The short-lived ordeal from the past

Dear Helsinki,

I got an email from him on Thursday. I had not heard from him since I sent him an email two years ago and asked him not to contact me at least until he could perhaps see my name on Facebook in blue again, which probably would take years and moreover might go unnoticed because we had never been friends on my new profile. According to my privacy settings he is still blocked so you can imagine the overpowering daze I experienced when I got a notification on my phone about an email from XXXX XXXX, a name that I have preferred not to mouth in the past years.

I feared. And as I read his words the nightmare became solid.

We no longer communicate as I do not wish to. I didn’t even take note of what you were doing until some mutual friends informed me. I did not react to your outrageous publication of your blog about us and Osijek in the Osijek media. But I will react to your alleged arrival to Bruxelles, just so that we are on the same page.

This is not the first time this has happened. Soon after he left me second time with an email, I sent him a letter telling him straightforwardly about all the shit I had to take from him after he had broken up with me the first time. We did not talk after that. I moved to Geneva, met nice people and a boy who liked me and whom I liked. While content with the life I had I wrote about my feelings about him because that is how I process life and he contacted me after us not speaking to each other for two months. He assured me that it did not mean us getting back together, but I was not sane. I was still in love. He had read the story that made him write to me. We started talking, exchanging emails every day and sharing the most irrelevant events of our lives. I became sad, withdrew from my social life, which my friends noticed. I dreamed of us getting together again, but my mind knew it was not going to happen. My heart wanted to fight, she lusted his words like nothing else in the world and the daily dose was assured as long as I continued to write back to him. I was an addict.

Firstly. Come. I am sure you could find a job here. It is a large city.
Secondly. I am in a stable relationship with the love of my life. If you come to Brussels, there is no option for friendship or contact.

We talked for four or five months more until he told me he had found the love of his love. In the meantime I had found out he had been screwing his intern when he still proclaimed his love for me and blamed me for all the things that had failed in our relationship. He was not wrong about the accusations and he had all the right to do whatever he wanted to do while we attempted to rekindle our love after he broke my heart the first time. I never told him I found about it, because it was none of my business and I let it be against all the advises I got from my friends. Nevertheless someone told him that I had figured it out and therefore a mutual friend of ours who had told me about it got blocked by him.

When he told me he had found a man that makes him happy, I said I knew that already. Frankly, despite the fact that we were not friends on Facebook, I did visit his profile quite frequently and I admitted to him that my feelings to him had not changed since he had left me. So if he wanted to continue talking to me, I would still exchange letters. I could not let go although it would had been the best thing for me. I thought he would rather not to choose talk to someone who was still in love with him so I hoped he would make the move. We continued writing to each other.

But we stopped a few weeks afterwards. We fought about something really irrelevant and I told him not to contact me anymore. He still had some of my belongings in his apartment in Brussels, but I could not bear the thought of seeing him so I had to ask a mutual friend of ours to go to his place and get the items for me. I have never been so ashamed, but the fight made me realise I had to put myself first. I had spent so much time taking care of him after the breakup and worrying about him as he continued to share all the bad thing he did to himself due to our breakup, that I had completely forgotten to get myself better. I got the courage to tell him that while I still loved him, I could not do it anymore and asked him not to talk to me until I would be ready.

Please refrain from blogging about me or contacting people to seek information about me. Our time together is in the past, and should remain there.

So when I read the email on Thursday afternoon at work, I bolted. I had made no contact to him in past two years. In fact I had never even asked any of our mutual friends how he had been doing, which admittedly had required some willpower from my side as I still cared but at the same time I knew his life was none of my business anymore. When I saw his name on my phone, I knew instantly that I must had committed some kind of a horrifying act, which must have hurt him. I prepared myself to feel shit when I clicked the email, but no matter what I could had no prepped myself enough to receive the hate he had reserved for me.

If you do come to Bruxelles, good luck to you but please do not contact me or greet me on the street.

My first reaction was panic. I went crazy reading his words, not understanding how in the Earth I would had caused him so pain when I had not said a single word to him or talked about my feelings to anyone who cares for both of us. But I had mistakenly told a friend that I applied for a traineeship in Brussels. I was foolish, because this was the same person who must have told him about me figuring out about his relationship with the intern. I had no idea that after two years she would still repeat the same mistakes.

