Dear Ex-Boyfriends, Thank You

As time flies by and the year comes to an end, I start to ponder. I go into deep thoughts about memories that once filled me with joy, that now just seem so distant. That woman in those memories, she feels foreign to me. When looking back on those memories, I feel lost. I didn’t know who I was and I was eager to be loved by anyone. So eager that it involved me re-constructing myself in every aspect. It took years of misery and heartache until I had to sit myself down one day and say, “LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF!”

I refused to cry over another worthless guy who found everything about me to be a flaw. Rejecting the whole break up sex and makeup regimen that I was always accustomed to. I refused it all in order to heal and tell myself this self-destruction needs to end. Crying until your eyes grew sore and you feel lifeless was no way to live. Seeking approval from a guy that would always alter you, was not love. So here are my thank you’s to those guys I have once dated.

  • Thank you for telling me to straighten my kinky curls every time I was invited to a family dinner.
  • Thank you for being ashamed of my Black identity and allowing your mother to make racist jokes about me.
  • Thank you for trying to silence me because you didn’t agree with my opinion.
  • Thank you for making me feel ashamed of myself for wearing a “slutty” outfit in front of your friends.
  • Thank you for cheating on me and to convince me it was my fault because of my lack of sexual activity.
  • Thank you for telling me I was too sassy and that a woman needs to act a certain way in public.
  • Thank you for kicking me out of your car and forcing me to walk when you were losing the argument.
  • Thank you for controlling who I was friends with because you didn’t want me to be influenced by them.
  • Thank you for telling me, I was difficult to love and no one would ever love me like you.
  • Thank you for all the mind games and manipulation.

I appreciate my exes for all the lessons they have taught me. For each painful memory brought a stronger and more confident version of me. Never in my life would I have been bold enough to move to a new city, chase my dreams, and take everyday risks if it wasn’t for the self-love I had to teach myself. I pray you queens learn from your lessons of heartache and form better versions of yourselves. A broken heart does not make you a broken woman. It enforces strength you never knew you had. Always continue to be strong.

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