Dear AJ

Dear AJ,

Remember how we used to write letters to each other? We’d hide them for each other, waiting patiently for the other to discover the love note. Those letters were so special to me back then.

This letter is different.

There’s a version of this letter I could write, blaming you for every change in my life and disappointment I’ve faced in the last eight months.  I could say you’ve gotten away from your problems scot-free and here I am, yet again, cleaning up your mess.   Dealing with the storm you were all too happy to leave behind.

And, that just wouldn’t be fair.

However, that’s how I feel on bad days, which are few and far between.  What I am left with is life.  Despite your role in it, it isn’t your fault. It’s not perfect right now, but I am managing and actually managing well.

You should get the real, true version of this letter.

It’s been a few months since we last saw each other, but I’ve been thinking about you lately.  I’ve been thinking about how I haven’t thought about you.  How I almost can’t make myself think of you or remember you. You are literally less than chalk dust… It’s been weird to have you completely disappear from my mind.  I haven’t been able to recall what we were like together anymore.  Like I didn’t spend six years with you. As if I wasn’t ever married. I’m not even sure what I’d be like in a new relationship. The idea of relationships seems nearly foreign to me.

I’m sure you feel me disappearing too, if you haven’t already.  We are dissolving into nothing.  A story of the past.  A story I feel like I heard once, but I can’t quite make out the details.

It’s a new year and while I know our story is behind us, I think there is still something left to say.

I forgive you, and I actually mean it.

Maybe you don’t think you need my forgiveness.  Maybe you aren’t even sorry.  That’s okay.  I don’t need you to do a single thing to earn my forgiveness.  It’s just yours.  Easy as that. No take-backs.

Sometimes I think about what would have happened if we tried to save our marriage.  I truly believe we would have ended regardless.  We didn’t have the makings of a lasting marriage.  I always thought we did, but I didn’t know everything.   It would have been unfair to keep me trapped in a delusion of a marriage.  A marriage that looked so perfect but in reality, it was rotting and eroding from the inside. How much longer would I have stayed blissfully ignorant had I not found those photos?  Eventually, the truth would be revealed, or I would have made a mistake that you couldn’t have forgiven.  We just didn’t have it.

That’s why I forgive you.  Our ending was inevitable.  Our beautiful love story was short lived.   As hard as I try to remember the details, I can’t. I do remember how much I loved you. God, how I loved you. That was beautiful. If only it was lasting.

I hope you find something that is a lasting story for you.  I hope you find happiness. I hope you find a love that’s real for you. I hope you find whatever you need.

I also want to thank you.  Thank you for making our ending “easy”.  You didn’t fight me on my decision.  You didn’t fight me in court.  You didn’t fight at all.  You made it easy for me to be okay with my choice and move forward.

I’ve been able to heal quickly because of how agreeable you were.  I look around at my life now, completely different than it was just a year ago, and I am happy.  Things are still changing and my future is uncertain, but I’m going to be okay. I’m going to be great. I feel like you released me and I can be myself again.  The way my insecurities grew with you was toxic, and in hindsight, you helped those insecurities flourish within me.  I regained confidence after you. I became a badass again. I am unstoppable now. I feel worthy of receiving the love I was giving you.  I feel ready to love someone the way I loved you.  I feel confident I will find that.

I know I will.

The love I had for you is my favorite thing about the six years I spent with you.  It was so genuine and grew ten times each day.  My love for you was so overwhelming, I thought my heart could barely contain it.  I hope you felt it, because I woke up everyday hoping to make you feel as loved as you were. I can’t imagine how it will feel to love the right person. Our past let’s me know something unexplainable is out there for me. For you too. Isn’t that mind-blowing?

I am happy that we happened. I am sad it had to end. I am excited about my future.

So, I forgive you.  I thank you.  I hope the best for you.

~Erin

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