My ex-boyfriend from university asked to follow me on Instagram the other week and it shocked me. I gave up on closure years ago.
We met at the University of Bradford in first year because his flat was above my flat, and ours was female, and his was male and it was a great set-up for pre-drinks. We had the same group of friends the whole way through, and all ended up sharing a 13-bed house in university.
It’s impossible to summarise a relationship, but the break up defined it for me.
When I told my mum about the circumstances surrounding why we broke up she advised me not to tell my dad. When I graduated in 2013, I spent the day on the edge of tears and finally cried on the way home because I did not want to go back to Bradford. When I went back to campus at the beginning of 2014 for a three-month internship, Matt walked past me in the hall and never said a word.
When I told my ex-boyfriend, Anton, about Matt it was because I had to. In 2015, when I met Anton, there was a moment when his temper flared very quickly, and I felt physically sick and couldn’t speak because it brought me back to the relationship with Matt. I had to explain to Anton that my experience of that behaviour causes me to shut down because it’s a trigger.
I don’t know how much Matt remembers about me or our relationship but the way he treated me has never left.
The moment I knew we had to break up was when a flatmate, our mutual friend, physically removed Matt from my bedroom because he wouldn’t leave. Matt arrived in the morning, still drunk, to the flat I shared with friends and I buzzed him in. Matt wanted to climb into bed with me and I didn’t want him there. Matt refused to leave and had a blast of fury which saw him rip down my lampshade, threaten to break my laptop, and then toss my phone against the wall with such force it left a chip in the wall. That was the first time in my life I remember feeling scared for my physical safety.
All our friends knew Matt wasn't a bad guy; he intervened in circumstances of physical assault with another friend. He was hilariously funny and sweet natured, and always generous with trips and gifts, and had a great taste in music. His Mum (Helen), Dad (Liam), Sister (Lucy), and Grandad (Ray) were always welcoming, and his friends were fantastic, especially Renee. It took me a long time to realise I would never get to explain to them what happened and had to let go of the idea that they would know what actually happened.
I also had to let go of over £500. We were going to go to a festival together and somehow I had won our tickets in the global ballot. He shut me out and wouldn’t help me re-sell the ticket, after I had given him all the details he would need to enjoy the trip. After we broke up, I asked Matt for help find a buyer for the £575 Tomorrowland ticket. I never got my money back. I'm pretty sure he went and had a wicked time.
I don't hate Matt, but I do question why he would be on my personal Instagram. If he is here in an observational and silent capacity, it would be best for him to leave. If he would like to apologise, then he knows where to get in touch. Most importantly, if he would like to stay silent, pay me back the £575 ticket money, and then leave - that would be my preference.