• Chelsea Bared

A Message To Past Lovers; Keep The Pieces I Left Behind Safe

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

My favorite past time is writing messages to long lost lovers and then erasing it furiously.

Each person representing a different phase in my life, a broken piece of who I was, chipped off and left behind. I miss that girl who wasn't so fearful who was romantic and a little lost. Selfish and wild.

I've had three important adult relationships that have taught me how to treat myself, for better or worse. They stick out to me because I learned traits about who I am as a lover that I would have never learned had they not been a part of my life romantically.

The Open 'Relationship'

learning that I should be honest with my feelings and I deserve every part of someone

It wasn't until I was sitting alone on Christmas Eve, drunk, and in Paris that I knew I had deep feelings for him. I was crying into a huge glass of red wine when a woman came over, speaking quickly in french and offered me a hug. At the time I was so embarrassed. I can't remember if I was crying over missing him or my family but I do remember missing him, deep in the pit of my stomach.

It's really hard to know where to begin the story. I met him so young that our friendship seemed like it would last forever. Always on and off, in between our serious relationships with others, though we kept each other at a distance, light, and simple. Open is how we described it, no emotional attachment. He introduced me to The Smiths, kissed me passionately, and called me during long road trips "just to hear my voice". Before I moved overseas I went away with him for the weekend and told him I could never see myself with him, just to hear his heartache like mine.

When I finally told him I loved him, he told me he could only be with me physically, and open. And I lost him- his friendship if I ever truly had that. I look back and miss him terribly but I think I miss how romantic I was when I was tangled in him. How I was a dreamer. How I looked at the world through rose-colored glasses and poetry. I still listen to The Smiths and smile often.

The Guy I Couldn't Commit To

I want someone to love the parts about myself that I love.

One of my favorite first dates lasted all night and ended over pie and coffee because we didn't want to go home. I think I told him everything about my life, word vomiting, trying to get him to run away. But he stayed. For a long time. I would pick fights from far away, thinking he couldn't comfort me, that we wouldn't be able to make up but he always found a way to make me feel like I was special. I told him we were better at casual dating. But, he stayed.

He was kind, attentive and caring. Patient and never overwhelming. But we were different. Like water and oil. Most of the time I was the oil. He would remind me that his parents wouldn't like me, keep me from his life and his friends. I often felt like I should be ashamed of my beliefs, which made me louder, more obnoxious and defiant. He once said "you look at love like a transaction" and I still place that in the top five of the meanest things anyone has ever said to me. I was pushing for him to change and I think deep down he was silently waiting for me to act a certain way. In the end, we both never made it to the commitment part, but I want all the good in the world for him- because his heart is so big. He taught me about being open. Expressing myself and patience. Accepting kindness and understanding who I authentically am.

The One Everyone Loved Except Me

Hiding things doesn't make them go away

We were that fun and adventurous couple. My friends and family loved him. They would constantly tell me "He's the one!" "You're going to marry him". I was never really sure. Something was pulling me back from really jumping in. During our one year together I was heavy into my eating disorder. I was being secretive, emotional and I had an extremely low sex drive. Sex was painful enough with vaginismus and we constantly argued about it. I felt defeated. Constantly being told I wasn't communicating enough, working hard enough, eating enough, pushing myself enough- ENOUGH. I felt like a failure. We argued and I would shut down, he would yell. Finally, I found my voice. It wasn't going to work, I didn't like who I was becoming, timid and weak.

But, without that relationship, I would have never known what I needed to become healthy. I would have never seen how communication and my lack thereof was a key issue in my recovery. How going to therapy for myself was so important. It saved my life. It started my path of opening up and finding vulnerability, connection and myself.

I don't believe that there is a "person" for everyone. However, I do believe that people come into your life for a reason. That you learn and grow from each interaction. Those who are closest to you learn the messy you, the unapologetic version of you- and it changes you.

Sometimes I miss the girl I was before, but only because I miss the pieces that have chipped off and were left behind with those I have moved on from. I hope wherever you are you are taking care of the pieces I have given to you. I know I am taking care of the pieces you left behind for me.

#lookingback#longlost#lettertomyself #romantic #vulnerability

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