It’s been 17 months since he and I broke up. Enough time to birth two babies, to complete half a degree, enough time to do a lot of complicated, lengthy things. Yet, when he replied to my drunken ‘Merry Christmas’ message, and when my sister mentioned his name..I froze. It was a flight or fight situation. All that made sense to me in that moment was my natural gut feeling – to flee. I wanted to run, shut out the real world and to get away from the haunting memories of what was. But that’s life. I was in a relationship with him – one filled with happiness, security and overpowering problems. The main difference between me and him in the end was that he had the guts to end it. He had the guts to let go of my hand and accept that our relationship was breaking down. Of course, it hurt me. The realisation that I had to step out of his shadow and stand on my own two feet ripped out my heart and scared me half to death. The realisation that nothing is ever as simple as ‘I promise’. But, despite all the tears and all of the empty whiskey bottles, I’m glad he did it. By leaving me, he freed us both. We’ve both gone on to be able to express ourselves and live for ourselves, without having to constantly consider the other. He may have been my murderer, but he’s also my saviour. In breaking my heart, he gave me the ability to live for myself, to love myself again, to have adventures of my own. Yet, despite this realisation, and the supposedly-rational idea in my head that I’m over him, and that I do not need him in my life…I can’t eliminate the fear I now feel towards him. He may have given me the antidote to the poison, but he will always be the one who committed the original carnage which killed me for a time. They say it takes 17 months and 26 days to get over someone. That may be true. But my love for him has turned into fear. The fear that one day I will return to the crumpled shell of a person I became after first losing him. I refuse to ever return to that pathetic state of existence. I do not wish that state upon anyone.