An Open Letter To My Gay Ex-Boyfriend
I can still remember our last moments together. You were distant. I knew our fairy tale was coming to end, but I couldn’t fathom why. I was blinded by love. I told myself that I would never go through your personal things, but the nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach would not allow my mind to rest.
On Sunday, you left your email open on my computer.
Nothing would ever compare to the pain I felt when I read the emails between you and Brandon. As the tears streamed down my face, I scoured messages that spoke of tops, bottoms, sex toys and so many terms that I did not understand. My heart shattered into a million pieces. As a black woman, I have heard of men on the down low, but never in my life did I imagine it would happen to me.
I hid your secret for days. Do you know what it is like to hold on to a secret? Each minute felt like years. Your secret felt like a brick on my chest. I could barely breathe. I wanted someone to love me. You were willing to pretend. During that week, we spoke on the phone and occasionally met for drinks. Each time I saw your face, my eyes would beg you to simply tell me the truth. You never did. I kept asking myself, “Can he tell that I am dying on the inside?”.
At the same time, my mouth would not let me utter what I saw with my own eyes. I spent days reasoning with myself. At the end of it all, I sent you a text, I told you that I knew. You called once and never called again. To think, my love for you was only worth one call. After that, we never spoke again, but if given the chance I would say thank you. Yes, I am serious. Thank you.
After that moment, I still couldn’t stop loving you. I felt that somehow, this was my fault. Did I not love you enough? Did I not spoil you enough? Was I not pretty enough? Your lie made me insecure. I spent so much time loving men who only loved parts of me. Love was no longer a sacred connection. It was determined by how eager he was to slide down my pants.
For years, I carried so much shame. I could not believe the danger I put my body in. How could I not ask you about your sexual preference? How could I never have a conversation about sexual health? I trusted you, but I also forgot that you were human.
I hit rock bottom multiple times. I fell into a deep depression. One stormy night, my tears fell uncontrollably like rain on my window pane. It was then that I admitted I needed help. I started going to therapy. I got to the root of my emotions. I came face to face with my fears. I started to treat myself with love and kindness.
My granny taught me that all darkness comes to light so you better get right before it is too late. Your hiding pushed me to walk in my light. You made me understand that we all have our darkness. We all hold secrets that we choose not to share.
You weren’t the only one with secrets. I had my own darkness that I hid for years. See, deep down I hated myself. I despised everything about me from my body to my brain. I hid this secret under an illusion of confidence. Your darkness helped me to discover the light I was hiding inside.
You taught me to speak up for myself and my sexual health. We never spoke of sex in depth. Conversations about past sexual history, preferences, and protection are no longer taboo subjects for me. I welcome these conversations as a way to learn my partner as well as protect myself.
Most importantly, you showed me that underneath those tears was a woman full of love, truth, and power. For that, I say thank you.