To the only man I’ve ever been in love with,
I have so many thoughts I need to express and feelings I have to get off my chest. First off, it’s important you know I don’t have any ill will or hatred towards you. The hurt is being addressed and I’m facing those unresolved issues on my own. Each day I am making more peace with the past. I don’t feel that restless anger like before. In fact, my issues with you and moving on have been because of my unwillingness to acknowledge the reason I actually suffer. Ironically, it is because I still love you, very much in fact. Not in the same capacity as before but I’ve seen how my love for you has evolved over the years and changed into the mature love that it is today. I want nothing but the best for you, James. You once told me something that profoundly resonated with me. You said, “I want you to be happy, babe. Even if that happiness may not include me anymore.” It hurt so much in that moment to hear those words. It sliced me right to the core, leaving me to feel a sort of inevitability in those words. I eventually decided that I needed you to go. I would have to love you for the rest of my life from a distance. It was a truth i never wanted to accept but in order for me to be with you, I had to deny myself so many aspirations and dreams. I’d concluded that dreams change sometimes and mine unexpectedly had. Before I knew it, the only dream I truly cared about fulfilling anymore was you.
In the beginning I resented you so much. The anger entirely eclipsed any sign of love I once felt. In many ways that anger left me completely numb to the pain I was feeling at the time. All I knew was that I wanted to hurt you and make you pay for all the hell you repeatedly put me thru. There are so many horrific memories that haunt me in my sleep at night. A random thought can trigger a memory I’d thought I’d long forgotten. Your addictive personality and deception was what eventually killed the love I had for you. I felt as if you ruined everything and I was determined to make you feel all the horrible emotions you made me feel all throughout the 10 years we were together. I wanted to force you to regret ever doing me wrong and in time, it eventually worked.
I began by ignoring you everyday. I found attention from other men and made new friends that didn’t have any ties to you. I cut off all your family and severed all ties I had with you physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. The only exception I made was to discuss the well being of our children and even in those cases I remained ruthless. I never gave you more than the necessary communication and I constantly withheld any sadness or remorse I may have felt from losing you. In those months that you were still trying to win me back, I came to discover that I was unable to cry anymore. I figured it was because I’d already cried oceans of tears over you and eventually had no more to shed. I no longer had the energy to expend, no more compassion to give, no more affection to show. I was lifeless, lost and purposeless without you or our love.
I can recall watching you as you sobbed in front of me in utter confusion. Somehow I’d become like a stranger to you, a stranger that no longer welcomed you in her bed. You’d asked me to hold you but my arms never could reach the places in your heart you needed touched most. There were many occasions that I looked you straight in the face, repeatedly renouncing my once strong hope in you and in us. You cried and begged, we yelled and screamed, until eventually I forced you out the door. You reluctantly left and told me on countless occasions that this wasn’t what you wanted. You didn’t want the divorce and you fought tirelessly to change my mind. Problem wasn’t in my mind though. I’d finally had a change of heart. I’d had enough of the arguing, lies and constant struggle. I hated that I couldn’t trust you even in the most innocent of things. You’d broken trust so many times that I’d lost count and this final stint with rehab brought my once believed perfect world to a tragic end. I pushed. You pulled, but eventually you gave into my wishes. I told you if you loved me you’d have to let me go and you did. You got your own place and within 2 weeks already had someone around to fill the void I’d left in your life.
Meanwhile, I stayed single and remained in the very same shithole you left us in. I dragged every morning to wake up. Each sunrise brought on only more battles of emptiness and depression. By staying in that house I felt trapped by evil memories of us. It had an eerie morbid feeling. That house on Hartford was more like a mortuary of death than a home of warmth and laughter. Even though I was adamant about changing everything in the home, your spirit continually lingered in the hallways, demanding to be acknowledged and heard.
