October 13, 2021

To My Future Ex-Boyfriend.


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My name is Tiffany, and I was given your number by a friend who thought we would be a good fit romantically.

I wanted to reach out and say I would love to head out one night, grab a drink, maybe dinner, and get to know you better.

However, there are a few things you should know about me up front.

1. I wear matching pajamas to bed every night. I fear that there may be a house fire and I want to look presentable and respectable for the full emergency crew that will show up to save my pets and me from our burning house.

2. I have an unhealthy attachment to money. I love to spend it and I never save. I am trying to make up for all those things I wanted as a child but was always told we could not afford. I never want to live like that again, so I buy what I want when I want it, not understanding that if I save for it, how much more precious and valuable it will be to me.

3. I have a high sex drive and my erotic blueprint is “sexual.” I love to be touched and to touch—and if I love you, everything about you will turn me on. I won’t be able to resist you most times—from your scent to your touch to your laugh, it will feed my soul and keep me aroused.

4. I have a ton of anxiety and trauma that I have been working through these past few years, but it has been a slow healing process. There are going to be stretches when you look at me and think I am the most amazing creature to come into your life, with my personality, my humor—and did I mention my high sex drive? Then there are going to be moments, maybe even days, when I am going to lose myself over something that may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me, it shakes me to the core of my being. You won’t be able to comprehend why I think and process the way I do. But if you are in it with me, I know you will try to understand and help me move through it, and you’ll be standing on the other side, your arms fully open and ready to hug me, assuring me that everything is okay.

There are going to be people, places, and things that are triggers for me—they are going to remind me of something that has happened in my past, something so awful that a feeling of despair rises up in me whenever I am dropped back into a similar situation. You won’t know this, you won’t be able to predict that I am about to run for the hills because I am scared and it feels unsafe to stay. I will say, “I need to go, I need to leave”—not to threaten you, but to protect myself. I don’t ever want to feel that pain or those experiences again.

You will see my tells: the rubbing of my throat, the tapping of my finger to my chin—you will know in the moments I need to leave. Whatever is going on in my head, it is telling my nervous system to run. I will try to stay against my better judgment just to prove to myself that I am stronger than something “I don’t know to be true,” but 7 out of 10 times, the fear and anxiety will win, ultimately leading to us having an irrational argument.

You will ask me what is wrong and I won’t be able to explain it, or I will over-explain it, hoping that whatever’s going on in my head makes sense. The problem may not even be exactly what I am telling you it is—it’s just that my body and brain need to close that gap between safe and not safe, and I look for a logical explanation to offer.

You will probably fall in love with me and tell me every day how much you love me. You will shower me with sweetness and affection. You will want to be my hero and my champion, helping me through these dark moments, and I will fight you every step of the way. I’ll keep a brave face, but I’ll be falling apart inside. You may grow tired and frustrated with me, and I won’t blame you one bit.

You will stop caring about my “episodes,” telling me I need a better therapist or to get medication. Your heart will ache because even though you see progress in me and in us, I will do something to remind you I haven’t come that far in my healing.

Then, one day, you will leave me. My body prepares for that almost daily. My head will continue to tell me I am not good enough, that I am a screwup who can’t control her emotions or thoughts. That you deserve better.

I hope that day never comes. But until it does, would you still like to meet for that drink?

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