letters by the broken hearted


I am given the name for•give for two reasons:
1. Forgive: the intentional act of forgiveness.
2. For(give): Some of my letters have been turned into a pocket sized booklet. I am asking people to (give) it away when they’re done to someone else who they think needs to read it too.

Dear M,

It’s been a while since we last spoke but I survived. 

I fell for you hard, so so hard. No one has ever had that effect on me. You were like a drug. I was ready to be and do anything for you and with that came so much pain because the feeling was never mutual.

I never thought I’d be able to go a day without thinking of you with an aching pain in my chest. But I did, and I do... I am alive and I am well. Your memory occasionally brushes my heart but the pain no longer resides there. It took such a long time to emotionally, mentally and psychologically get back on my feet again without falling onto my knees at the very sight of you. Today my heart feels full again. 

I forgive you for being emotionally absent. I forgive you for the manipulation, I forgive you for making me feel like loving you meant harming myself, abandoning myself, engaging in self destruction and lighting myself on fire so I can keep you warm. I forgive you. I forgive you for it all because in the process I turned into ashes and now I am able to resurrect myself like a phoenix. I forgive you and I want to thank you, because in the consuming pain of losing you, I’m finding my way back to myself again.


Dear N,

I’m pretty sure that I’ve not fully forgiven you yet; things are too recent for me but I guess forgiveness is a process and it could well start here. 

Our time together was short but it felt sweeter than much of the rest. Your handsomeness warmed my eyes. Your intellect warmed my soul. Your sensual touch warmed my skin. Your care and affection warmed my heart. But your words and actions were discrepant.

I won’t lie, I still wish you’d wake up one morning and do everything to rid us of those discrepancies. But we were not on the same page, we are not on the same page.

All I can be now is grateful. Grateful that you helped me realize this wasn’t meant to be. Grateful that next time handsomeness, intellect, sensuality, care and attention won’t suffice. Grateful that discrepancies won’t suffice. Grateful that not being on the same page won’t suffice. Grateful that I’ve realized self-love will more than suffice. 

I’m worth a love much greater than what you could provide me with and self-love will tide me over unless I’m shown something greater.


Dearest M,

all memories fade
yet seem eternally present in the distance 
I often wonder if these were indeed true memories
or words that I had endlessly recited
in attempts to convince myself 
that I’d found someone 
equally misunderstood 
I am not certain 
that you will be remembered


Dear S,

There are things I wish I had done differently. There are things I wish you had done differently. This letter is not so much about those things though. It is about acceptance, resolution, and progress. 

At first it was easier to be angry at you- to dismiss each passing thought of you with spite. It was cathartic to privately condemn and curse you but now it feels more toxic than anything else. Therefore, for the sake of my own sanity and peace, I choose to forgive you. Hopefully, in doing this, I will allow myself the freedom I need to grow without you but, at the very least, I can expect to be consumed by annoying but positive thoughts. 

So I wish you nothing but the best- now and in each of the hopefully tapering moments my thoughts veer towards you in the future. 


 Dear K

I can forgive you for being broken. I can forgive you for being damaged. I can forgive you for being hopeless. 
I can understand the difference between what you did with intention and what you did through habit. 
I can forgive you for a lot, but not everything, and that's because I reserve understanding for myself. 
You broke my heart, but not because you wanted to, but because I was stupid enough to give you something so fragile to handle when you weren't capable. 
I know that the reasons you hurt me are the reasons that I hurt you.
And I forgive us both.


Dear J,

The very first time you told me you loved me, it was under a pitch black night sky, as we laid on our backs watching airplanes take off to unknown destinations. 

“I love you” you ejected excitedly, and my heart rose like the plane on the tarmac 

I asked you to say it again because I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could a person so intelligent, sensitive, and peacefully ordinary love me? 

I said it back and you cried. I kept saying it as weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. As our love grew, so did my fear. A lingering fear I developed on the tarmac. 

I was afraid I would never be able to give you what you were giving me. 

You gave me a love so strong it made my heart hurt. You promised me everything from money, to children, to a kidney (should I ever need one). You promised to still find me sexy even when my skin wrinkled and my eyes ceased to work. You promised to never hold me back, and always hold me down. No matter what. 

