This is a tough one… To be honest, I’ve pretty much said everything I’ve wanted to say to my exes already. I have no need for closure. I’ve stayed friendly with all of them (you can read about my lasting friendship with my high school sweetheart in another 30-Day Writing Challenge here), and I’m Facebook friends with all of them. There are absolutely are no lingering hard feelings.We were all very young (I met my husband at twenty-five, so these relationships dissolved decades ago) and we all ended up where we should have. But since I jumped back into the challenge yesterday, I do want to tackle this topic. So, I’ll write about what I did get to say to one of my exes not that long ago. In my essay, Hungry, I speak about how watching my son starve himself has been the worst possible karma, because I put my family and my boyfriend through the same thing when I was in my early twenties.
Back then, I couldn’t see how my actions hurt others. I didn’t understand that watching someone you love starve themselves into a skeletal existence is absolute hell. I was far from home, living on my own and I weighed an alarmingly low weight. (Read Hungry, if you wish to know more about this painful time.) My boyfriend tried to get me to eat. It wasn’t easy for me, and it certainly wasn’t easy for him. We fell apart—we likely would have anyway, but the situation hastened the blow. But—and this is the important part—we both put our lives back together with new pieces and went on to have the futures we were meant to have, building our own families just the way they were meant to be.
I gained some weight after we broke up and gained even more when I was preparing to try to get pregnant five years later. There were some bumps in the road… I fainted while waiting for a restaurant table with my husband when we were newlyweds, after not eating much all day (just a yogurt and an apple for lunch hours earlier), thanks to stress and an inner ear infection that left me with little appetite. I knew I had to do something to ensure that I was healthy, so I could get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. It took something bigger than myself and thinking about someone other than myself—my future child—to finally change my ways for good. I saw a nutritionist, followed her program meticulously and gained five pounds (fifteen pounds over my lowest weight). I was finally a healthy weight (just three pounds less than I weigh now) when I got pregnant. I put my food struggles behind me and moved on.
Then my middle son battled the same exact issues and the anguish of watching him fade away before my eyes made me realize how difficult it was for my family and my boyfriend so many years earlier. I also starting blogging about this difficult situation and connected with so many people who thanked me for letting them know they weren’t alone. Since Hungry mentioned how bad I felt about what I put my ex-boyfriend through and I linked back to it in a new essay, I gave him a heads-up, just in case he read it. I also told him that I was sorry for what I put him through, knowing now how awful it is watching my son. My ex was, of course, very kind. I probably should have said that I was sorry two decades earlier. But, I was glad that I finally said it a few months ago. And now, there’s nothing left that I need to say to any of my exes about our relationships, except perhaps that I hope they are all always happy in the lives they have built…