This is going to be a tough one but long overdue. Do you remember her? Did you find her? Let me ask you this… was she the same? After all the time has passed and words have rested on deaf ears was it all worth it? Can I be honest, you always talk about honesty. I know the day everything fell apart, the day when she realised that it was over. She stopped feeling. How much can one take? Wrong question, how much can one give? That’s what women do, isn’t it? We give and give with every element of our being. It’s in our nature. Well that’s what he was taught to think anyway… That’s what the world taught him. But as they say is it really that deep? Is the world really to blame for your break up? For the break up of you as a whole first. With the subsequent break up of them. Him and Her. Yes patriarchy is a motherfucker. It seeps into families sometimes. It allows men to think conjugal roles should remain segregated. Now I already know what you’re going to say.
“But she was multifaceted, different, vibrant, ambitious, beautiful, she was who he fell in love with...”
She was. You’re right but do you know what else she was. Defiant. Stubborn. Oh and lets not forget about the post natal depression. Imagine that, seriously, finding out you’re the 1 in the statistic. The 10% in the leaflet your health visitor dropped off during her first visit. Those days were dark I remember those too. Cold and so lonely. Pardon the pun but in the madness she made peace somehow. She found resolution, it took long enough. He wasn’t just hers. She was his. They were the #goals their friends went to for advice. They were the childhood the lasted 4 and a half years.
19 is so tender yet they chose each other then. It really is all quite poetic. Falling in love is spectacular and captivating. Why don’t we talk about falling out of love? Have you ever watched someone fall out of love with you? Could you conceptualise that person waking up every morning with you? I need you to imagine this same person sharing your rhythm of life. Would you be scared if this person looked back at you, in every reflection? I would. That’s what happened though, that’s why she didn’t tell anyone for a while. Six months to be exact.
When you take these deviations off the path you foresaw it can surprise you. It’s very unnerving, I’d say she didn’t know what she was in for. Getting lost in the fog is a rigged walk, hardly a leisurely stroll. She didn’t see it coming, so fucking unprepared. But how could she have been more aware? I remember you likening it to a mishap. Its more than a mishap, its a fracture. I see it like this She and He pretend, to live happily ever after and silently disintegrate into 20 years later.
They move like strangers in the same surroundings, only acknowledging each other in passing. Co-existing. Exhausted by the pretence. Then there is the alternative. To be autonomous and be comfortable in whatever version of happiness is left. But when will she feel the positive she foresaw? The head and heart battle is cliché. But when they DON’T contradict each other it’s gut-wrenching. It means that what she thought was as accurate as it felt. It left a sour taste in her mouth. His too. In these moments of clarity she realised that nobody wins. You don’t win.
Before you share certain things in life you have an internal conversation. Long before you can even think of letting the words leave your lips; you get consumed in your own thoughts. Its true to her nature that through each wave of emotion she tried to learn something. No matter how painful. No matter how raw. She knew there must be a reason for all of the “uncontrollable” instances. Unfortunately she wanted someone or thing to blame.
Hi its me.
I’ll tell you exactly what I learned. Accountability is important for growth, my growth. It’s easy to be the victim of life, people, circumstances…yourself. But that’s a total bias. He is a good person and so am I. We just stopped being good for each other and she deserves the best of us.
I allowed my life to be determined by what I didn’t want. Maybe because it took less work. I guess it is scary, saying you’re fine and making sure you’re fine are so separate. The idea that I could possibly liberate my own soul never occurred. Yet now my open door for happiness is never closing. I feel happy again I’ve learned to re–love myself. Yes I’m still my worst critic and I may always be. But, I’m also my biggest cheerleader. I believe in my own abilities. Don’t get me wrong I’m under no illusions my journey is anywhere near done. I’m only 24. I absolutely spent some evenings on the sofa with Ben and Jerry feeling sorry for myself. My PND took me to some places I never want to go again. It also taught me that I can’t shy away from the reality of how much life has changed. That it’s okay to not have taken to the giant leap I took as a person. Surprisingly its been hard to admit that while I feared not being able to let go of myself in favour of motherhood, I did the total opposite for a while. I vanished from myself and thankfully I rose to the occasion of being a mum.
How this happened I don’t know because I never thought I was maternal but our bond is so fulfilling and magical. The purest form of love. Finally I’ve learned to understand that I don’t have the answer to everything and my answer is I’m okay with that. This is an ongoing process, I would have loved to write this letter in retrospect. It wouldn’t be honest though. I can say I am proud to be here in this moment as I am.
To answer those questions: I do remember her, I take joy in those memories. No, I didn’t find her because she grew up and learned some things. She’s not here anymore I am, thank goodness I’m not the same. I don’t know if it was all worth it, I still wish I did. It doesn’t matter how much I gave or took, it was my choice.
. . .
For Valentines Day 2018 I have done for myself something I have never before. I am giving myself something I’ve forever longed for. A love letter. (Still feels slightly cringey) Its my writing, specifically to say well done girl, you did good. Things didn’t work out how you expected and you know less now than you thought you did but there is so much power in that realisation. Never entrust your happiness in someone else’s heart it’s your responsibility and not fair to them. The darkest of your days are over for this period in your life but next time don’t greet them with such denial. Your mental health is not invincible so treat it like a limb. Its okay to feel lonely sometimes this chapter is new. Don’t supress your emotions. Praise yourself when you need to. Never apologise for who you are. Be your own best friend always. Treat yourself the way you want to teach her to treat herself.
You are not an island.
This was from you, by you, about you, on your terms, trusting your own instincts, because of only you.
Savour the feeling.