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Dear 29 years of my life…
I’m writing this letter to bring closure.
And nothing more.
The best thing you can do for yourself is
read each line carefully and accept everything.
To do otherwise will only cause you further pain.
I’ve been feeling empty inside me for a long time. I feel like the love I held inside me for you has been locked away, or dying out. Your trips to the prison were long and wearing. My heart has been crying for a long time for you. Decades. And now, I’m afraid, due to too many disappointments, letdowns, too many fights, and ugly circles that we could never seem to grow past, I find myself feeling nothing. I knew that we were stuck for a long time. The way we treated each other. I also didn’t know how to grow past it. This past summer I noticed that I was not feeling it the way I used to with you. The only time I felt anything was when we fought and you’d go off and I thought for sure you’d be gone, but then you returned and only in those brief moments did I feel a little something in my heart. I never felt repulsion, or the need to not be around you; that worked in our favor. Keeping us together. My feelings seem to have just become something of a duty; a duty to you, to the relationship. Absent of feelings of love, intimacy and passion from my end. I miss those feelings. Been a long time since I’ve sincerely felt them. Too long. I don’t think you know anymore how to evoke them from me, or even for yourself. Your fear, the lifetime of bad choices you made, the guilt has weighed you down leaving you with little imagination or commitment to loving better and I saw that.
I’m going forward on my own. I need to find myself. Truly find myself. The life you offered me always made me feel like I was in chains right along beside you. I accepted it hoping that you would release yourself, and thus me, from this prison. Not only the physical prison, but the emotional and mental. Your addictions, your insecurity, your infidelity. Fear has always haunted our relationship. Never far from us. Robbing us. Last summer, when I found your cell showing you involved in this dating site after a fight, I knew then that things would never change for us, for you. Not anytime soon. And when you acted out in anger for days after, it chipped away at me. I don’t know if you truly understood what all this was doing to me. Something inside me was dying and when you returned to prison, I found myself thinking of death as the only way out. You say you love me…why didn’t you love me enough to let me go…I’m tired of taking care of you. Tired of being your rock. Tired of giving you and receiving little in return. I have never felt like you’re my equal. I always felt like a caregiver. I believe all of this has resulted in where I’m at today. I need to feel like living again. I need to feel alive. I need to feel like I’m truly valuable and worthy. And deserve nothing less. And with you, I don’t feel that. All of this is a shock to me. I never predicted this, nor expected this of myself. I feel like I’ve lost so much time. So many years dedicated to you, waiting, hurting, hoping, praying—unfulfilled in the end.
This past summer, I clearly remember sitting on the couch in the living room with you on the computer. And I remember thinking to myself, ‘this is it’? All these years, all the sacrifice, everything I’ve done for this relationship, and this is it? It scared me. For I didn’t want that. I wanted to feel great. Alive. In love. Excited. Content. I wanted to feel like we were of one mind planning exciting things together. I wanted to feel like everything I did for you, all the sacrifice, the dedication, the commitment, would be all worth it. You would walk right beside me moving and growing, showing the same, maybe even more level of commitment to me and our family. But it never happened.
I knew your health hadn’t been good for a long while. I saw it. And yes, it did scare me. I expressed this to you often. This past summer was no different. I truly hoped you’d take this problem serious to the point where you’d commit to self care and living a good life. When you left on your drug run again the deadness inside deepened. And now you sit behind prison walls telling me these problems and I find I have nothing to say…and your dreams. I did listen to your messages about your dreams. I’ll tell you now that there’s some things that you were told that simply aren’t true. I’ve had dreams. And one thing I’ve learned from them. You can’t trust them. The only real thing that truly matters is what happens in the here and now. It’s the way life truly is. It doesn’t matter who visits you in your dreams…
I have no control over the kids. They have their own minds. I don’t tell them what to think about you. I leave it to them. But I will always encourage them to make peace inside themselves with you. Just as I did with my dad. It takes dedication, and individual choice. Healing takes courage… they know I’ve left you. And they all just want me to be happy. I do too. With you, I’m not. I’m always struggling.
I don’t know what the future holds for me. All I know is that I need to honor myself. I’ve accepted my decision. I feel a calling deep within me that I can’t ignore. The call for life. And it would be good for you to move on too. If you make my life hard or difficult I will do what I need to do to ensure I’m at peace. As for the kids. You know how to reach them. All anyone ever wants is honor and respect. Our children are no different. Please remember that. I thank you for trying. I’m very thankful for that. I learned a lot. I found out what I’m really made of. I’m proud of myself to a large extent. I know there’s a lot of mistakes I made and I made you suffer mentally. We did it to each other. But, I can say with a clear conscious that I was faithful through and through no matter what you threw at me. Not many can say that. And I didn’t become an addict. I felt like I actually became a better person. And I do thank you for that. You’ve given me a lot--learned from your harsh painful lessons. But, I’m in a time in my life where I can’t turn back anymore. I don’t want to, and I’m not. My mind is made up. I know you’re in pain over this. And I wish you nothing but healing. And someone who will love you. You do have something good to give. There is a part of my heart that is locked away tightly now. And yes, you’re the person in there. You’ve given me beautiful children. I have no hate towards you.
I have no desire to speak to you or sit with you. I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know where I’m no longer going.
Take care of yourself.
Signed: A Girl Who Became a Woman
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