the blame.
As you know, I met the man I'm now with, over the internet. Despite what you might think it was innocent. We both moderated forums and all the moderators chatted on MSN. I needed friends to talk to, people, male and female, who didn't know my history, people who knew only what I told them.
My online friendships grew and it wasn't long before we talked about our lives. My new friends listened to me, but more importantly they comforted me in a way you never could.
One man in particular, 'A' stood out. His comments were funny but caring at the same time. He was easy to talk to and, as he lived outside the UK it seemed safe.
We worked together on quizzes for the forum and it was fun. You didn't like the time I spent online. You had always been possessive and stifling, I guess you felt out of the loop. The atmosphere at home got worse and as it did I turned more and more to my online life.
A was always there in the evenings and it wasn't long before I started talking about my situation.
The more we talked the more I was drawn to this caring man. We had never met but it showed me something. It showed me I could feel something. Something more than pain and unhappiness. You blamed A for breaking our marriage, but it was broken before it started. Do you not see it?
I admit I did start to feel something for this man I'd never met, it made me realise that there was more to this life than making do. He gave me the strength to look inside myself and do what I should have done 12 years before. I said no, no more.
I'm pretty sure I was making you unhappy, would you really have wanted that to continue? Was your fear of being alone worse than the misery of being locked in a shell of a marriage?
I told you I didn't want to be married anymore. It was horrible, you were devastated, despite being in the same book, you were several pages behind me.
You did and said some horrible and deeply hurtful things in the days and weeks that followed. At times I fought back, other times I sat in a heap and cried.
And then you turned your attention to A. This was all his fault after all. You told me to meet him and 'get it out of my system'
I did want to meet A, when I was free to, but I wasn't lurching from one man straight to another. How could I not want to eventually meet someone who had offered me something I felt I'd never had? I'm not talking about love or sex, I'm talking about a deep understanding of me, someone who had an amazing ability to make me feel better and give me hope when my life was in ruins. Can you understand that? You couldn't at the time. I guess your head was full of emotions and thinking about things logically didn't figure.
I couldn't make you understand that it wasn't about him, it was about me finally admitting what I'd known all along.
In the end I called your bluff, if that was what I needed to prove we were through.
A agreed to fly over. The confidence he showed behind the pc was missing when I met him at the airport. He was a very shy and nervous man. I did not fall instantly in love with him and I had no idea where the friendship would go, but I knew it would not change my need to be apart from you.
Despite your protests and plea's about our marriage it took only a couple of weeks for you to move on with another woman. While I moved out and rented with the kids, she pretty much set up home in my house. I didn't mind you moving on, but it was too quick and her spending so much time in my house was wrong. You even introduced her to our children before I knew you were seeing her. That was just nasty.
Since we split I have always tried to be fair. We shared our assets straight down the middle, we did our own divorce.
You moved on with your life and bought a new house.
I had to buy you out of the old house to get us out of a fix. I didn't want to come back here. I hate looking at the legacy you have left me, dodgy extensions and bad DIY. But you don't care do you? You were able to take the money and run.
I've lost count of the number of nights I've sat comforting your crying children. You'd caused those tears with selfishness and unkind words and acts. You put yourself and your new wife before your children and that will never be right. When A and I decided to move in together, I made it quite clear that the children will always be my priority. He accepts that. I have made so many excuses for you to those children, reassuring them that you do love them etc etc. What have you done for me? I understand you laugh about me to your wife, suggest I am a bad mother, say that I don't feed them properly.
When you had no job, I took no money from you for the children. Now you pay very little still and I let that happen because we can manage and I wouldn't want to cause you hardship. What do you do for me? You go on holiday every few months and brag about it. You don't take the kids though, you don't want them do you? You don't even consider them, because you do whatever pleases you whenever you want. But you can, because you have me here taking care of our children. I keep quiet, I will not use them to score points. I will not force them to come to your house so we can have a break. But the injustice eats away at me.
When you got married you decided to do it at Gretna Green and asked me if the kids would mind not being there. Your daughters biggest wish at the time was to be a bridesmaid. It's a no brainer really. You told me, as you were off on two weeks honeymoon straight away, if the kids wanted to go, I would have to take them. Words can not express how angry this made me. I took the kids and we had to stop over night too. I made a point of being at the ceremony, as you'd said I could be. To be honest the only reason I did it was to make you both feel as uncomfortable as possible. Petty and childish I know, but you should be able to relate to that? I had no choice but to bring them, how would they feel not being there?
When I got married last year, I was going to invite you out of duty to my children. I certainly didn't want you there picking fault with everything, your favourite pass time, but there I was again, trying to do the right thing.
You didn't even open the invitation, you left it behind, saying you were going on holiday. You never asked who would look after the kids on my wedding night, or who was having them while we had a honeymoon. You didn't care. I think this was the pivotal point in our relationship.
My poor mum had the kids as usual and due to Emily's illness we just spent 2 nights in a local hotel.
And now we come on to Emily herself.
Where were you when the bullying started?
Where were you when she sobbed every night?
Where were you when your son needed support?
Where were you when I had to fight to get them moved to another school?
Where were you when your daughter had a mental breakdown?
Where were you when she was admitted to a mental health unit?
Where were you when I needed a break?
Where are you now, when I'm desperately trying to juggle work with Emily's appointments and part time school hours?
You were probably on holiday or else in your own little world.
If I didn't have my elderly parents we would be sunk, we would not be able to manage at all. Did you know that, do you care?
Throughout Emily's illness we have had to stay strong. There have been so many times I thought we wouldn't make it. But we are inspite of your selfishness.
You think I've exaggerated Emily's situation. You've ignored me and gone behind my back, only to have the story confirmed by professionals.
You think I'm neurotic and something to be pitied. I now need to realise that your opinions do not matter.
You think I'm turning the kids against you the reality is they now see you for what you are as I no longer make excuses for you.
You think I'm a bad mother? I'm not perfect, but tell me, what would have happened if I wasn't here?
So why have I written this? Because for so long I have stayed silent so I don't upset the kids, but in the process the hurt and resentment has built into a monster. Better pray I never unleash it