This is the Thank You letter that i sent to all of the people who supported me over the last year. I could not and i WOULD not have my dignity and objectivity back were it not for each of you. Having said that, there are some of you that i’m sure i missed. So with a bit of humility and tons of love and gratitude, here is your Thank You.
It is a perfect autumn Sunday here. It’s 60 outside and not a cloud to be seen. The trees slightly sway and bend to the breeze that a few days ago, was pushing beyond 40mph in the driving rain.
Three days ago marked the anniversary of the beginning of the end of my relation with my ex. It was the email that she sent me and that i have shared with most, if not each of you. The general consensus from each of you ranged from, “This is seriously fucked up,” to “She is insane and you’ll eventually see it and understand why you are better off without her,” and one person that said, “She needs a copy of The Ethical Slut.”
And each of you were right. I didn’t disagree with anyone’s assessment but taking what i logically knew to be true (or wanted to believe) and coming to terms with so many things- my destroyed confidence, my broken heart, depression and trauma (there are more to be sure) not to mention that these things eventually led to my losing my job, i had a lot of challenges to overcome.
So the 3rd of October came. While I’m still unemployed, some basic facts have changed. I have my dignity again. I have my objectivity again. I understand and know that no matter how unorthodox my life may be at times, I deserve a partner(s) that are capable of communication, respect, honesty and that will actually fight for our relationship when things get tough (especially after four and a half years and many discussions of marriage).
Each of you- be you straight, gay or somewhere in-between, from the polys, the kinksters and the norms that helped me these last twelve months, each of you were instrumental in helping me understand that no matter how unorthodox i may be at times, each of us are entitled to and worthy of communicating boundaries and expectations to our partners and having them respectfully addressed… and that someone that breaks up with someone else over the phone after a four and a half year relationship is a coward.
It is autumn outside. It is a postcard perfect day filled with life, brightness, a perfect breeze and the air smells of life itself. My head is bloodied but unbowed and because of each of you, i know that i am worthy… so very very worthy of someone that has a healthy understanding of love, respect, commitment and communication. The weather today seems to be a perfect reflection of not just how far i’ve come but of what i have to offer as well.
I would not be here today in the state that i am were it not for each of you; each of you that listened patiently, each of you that reassured me that even if i had made mistakes, that i deserved to be treated with respect, dignity and not with the emotional cruelty that had been inflicted on me. Thank you to each of you that helped me understand that i deserved better than an emotionally undeveloped fundamentalist bully.
I want to thank Tina for her discussions with me in June when i was in Texas for two weeks. Tina introduced me to the concept of attachment theory and how it relates to when we’re under emotional duress. This was particularly helpful given my issues of abandonment.
I want to thank my psychologist for the hours upon hours of listening to me and reassuring me that i, morally and ethically, i was in the right and that i deserved better.
I need to thank C for her objectivity in relation to polyamory and kink that i was largely ignorant of and for her never ending patience in not just listening to me but giving me feedback and challenging me when i needed it. She helped me understand that i was actually doing a lot more right than i thought i was and that, in fact, i was/ am a pretty awesome poly.
I want to thank MMR in Texas for being there at the beginning and for being so damned strong and articulate.
I especially want to thank the women i know that are survivors of rape, abuse and even incest that read what she said to me and knew what she held to be so important to her metastasized version of “freedom”. It’s largely because of them that I understand what she offered me was not love- not love for me, not love or respect for herself and most certainly not love for our relationship. It was the illusion of love; the infatuation of FEELING as though she was in love as long as it was convenient and only for as long as I fit her narrative- but we we all know, her version of love had about as much to do with true love and commitment as a rapist feels for their victim. Not even close.
There are a lot of folk that i won’t mention here but trust me when i say that each of you have my gratitude.
But more than anyone else that has supported me has been Shelly. I’ve known Shelly for the better part of two decades and we’ve seen each other rise and crash from our own failings as well as the failings of others that have been inflicted on us at various times. During the roughest parts of my breakup and subsequent breakdown, Shelly went out of her way to call or Skype with me and she let me rant, rave and cry without interruption. I honestly do not know what would have become of me or where i would be now were it not for her love and support.
As for the woman that i fell in love with and wanted to spend my life with, i don’t know. Maybe she was an act that she clung to because she finally had someone strong in her life. Maybe it is genetic. Without reservation, I can honestly say that she is very much her mothers daughter. They are both supremely accomplished when it comes to emotional shock, intimidation and bullying. They’re also quite adept at turning off empathy for others when it doesn’t suit their needs or when they are trying to assert themselves as superior to others.
Not that it matters. The content of our character is found when times are challenging, not when things are easy. It’s also found in our ability to apologize, to forgive and to seek understanding when it is most difficult and even when it isn’t. The content of my ex’s character was revealed to me in that note last year and looking back at my response (i spent more than an hour on Skype apologizing to her and explaining why my boundaries were important to me), i came face to face with my own insanity- and my own stupidity.
Not that she matters to me anymore. As so many of you, especially my psychologist (who also read her notes that she sent) that taught me, “You cannot allow her insanity to become yours.” I have washed my hands of her cancer- ironically because of a string of things she said to me (in e-mail, of course) this last July.
Once i have a job again or am able to go back to school (there is a program in Bellevue and one in Bremerton that i like), i’ll be ready to date again. Heck, i might even be ready to date now but i’d prefer to have a job first. Hopefully this time i’ll find a woman that brings as much to the table as i do and is serious about trying to make things work… someone whose character is worthy of my own. And i say it like that because at any given moment, if i ever need to see what kind of person i am, i simply have to look at those that i call my friends. You can never be better than the friends you keep. And knowing each of you as i do, that must mean that i’m pretty awesome.
with love and gratitude and looking towards the horizons in front of me,
ADDENDUM: If the “new” personality that consumed my ex reads this, do not write nor contact me in any way, shape nor form in response to this or anything else (and that includes by proxy) that I have to say. You embarrassed yourself quite enough in July and i’ve had enough of your pride, your revisionism, your profound disconnection from reality, your manufactured rage and your lack of accountability. You had your chance to apologize or show some modicum of humility and you chose not to. And during our relationship, you chose to allow someone you’d known for less than half the time you had known me to make you his personal property and drag you down to his level- and as you explicitly said, he was more important to your emotional security than i was.
You have not demonstrated the slightest bit of critical thinking, ethics nor anything that could be mistaken for genuine love for me or for yourself for that matter. Even if our paths somehow cross again, i have nothing to say to you and i will never let you touch me again. You will never wash the blood from your hands and i will never forgive you.