If you'd like, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. Tell me which letter you liked best and why, ask questions, or simply say what you need to say.
I want to extend a very sincere thank you to everyone who submitted letters for this essay. Each of these letters is so very raw, and I continued to be amazed by these stories as I read them. The experiences captured and the reflections made upon them can speak to so many people. There wasn’t one letter that didn’t resonate somewhere in my heart. I put these letters together specifically for that purpose—for whoever is reading them to know he or she is not alone. Our stories may be unique and particular, but the feelings that go with our experiences are universal. These letters touch on a variety of these topics: forgiveness, hatred, betrayal, manipulation, pain, trust, etc. Talking about topics like these requires us to display a great degree of vulnerability, and I thank everyone who was willing to be so in touch with his/her feelings. It takes courage to confront something that has brought you pain. Thank you all for your outstanding courage. Without further ado, please enjoy this compilation of letters written by someone to a person who hurt him/her.
Some letters contain profanity, which I have decided not to sensor because I feel as if it would take away from the overall sincerity of the letters.
Some letters may be triggering or contain content only suitable for mature readers.
I’ve stared at my screen for a couple minutes now, wondering where exactly I should start. It’s been over a year and all my words still feel so weak when I’m speaking to you. It’s like I’m talking but I know there’s no one listening. In the off chance that you are listening this time, this is what I need to tell you. It still hurts. It has never stopped. It doesn’t always hurt the way it used to, but there’s a certain kind of pain that has lived within me since the day I left you. I’ve never missed you; no one should miss being lied to or cheated on. It’s less about that, and more about the way you cared so little for hurting someone you swore to have loved. It’s been so long, and I still can’t wrap my head around how you could have lied about so much for so long, and how I still loved you anyway. Sometimes I wonder if I’m capable of loving anyone the way I loved you. You destroyed my heart, and in the end I still worried about protecting you. I had never cared for anyone like I cared about you. There was a time you said the same about me, but I think that’s what you tell all of them. You made me scared to love anyone. That might be the worst part of all. Because of you, my heart doesn’t want to give anyone else a chance. I know if I were to be treated again the way you treated me, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle it. Because of that, it’s safer to give it to no one. You made me afraid to indulge in the most beautiful thing the world has to offer, and I tell you that because I hope you realize that the things you do to others can have a powerful effect on them—they can change people. I want you to realize that if you tried, you could make that effect positive. Instead, I’m left reaping the consequences because of your careless approach to love. I only hope you never put someone else through what you put me through, even though I know you already have. No one deserves to feel so inadequate for so long. No one deserves to be told they are loved, only to realize there was never love at all. No one deserves to put her whole heart into someone who only gives back lies. No one—except maybe you. Who am I to say what you deserve? I’m the person you so carelessly pretended to love who ended up being the girl who couldn’t trust anymore. Maybe if you went through what I did—if you got everything you gave—you would stop being so careless. You deserve to know how you have hurt people. It was okay that you had feelings for someone else. I can forgive you for cheating on me. Maybe I can forgive you for lying, too. But I will never forgive you for going out of your way to take away everything I held closest to me. You destroyed our relationship, you destroyed my friendships, you destroyed my humanity—and you never cared that you were doing it. That’s something I’ll never forget about you. You consciously took away everything that made me want to live. Because of you and all the pain you caused, there was a time I wanted to die. I hope you know that, and that you never forget it. I hope, even though I know it’s in vain, that you never make anyone else feel like that. I’ve told you time after time that you can change, but you don’t listen, nor do you care. You’re content with hurting people as long as it means you’re not hurting yourself. Here’s something I’ve never said to you: I think you’re selfish. But you don’t have to be. If you cared for people as much as you pretended you did, you could do great things for people. If you truly loved people like you claimed you did, some people might end up feeling whole, instead of fractured like me. If you were just honest, I wonder how great you could be for this world. I may never stop hating you for who you were when I knew you, but I also don’t think I’ll ever stop loving the person you could’ve been—the person I thought you were. You’re so vain, you probably think this means I still love you. I don’t, because you’re not that person. But I have never stopped believing you could be. I hope you believe that too. You asked me once to never give up on you. I haven’t.
