When You Close The Door Behind Him, Lock It Up

Woman with windblown hair standing near an ocean at dusk
Timothy Paul Smith / Unsplash

“You know he’s no good for you.”

This is what they’ll tell you. Your best friends. Your mother. Your aunts. After you’ve poured your heart out to them so many times after finding out he’s cheated on you – again, and oh, by the way, he has another child that’s a month older than your youngest. And her mother gave the little girl his last name. Your last name. And by the way, she’s coming for Thanksgiving – the holiday where your son died so now you hate holidays altogether. They ask when you’re going to be ready to leave and sigh when you say you don’t know because you love him. Because you’ve given yourself completely to him and lost yourself so long ago you don’t even know where to start looking.

“Why do you put up with his bullshit?”

I don’t know is not an acceptable answer. Neither is because I love him. You can’t even lie and say you’re with him for the kids. You wonder if there’s a part of you that’s addicted to the pain. You are a doormat in the name of love. And the disapproving and sympathetic looks from the women in your tribe don’t help. Even when you know they’re right…you’re going to go home, and he’s going to touch you, and their words will fade away until the next time.

“You’ll know when you’re ready to leave.”

They can’t tell you when that will happen. Or what will happen after that. They can’t tell you that he might do every and anything out of spite to ruin you just so you’ll come running back to him. How he’s more upset that he didn’t leave you first this time. How he’s going to use your own kids as weapons against you – all in the attempt to make you collapse in his arms like some dumb B movie.

And then one day, there is no next time. He threatens to leave (again) and you lock the door behind him. There’s a strength in you that replaces the weakness and you are more addicted to that than any love spell you were ever in. The sun breaks through the darkness and you see yourself again in the mirror – and you like what you see. You know you’re in a fight for your life to keep your home, pay the bills, take care of your kids and not lose your mind. You work 60+ hours per week and push through 20 hours of sleep and with the help of energy drinks and 5-hour energies you somehow make it through this life. But it’s yours. It’s not for the sake of, or in the name of, what is passed off as love. You find someone who knows what that really means and you finally see that this is what they were telling you the whole time.

Even in the darkest times, remember the sun will shine in the morning. You WILL have tough days, but you are tougher. You have gotten through worse and you’re still standing. You will love and be loved. You will realize locking that door behind him only opened windows for you to fly free. And you will fly, my dear.

You will fly. TC mark

One story, told five ways…

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