I remember drinking myself into a stupor many nights and weeping all alone on the kitchen floor. I had lost my passion for life and purpose. I only knew how to be a half and with you gone I didn’t know how to even begin to be whole. We both went from having a whole family one day, to becoming single people overnight. Every other weekend the kids would be with you and I’d be left to fight my demons all by myself. In those early days my anxiety gave birth to my new merciless companion that the doctors referred to as “insomnia.” The nights during that period of my life were the hardest and most destructive for me. I cut myself, I cursed your existence, I never slept at night, I drank a lot and ran the laundry list of “what ifs” in my head. I had on many occasions attempted to try and drink the pain away but each morning I’d find my struggles right back where I’d left them. And so the vicious cycle began. I was like I had an ongoing revolving door of broken men that paraded in and out of my life after you. None of them I ever “claimed” or loved. Truth is, I often used them as distractions to avoid my pain. Like the alcohol and pills, they were only temporary fillers for me that came and went. In my mind I’d resolved that it was easier to place all my focus on them and in turn throw all the blame onto you. I had absolved myself of any sins or wrongdoing on my part and concluded that you were the reason I’d never know happiness again. After all, you were the one who broke me. You were the monster that terrorized me, so it was only fair to blame you for being the one who destroyed me. You “victimized” me but reality proved that I chose to remain a victim. I felt comfortable in my uncomfortablness and I learned that you can also form addictions to people and states of emotions. I was consumed with thoughts of only you and overtime I no longer could recognize my own face. I felt stuck by my love for you yet I hated the outcome of all your selfish actions. You abused me and I called it “love.” You lied and I called it “trust” You cheated yet I called you “loyal.” You were the very best part of my life and yet you were the very worst part of it too. And for a very long time i believed that my entire self worth was based on who YOU believed me or saw me to be. I placed you on a pedestal, put God on the backburner and myself as the doormat you stepped on everyday. It was a very unhealthy and abusive situation but being honest, I have to say our entire relationship was not only this ugliness.
In fact, we shared countless moments together that are worth mentioning. There were many trying moments that made us stronger as a couple and made us better as people. We saved each other and loved one another in ways no one else could. Not many will ever understand the dynamic you and I shared. And I’ve learned that they dont have to. No one knows all the countless kisses and embraces we shared that went unnoticed. All the profound conversations we had behind closed doors. The random things you’d make or buy me just to say “i love you.” I miss the movie nights and waking up to beautiful music while you cooked the kids and I a big breakfast. I know we shared a lifetime’s worth of laughter. Even to this day, certain memories still make me pause whatever action or thought I’m doing and make me smile. It was wrong of me to deny you this acknowledgment while I was hurting. It just hurts to remember, but even harder to forget. You were undeniably the source of my happiness for a very long time. You were my first boyfriend, first kiss, first lover and the father of my children.
Every season of life has a memory all it’s own and every memory carries an emotion, be it good or bad. November 21st, which was our wedding anniversary, will always be a special memory of a decision we made to change our lives for the better. It’s no longer the anniversary of what is, but much rather of what was. Our young love was so magical and magnetic and will continue to live on in the sweet remnants of our past. As life goes on, so does the ever present cycle of holidays that trigger bittersweet recollections of the past. Christmas music sparks a sting of hurt because I force myself to keep up tradition and try to “cheerfully” decorate the tree. I’ll oftentimes get flashbacks of you lifting up one of our precious baby’s to place the angel at the top of our tree. Family dinners invariably leave traces of your absence because of the empty place that remains next to me. I haven’t had a New years kiss since you’ve been gone. Truth is I haven’t really wanted one anyway. February brings Valentine’s day which reminds me of the many poems and cards you’d leave me to remind me of how loved i was by you. You wrote me so many beautiful words that have stayed with me even to this day. Easter egg hunts and painting eggs are gatherings i miss having you by my side. July 7th is Our baby girl’s birthday and before our son in late August of 04. It’s impossible not to remember you on their special days because it was you and I that created them and it was you and I that welcomed them into the world together. My October birthday blends into celebrations of harvest and Halloween. I miss trick or treating with you and the kids, picking out costumes and taking pictures. There is so much I’ve left behind and so much ahead of us that I will as well. It’s overwhelmingly painful at times to remember but I never want to forget who and what you were to me.