I wonder if my heart is capable of such love? I’m afraid it isn’t. If I couldn’t get my heart to work well enough to love you back the way you deserve, perhaps it’s started off broken in the first place. 

When I asked for a break from this exhausting all consuming love, you erased any trace of us. Our pictures, and our memories faded into the night sky like an airplane. I still don't know my destination. 

You certainly broke my heart, but I broke yours as well. I guess in the end, I finally got to give back what you were giving to me, and you held me down so hard I suffocated.


Dear R,

I have broken your heart and you have broken mine. 

I still remember the feeling of my cheek on your chest the last time we hugged. 

You said it clearly, that would have been the last one. You didn't want to see me, ever again. I could die at the sides of the pavement, you said. You would not have even tried to touch me.  

I never told you that I never did what you thought I had done. Not telling you was my decision.

I could physically feel my heart crumbling. Tears were running down my cheeks, I looked into your blue eyes aware I would not see them again. I felt empty. 

But I forgive you. I forgive you for everything you said to me and to our friends. I forgive you because before that afternoon you gave me happiness and I gave it to you. I forgive you because those words didn't come from the you I knew, but from the you I had hurt allowing you to assume the false. I forgive you because you are the only one to whom I gave my heart. 

I walked away that afternoon with the clearest memory of your delicate smell, your blue eyes, your smooth pale skin.


Dear S, 

It’s been a while. Ten years, and I imagine you don’t think of our time together much. But I’m writing to forgive you. I’ve held my heart as a fist for too long, and it is time to let a few things go.

It’s not that I dwell on you; I’m afraid you mostly come up as an anecdote thrown into the acrid end of a girls’ night. 
So first he... and then he... but all the time he… 
And I list the experience as a reason to resist trust. 

But recently I had to pull out some emails from that time, and found myself reading another narrative. A kinder me, who loved you, even in the aftermath. Who stayed to see if I could understand your acts of self-destruction. I’d forgotten about that version of events, and the fragile stillness of that time afterwards, when we held each other, and trying to work out if we could be repaired.  

Forgiveness is often thought of as an act of generosity, of letting go. But when I re-read those emails I was reminded that my stories are partial; my memory fragmental. It’s not hard to restore you to the complexity of your flaws, your insecurity, your remorse, your love and your joy. So perhaps forgiveness is as much an act of revision as release, of re-balancing stories that were distorted by pain, or by the act of re-telling. I’m remembering to forgive.  

I loved a man once, but he was trapped in a struggle which caused us both pain, which broke something that might have worked. It’s a rubbish anecdote. It won’t drop my girlfriends’ jaws. But it might help me unfurl. 

I remember you liked me describing you as a ‘maximalist’. 
I’m hereby rewriting your infidelity as maximalist. It actually makes me smile. 

I hope you and your family are thriving, and that fatherhood has been all that you hoped it would be.


Dear H,

My first love. I forgive you for not caring. I forgive you for cheating. I forgive you for not being direct with your emotions. I forgive you as we both have grown. I forgive you x


Dear N,

Yes my first and most crucial heartbreak was drawn upon me, through my own doing. You made it look like it was extremely hard to live, to stand back on your feet. You pulled me into a series of messed up situations which were unreal, you caused me to hate you and to loathe everything that I stand for. You made me think crying is weak, and that hiding my emotion is what makes me a strong individual.
I pulled myself up and decided that was enough. I detached myself from you in order to understand how to find attachment in a healthier way. 
Thank you for being the messed up contradiction that shaped me into who I am today. I will never stop forming myself into the best version of myself.
I love you, I forgive you and I will always be proud of the mess that got us to who we are today.


Dear D, 

You’re the one who broke my heart. I never trusted men because of you, I hated you so much. 
I spent my childhood trying to be the perfect daughter but is was never enough for you. Since I remember you humiliated me, you made me feel stupid, worthless, like a mistake. I cried so much because of you, you were always on my mind. Trust me I hated you like I never hated anyone in my life but it’s time to forgive you.


