My most recent ex reached out to me slowly over the past couple days. First, he followed my instagram account and liked one of my recent pictures. Not the most recent one though, so I knew that he was looking through them. The next day he messaged me to let me know that I wasn't obligated to follow him back and that he just wanted to check-in and loved my new look and that it was nice to see me smile. I wasn't sure what to do. I had really struggled with our breakup and what it meant. Not just for my future, but how it reflected the relationship we had. Was any of it real? The breakup was sudden and ultimately ended for confusing reasons, but it definitely ended up sounding like I was the reason. Not specifically me, but my own mental health. I can understand why people choose to leave others that struggle with mental health when their partner lashes out and puts their stability in the other person's hands. I had never done that to him. If there were any issues he faced, he never once communicated that to me, verbally or non-verbally. It was only until the night he decided to break up with me that he claimed he hadn't been feeling like himself and that he didn't feel like he was capable. However, the way he phrased it ended up more like I can't handle you. Needless to say, he broke my heart. He made me feel like I was unworthy of love. When I met him, I was struggling a lot with my sense of self-worth and accepting my mental illnesses. I had told him all of this. I had pushed away anyone that showed me affection. I felt like it was fake and I was waiting for the day the person would realize it. He was the first person I finally trusted and allowed to love me. And I loved him back. When he broke up with me, he told me that all the feelings were still there. It didn't make any sense to me. I tried to convince myself that he was weak and couldn't handle me and that was his fault, not mine. If he truly loved me, he would have stayed and fought for us. So then, I felt like he never truly loved me. But that didn't quite fit the narrative either. Of course when he messaged me, I didn't know if I should entertain it. Do I delete it? Do I leave it on read? Do I block him? Do I reply? I chose to reply. It was a nice message and it indicated that he was thinking of me. That on some level he did care and our relationship wasn't nothing. It also provided me an opportunity to tell him what he did to me. Which I did. He explained to me what a rough time he was having and it turns out we are both in a place where we need to be alone and spend time with ourselves. Loving ourselves. Well, trying to. I finally got some explanations as to why he left. I don't think he regrets it, which I appreciate. I didn't need to deal with an ex crawling back to me. Not after he hurt me like this. He admitted to his family being shitty to me. And him. He honestly just admitted that they can be really fucking shitty. That felt nice, because they fucked me up too. I was glad that I decided to speak to him, because it gave me more clarity and it helped me feel better about the break-up. It also helped me understand our relationship more. It helped me recognize that I am worthy of love and he didn't change his mind about that. He made a decision to reduce the stress in his life and to focus on himself. He didn't feel like he was good enough to be there for me. It's still a shitty reason and falls under the "it's not you, it's me" excuse. Regardless, it made me feel better about the situation. The new issue is that he wants to try to be friends again. To be honest, I'm terrified of him hurting me. I want him to be interested in speaking to me and caring for me like a friend would. He wants me around because he wants positivity in his life...I don't think of myself as a force of positivity, but I try my best to be positive. I still get down and I still cry. I still struggle. I think that's okay though. I always get back up. And I try again. I'm entering this era of friendship with caution. I don't want to talk about sex lives or sex in general. I don't want to miss him physically, so I don't want anything mentioned at all. I don't want to see him in person for a long time. Not until he proves that he is actually my friend. I don't want to be hit up only when he needs me. I want to be treated like a real friend. Other people are going to advise me against my decision to even speak with him. They are going to worry that he'll hurt me or that I'll start dating him again. Their concerns are valid. That's why I enter this with caution. I know I don't need to accept him back into my life to forgive him. In fact, now that I have clarification, I could cut him off and have closure. But I've never had a friendship with an ex and I admire others that do. I hold love in my heart for all of my exes. Even the ones I hate...I hope they hit rock bottom and get back up and lead better lives. This man was very special to me and I wanted to be friends with him the whole time. We enjoy each other's company and we enjoy similar things. I'd like to remain platonic and I think that with boundaries and fairly limited contact that it is possible. I hope I am not opening myself up for more hurt, but this who I am. I try to understand others and hear their side of a story. I know there are plenty of times where I needed forgiveness and I needed my side of the story told. If everyone took the time to really listen to one another, I truly believe that we could all live a more peaceful life. (Fuck maybe I am positive?) P.S. his mom scolded me for cursing after three months of knowing me and not once did my boyfriend tell me not to curse in front of his family. I disagree that cursing makes me less of a lady. There are times and places not to curse, but she really needs to relax. It's a sentence enhancer and she does it too. Get off your fucking high horse Karen.