An Open Letter to Her

I just needed you to be sorry for so long. 

I wished so many days you would show up at my front door. I wished you would show up to retrieve the dagger you viciously sank in my back. I thought maybe then the wound would finally begin to heal. God knows I’ve reopened it a million times. I just couldn’t get over the “why”. Even though I knew there could never be an explanation, I still tried connecting the dots.

I had to come to terms with the fact that it just isn’t in you. You don’t have it in you to truly acknowledge the gravity of what you have done. You don’t have it in you to acknowledge the havoc you wreaked on my life and the devastation you left in your wake. You grieved the bridges you burned with all our mutual friends, but I never heard you pay true penance for the fire you set on my entire world. Why do you cower? Look at what you have done, and own it. It’s yours. You helped make this mess.

Marriage is fucking hard. Friendships… Friendships are supposed to be easy. But you’ve shown me friends can break your heart just as deeply. You showed me that you cannot control someone’s loyalty. Just because you treat someone with love and kindness, doesn’t mean they will return it. Just because you value someone tremendously, doesn’t mean you are worth the same in their eyes. You showed me that a “friend” can hurt me worse than an enemy could ever dream. In friendships, you surrender a piece of yourself. You give that person little bits and pieces of your heart and your life, and you trust that person to keep those parts of you safe. But, you ran away with them, and you never brought them back. You were incredibly reckless with my friendship, and you betrayed my loyalty and trust. And we both know I didn’t deserve it.

I grieved you. If I’m honest, I missed you. My sad, masochistic heart missed you, even after everything you did.  I mourned the person I thought you were for a very long time. And when I didn’t miss you, I fucking hated you. 

Why him? Why would you pursue my husband? Why would you try to take the only person I’ve ever loved? Why would you take everything I confided in you and use it to infiltrate my marriage? How could you steal precious time away from my child? How could you pretend to be my friend and kiss my husband? How could you take him to your bed? How could you lie to me over and over?  How could you look me in the eye every single day? How could you listen to me cry as he pulled away? Knowing it was you he was running to? How could you look yourself in the eye? How did you sleep at night? How could you do this? Why?

I know you want nothing more than for this to go away. I know you could care less what happens to me as long as you get to move on with your life like nothing ever happened. I know I’m nothing more to you than a painful reminder of the consequences you’ve had as a result of your actions. I know I’m the truth that complicates the feeble facade you try to hide behind. But I didn’t get to hide from this, why should you?

And how exactly did you see this ending? You had to have known it was going to go down in flames. Maybe you thought I was just going to be collateral damage. Maybe you thought I was just scorched earth. Maybe you thought no one would find out. But everything comes to the light, eventually. And I planted seeds in a sunny spot in the ash. I’ve been sinking my roots into new ground. I’ve been rebuilding. I’ve been healing. Here I am. Why won’t you confront it?

I said I forgave you out of spite before. I didn’t really mean it. How could I? You had just cut me open, and you still had my blood on your hands. I wasn’t ready to forgive you. I was fucking dying. But, I thought that by saying those words, I was better than you. I thought it somehow proved you were lesser. I know now that true graciousness can never be born of a bitter heart. True peace could never grow there. I needed to begin healing before I could ever forgive you. I had to be honest with myself. And, now, I want to be honest with you.

This has been the most painful thing I’ve ever had to endure. You made a choice for me. He made a choice for me. Together, you made a choice for all three of us, but you left me in the dark and made decisions at my expense. And I’ve shouldered the cost of your indiscretion. I had no choice, but to grit my teeth and bare it. 

I spent so many nights thinking about you. Wondering what you were doing. Wondering if you ever thought about me. Wondering if you ever thought about my family. Thought about my husband. My life. I spent so many nights hoping. Hoping you would be miserable. Hoping you would be alone. Hoping you would pay for what you did. Hoping you felt half as broken as I did.

The pain was all-consuming. It was agonizing. I thought surely it would kill me. I thought surely it would leave me hardened. Calloused. But, I’m still soft. I’m still willingly vulnerable. And I want to put it out in the universe: 

Not even you. I wouldn’t even wish this on you. 

No matter how much I hated you. No matter how much I prayed you would disappear. No matter how much I wished I had never met you. No matter how many times I wished I could go back. No matter how many times I wished things could be different. I would never wish you to feel so hopeless that you thought the world would be better without you. That your son would be better without you. No. My heart can’t genuinely wish that on anyone.

We make ourselves vulnerable so that we can connect and love others. Some return that love. Some do not. Some people come into your life to make you laugh and fill you with joy. Some people come into your life to make you cry and teach you the hard lessons. Some stay forever; Some don’t. You came into my life to do the latter. To teach me the hard lessons. To make me cry. To knock me off my feet. And I survived it. 

You can keep running from your mistakes, but you can’t hide. What you did carries a heavy price, and karma will hold you accountable. Someone’s going to walk into your life and take something precious from you. Or someone is going to abuse your trust. Devalue your kindness. Lie to your face. Manipulate you. Talk behind your back. Someone is going to teach you a very hard lesson. Knock you down. Leave you lonely. Someone is going to give you back what you’ve been giving. But I want you to know that someone isn’t going to be me. 

I finally see I don’t need or want revenge. I’m ready to let go of you, so I can learn to let go of the idea of you… The idea that I did something wrong to make you do this. The idea that I wasn’t worth honesty or just plain fucking decency. The idea that your shallow affair was anything more than a sick, ego-rubbing game. The idea that you were ever anything more than a hard-learned lesson in love, in friendship, and in life. 

I finally understand that I can’t forgive your actions. I can’t forgive what you took from me. I can’t forgive you for hurting me. I can’t forgive your betrayal. I don’t have to. I am entitled to my anger, to my sorrow. But I can forgive you, as a person, if that makes sense…. I can forgive you for being a broken human being. I can forgive you for being lonely. I can forgive you for being self-destructive. I can forgive you for being flawed. Because I relate to being all of those things. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. I get it. I can let you go, so I can protect my heart. So I can patch up the rest of my wounds. So I can move forward, a little wiser and a whole lot stronger. 

This won’t define me. I hope it doesn’t define you either. I hope you clear the wreckage your life is in, and you rebuild something bigger and better. That’s what we did. That’s what we are doing. It doesn’t happen overnight. And it doesn’t heal without a scar… And it doesn’t come until you truly face the parts of you that are not all that pretty. You can never grow as a human being until you stop feeling sorry for yourself and deal with your mess. Believe me – I have done more than my share of the work. You have to take responsibility here on out. Let your past serve as a reminder of the sort of person you want to be, the things you want to stand for… And never take your life for granted again. Never do anything as evil as this ever again.

I believe wholeheartedly in redemption. I believe in second chances. I am living on second chances right now. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve had to do – to move on without an honest apology from you – but as I’m refilling these empty rooms, I see there simply isn’t space for you here. I am learning to love the sound of the closing door and the sound of my feet walking away from people who don’t see my worth. I am saying goodbye to anything less than I deserve, anything less than happiness.

Therefore, I’m saying goodbye to you.

Goodbye.

10 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Her

  1. I seriously love you. You are one of THE strongest people I know. God has so many amazing things in store for you!!💕💕

  2. You are one of the strongest people I know. The best role model I’ve had in my life. Keep up the great work being a mother and an amazing sister. I love you! ❤

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