Dear S,

I had no intention to forgive you. 
No one disrespected me as much as you did in my life. 
But everything passes. 
Now, I cannot believe you were once cruel. 
I tend to see the best in people and so, 
I want to remember the best of you. 
As time goes by, my heart feels lighter in my chest. 
Ready to love again, 
Ready to give again. 
You know how I feel... 
I wish you the same.


Dear L & Dear R,

I don’t know if i’m ever going to fully forgive you or forgive her. Six months ago you two were my everything. When you cheated you ripped out a piece of my heart. I used to feel safe with you two, now I feel betrayed. I was hurt. I keep reminiscing the memories but in a different way now. When I remember you, I remember the good you. So I forgive you for breaking my heart. I forgive you for loving her over me and I forgive her for betraying my trust. You showed me who you were and I needed that.


Dear M,

I never thought of writing you a forgiveness letter, I always feel that we’re not done yet, its been 5 months of depression, I gained weight, and lost the taste of life. Nothing makes me feel alive but picturing you in my head over and over again.
When you walked away I blamed myself, for rushing and pushing things, I thought this would get you closer, but it didn’t.
I forgive myself for being vulnerable, and I forgive you for not appreciating it.


Dear S,

I forgive you for the pain you caused and for the many tears you brought on. I forgive you for letting me go when I wasn't ready to leave. I forgive you because I can now see how much my life has changed for the better.

Although sometimes I still ask myself why, but what I know for sure is that when I started writing this, I realized that I’m not writing this to actually forgive you, but to thank you. 
Thank you for all the good times we spent together. 
Thank you for making me feel loved. 
Thank you for making me love you. 
And thank you for not making me wonder where I went wrong. 
And I’m sorry the circumstances didn’t give us the chance to be together. 
But because of this heart break I’ve had all the of the opportunities and experiences that I have had since we broke up. I’ve gotten to see the world, explored new paths, made new choices -that I never would have made if I were still with you- , and above all, I got to know the real me, never have I better understood who I am. And most importantly, I met the love of my life. 
Our paths came together for a reason. We laughed and loved. We grew together and then we grew apart. I truly hope that you find happiness because I have found mine. 
I guess the only thing that made me hung up on this heart break, is the second reason why I’m writing this letter. It is not because it was the most severe, but because I broke your heart too. 
So this is my apology to you.
I’m sorry I broke your heart, and I’m sorry I hurt you. I’m sorry for all the sleepless nights, the regrets, and the way I sometimes treated you. So for that, I hope you forgive me too. 

In the end, you were not a mistake. You were a lesson well learnt, and I am so thankful that I learned, even if it took a little bit of heartbreak to get me there.


Dear J,

I have never had the chance to say what I’ve always wanted to, I was even scared to write it in my diary so I wouldn’t be reminded of it every time I read it.
You opened your heart to me and spit all the truth. That one conversation that will always be stuck in my mind and soul. I broke your heart. 
I broke your heart but you still love me so much you chose to forgive me. You know i’m a good person and I never meant to hurt you. But sometimes life treats me badly and I seem to transmit all the bad vibes to you until you’re harshly hurt. 
Thank you. You’ve shown me what I haven’t seen. I am a good person, but at times I only hurt people that I love, because I think they will forever stay with me no matter what. And I was right, but it’s only because I have a forgiving person like you.
I hope you really forgive me. We’re still together but my heart is broken because I broke yours. 
Even if you forgive me, will I ever forgive myself?


Dear _,

I get it. It was more of an emotional connection between us, not intimate. Not sexual. Not physical. But does heartbreak have to be emotional only? I’ve never experienced such a feeling in my stomach. When you came back from Australia and told me you got a boyfriend now, I really didn’t know at the time that another person’s words can have such an impact on my body. I didn't expect this. Actually I learnt a lot from it, about love and about myself. It came to a point where I now understand your perspective. I think it was for the best that we burnt all the bridges between us. Actually, I think I have to thank you for it, because perhaps otherwise I would still be bound to your lips. I forgive you. I forgive you, because I know your story, and I know the demons that drive you. This is definitely not an excuse for you to be an asshole. But through this realization and rationalization I came to terms with it. I genuinely wish you all the best.