You called me your “angel that saved you” and you were my “bad boy” that changed his ways. You called me “empress” because you said I was the most beautiful woman you’d ever seen and had the class of someone who could be royalty. You said I was perfect the way I was and that you’d always love me in spite of any physical, mental or emotional changes I may or may not have gone through. You told me I was smart and could have the dreams of my heart fulfilled. You said I was a good mom and that I was the most selfless person you ever knew. You loved me most in my most natural state and reminded me everyday that I didn’t even have to try because I already was everything. You called me things like your “happiness” your “world” and “the love of your life” You never loved anyone more than me or like me ever before or ever would again. I can still remember the consversation we had in bed when we were just laying in each other’s arms and I asked you how you knew the love you had for me was “different?” I loved the anaology you gave and how it really resonated with me on a level I could completley comprehend. You said that the women who came before me were like falling in love with a new song and being completely enthralled by it, playing it over and over, day in and out. He said the infatuation could only go so far until it eventually just faded out and then a new favorite song would take its place. He said I was nothing like that song. I was not a fleeting thought, person or emotion. I was unique, special and intricate. You loved how transparent I was and yet still a mystery to you after all these years. It rattled you how well you could read me and later would frustrate you because you felt as though you could never do right by me. You constantly felt like you were not enough but the reality was that it didn’t matter because I picked you and chose to love you. That in itself made you enough but your inner demons of addiction, insecurity and abandoment set in, eventually6 poisoning our entire relationship. WE loved hard and fought harder. We could be super affectionate one moment only to be like 2 strangers the next. We were an intricatly interwoven tapestry of emotions, hurts, weaknesses and strengths. For a while we seemed to manage the current by staying afloat but I was left for many years to keep us alive all alone. I tried desperatley to save you ended up only drowning the both of us. Somewhere in the sea of love I lost you and in doing so I lost a great part of myself too.
“It wasn’t all bad.” You weren’t all bad. We weren’t all bad. I can heal from the hurt while acknowledging the worst. Some memories will be left as our secrets forever and certain feelings will never be spoken of again. Truth is that I do miss all the things that you meant to me for so long. I miss the old you that burns bright in the dark corners of my mind. I miss the boy I once feel in love with under that summer moon when I was only 17. I miss those hazel eyes that saw through my motions and found the pure and goodness in mine. You showed me generosity, thoughtfulness, kindness, and love the best way you knew how. I appreciate you for that. Deep down I know you are a man with a good heart, just misguided in your intentions at times. I want to believe you aren’t who your actions have proved you to be and I hope that life’s challenges have brought out the better parts of you that you’d forgotten. I’m happy you have found happiness in the arms of another woman who can love you in the ways I couldn’t. I did my very best to meet every single want and need you ever had but being that girl meant I couldn’t really be the real me. I’m sorry if inadvertendly I decieived or hurt you by trying to be your ideal perfect woman. God knows I tried my hardest to make us work but sometimes love means knowing when to let go. A lot of times I think I mostly left you because of my own feelings of pain but I also see that sometimes i realize I also left you because I wanted you to be free of your own sadness as well. Love is sacrafice and giving you up was my final act of love on my part. I knew you’d nenver leave my side so I made the decsion neither of us wanted to make and cut the cord that kept you and I together. I don’t regret a second of happiness or sadness spent with you. Although I don’t love you in the same way I once did, doesn’t mean I won’t ‘love you until my last breath, past death.” We made two perfect kids together and I believe they are the very best of you and I.
I’m not ignoring this pain I feel over your loss anymore but I also won’t allow i to consume my everyday either. I’m letting you go every night and forgiving you all over again every morning. Healing from our end is going to take time and work but I know that it is shaping me into the woman I’ve always wanted to be. I hope it is helping you find the happiness you sought in me but never found. I can listen to the song I sang to you on our wedding day now without shedding a single tear. I can go to our old places and not feel the same ache of emptiness every time someone asks about how you are or where you’ve been. I can say your name without feeling the sting in my heart and look you in the eyes without feeling the pounding in my chest. You’re memory is strong but your prsence in my future is fading daily. I’m dreaming new dreams now and opening myself up to new endeavors, people and experiences. I still find myself looking up at night sky remembering how I’d sing to you how you were “the little boy made for me in the stars”. My Poochie bear, my best friend, my first lover, my once husband and understanding ear, Ill cherish rhe time we had. I make a vow to look to the past fondly and remember the beautiful life we made together and separate the ugliness, malice and pain. I’m letting you go.