I’m going to step out of my shell a little bit and be extra-vulnerable today. I was inspired to share this after reading this post by Larissa at thoughts simply arise. My thoughts and feelings about my divorce 2 years ago were pretty hidden from people not related to me. I talked with my counselor and my mom pretty openly, but otherwise, the grief and anxiety and hurt was kept to myself. I have about two dozen “private” posts on this blog that I wrote before I made it public that I’ve never shared with anyone. So today, I’m sharing one of those posts with you.

I wrote the following letter after reading about an exercise about letting your hopes and dreams from your relationship go so you can move on. Letting go of “what was to come” was one of the hardest parts about starting over– I was starting from square one, no longer having those same “goals” to work towards.

Now those dreams I had are distant memories, and my new experiences and goals and dreams are what I’m looking towards. My personal dreams are now more likely to be fulfilled without my ex in my life than they were with him.

This is from July 30, 2009:

The Loser, [his nickname before it became Voldemort]

Goodbye to the life we were trying to create. Goodbye to the hours dreaming and fantasizing about what our lives might be like, the places we will go, the people we will meet. Goodbye to the house we will never buy, the cars we will never drive, and the children we will never have.

Goodbye to making new traditions that are just our own. I will not be able to wake up next to you on Christmas morning in our own bed, sit across from you at our own table, and open presents meant just for us.

Goodbye to the friends we were making. They will no longer be our friends the way they used to be. They will feel like they will have to choose sides, feel uncomfortable by our decisions, and it will be uncomfortable to be around them all for long periods of time. I know you never really cared about them– you only were interested in what was in it for you, not what you could give them.

Goodbye to our dreams of growing old together and watching our lives pass before our eyes, each day a new adventure.

Goodbye to having someone beside me, holding me and loving me through the ups and the downs. I know I will feel that way again, but I have to say goodbye to trusting people easily. Thanks to you, I will now have a nearly impossible time trusting anyone again because everyone might have the potential to do to me what you did. I can’t bear to go through that again. My heart cannot handle any more betrayal.

Goodbye to your empty promises and “I’ll take care of it.” Tomorrow always became tomorrow’s tomorrow. I can’t believe I put up with you never following through with the small things that you “promised” to do– like the laundry, picking up the house, running an errand, making a phone call… I got tired of hearing you say you’ll do something, all the while knowing that it will not get done because you’ll find something better to do with your time.

Goodbye to the suspicion that you were cheating on me. I don’t believe you did, but the fact that I even thought you were capable of doing something so horrendous is heartbreaking. You’re not trustworthy or loyal. You text girls while I sit on your lap, and yet think nothing of it. Why would I trust you when cheating was the way you ended your last relationship?

Goodbye to the stress of where the money’s coming from. Goodbye to having to persuade you that whatever shiny new toy you found is too much money. Goodbye to being your financial support. Goodbye to feeling obligated to buy things. Goodbye to sharing and splitting money you have no right to spend.

Goodbye to all of your jobs. Every. Single. One. Goodbye to trying to make you understand that staying in a job, even when it’s not fun, is the responsible, adult thing to do. Goodbye to fighting with you about what stability is. Stability is not just bringing home a meager paycheck. Stability is being able to rely on you to be an adult and contribute to the household and care about my feelings. If I have no one to lean on, how is that stability?

Goodbye to your emotional reactions. Goodbye to plugging my ears to drown out your yelling and cussing. Goodbye to your disrespect. Goodbye to your temper-tantrums and your childish perspectives. We learned how to fight like adults, and yelling and screaming is not one of those ways. Neither is acting like a teenager and leaving me stranded.

Goodbye to your lack of direction in life. I’m tired of hearing about your new idea of the week that you will be tired of by next week. Goodbye to getting an education and being married to a man with any sort of degree. Goodbye to being married to a man who is no better than his alcoholic mother.

Goodbye to not standing up for myself and what I want. I know what I want and I will fight to get it. I was not brave enough to do so before, but I’m brave enough now. Goodbye to being a people-pleaser and trying everything I can think of to make you show me an ounce of love or affection.

And last, but not least, goodbye to feeling embarrassed about what has happened to our relationship. I was blinded by your lies and your sweet-talking, but now I see you for who you really are. Goodbye to any tears of regret I might shed. I do not regret my decision to end things. I deserve a better, happier, love-filled life and I was not getting that from you.

So goodbye… to you.