I saw you this weekend, and our visit was short lived because the first words out of your mouth were about my ex-boyfriend. I don’t blame you, he is after all your brother, but it was overwhelming for me. I’ve carried a relationship with you and your siblings for six years, I have watched two of you grow up into amazing, bright, successful young people. My love for you is endless, even though your brother and I couldn’t work it out. And so, I want to explain myself.

I’m not sure I’ll ever share this with you, I would NEVER want you to be in the middle of this. It’s been six months since the break up, and it has mostly blown over. But if you do take a side, I wish it would be your brothers, because I know you have a deep level of love and respect for eachother.

I know I came into your life as a strong role model, and I want you to know I will always continue to be that. But there’s two sides to every story.

The truth is, your brother and I fell out of love a long time ago. What I was holding onto was my care for him. Since you know me, you know I have a caring soul, I fight for the people I love. And even though I wasn’t in love with Ryan, I had love for him. I wanted to see him succeed. I wanted to push him to be a better person. Unfortunately, he was fighting demons none of us will ever understand. I was NEVER going to be good enough for him. He is searching for something in this world, and I was not it. As much as I fought to be it, I really did, it was never enough.

You see, he tried to make me a worse person to justify his actions. He made it seem like I wasn’t loyal to him. That I depended on him too much. But the truth is, he depended on me. I gave him everything I could: money when he needed it, anything his heart desired, I cooked for him, cleaned for him, and gave him endless amounts of attention. I made life decisions to adapt to his plans, like where I would live, and spending every last penny I had to backpack Europe. And damn was I loyal. So loyal. So I dated people every time HE broke up with me? The minute we got back together, those men were deleted from every social media account and my phone. I never FATHOMED cheating on him. Ever. I was a loyal, kind, caring girlfriend. But I wasn’t good enough.

He tore me down. He dulled my shine. He put my dreams on the backburner. He made me feel insecure, and never good enough. He made me feel inferior so he could feel better about himself.

Honey, we had to break up. I needed to realize how great I really was. I will always have a place for him in my heart, but I deserved so much more. I deserve a man who protects my heart, who lifts me up, who supports me and my dreams, and who loves me unconditionally. Your brother was not that. 

We weren’t meant to be. 

I thought Europe would be amazing for our relationship, I thought it would bring us together. I allowed your brother to leave his whole life to do the trip in hopes that I could make him happy with this trip. But it wasn’t good enough. Nothing I ever did was for him. And now I’m to blame for the fact he doesn’t have his most prized possessions: his truck, his bike, his four-wheeler, and his guns. The truth is, I never wanted him to move those things. The plan was to leave them with your family, but at the last minute, he insisted they come, inconvenienced my family, and now I’m stuck with them. I don’t want those things just as much as he wants them. I want to move on with my life. But he feels I’m financially responsible even though I don’t have the money  (because I spent it all on the trip) or the means to get it back to him. It’s not my fault. I still feel terrible he won’t have his bike to ride in the nice upcoming weather, but the situation is out of my hands.

The break up in Europe wasn’t just my fault either. It always takes two, and I appreciate the fact you’re willing to listen to my side. When we planned the trip, I was 100% invested in making a life with your brother, and he knew that. I’m not saying I treated your brother perfect all the time, but he used the fact that he gave up “his whole life” to do this trip and make it work with me, to hold it over my head. As if I was forced to stay with him now. And things got bad. We fought, a lot. And I won’t go into details, but your brother showed a whole other side of himself. An aggressive side. And it terrified me. I was, and still am, afraid of him.

You can’t be with a man you’re afraid of.

I respect your brother, and always will. I spent six years of my life with him. He fought a war and saw things I can’t even fathom. He was neglected by his father and never truly accepted by his second. He has been through a lot, and yet he has still succeeded in so much more. But he continues to search for something, and I can’t help him do that anymore.

I can’t put my life on hold, let him treat me badly, and use all my energy in helping him find happiness. Especially when mine doesn’t matter to him.

I need to be happy for once.

I need to take care of myself.

I need to find the independent, strong, and happy woman you first met, before your brother tore her down. 

I wish the best to your brother, I really do. I hope he finds what he is looking for in life.

But it’s time I shine again.