I can’t wrap my head around what is different this time. Why is it that I am able to finally let you go?
Thinking back, nothing really happened. I was sharing my feelings with you, and then you started yelling about how dramatic I was, and how miserable I was making you—nothing new. And you left like you always do while I lay on my bed crying, like I always do.
Yet, something clicked in my head. I realized that I did absolutely nothing wrong. A relationship is supposed to be reciprocal. You talk, share and take care of one another. I realized, in that moment, that this was the 7th time since New Years that I lay in my bed crying. The 7th time I lay in my bed racking my mind, trying to figure out what happened.
That’s when I decided to channel the strength it took me to hold on to you to let go of you. I still don’t know why or how I am able to do this.
Maybe it was because my old friend messaged me for the first time in years, or maybe it was because I called my Aunt for the first time in months. Maybe it was the realization that I was holding on for all the wrong reasons, or maybe it was because I realized how unhappy I was. It was as if I had an out-of-body experience, and I watched myself trembling as the infinite tears streamed down my face.
Finally, I had enough.
I understand all of the corny quotes I used to roll my eyes at. I experienced “the final straw” for the very first time. It wasn’t even a large straw. It wasn’t the two times that you told me you cheated on me, it wasn’t the time you escaped to Chicago without telling me, and it wasn’t the several times you convinced me that you were breaking up with me—only to show up several hours later miraculously fine and unwilling to discuss the previous events while I was forced to swallow my feelings and pretend that I was okay.
I had grown so weak and my feelings had grown so fragile that a one-sided argument, and you slamming the door without saying goodbye, was enough to push me over the edge. Alas, I find myself on the bottom of a steep cliff in physical agony from this heartache; even so, I am incapable of taking you back. I would rather go through a “temporary” torture than risk subjecting myself to the blows of your temper tantrums. I would rather sit in my car sobbing because I lack the strength to walk up the stairs into my apartment building than subject myself to the uncertainty of our previous relationship. The uncertainty that ultimately destroyed me. I feel like a phoenix struggling to claw myself out of the ashes of the love you took advantage of.
Every time I feel myself growing soft or missing you, I remember all the times I caught you talking to random girls on snapchat. I remember the one time I responded to a strange number in your phone, “who is this?”—only to receive the response, “O***, are you kidding?” I remember the deception, the immaturity and the game you felt entitled to play with my heart. The heart I willingly, wholeheartedly and naively gave to you. The one I foolishly trusted you to take care of. The one you stepped on time and time again for what I can only decide was for your twisted entertainment or the need to assert your power over me.
I am taking the power back, and here I am alone.
This is awful. In fact, I can confidently say that this is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my entire life. It’s as if you died. It’s as if I lost someone, and I did lose you. I am willingly shedding the part of me that you tainted. I am letting go of the girl who swallowed her pride, set her morals aside and struggled against her better judgement to please a man who didn’t deserve her. Not only am I letting her go, but I am kicking her out. I don’t want to remember the weakness she had. I don’t want to remember the efforts she made to change the imperfect human she was to satisfy the terrible person you are. That’s where I’m at now. I think you’re terrible. I love you, but I think you’re terrible. Maybe it’s that precise clarity that is allowing me to let us go.
As I write this, I think of the fleeting future I envisioned for us. I think of our vanished house and our potential children. I think of the lost visits to Iraq and the missing summers we would have spent with your family. I think of the vague wedding dress and the disappearing vows. I envision the illusory image of us growing old together, and the imaginary grandchildren we’d play with.
Like mist, I let the prospect of our life together evaporate into thin air. I force the love I feel into an abyss of nothingness, and I embrace the numbness my heart craves.
To answer my own question I previously posed: nothing changed. The relationship did not change, and if I hadn’t made that rash decision on February 15th, I am sure that the relationship would be the way it always was. I realize that I am not able to let you go. I will love you forever, and I will never let you go. After all, it was not you I let go—I let go of the version of myself who allowed you to mistreat me.
I decided it’s time to finally throw away those roses you got me for Valentine’s Day.
Goodbye for now. Goodbye forever.