I cut my ex so much slack. I treated him like he was simply incapable of truly validating my feelings and being there for me so any sign of him being slightly like that or simply not being horrible, I grasped onto and told everyone including myself that my boyfriend was so awesome and supportive. The way I acted was a combination of two things:
First, there was the comparison to Colby. When you live in a place for 4 years where people are hurting you constantly, you'd settle for anyone who just doesn't actively hurt you. When you live in a place where almost everyone makes things worse for you when you're already hurt, for someone to just stand there while your house is burning down and not pour lighter fluid on it is amazing. (Not to say that my ex didn't hurt me, but he was much more subtle than Colby kids. He hurt me more through inaction than action).
I think I also just treated him like someone who was not capable of giving me the support I really needed. It almost feels like when you praise a child for doing their best at something that they aren't able to do very well yet. I know that's patronizing, and I don't want to treat people that way, but I think that's what I did with him. I acted like, well, there's no way he'll actually be there for me this way, so I'll settle for whatever support I can get.
When my ex read The Unencrypted Truth, he gave me lots of hugs and kisses and had some emotional response to the fact that all these bad things had happened to me, but then he said, "I wouldn't not go to the school based on your essay."
Now, we don't always have to reject everything and everyone that has hurt our friends. Sometimes a friend can be hurt be something or someone that you already have a connection with, like if one of your close friends hurts another close friend. I think most of us have experienced being friends with people who don't get along with each other, or even hate each other, and it's not a situation where you would just drop one of your friends for the other, unless they did something really horrible. In the case of a school, everyone has different experiences, and I wouldn't expect a close friend who had a positive experience at Colby to completely reject it because of my experience. If my ex already had some kind of positive connection with Colby, or knew someone who did, that would have been different. But for him, Colby was just some random school somewhere that he probably never would have thought twice about if it weren't for me.
Even if a person didn't have a personal connection with Colby, but they had specific reasons why they might have liked the school, I would understand. We're all different, and I could definitely see a close friend reading the essay, feeling bad about what happened to me, but also knowing, based on some of the factual information in the essay, that Colby would have been the right place for them. My my ex didn't have specific reasons. He didn't say, "Well, I could see myself liking the school because I like to be really involved and go to lots of events, but it's clearly not a welcoming place for people who aren't like that." That would have been perfectly legit and validating. But he never had any reasons. He just said that my experience wasn't good enough to make him not like the school.
You know what? That's not good enough for me! I was his girlfriend, this place was a living nightmare for me, and he didn't even give a fuck. It never meant anything to him at all. My best friends HATE Colby College because of my experience! My experience is ENOUGH for them to hate it because we are friends and when something hurts your friend then it hurts you too! Again, I would understand if he had a personal connection with the school already, but he didn't. My friends have told me about people who have really, really hurt them in the past and made their lives living nightmares. And you know something? I could never become friends with those people! How on earth could I go up to someone and say, "Hi, all I know about you is that you've done really horrible things to my best friend, but what the heck? That doesn't bother me! Let's be friends!"
For him to say that about Colby, having no personal connection to it or reasons that he might like it, would be on the level of me saying to my best friend, "I know your ex treated you horribly and screwed up your life in a way that you're still deeply affected by, but that wouldn't stop me from dating them!"