I guess I should thank you for treating me the way you did. Because now I know how I deserve to be treated. I deserve a man who will listen to me. A man who will not make jokes about my flaws just because it makes him laugh.
I deserve a man who will respect me. I deserve someone who will be there. I deserve someone who will kiss my tears away—not make me cry.
Thank you for cheating on me—multiple times. Now I know that not being enough for you was never my fault. And thank you for leaving me for one of them—not sure which one. It saved my life.
I should also thank you for not loving me. Now I love myself the way you never could. I love the sound of my laugh—the one you hated. You said I sounded like a starting engine. I love my scars, because they tell the story that I survived. You said they were ugly, that I should cover them. I love my freckles, my weird toes and stretch marks. I love my imperfect body perfectly.
Thank you for leaving when I needed you. It taught me how to take care of myself.
And lastly, thank you for being the worst thing that ever happened to me. Thank you for teaching me what a toxic relationship looks like. Thank you for shattering me to bits, just so I could pick myself up and love every broken part of me.
I was ashamed for so long, ignoring everything you did to me. Hiding from my family, my friends—just trying to hide the fact that I stayed in such a relationship for so long. But not anymore. I am not ashamed I stayed. I am not ashamed that I trusted you and loved you with all my heart. I’m just ashamed that it took me so long to understand this.