You were my first love. You were the first person I let in, being the closed-off person I am. From a young age, I yearned for a companion to fill the holes of a broken home that I had grown up in. Nobody ever gave me “that feeling”, and I lost all hope to ever be loved by anyone, until I met you. When I first picked you up from an unfamiliar part of my home state, I couldn’t even speak out of fear of choking on my own words. I was overwhelmed and overjoyed at how amazing you looked, but little did I know that you’d be the one to rip my heart from my chest and leave me without any closure. As time went on, I became familiar with your brokenness. A month into our relationship, I learned that you’d say anything to make yourself look better, and that you’d break me beyond repair. You lied about who you were with, lied about who you talked to, and lied about loving me. Day by day I’d research and learn more about your ever changing mood swings and odd angry moments just to preserve our relationship because I loved you. I tried my best to give you the world, but nothing ever satisfied you. 6 months into our relationship, I decided to sneak out of my house, go to a party, and get picked up by your neighbor to sneak over. It was New Year’s Eve. I was so excited to go into the New Year of 2016 with you, the love of my life. I let go of all my insecurities for the first time that night, and I let you in. I let you see the most intimate parts of me, the ones you saw as flawless. That night, I fell harder for you than I ever thought was humanly possible. Then, a short three days later, I got the first of two life-changing phone calls. It was an unexpected call, and I knew something had to have been wrong given that my friend never called me. She proceeded to tell me that you had done something, something terrible, and that my friend simply couldn’t stomach to tell me. I begged and begged her to just spit it out, no matter how awful I knew I’d feel. She told me that you, the one I opened up to, the one I trusted, had sex with your “best friend”, the same best friend that you told me daily was nothing to worry about, nor did you find her attractive. I trusted you, and now I will never trust again. I called you, and you denied it, which was expected. After telling you I simply couldn't do this anymore, you made your first suicide attempt. Everyone blamed me, and I was alone. As months, even years went on, we were so on and off that I couldn’t find an ounce of consistency in my life, and I was gone beyond repair. After you egged my house two years after we broke up, after you left nasty voicemails, and after you dated my closest “friends”, I always kept a smile on my face and forgave you. Fast forward to ten days before the day that changed my life forever. You made two anonymous twitter accounts, telling me that you needed me, and I pushed you away. Can you blame me? You broke me and destroyed my trust. October 16, 2018, I received that second phone call. Our old friends bombarded my phone with messages and I’m sorrys, and I was so overwhelmed and confused. I found out you took your own life, leaving the world answerless, leaving me broken. My world fell apart and I was so damn lost. I am still so fucking lost. I didn’t know what else to do than blame myself for not helping you. I still have my bad days, but I do my best to function for the benefit of my own mental health. I moved on from loving you, but I’ll forever carry unhealthy habits into my relationships. I still can’t fully trust anyone, nor can people understand that my heart is still broken two years after we ended things. I miss knowing you were in the real world, but I pray that wherever you are now, you’re happier.
When I first met you I called you by a nickname, like most people did. I would frequently hear it being yelled across a room or in conversations I had with mutual friends. As we grew closer I learned that when coming from someone you liked, you preferred your first name. This would again be shortened into something more playful and flirty when you began dating them. After a few weeks of that and my feelings growing stronger, you became names like “babe” and “love”. In the next two years you would be known by many other names as well. But now, I call you the person I never thought would hurt me, but did.
Liar. The name I grew to know you as all too well. It became your first name and whom I expected when I knocked on your door. The name that summed up every syllable that rolled off your tongue, effortlessly. They were small at first. Pointless, white lies that slid past me with no mind. They were about stories of your past and people in which I knew little. This was the name I used when I was mad and the person I hung on to for far too long. They grew larger in time. False accounts of interactions with my friends, what you were doing, and who you were texting. It became you, and the person I hated; but also the person I searched for when I asked if you loved me.
