The Image I Have of You Now

They say that hindsight is 20/20, and nothing could be truer when I look back on our relationship. There were so many things that made me uncomfortable while we were together that I now see for the enormous red flags that they were and can’t believe that I was so blind and didn’t get out sooner.

You stole from me, probably more than I’ll ever realize. You were the only one who knew where I kept my “secret stash” of money and you were really the only one that had access to it. There was never once that I found that any of my roommates went near my room when I wasn’t there, and I always noticed the missing cash after you had left or while you were there.

At the time, I accused you. After all, your own family had accused you of stealing phones from them, so it made sense. But you lied to my face and played as though you were deeply wounded by the accusations, all the while knowing well that you had taken money from me. I should have kept the door closed when I slammed it in your face the first time I was sure it had happened.

You also manipulated me out of hundreds of dollars. Your dad’s drug overdose and hospitalization, your grandma’s falling down the stairs and breaking her arm, your complete lack of money to buy even food… The food I believe since you showed me a receipt, but how many times can your family members really end up in the hospital in such a short amount of time?

That Look You Gave When We Spoke About Our Future Said It All

At the time, I was suspicious. But, how could I say no without feeling like a horrible person? After all, what if what you were saying was true, and I refused to help when you supposedly had nobody else to turn to? And so despite beginning to see the pattern of you only hanging out with me long enough to get money before running off again, I kept giving in and kept giving you money.

You claimed you had nobody else that could help you with anything, and so I found myself helping you buy clothes for job interviews and even accepting phone calls for you when your phone got “lost.” You claimed that your uncle who had given you a job and welcomed you into your family was cheating on his wife and for that, you couldn’t stand being with him.

At the time, I believed you. I believed that I was the only one that could help you and even though the stress of trying to be your everything and still take care of myself was overwhelming me, I stuck with it because I felt bad for you. I felt like I if I left you, then you’d truly have nobody and then it would be my fault. But now I see it was just another trick to keep me.

You told me you were clean, that drugs were in your distant past and that you were glad to be free of them. But then I met a friend of your cousins who told me it wasn’t true. You didn’t go back to drugs at the end of our relationship because you were heartbroken. You were using the whole time, and it’s probably why you did everything you did to me.

At the time, I trusted you. I thought you truly had left drugs behind, and I was proud of you for that. When mutual friends warned me about your past, I assured them that I knew about it, but that it was in your past. I defended you to them and refused to listen as one of them told me that in the years she had known you, you never changed.

Hindsight is 20/20. Everything is clear now. You didn’t need me. You didn’t even want me. You just needed what I had so you could get what you really wanted. And the fact that it had been real to me while it meant nothing to you is what hurts the most.

How I Felt When The ‘Nice Guy’ Left Me

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