“Dear You. I am writing to tell you that I’ve moved on. It took me a long time, and even though I still feel moments of anger and sorrow, I can finally say that I no longer love you. I lived trapped with you in a roller coaster of emotions; between love and fear, anxiety and pain, and some sick yet sweet knowing that we had to stay in it. No matter how ugly, we would see things through, lick our wounds, and stay together. Even if that meant upholding violence, resentment, moments of hatred, abuse and vile behaviour. The very low lows, met with those very high highs.
I got out.
Looking back I can see how far in over my head I was, living in a cycle of abuse I did not know was abnormal. You were my drug. I was entrapped in the ups and downs of psychological manipulation: losing my sense of self to please you, withstanding endless gaslighting, believing every sermon that you preached to me, allowing you to tell me that I should just be a different person. Believing when you told me I wasn’t good enough. Keeping quiet when I wanted to tell you my emotions. Pretending I was ok when I was miserable because I wasn’t allowed to be me. Feeding into your manipulation because I didn’t know my own worth.
How could I ever deserve those things? No one does.
But I’m here to tell you that I see it for what it really was; and you, for who you really are. And it took a long time, but I forgive you.
I am even thankful and grateful to you because I gained so much insight and knowledge from our twisted partnership. I got through this and came out the other side a whole, sane, beautiful, and valuable person. I was strong enough to finally say no and build myself up from there. I was saying no to you and all the others before you who also let me down, knocked me down or made me doubt myself.
If it wasn’t for you, for what we went through, I would never have come to understand my true worth and my true “faith”: faith in self and in this beautiful journey of self-realization; faith in real love; faith in the divine universe; faith in every human’s interconnectedness. I wouldn’t have started to see daily miracles open up before my eyes. I wouldn’t have developed a deep love for Yogi life and wouldn’t have learned to be spiritual. I wouldn’t have begun to journey into the unknown solely relying on my own strength of mind and heart. I wouldn’t have begun to see that me, and everything that I am capable of, is all that I ever needed. I wouldn’t have met the series of amazing people after you that began to change my life. And so much more. I am grateful to you for those big life lessons that at the time I didn’t want to face.
I am a better person because of you. Perhaps not in the ways I would have liked; like a true friend, a soulmate, a confidant, a beautiful connection. But nonetheless, the lessons have enriched me to seek out what is good, know what is right and lovely, and hold it close. Those things aren’t you and they never will be.
So, thank you, I forgive you, I’ve let go. Goodbye.”
PAIN & ADDICTION
It took over a year to come out the other side and really believe the words I had written. I had been in an addictive, very bad, and toxic relationship that had continued on and repeated through several different people.
Why was I addicted to that pain?
I knew what was bad for me, but couldn’t get out. I had lived the despair of so many threats of “It’s over!” and “I’m leaving you!” but still hung on to the vicious cycle of always going back. I fell into this pattern of dependency over and over, relying on others for acceptance, love, and growth, and staying with people who gave me anything but these basics.
Many of us who are in abusive relationships find it very hard to get out or accept that we are in a relationship that is destructive, one-sided, or inharmonious. We become accustomed to this process of being broken down, or feeling like we deserve mediocre or subpar treatment, or we are just unable to be strong enough to walk away.
It doesn’t even have to be abusive per say. Perhaps it’s just an unsatisfying or unhappy relationship. Maybe it’s years of constant bickering. Years of routine with no love and affection. Or something that’s worn out through time and has just become a source of pain, resentment and anger.
How do we get out? How do we move on?
WHAT IS LOVE?
“… Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more!”
For me, I did not understand my own self worth and this is where I had to start. I thought love was something I had to find in someone else or give to someone else. I believe my concept of love had been (mis) shaped, not so mysteriously, by so many long projected unattainable societal or Hollywood movie norms. It had to be some perfect fairy-tale role played out by one dominant male and a very subservient woman. Think ‘Beauty and the Beast’ , ‘Cinderella’ or any other Disney movie or rom-com from childhood. We literally grow up thinking someone will save us. We want to live out the American dream of a white picket fence house, the standard two kids and a dog. Some of us never stop to think that this is not what we even really want, that maybe we don’t even want to be married, or that being a youngish single woman in her 30’s is also a way to live and feel happy.
And as for relationships, I’d go as far to say that many modern day relationships are very co-dependent in nature; in some way one of us, or both in a relationship, are already lacking in individuality or a solid sense of self, self-love, or self-esteem. We look for someone else to validate these aspects in us. We even seek this out from people we don’t even love. We want validation and recognition because our ego demands it.
My ego demanded it. I wanted my partner to love me like I couldn’t love myself.
I stuck with these people too, even when stuff got ugly. I thought destiny was to find my other half, a soulmate, a life partner, a “best friend” and live out my life no questions asked, no walking away, no giving up. Ride or die until you die. Take the expression in Spanish “medianaranja“. It literally refers to a partner or significant other as your ‘half-orange’ or your other half.
Since when are we all half oranges looking for our other halves to complete us?
Many of us might go through life seeking praise, compliments, and material gifts, or feel that perhaps a girlfriend, boyfriend, wife, husband, lover, or friend with benefits can give us emotional, financial, or sexual stability. We want to feel “in love” rather than have a true soul connection. Can we possibly conceive that our entire concept of a “relationship” is distorted?
In my own soul searching, through healing and through Yoga, I’ve realized that real love should require anything but which I had experienced. Love includes independence, trust, gratitude, generosity, freedom.. . I feel it requires a divine connection that a conditioned egoic mind can’t wrap itself around. But I say this humbly and with only my own life experience to base things on. I do ask questions now that I feel might be helpful for everybody to ask themselves: Do I have to have a partner? Why do I need monogamy? Is being in love true love? Do I want to be married?
I think we should question the real essence of love and our view of intimacy and relationships . I have started to believe that this altered state of “being in love” might not be the way we should feel at all.
HEALING THROUGH FORGIVENESS
Regardless of how we each define love, I wanted to tell my tale of addiction because it wasn’t one of drugs or alcohol or other more commonly viewed “addictions” like shopping, smoking, or social media, although those abuses existed to some extent in my life. I just hope that if I could help one person in telling my story, perhaps I can save someone from having to write a letter like the one that I wrote.
My healing process started with forgiveness. First and foremost, I had to forgive myself–for picking the “wrong” person and for ending up with the short stick on relationship luck. For staying so many years. For complaining so much to my friends. For all the self loathing. For all my victimizing. I learned that It’s OK. It’s not my fault. The fact of the matter is I never deserved that, but now I most certainly can make a change for the better.
And so I then began to forgive the person who hurt me. That might be harder than the first part. I often thought, “He doesn’t deserve to be happy for what he did to me.” And there is where I let my pain and resentment fester and stay stagnant in time, not allowing me to move forward, let go and be free. It’s easy to resist “allowing” this graciousness for a person you feel hurt or hurts you. But forgiveness is release. Letting go of them means a chance at feeling indifference; the chance of never having a day where they enter your thoughts, disturb your mind, and affect your emotions. Forgiveness mean getting over it forever, releasing the past, and really moving on.
So, Let it go. Like flowers releasing their petals in spring to start over, released and moving on with the cycles of our beloved Mother Earth. Release to make time for all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Time to explore, time to go on adventures. Time to write, dream, fantasize, be awake, be alive and be here in this moment, right now.
Time for Yoga. Time to medidate. More time to love yourself. And time to investigate and question love.
Most importantly, what’s left behind when you forgive is you. Beautiful, glorious, stunning and brightly shining YOU.