The Manipulator. This name was for your devious side. I learned to accept this version of you, but unintentionally. You were soft and subtle. I didn’t even notice the change of face. You wore sincerity, compliments, and small acts of kindness- the only thing that matched with a name like that. Telling me to sit with you, instead of my friends; followed with the “I miss you” response. If I had plans, you needed me because you were having a bad day. Eventually you became the only person I spent time with. This was lonely since you had many friends of your own. Your name became what I feared when I was unhappy or wanted to talk to you about something. By the end of the conversation you would be in tears because I had hurt you so badly, and because this is what “always happens” to you. I was left feeling sorry and empty.
The Cheater. This secret side of you I know not the extent to which you existed. You were cautious with your words but careless with your actions; something I would later be thankful for. I’d thought I had learned all of your names after a year and a half but you hid this side of you between Liar and Manipulator. You kept me where you wanted me; scared and broken in the back of your mind while you were far from where I wanted you to be. I knew that the person you once were with me, was now the person you were being with her. But I hung on to the Liar and feared the Manipulator, the names I knew you as now. Although I knew you by many names, the name that you once were to me, was now hers. and I would come to realize that was the best thing you ever did to me.
Fuck you for coming in at such a vulnerable time. Fuck you for hiding her behind my back for months. Fuck you for being the one person that actually made me think I wasn’t anything without you. Fuck you for breaking my entire heart over the girl in south dakota. Fuck you for promising me that no matter what happened, if I ever needed someone that I could count on you. Fuck you for making me believe you actually loved me. Fuck you for telling me “Quit texting me because I want to forget you” the day my grandpa died. Fuck you for leaving me for her. Fuck you for moving on a week after our relationship. Fuck you for trying to come back after hurting me. Does she know that the whole time you weren’t at school you were texting me, never letting me go because you missed me? Does she know that you cheated on her? Does she know that on valentines day, you texted me telling me that you miss me? Does she know that you don’t stop talking about me to your best friend? Does she know anything? I have never met a truly shittier person in my eighteen years than you. You top all odds to be a piece of shit. You treated me beyond terrible, you lied about everything under the sun. You pointed out every flaw I had, never letting me know that I was beautiful. You fucked with my mind so much that it got to the point of were you made me think everyone hated me and I was worthless. But most of all. Fuck you for making me not hate you at all.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ To the “man” that raped me,
Let me begin by saying that by definition you are a man but you most certainly are not what a man is. A man is supposed to treat young girls with respect, and you did no such thing for me. A true man would have never crept into the basement where his sister was sleeping and wake up her best friend. A real man would never rape an innocent 13 year old girl.
I have known you for a while now, actually for practically my entire life. I remember when I was young, you were like an older brother that I never had. As I grew up, I became apart of your family, and you became someone I thought I could trust. I considered you a friend. Then came that day. The day learned that everything that I had ever heard about rape was not true. We are always told that rape is the victim's fault. Rape is something that can easily be prevented by making better decisions or wearing less revealing clothing. Do you know what decision I made that day? I decided to sleep over my best friend's house, something that I did almost every weekend. Do you remember what I was wearing? I do. It was a tie dye Cedar Point T shirt and a pair of plaid pajama pants. Nothing revealing or provocative. Just normal clothes to sleep in.
You took something from me that day. Something much greater than the short 10 minutes of pleasure that you got. The first thing you took from me was my best friend. You forced me to push her away with no explanation. Even today, She has no idea what she did wrong. She did nothing wrong. You did. You took away the smile on my face and the joy in my heart. You forced me to hide in my room terrified, unable to function. You took away my my identity that day, and made me question for so many years if life was even worth living.
I bet by now, you’ve pushed what you’ve done so far out of your mind. I bet your wife thinks you are wonderful. I bet your children look up to you with their wide, sparkling eyes. But, I am still here. I have not forgotten. But, I do forgive you. Not for your own good, but for my own sanity.
