A letter to my ex

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Hello and welcome to my first blog post.

I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now, but like any other project in life one needs to just boss up and take the first step. So here we are.

In my 20 something years on this planet I’ve been subject to listening to women talking about their significant others (and by talking I mean complaining).  I’ve been bombarded with stories from wise women, naive women, teenage girls,  and even my own grandmother comparing husbands to dustbins (which gives me the idea that #menaretrash isn’t that new of a concept).

I thought it very interesting the dynamics between women and men, the way they communicate, relate and eventually end things, amicably or not, so I approached various women in my life to contribute to this first post with anonymous letters to their exes. I think you’ll be able to relate to at least one of these letters. Here’s what they had to say.

The church boy – Shereez 30

We met at church and you consistently expressed your loyalty and commitment to me, you even got a tattoo of my name permanently marked across your back, which led me to believe that our two year relationship, the guy I lost my virginity to, was super secure. My first serious boyfriend, who only had eyes for me… or so I naively thought.

Eventually I could no longer excuse your drug addiction and further insult to injury, the fact that I witnessed you, with my own two eyes, cheating with a girl from our church. She was younger than me and from my neighbourhood and university, she knew all too well about you and I. You were holding her tenderly like you would with me and walking down the street as my father and I drove home one day. The rest as they say… is history.

I grew tired – Koketso 25

I will admit I was trash and you had every reason to dump me. I showed very little appreciation. I was paying attention to your pain brought by the death of your late lover. I was trying to heal you and to a certain extent I was trying to be like her, to do everything like her. I made it my sole purpose to put a smile on your face everyday.

I grew tired of it eventually and I came to the realisation that I could never be her. I could never speak like her, touch you like her or even love you like her. I hope you’re okay now and that you aren’t looking for her in any of your future lovers.

My first love – Adele 26

You had a bad boy reputation that I could not resist. I believed it was just a front though and that you were a good guy, after all it felt good when you said you loved me, when you kissed me and when you touched me. You were my first and when I started seeing your ugly side it was hard for me to leave. I wanted the fairytale, I wanted to get married and have a future with you. I couldn’t imagine giving myself to anyone else, so I stayed. At 19, I was a first year being emotionally and one time physically abused by you, oh and did I mention I was pregnant? Still I stayed, you were my first.

Then one late afternoon in September, after a rough night of labour pains and eventually being put under for a Cesarean, the nurse brought in a chubby bundle whose face had a striking resemblance to mine. I saw myself in her. She was pure and beautiful and she was mine. I was responsible for this little girl’s life and the enormity dawned on me right at that moment. I had to make the decision for her and I! I had to leave you.

I have always and still do wish the best for you. I want you to get over your demons so that you can be a dad to our daughter, but I am no longer waiting for that to happen.

I dumped him on Whatsapp – Leandra 26

The thing is, I had prepared myself to leave you emotionally long before I dumped you on Whatsapp. It wasn’t something I planned, but you messaged me and asked “are things still the same between us” which you always asked and to which I always responded “yes” , but this time was different, this time I said “while we’re on the topic I have something to tell you”.

You were the nice guy, the guy my father liked, the guy who bought my mother gifts, the guy who made me breakfast, the guy who called and messaged me often, the guy who spent all his free time with me. I thought it was sweet, until you became the guy who wouldn’t give me a free moment to chill with the girls, the guy who would expect me to respond to your frantic calls and texts while I was on the dancefloor, the guy who would give me a look and squeeze my arm if I laughed too loudly, the insecure guy, the obsessive guy.

I wonder if your obsession was a reflection of the fact that you were busy doing your own shit, like the the day my sister saw you at a fast food outlet buying two meals, but only the girl in the passenger seat wasn’t me. I never really trusted you after that.

You were great, you dealt with my mood swings and would basically do anything I asked except I never felt like I could be the real me with you, I needed to be a mediocre version of myself, a basic bitch, just so that you didn’t feel insecure. We were never meant to be a forever thing, I see that now.

You can’t love me like I need to be loved –  Alexis 27

How do you tell someone you love them but wake up one day and decide you don’t want to continue loving them anymore? My tears meant nothing and me begging you to stay went in one ear and out the other.

Fast forward to today, a year later, I’m grateful for the unbearable chest pains and painful eyeballs in the past 12 months and I want to thank you for making me strong, yes cliche I know! I love loving and I will always love you but you’re right, you can’t love me like I need to be loved.

All the ladies names have been changed.

Photography: Zodwa Khumalo