But I was always, always comparing myself to her. Falling short. And I could see other people do it too. I could see it in their eyes and in the placement of attention. She even pointed it out to me once, "He said the night we first met all the boys they were arguing over which one would get to date me." I was unseen. I was invited along because she was invited. I was included in the conversation because she was there. I was beneath notice. I was invisible.
And I was okay with that. I hated myself so much I was grateful for any type of attention. Any inclusion.
Then I started losing weight. Slowly I began to gain the confidence that I so desperately longed for. And I began to see the disparity in our relationship. It was unhealthy for me. I could see so well now all the bad parts. I couldn't stay. And I couldn't find a way out.
But she did it for me. She was suddenly busy with her new boyfriend and we hung out less and less. I made new friends and filled my time with them. I learned who I was without her. And I liked it. When she expressed an interest in working with me again I declined. I knew I couldn't do it.
There are so many things I miss about her. The way she pulled me out of my comfort zone into adventures. The way she opened up whole new worlds to me. The way she could just talk to people and draw them in. The way she got me to dance and taught me how to flirt and opened my eyes. I miss all those things. But the things I don't miss make me feel sick to my stomach. The unnameable things that push me back into that insecure, scared girl that I was. How can I say that she reminds of a time and a person I never want to be again? How can I say that all her attempts to make me feel more confident and more sexy and more beautiful only chipped away at the small bits of self-worth I had? I used to think I was interesting. I used to think I was engaging. I used to think I was worthy of attention. I had to learn that all over again.
And he was in love with her. And I think still in his mind, even after all the horrible things he might say about her, even after his repeated confessions that he isn't in love with her, he doesn't want a relationship with her, I think he still uses her at a measuring stick for other women. I think he is still in love with some version of her. He still isn't free of it.
So when he compares me to her, even in an offhand, joking kind of way, it makes me feel hurt, angry, and sad. Because I will never, ever be her. And I don't want to be. And we are two different people. And these are two different relationships. And it is unfair and cruel to say things like that to me. And it makes me want to say cruel, unfair things right back. But instead I keep my mouth shut, go home, and write about it. Because I don't want to inflict any damage, even when I am angry and hurt.