And quite honestly, I thank you. Not for what you did, but for what you made me do. Because of you, I had to grow up a lot faster than most 13 year olds do. Without you, I never would have become the woman I am today. I will never be able to meet the woman I could have been without you, but there's no use dwelling on what will never be. I have chosen to make the best of a bad situation and I plan to do so much good with the pain that you have brought to me.
"You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. You have a right to be here." This quote brings me peace. And I know that no matter how much I’ve been hurt, I am stronger than what hurt me.
I am stronger than you.
Sincerely, The girl you turned into a victim P.S., I am no longer a victim
Yes, you hurt me, more than once and so incredibly deep I thought I would die. But I didn't die. You did. And that was the biggest hurt of all. You left. Left me to figure everything out. Left me to make all the mistakes, and answer for them. Left me to raise our children and left me to do all the explaining about your leaving. Left me to deal with it then the blame and anger and pain.
I was hurt.
People said time heals all wounds. That's the biggest lie I have ever been told. Time doesn't heal wounds, it covers them with a misty haze of new memories that make focusing on the wound like swimming through a murky river. You can still see it, if you get close enough, and it's always so shocking when that happens, because you never see it coming. At least when the pain is new, you know the hurt and see it around every corner and with your eyes closed. Distance, just makes the wound’s inevitable appearance jarring and breathtaking.
I still have nightmares. Even with all the time in between I still cry every time I am visited by you in the weakness of night. Your life is still as large as it was then.
What time does is change me, not the wound, I am forever scarred. I no longer let the pain make my choices, or at least not most of them if I am honest. The sudden loss of someone you love sits in the corners of my mind and when I am afraid, I listen to that hypnotic lullaby more than I should and keep love at a distance, because I am sure that kind of pain can only be survived once.
I am different than the person you knew. I am so much stronger and I fight so much harder than you ever saw. I grew when you left. I had too. You pushed me to the edge of myself and I chose to grow. Not collapse. I chose to stand. To stand for our children and the life they deserved. I chose to go through every pain you couldn't. I don't hate you for that. I don't hate you at all. I left that at your grave. Hate is too heavy to carry, even for a little while. When I buried you, I buried all the anger there too.
T, I could write a book but will try to choose a few choice words to describe how your hurtfulness changed my life.
I knew how you turned against many important people in your life, including a few wives and your children, and knew I could be on that list. Friends told me "he will never do that to you" - ha - I knew you best why did I listen to them? My first mistake.
After years of putting you ahead of my family and friends because you needed something, you decided you didn't need me anymore. What hurt the most is that I based some life decisions on your actions that were meant to make my life comfortable. Not being a greedy person I didn't back up your actions. My second mistake.
The last laugh was on you because I found a way to enrich my life with new people, a new job and a happy survival in spite of you.
Dear you, It’s been over a year and I still think about you every damn day. You cut me deep. You left me scarred. I still cry. I still ask why. Sometimes I blame myself. I should’ve left way sooner. I should’ve saw all the signs you were giving me. Were you just using me? Did I even mean anything to you? I question these too often. I tell myself it isn’t true. I tell myself I did mean something to you. Everyone saw it. You really did love me, you just didn’t know how to. So I kept giving, and you kept taking. That’s what you knew. You took until there was nothing left. I gave you everything I had and I’m still building myself back up. But there’s always that voice in the back of my head telling me how naive I was, and I’m too trusting, I give too much and I love too hard. It was my fault you lied to me for months, took my money, my dignity and made me feel worthless. You were the reason I cried walking to class, why I couldn’t sleep at night, why I called my mom at 3 am having an anxiety attack. It was you. It’s still you. And to think I loved you.
