I never thought I would be sitting down to write this. I have been juggling so many thoughts around this past week, so many feelings : Figuring out where I stand and deciding where I wanted it to take me…
I sat down with ‘her’ last week, face to face.
I opened up my Facebook Messenger to a letter she had written for me, delivered unceremoniously through a mutual friend on social media. I read the first few sentences, scrolled to the bottom to find it signed in her name, then immediately shut off my phone. I was shocked, completely blind-sided, and then I was furious.
Why now? Almost two years later, why would she choose to message me now? Now that I had made it my intention to move on and slam that door shut, why would it be opening again?
I perched over that unread message for a couple hours: Decided in anger I wouldn’t read it, knowing wholly I couldn’t possibly not. If I didn’t get it over with, those unread words would have haunted me to no end. So, I read it. Twice consecutively. Tears in my eyes. Anger in my heart. Old blood boiling. And then I ripped that door off the fucking hinges.
“I got your message. I feel like this should be a dialogue. Let me know when and if we can talk.”
And so, the next morning, I found myself sitting across from her. Knowing that in a past life, she was the perfect embodiment of the monster from my worst nightmares; yet, strangely, she sat in front of me, and it felt like I never even knew her. It was almost out-of-body. There were three people sitting in that backyard: She, me, and who I used to be.
We had barely said hello, and words just began spilling out of my mouth. All the things I had wanted to tell her for so long… All the pain and the anger rushed out of me so fast, I’m not sure I even stopped to take a breath. I was only there 30 minutes, but I filled the air with two years worth of grief and sorrow. And as I emptied my head and heart on her lap, my anger towards her dissipated. I felt like I wanted to hug her. This person who had betrayed and hurt me beyond repair, I wanted to embrace her. Not because I wanted to be her friend, not because she deserved it, but because in that moment I realized she was still stuck where I was a year ago. Lost, fucked up, and unable to see a way out. I felt all the hate leave my body, and I knew I had come full-circle in our relationship and its purpose. I stood up, and I walked away from it all. Got in my car and breathed the deepest sigh of relief in my life.
Closure. That is what it felt like.
An ending for the girl that thought the pain of what happened would kill her. And a beginning for the woman who walked out the other side with her head held high… It is amazing what personal tragedy can do for the human spirit. This experience changed me. It completely rewired my brain and reset my priorities. It introduced me to my true self.
I want people to know that I am a fighter. I stayed in my marriage, because it is worth fighting for. I wake up and fight every single day to change my life and the trajectory of its path. I applied to go back to college. I have commited myself to health and exercise. I write, read, and take pictures. I listen to a motivational message every morning. I take my kids to the park or the library, and I play with them. Actually play with them. And I laugh and I appreciate my life and I do my best to fill every single day with actual living. Because I am a fighter, and I will fight for the life I deserve.
I am never a prisoner of my circumstances. I am done asking, “Why now?” And commiting myself to saying “Why not?!”
I don’t understand why things happen the way they do. Why we seem so damn eager to hurt the people we love. Why terrible, unfair things happen to us. Why we hold onto pain and anger so easily. Why we hold onto people who aren’t meant for us. Why we never allow ourselves to reach our full potential.
I know now that it is never a question of if something bad will happen, only when. Why let it steal everything from you. Why not leverage it and use it. If we have to suffer anyway, shouldn’t it be worth it. I would walk through this hurricane all over again, just to experience the sun I have now. It is that worth it to me. I read two years ago, on another affair blog, that she woke up one day, and everyhing has changed. Just like me, she could barely get out of bed in the morning, barely eat. Had no will to live. And then, something in her snapped. She said, “I am not happy for what my husband did. I am not thankful he had an affair, but I am thankful for what it has taught us about each other and about life.” I thought she was crazy then, but today, I finally understand.
I am better now.