Thank you for leaving. You helped teach me who I am, what I deserve, and what I want.
I’ve read your email. Here’s the shocker, you don’t like me. I searched for a long time for the meme that said something along the lines of “Hmm, you’re my ex and you don’t like what I do or say. I’m sure you’re the only person in the world who feels that way.”
So, yeah, there’s a bunch of stuff that I’d love to write back to you. I’d love to comment on all the hateful things you’ve said to me. Is it weird that I find myself both grateful for the kids we had together and then sad that it’s only because of them that I have to have any sort of correspondence with you?
But here’s what I know to my core: all I really want to say to you is THANK YOU. Thank you for the way you cheated, blamed me, and then left – even though I begged you not to go. It took you doing EVERYTHING you did to me to be where I am.
It took you leaving to give me the peace of where I stand today.
Don’t get me wrong: I am not the martyr or the victim. I played my part. And my worst sin was making you my “god” and expecting you to make me happy and worthy. It took you leaving to make me realize that when your “god” leaves you feeling worthless, you’ve given your power and value away.
Every day after you left I had to do the work of reminding myself of my inner, inherent value. I’m so grateful that you- yes, the abusive you – taught me how to love myself in spite of what anyone thought of me. It’s because of you that I did the work on myself to put the energy out into the universe to find someone who fell in love with me as much as I love myself.
Because of you having the strength to leave, I found my strength to not only raise our children but raise myself up to the level I deserve.
I’ve found love again, and this time on my terms. I wasn’t the girl fresh out of college worried about “the next step in life.” This time was intentional. Because honestly, there wasn’t a part of me who felt like she HAD to get married again.
I also want you to know that looking back on my life, I don’t regret marrying you all those years ago. Full stop. I’m appreciative for the times I thought our life was perfect, and most importantly, the amazing children we had together. They say that the way you tell your story has changed is when you’ve truly moved on. I don’t hate you. I don’t love you. I feel nothing for you other than gratitude for knocking me off my equilibrium. You had the guts to pull the trigger on a really bad situation when the fear of being divorced – not losing you – kept me grasping at straws.
My new husband sees me. The me I discovered and fell in love with before I met him. He appreciates my strength and fell in love with my spirit. Together we raise five ridiculously cool kids and have never used the “mine” or “yours” label ever when we talk about those amazing souls who sometimes drive us up a wall. He gave me a card the other day that said: “Spoiler alert- this story ends with me loving you forever.”
But you wanna know the best part? If he doesn’t, I’m okay with that. Yes, it feels amazing to know someone feels that way about me. He adores me, respects me and – here’s the real kicker – dotes on his “new” children as though he’s known them since the day they were born. If he ever wants to leave, it’s gonna suck big-time. But it will not destroy me like I thought it would when you left.
Thank you. I don’t say that flippantly, to get back at you or in a snarky way. You helped teach me who I am, what I deserve and what I want. I can truly say that you hurting me did not destroy me but annealed me into the beautiful mom/wife/friend/woman standing here today. Thank you for teaching me the lesson I didn’t know I needed to learn.