To my ex best friend, I always wanted you to want me. No matter how hard I tried, you always pushed me to the side. You finally saw me, but it took me a few years to get there. I should have known in the beginning that if it was this hard for you to notice me, there was nothing but trouble to come in the future. We had the best time in the beginning. People knew that wherever I was, you would be. We were inseparable. We were on the top, everyone wanted to be friends with us. All the boys chased us. We could have our pick of who was our friend for the week and who we would flirt with for the time being. You made me into somebody I wasn’t. I disowned my other friends from the beginning because they were not good enough for you. But at a young age, I envied being the top dog in the school. I made it because of you. I do not regret being friends with you. I regret what our friendship consisted of. I had the life that any girl in the world dreamed to have. All the attention from every student in the school, athleticism that got the attention of recruiters at seventh grade. Looks that I did not have to work for, and grades that came without effort put in. The perfect life. But I do not owe that to you. I do not owe one part of me to you. I loved that I had a partner in crime, someone who was just as perfect as me. But I was kind, and that was something that you lacked. Friendship and loyalty is something that you neglected to ever show me. I reached and reached to always appease you. I always acted like I was less of a person so I would not overpower you. I always wanted to stay #2 so you could stay happy at #1. I tried for two years to stay your #2. I finally found someone that I genuinely liked. From the first day I met him, I knew that I wanted to spend my future with him. But you did not like that I liked someone besides you. But for the first time, I did not care that I upset you. For six months I talked to him, hung out with him, and told you stories about how much I liked him. You saw us hold hands when you were around, but you didn’t care. You took him. You took the one thing that mattered to me. After that I knew that this friendship was a mistake. It is silly to say that I lost my ultimate best friend for 4 years over a boy. But it was not just that you took the one thing I cared about. That was the tipping point. You know, I remember those hurtful words you said to me. You attacked me with your words because you know I am a person and am sensitive. When you told me that the only reason I have friends is because I have parties had left a hole in me since the day you said it. To imply that the only reason another human liked me is because I could have people come over to my house? I believed it. I believed that statement forever. Unfortunately, for many years after our friendship ended, I believed it. You downgraded me and told me I was nothing. How could you say that to your friend? We spend several days of the week together, we were basically sisters. Then you turn around and have the audacity to ruin my life. I still do not understand why you did it. Why you did it all. You can tell people all you want that I ended our friendship over a boy. People will always believe it, because that is all they could see. They did not see what was behind the curtains. How you constantly degraded me and treated me like a pile of garbage. I was trying to fight through the pain you caused me for so many years. I want to know why the brain works this way. Why someone can cause so much pain but you still long to be with them. I used to seek your approval. I used to do everything for you. I will never do that again. You do not come into my thoughts any longer. You are not a part of me, and you never will be again. It is sad to let the fun memories go, but they were tossed out a while ago. I do not know if you ever think of me. I genuinely hope you do not. You do not deserve to have me in your thoughts. I know now that I am a good person. I will not treat people the way you taught me to treat them when we were younger. You are not superior to me, and you never were. Think all you want, but it is true. You thought the world only revolved around you, and I am sure that is still true. I do not think that you can change that about a person. I do not believe that you will ever be able to change. But I hope you do. I hope other people do not have to experience what I had to. I would never wish for my worst enemy to be treated the way you treated me. I forgive you. I forgive that you changed me into a horrible person. I hope you have the revelation I had and you become a decent human. What do I forgive you for? I know you are begging to know what I think you did wrong. You took him. You took my soul. You took every single friend I had-you were the only one I was allowed to have. I always got the blame, and eventually believed that everything was my fault. You took my grades. You took my entire life. You took my happiness, and my will to be alive. I tried to explain this to you, I tried to be the bigger person. You heard me, but you did not listen. Well I hope you are listening now. You ruined my teen life. But not since I left you. You do not get to take my future away from me too. But know that you never cross my mind, and nobody here ever knew of your existence. But everyone makes mistakes. You were my mistake. I have forgiven you and moved on with my life. You do not deserve an apology, so you can never say that you forgave me. I am sorry if you think that is harsh, but I have become a better person because of this all. I know that part of this is my fault, that I stuck with you. Every person wants to be queen bee. I was. You gave that to me, but I saw the way I treated people was wrong. I continued to do it to keep my status. I am sorry to every person that I was mean to. But I am not sorry to you. All I can do is thank you. Thank you for letting me see who I do not want to be. I do not ever want to be the person I was before. I do not ever want to be you. I learned so much, so thank you for being you. I wish you the best in life, and I hope you learn from your mistakes.