Okay so I have been working on this for a few days now. It is a letter that I wrote to my husband, and at the end to my cats, my MIL and to myself. It is a letter detailing what I wish I had had the courage to say to his face. I will never send him this letter. It is a way for me to let go. I want to cleanse the negative energy from my life.
I will warn you that it can be dark and possibly triggering and maybe even offensive to some people. If you are really sensitive then maybe you shouldn't read it. I will not post any comments that seem to be judgements against me. I own my feelings and I am entitled to them.
I met you when I was 22 years old. I still remember the circumstances surrounding that. I was working with a friend of yours. He thought we would get along. I had never had a boyfriend before. I had never been kissed. I was living a pretty sheltered life with my parents. I had never lived alone or really ever done anything on my own. I was taking a break from college because my Mother enrolled me when I was 17. I almost flunked out, and I think I did that to rebel against her. I resented that she would not let me do what I wanted to do. Which was go to Mortuary College. Everyone thought I was crazy for wanting that, but it was my dream. I felt that my parents had raised me to be unable to take care of myself, so it was never really an option for me to move to another state to attend college (there are no Mortuary Colleges in West Virginia).
I gave my coworker my phone number to give to you. I did not think you would ever call, but you did. I remember seeing your name on my parent’s caller ID. Immediately, you pressured me in to meeting you that night. I did. I never really felt any sparks. I didn’t feel much of anything for you, actually. You were supposed to be going away for your summer job in a week anyhow. I did not think that I would ever see you again. But you did not stay there, instead you came back. And we started what would be a disastrous relationship. I can not help but wonder how my life would have been different had you not been unhappy with the living conditions of your job and come home.
I don’t really remember the details clearly of this time. I remember always thinking that you were not very ambitious. I worked a lot, as much as I could, actually. I was always working. I started working at 15. I worked two, even three jobs at a time. You would work in the summer then just hang out the rest of the year. You played a lot of video games. And your hygiene left a lot to be desired. You didn’t see the point in brushing your teeth or wearing deodorant, and you always looked like a slob.
I truly have no idea how I ended up with you. Neither did anyone else in my life. But I suspect my childhood played a big roll in that.
From the time I was 7 I have battled my weight. My Mother used to feed me diet pills as a child. She had this obsession with me not getting fat. My Father always told me that “Boys wouldn’t like fat girls.” I truly never did think that I would be worthy of anyone loving me. My Father also told me that when I grew up my husband would beat me for not being a good enough housekeeper. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I did not think I could do any better and decided to latch on to the only man to pay attention to me.
I never felt anything. Kissing you made me feel sick. Being imitate made me feel worse. I would try so hard to come up with excuses to avoid being intimate with you. I have no idea why you would want to stay with me anyhow since I didn’t want to sleep with you. Not that you could have found another woman who would want to be with you. I really think I was the only one and will remain the only one. Many times I truly wondered if I could be a lesbian, because you repulsed me so much.
The first real abuse that I can remember was when you told me that I was worse than the terrorists who crashed in to the World Trade Center. You said that I was bad because when I was a teenager I ripped a picture of a figure skater out of a magazine. I got caught and had to pay a large fee to the library. That was the extent of my “bad side”. You were a full out cleptomaniac and admitted to stealing books from the local bookstore- however, my magazine picture was worse than that. I never could understand that- however, you were a genius and I believed that you were smarter than me. Of course you wouldn’t have passed English 101 without my help, but still I felt totally inferior in your presence.
The first physical abuse that I remember happened because I did not lavish enough attention on you in front of your friends. You were really mad because I knew a fact that you did not know. You were livid that I would do that in front of your friends. You did not speak to me for days. When I tried to talk to you about it, you backhanded me on your parent’s front porch. I felt that for days. I could feel your hand on my face.
You did not apologize for that. And when I told you later on that I would never allow you to hit me again you laughed at me. Obviously I did not follow through.
When you destroyed my parent’s living room furniture, my Dad banned you from our house. I still did not leave you, despite the damage. I was so stupid.
What hurt me the most was that you took away my choices. You made me do the dishes the way you wanted. You made me grocery shop in the order that you wanted. You made me put the shower curtain in a certain way like you wanted. You would not let me wash my car if I wanted. I was not allowed to eat some of the foods that you did not like. And what is worse, is that you made me feel ignorant for the way I did or liked things.
You called me “idiot” all the time. And “bitch”. I remember when you locked the computer so I couldn’t do my online assignments. You had a password set up and the question was “What are you?” And I would have to type in “A bitch” every time I wanted to do my homework. That broke me, B. I want you to know that that broke me. I want you to know how bad you made me feel. I want you to know how terrible I think that you are.
I believe that you are Satan. When I went blind in my right eye and they weren’t sure (and still aren’t) if I had MS, you punched me from the right side. You came at me on the side I was blind in so that I couldn’t see it coming. You are a coward. You are not a man. You never will be a real man. Real men do not hit their wives.
