Months have passed since you broke my heart. I did everything I was supposed to do. I filled the painful hours with conversation, close friends, and yes, copious amounts of wine.
I fought the grief that threatened to smother me daily, slowly emerging with my heart intact. I discovered hidden value in knowing that your cruelty was a blessing in disguise, as it saved me from having to be with you. It took months for me believe your parting words that I deserved to be with someone better. I see now that you were right.
In spite of my progress, however, I never felt like I would be done with you. I searched endlessly for ways to put the past behind me, but never once felt truly free from it.
An unexpected realization finally helped me let you go. As I talked with my friend about all the horrible things you did, she gently asked if I was still angry with you. I told her I didn’t care enough to be angry anymore, but as we continued to talk, I realized she was right. I was still so very, very angry.
I let it sit with me, allowing the pain and the misery you caused me to sink in. I felt it settle deep into my bones, the simmering rage making it hard to breath. Struggling under its weight, I saw that the anger I felt towards you was my way of holding onto something that no longer existed. As unhealthy as it was, this resentment was my last connection to you.
I also realized I didn’t want you anymore. If you caused me that much pain, why would I ever want you back? Rather, I wanted what you took from me: my life, my dignity, and my trust. To regain control of my own emotions, I realized there was only one thing I could do. I needed to forgive you.
Let me be clear. You don’t deserve my forgiveness. You never actually apologized for what you did. You brushed away your guilt and lies as mistakes of the moment, yet still tried to manipulate me into being available when you were bored or lonely.
In the cold light of day, I realized I had been nothing more than a distraction for you from your empty life, and that’s why I finally walked away. It’s also why I stopped answering your texts and your emails, and why I became too busy to let myself cry over you anymore. The only downside to my self-imposed silence is that I never got to yell, scream, or show you why you don’t deserve to have me in your life.
So, I had swallow my pride and finally do the thing that was hardest for me: I had to forgive you.
It wasn’t instantaneous. Weeks passed as I sorted through my feelings, and it took immense strength to finally, completely forgive you. Once I did, however, I felt truly free for the first time in months. You have no more hold on me, because I chose to let my anger go.
Until that moment, I thought I was the one who did not get to be with you. I realize now that it is the other way around. There is nothing tying me to you anymore, and that is the true definition of freedom.