I felt crap because after two years of me not being in touch with his life, I could still evoke such angry emotions in him. I became unhinged and the world I had created since the panic attack episode, which hospitalised me, crumbled down as if it was the weakest construction in the universe. I had started meditation the previous week, began to jog and even thought of attending a yoga-festival, it was all getting better and one email was enough to shatter all what I had built. I worried that I had moved nowhere in the two years I had heard from him, that I was still the same man who anyone would justly leave. I cried, anxiously. I called my friends and posted a Facebook-status to the people who knew me most intimately, asking for help. I was no different from the man he so much hated.

But it did not take me too long to realise that I was no longer the person he imagined (/wished) me to be. Perhaps my instant reaction was primitive, but I am an emotional person and that will never change. The old me would had started planning a letter to apologise for all the mistakes I might have committed, all the writings, everything I did in the last two years when we had no communication to each other just so I could please him and make him feel more secure about the life he has.

I felt anger, as well. I was furious, because all he had written was not justified. The eagerness to write him back intensified, defend myself. And then the self-pity knocked the door again and the urge to apologise took the control.

I was on the most unpleasant roller-coaster ride against my free will. Emotions poured in like cash to the stock market experts who never lose.
But even they fail sometimes.

And so did my primitive emotions for the first time in my life, thanks to the friends who supported me with the most encouraging messages I have ever received in my life. My friends rendered me comfort, love and warmth that soothed stampeded mind.

It has been a few days since I received his email and I am no longer hurt. I have had no desire to contact him and justify whatever I might have done since we stopped communication. Confessedly I have thought what might have been the motivations for him sending me such a letter, but as a friend said, they are irrelevant. A lot of people have wondered the same thing on my behalf, and I agree with their notions but astoundingly I really do not give a shit what could had made him write me such a hateful letter. All that matters is that I know he was an asshole and I am quite a superb person: I do not need his permission to move to Brussels, he violated my plea not to contact me and there is absolutely no reason for me to feel guilty.

You do not need to answer this e-mail as I have no intentions of responding.

His email hurt me, which probably was his intention and I cannot deny he did not succeed in his mission. But surprisingly it was just a fleeting defeat, because I gathered myself together sooner than anyone could had ever expected. The nightmare I have feared so much was short-lived. During the weekend I ran eight kilometers, watched some television with a lovely friend and had a wonderful dinner with my family. The old me would had been crushed for weeks, if not months, dwelled in the sea of vagabondage.

His words ensured the doubts I had, not about the notion of love that I still cherish but that he is not a man who gives even a damn about my well-being, let alone being the one. So my search continues. But before I start that journey I should finish the on-going project of learning to love myself, unconditionally.

I admit, perhaps I should had not felt shit at all when I got his email but what you must understand is that despite the fact him not being the person I am supposed to spend the rest of my life with, I still care for him. So I panicked, because he was infuriated with me and I felt it was all because of me. I do not want to trigger such emotions in anyone. But I realise I have done nothing to evoke the fury, it is all him and his feelings whatever they might be. I am not guilty and I have not been culpable since he has left with me. And knowing that provides me a consoling relief.

I understand he misbehaved and that I no longer need to stand for the shit he makes me experience. I have not made a single mistake since I asked him not to contact me and writing you this letter is not one of errors either, because throughout our relationship he had been perfectly aware of my tendencies to write my emotions out in the open to cities I love so much. I need to write you and others, because that is how I cope with life the best and I do not regret telling you about my life.

In all honesty my Helsinki you know how I used to tell him that he was out of my league during the relationship… Man now when I have gotten to know the entire field, I do not think he even belonged to the same sport as I do. While still not looking for a relationship, I have occasionally played Tinder and the matches I receive have always been quite hot, although admittedly nothing like Jamie Dornan to this day but almost! He is a great guy, but yes, you have always been right, I can do so much better than him. Not only I have an impeccable taste in music, I at least do not mix up ‘then’ and ‘than’ in writing all the time ;).

Since our breakup I have been thinking that I lost something precious forever, but I have been wrong. I gained a lot from our relationship, from feelings I had towards him, from the life we shared together. Those skills will not make me just a better husband for someone amazingly talented and beautiful, but I have also meliorated the binoculars I use to observe myself. I have come out from the relationship as a more independent, lovable and even handsome man who loves cities more than ever before.

I am obviously a bit sad about the fact that he is so ireful with me, that if we randomly bumped onto each other an airport, I am not allowed to even greet him and stop for a while to ask him about his life, work, love. We lived together and shared our lives for three years. But eventually it is his lost, not mine.

If our paths ever accidentally cross, I will be glad to know it is not me who lets the past to control the present.

Yours always,
Quite confident Nitin

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