I remember the time you got mad at me at a gas station and you left me there. My purse was in the car. So here I am, no clue how far from home I am (we were traveling), no phone, no money, no nothing. I waited for a long time. You finally came back and asked me if I was ready to behave. If I was a good girl, I could get back in the car.
Fuck you. That is what I should have said. I didn’t. But I wish I had. If I could do this all over again, it would have been totally different.
I never stood up for myself. I never told you that I deserved better. I have no idea why. I had nothing to lose, you were already hurting me.
I ate. A lot. It was my only way to deal with the pain. I gained over 200 pounds. I don’t even recognize myself when I look at pictures before I met you.
I went back to college. I had a 4.0 GPA. I scored off the charts on my teaching license exams. I scored in the top 15% nationwide over a five-year period of time. Everyone at my University hated me because I was acing everything. You called me an idiot, and even after achieving all of that, I believe it.
But I am not an idiot. You are an idiot. You will never find another woman who will even want to go on a date with you, let alone marry you. I can’t help but think that the same will not be true for me. Because I am a good person. I am smart. I am funny and witty. I am not skinny, but I am working on it. I do nice things for people. I treat people with respect. I make people laugh. I am a motivated person. I am passionate about my career. I reach out to help people who are in the same situation and I encourage them and try to help them to see that there is life on the other side of abuse. I am none of the things you called me. I don’t have to wash the dishes the way someone else wants me to. I can hang my keys up on the keychain holder if I want to. I can wash my car anytime I want to. I don’t have to ask for permission to do anything. I am 31 years old. I am an adult. An educated, capable, fabulous grown up. I have a lot to offer the world. I dare say that the man who captures my heart is pretty freaking lucky!
And most of all, I deserve to feel good. I deserve to feel happy. I deserve to laugh freely. I deserve to hold my head up high and to be proud of my accomplishments. I deserve to be treated respectfully and to never have to live in fear of the next slap or kick. I deserve to make friends and KEEP THEM because I don’t have to be scared of what you will do or say to them to keep them from talking to me.
And I can promise you this- I will never settle for anyone less than what I deserve. EVER AGAIN! So if there is a person out there on the planet that might be for me- I wish you luck in convincing me of that. My STBX has made it that much harder for you. But I am worth it!
I have decided to forgive you, because that is a gift that I am giving myself. I have earned that piece of mind. I still think you are evil, but I can not keep playing the “What if” game in my mind. I picked wrong. I made a bad choice. It is time to let it go and move on. I put up with your abuse for eight years and 88 days. And I am thankful every single day that it wasn’t eight years and 89 days.
So goodbye. I am sure that I will see you in reference to the divorce. I will miss the cats. If you ever do meet someone, I hope that you are able to learn from your mistakes. I hope that you can treat her with respect and love. But mostly, I hope that you live alone forever, because I don’t think you can ever be with someone in a gentle, loving way.
So, this is officially it. I will no longer allow you to take up so much space in my head. I have $1.00 of energy a day, and I intend to use it on ME and MY interests. Not on my mistakes and your abuse. I think that could possibly be the best gift I will ever give myself.
Cornflake, BooBerry and CocoaPuffs- I love you and I am sorry that I had to leave you behind. I was financially unable to take care of you when I left. The marriage counselor said that B loved you far more than he would ever love me, so I feel secure that you are well taken care of. I am sorry that you experienced pain or felt as if I had abandoned you. I know that you are just animals, but truly, if I could take on your pain, I would. I know that you have forgotten me, because the time I saw you, you did not remember me. I am thankful for that.
MIL- you were a good friend to me over the years. I am sorry that I can no longer maintain a friendship with you. I will miss going to see figure skating with you and the times we spent sitting at your dinning room table chatting. I harbor no ill feelings towards you or FIL. You are truly good people who tried to raise your son the best that you could. I am forever grateful for the time you helped pay my medical bills when I had surgery and no insurance. If I am ever able to pay it forward one day, I promise that I will.
Jaime (yes, me)- I am sorry that I hurt you and abused you all of these years. I am sorry that I believe what B said and that I underestimated your ability to thrive. I am sorry that I used food as a way to cope, and have put you through physical agony on a daily basis. I am sorry that overeating has caused you to commit a long and slow suicide, and I promise to try and stop that immediately. I am sorry for the pain you feel every time the kids get upset when you can’t take nature walks with them or play more on the playground. I am sorry for the isolation. I am sorry I allowed someone to stifle your laugh and your smile. I am sorry I let him break your spirit. I promise that I will never let another person hurt you in that way again. I promise that I will be strong enough to walk away. I promise that I will be strong enough to let you live your personal truth, instead of constantly trying to manipulate you in to the box your parents, coworkers and general public want you to fit in. But most of all, I am sorry that I ever let you feel like you were not good enough, because you are an amazing person all by yourself.