I still think of you, even now.
I think of you almost every day.
I dream about you sometimes.
I swear I see you everywhere.
It’s not that I miss you or that I wish you were here by my side — no — it’s deeper than that. Something more complex and much less savory. Something more unresolved. Like a frayed rope that exists —yes, still — after all this time, between our two hearts.
This mornings air had a chill and thinking of you easily sent a shiver through my spine.
I think of how I blamed you for everything — and deemed myself blameless thirteen years ago. I think of all the problems that cropped up, like belligerent weeds, between us. I think of the good and beautiful times we shared, memories inked like unforgettable tattoos, on the deepest parts of our souls.
We grabbed life by the horns together. Grew like glorious vines together. Laughed uproariously together. Forged mountains of ignited inspiration together. Dove incredibly deep together.
But we f*cked it up together, too.
We let our darkest fears and deepest triggers seep into our relationship like a virus and throw us around by our throats. We let our unhealthiest patterns of relating color and corrupt our experience completely.
Then the unthinkable happened. I lost my Mom suddenly. Yes, I know she was like your Mom, too…but working on us instantly turned in to the back seat of my world. I gave up. Not only on our marriage but on myself. Nothing in the world mattered outside of my Father and my Brother. I know I should have gone to you, spoke to you, let you help me — but everything seemed impossible and not about me anymore.
You tried so hard and I pushed you further away.We tried not to drown in the pain and bullsh*t of it all, but it was so hard to find the words back then. It was so hard to understand what was happening.
The bricks of what we shared — the very foundation that formed our at-times soulful relationship seemed to scatter, blow up and disintegrate so quickly.
We were good at stepping on each other’s toes — we were experts on it, in fact.
And over time, through the years — we stopped relating to each other’s hearts. Fear gushed into our perceptions, wholly altering the truth of the situation, we would look at each other and see only pain.
Hurt, anxiety, abandonment, distorted shadow figures of what was.
We saw our own sh*t.
Not each other.
But — and this is the key — the pain we felt was not actually caused by one another; it was already there, long housed in our hearts.
We didn’t know that at the time, though.
If we took a peek behind the scenes, we would have seen this: We used each other (to an extent) to play out the destructive patterns, the sob stories that were alive inside of us — before we even met. Really, we broke ourselves; we did not break one another.
And perhaps we both needed to break, so we could ultimately heal.
I know it was wildly painful for you, just as much as it was for me — and I know we did our best at the time. We both deserve a huge amount of compassion.
But we were both wrong. The things we said, the childish sh*t we pulled. The secrets we tried to keep silent from one another — from ourselves even. The power struggles and passive aggressiveness and manipulative mind games we flirted with.
We were both wrong.
Both of us.
It’s so freeing to admit that I played my part, too — it’s freeing to finally take responsibility.
Rather than just calling you toxic — I see the deeper truth that gleams from underneath the surface. I see that you weren’t toxic, but what we shared became that way. What we shared got poisoned because of both of us, as well as circusmstance.
And I’m not proud of my actions or behavior — but I can be honest. The untarnished edges of this honesty can crush me, just as it empowers me; it can humble me, as it cleanses me.
A welcome sliver of peace seeps in my heart, into the hallowed place where loving you will always be.
I learned so much with you about myself. About love. About needing to own my own sh*t, in the deepest way possible. It was this learning — with you — that ultimately set me free.
So I’d rather be grateful than angry.
I’d rather say what I never thought I’d say to you — thank you.
What we shared was wonderful but unhealthy, at times. However, it was ripe with growth. It helped me wake up and I hope it helped you wake up, too.
I hope it helped us both jolt to life, taste our truths, untangle the grittiest, most terrifying threads of our bullsh*t and learn to love ourselves, for real.
I’m sorry for the parts I played.
We were both wrong.
It was my fault, too.
I still think of you as the moon comes out to play with the stars.
I send you wordless messages across the miles delivered by the breeze.
A whisper. A feeling. A fragile trail of stardust —
Thank you for loving me.
You will always be a part of me and I’m happy we made promises before God that, some, I will always keep.