How to Say Goodbye.

XX,

I hope you are okay with me returning all your stuff. I am not doing it out of spite, but because they no longer feel like mine to keep or to cherish.

For a long time, I operated on the belief that anything, absolutely anything, is possible if you worked hard enough for it. I was well aware that there were going to be challenges going into [this] relationship, something I had never taken on before–– challenges that would cause problems and conflict, but that with patience, communication, understanding and most importantly love, that the relationship could endure. That it would grow with us. That if we never gave up and if we stuck to our promises, that we could genuinely weather any storm, learn from our mistakes, and grow better together. This has and will always be the foundation of every relationship I want to last. I had committed to this with the full intention that we would survive the test of time and distance. That through forbearance and perseverance, it would see me to that future we built up together in our minds. I envisioned the home we’d have, the wooden chess set in the library and lock on the mancave, those German Shepherds in the living-room, the Stitch onesies and yellow shoes on the basketball court in our backyard, and how we’d tell our kids that we made it through that. That thing that everyone else fails at. That thing that tears everyone else apart, but not us. We could tell them that they could achieve all things with love, because we, ourselves, were a testament to that. & I committed to making the effort and sacrifice where necessary to make it work, and with the tenacity that love brings, to bring us to that future.

But I realize now that in order for that dream to have actualized, both parties would have had to believe it. & that just wasn’t the case. I wrongly put you on a pedestal, believing you could push through anything and everything because, whether consciously or not, I believed and still do, that I deserve someone on a pedestal. It was an act of self-care and self-preservation, a vain pursuit. I was imagining someone who was capable of fighting ceaselessly, and that isn’t reality. We are only human. I mistook you for someone who was invincible and perfectly hardworking and perfectly patient and perfectly vigilant. I thought you’d be the soulmate I’d create, not find. I apologize, now, for not seeing you, but casting you in a role. For, instead, seeing this person in my head of who I thought you should be, and not allowing you to grow naturally. I apologize for not seeing the flaws and faults that we all have. For not seeing your humanness, your susceptibility to buckle under the weight and strain, as we all have. You frequently told me, “I’m only human,” but because I was so blinded by my demand that you stick to this idea in my head of who I made you out to be or who I thought you could be, I’d get so confused, or angry, or annoyed when you’d make a mistake or step out of that role. And for that, I’m sorry.

I know now, too, that I relied too heavily on you for validation. When you [betrayed me], I thought it broke a part of me that I mistakenly believed only you could heal. So, I sought you time and time again, thinking as long as you loved me that I could love myself, that your reassurance would bolster my own self-perception, my own value. This, too, was a mistake on my part. I am not broken. I never needed you then, nor do I now. I only wanted you. & it, too, was a challenge I had never encountered before because I had never been so thoroughly betrayed by anyone else. It was a shock to all the fundamental beliefs I had of love, of hard work, and of my worth. When we failed, I felt I, alone, had failed and my attempt to fix something already broken was an attempt to control the situation and remove that feeling of failure within me. So, I clung onto you thinking I could repair, with my own hands, this broken thing. That by fixing it, it would justify and validate my own ego, my own capabilities. & I resented you for that even while I still loved you, even when I knew deep down that wasn’t the truth. Still, it brought so much anxiety and despair, but I believed that with time, I, you, we could grow better, stronger, more adept to each other’s styles. I knew then, as I know now, that love vacillates between easy days and hailstorms and I believed that once we passed this one, we could sail smoothly again. I’ve newly discovered though that some things and some people just need to be let go. Some boats really can’t weather all seas and sometimes you have to break them apart before you sink with it, hold onto the floating pieces to keep yourself from drowning and to keep yourself afloat.

So, this is my goodbye. [My thank you for the love and the effort and the heartbreak and the lessons]. My “I let you go and let go of the reality we carefully fashioned together.” My “I am doing well, and I hope you are too.” I hope our next futures bring us to a better place. That we both find ourselves and grow better for those already in our lives and those who are coming into them. & I hope you find the peace you are looking for.

One thought on “How to Say Goodbye.”

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