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ About 8 years ago I was in a relationship where I was emotionally and verbally abused. My boyfriend at the time made me feel like I was the smallest and the worst person in the whole world. He lead me on for 2 years and continued to hook up with his ex when we weren't hanging out. I was a sophomore when he was a junior. He asked me to prom in the sweetest way possible. About a month later he told me that he didn't want to go to prom with me, he wanted to go with his ex. I had already bought a dress. One time we had gone to a basketball game for our high school boys team. He wouldn't even sit with me. He heard a rumor from someone that I was talking shit about him. So, instead of talking to me like a real man, he screamed at me. In front of everyone at that game. The whole town was there. They were all staring at me. I have never felt so humiliated in my life. The worst was when we were alone. He made me feel inadequate. He would tell me that my hair wasn't long enough, I wasn't skinny enough, I gained too much weight. He tried to force me into sex. That's when I knew that enough was enough. Fast forward a year later to when I met my soon to be husband. He has taught me my self-worth and how a woman deserves to be treated. I never thought that I would find myself until my fiancé came along. He honestly saved me from myself and the toxic nature of my ex. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Stupid Boy in the 6th grade,
To this day I still remember the day that we were sitting in science class when out of no where you began to laugh at me and call me fat. We were playing a review game preparing for the upcoming test and in front of our entire group you decided to put me down. Little do you know, that day I went home and cried. I called my mom at work interrupting her duties so I could ask to be homeschooled. To this day I still find it hard to accept people’s complements because of the negativity that you put in my head that day. I hope you have learned how to talk to people with love because no one deserves to feel the way I felt that day and I also hope that one day I can truly find the self love that you killed.
-The Insecure Girl __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ They say when you die your life flashes before your eyes. That’s what happened when you left me for good. My brain ran through all of our experiences trying to detect the moment I went out of line. I felt the nerves in the palms scream and suddenly my whole world seemed vacant.
You told me I’m too sad and too indecisive and too dramatic and just too much to handle. Thank you for telling me something I already know.
It took me 6 months to stop hating you. It took me 6 months to stop thinking about you. It took me 6 months to realize loss is a constant and certain part of life. It took me 6 months to stop feeling for the warmth when I realized it wasn’t coming anymore.
The moment I stopped searching it arrived. And now, I’ve found a man whose existence alone is proof of God. I’ve found a man I would consider to be my perfect balance.
I would not have him if you didn’t break my heart. Thank you. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ dear you,
When I think about what you did, late at night, every night, I can sorta see where I was put in a situation that had only one outcome. Truthfully I was content with it although it wasn’t anything that I had expected to happen and not anything my friends and family would have either. But all and all I was happy, and I thought you were too even though I did have occasional doubts that you missed what you used to have. Until oneday the truth came out and it was apparent to everyone that you still had your old ways in you. As crushed as I was and as heartbroken as I was, somehome you still managed to manipulate me back into believing I was and still am the one you want. I love you, I really do but there are parts of me that will forever have the thought of being lied to and betrayed in the back of my head. So when I put up walls or question things it isn’t for nothing, it’s because i’m scared.
On the other hand though, I don’t believe you are all that you are made out to be. You are a sweet, loving, genuine person, and I wish more people were able to open their eyes and see it. My heart hurts looking at you but not being able to truly see you. I miss you, really, I do. I think that if everyone saw you in the way I do ( which maybe I shouldn’t) they would all adore you as I do ( which maybe I shouldn’t). I know who you are and who you can be. I know what you show a person when you meet them and what you show them when you get to know them, for I was on both of those ends at one point. I wish for you to be happy, you say that you are right now with me, and part of me believes that. But I am also not oblivious to the fact that you want it to be different than what it is, infact you actually want it to BE something at all. And i’m sorry it’s not, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still long for you to be happy. And as much as I want it to be with me, I will be okay seeing you happy even if i’m no longer included in the picture. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________