I Won't Apologize for Loving You


March 7th, 2018


I knew we had to break up. It made sense: you were moving away and I was staying put. We had different goals, different dreams. It all made sense. But what happened next didn’t.

You dropped me. It was too easy for you, the dropping. “The easiest breakup I ever had,” you said. Meanwhile, I sat next to you, crying so hard I could barely breathe. I knew what you meant, but I was sick of interpreting your careless words in any way I could to make them less hurtful. I was sick of justifying your own lack of sensitivity. A year and a half later those words are still burned in my memory. They still hurt. I spent three years with you. They were some of the hardest three years, but having you there made them easier to swallow.

But then it was over. You left. You didn’t read my letter. When you finally did, you didn’t write back. I apologized for being over dramatic. I guess I shouldn’t have sent it. I’m sorry.

You went on your trip. I missed you so much I could feel it in my bones—heavy. I wanted to see you when you came back. Apparently you didn’t think about that, even though you’d be in the same city as me. Why did I suddenly feel so weird about wanting to see someone that I’d spent my entire college career loving? You finally agreed to see me. I apologized for being pushy. I shouldn’t have insisted. I’m sorry.

Then you were texting her. In my car, you were texting her. You even went to see her. All I thought about for a month was getting to see you, to see your face, if only for an evening. You did apologize, but only because you were caught. You kissed me, but it was not the kiss I knew. I apologized for overreacting. We’re both single now. I’m sorry.

Were the past three years all in my head? They can’t have been: you cried when I appeared in a Snapchat with other guys. It wasn’t just me, but I apologized for the photo anyway. I tried to move on, convinced myself I was okay and that your monthly check-in texts were nice, rather than a way for you to feel better about yourself. You knew how terribly you’d treated me: you admitted it. But I apologized, and apologized, and apologized. My life became about convincing you that I wasn’t dramatic, I wasn’t upset, I was fine. Until I couldn’t take it anymore.

I’m not fine. I’m not sorry. I’m fucking angry.

Did I make mistakes in our relationship? Do I regret some of my actions and words? Of course. I am truly sorry for those. But you don’t get to make me feel like an idiot. I’m not sorry that I can’t comfort you. I’m not sorry that you feel guilty. I’m not sorry that I poured my heart and soul into you, because that love was the fiercest kind I've ever felt, despite the aftermath. I’m not sorry for how tight I held on. I’m not sorry that I loved you, because now I know what I'm capable of. I can love with my entire self, and I'm so excited to shower that love on myself and whoever in my life is deserving of it. I will never be sorry for that.

Lauren Jackson