Dear M,

I just called you to tell you that I left home. I wish we could’ve remained friends, but you are not interested in staying in touch with me.
It was not a long relationship but it was hard. The hardest part was when I saw you dating and getting closer to someone else even though I was still around.
Sorry that I forgot it was just an experience and got attached to you. I lost my direction somehow. I never wanted to lose you, but you didn't answer my final call. We started as long known and ended up as long lost.
I wish you kindness and compassion.


Dear I, 

The day we went our separate ways, it felt like a funeral.

Your words hit me across the head, and your actions buried my soul six feet under, but the truth is, I dug my own grave. I continuously served you full platters of love, feeding your satisfaction and needs
for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, while I went to sleep hungry and woke up empty; until I lost a sense of me!

While others may shift blame on you for claiming that perhaps “you never took the time to love me correctly”, I will take full responsibility for not giving myself the time to love it correctly… I did not love myself with the same intensity, passion or enthusiasm.

I wrote you saying "Life would go on, but one day I promise you would wake up, feeling all jumbled up, missing all of me annoyingly. You wouldn’t be able to speak because panic will take your breath away. You would lust after me, and you will cry your heart out. Bitterly you will regret every single second you spent not appreciating my presence or pure feelings."

When this happened to you, I was nursing my wounds; I was trying to glue my broken and scattered pieces of my heart back together! 
I thought to myself that I had dedicated myself with all my heart to help you cross this path; but you refused and with all of your thoughtlessness, impatience and rough words that crushed me; however I came to understand that my strengths lay in my vulnerabilities! 

It is not all about love, but everything starts with passion. You couldn’t enjoy nor silence the loudness of my love, and you couldn’t handle the intensity of the music…and I could still look you straight in the eyes, go through them and was brave enough to believe still that you are the most kindhearted, inspiring and strong man I've known after my Father! 

YOU minded my words, you kept our dreams and ever since that day you have been fighting and working fiercely to become the Man, I have always looked up to even in the darkest of the moments... every time you achieved sth, you came back thanking me and praising what an inspiration goddess I was and still is for you!

You made me strangely realize how unstoppable we both are! but most importantly you opened my eyes to how influential I am. You also made me acknowledge what a beautiful, loving, caring, independent, strong, powerful, inspiring, kindhearted, peaceful, and most importantly confident human being, friend and partner I am!

I can no longer predict what is coming our way...but believe still that we will be together. I do not know how pathetic or even naive this might sound to the world... I will be waiting! 

Finally, I want to thank you for making these two years unforgettable, unique, precious and full of inspiring break downs!


Dear L,

I don’t know how I’m going to start this but here we go.
I want to thank you for the memories and all the love. Our friends say that what you did is unforgivable. You knew how hard it is for me to trust people but regardless, you did what you did.

I need time to heal from the damage you’ve done. I’ll forgive you for breaking my trust and lying to me. I’ll forgive you someday.


Dear C,

You left me feeling very broken. What you did to me I can't really understand, but I guess I can understand why. But then the why is the crux of it all. You surrounded yourself with toxic people who I think affirmed very negative behavioural traits and ideologies on how to treat others. But it is what it is. There's such a narrative that damaged people hurt other people, but then where do we draw our lines of agency? Where do voices like mine get heard beyond the rhetoric of your personal trauma? 

It took me a long time to realise that I was in an abusive relationship, that you were gaslighting me, that you were lying when you said you and the friend you cheated on me with were platonic. 

I now realise that I was with a narcissist, and that's probably evident in the fact you still message me occasionally accusing me of cheating on you with people I barely knew, long before you did it to me.

I sound bitter. I'll probably always be bitter. But I'm glad you're no longer in my life, I'm glad I cut you out and cut you off. That said, I still believe you're a damaged person and I wish you'd stop using drugs and alcohol to cover that up, but it isn't my responsibility any more. So I wish you all the best, and, yes, I forgive you. And that's not to say it wasn't a two-way street, but, for me, I'm accepting of everything. I wish you nothing but peace and healing.