Healing splintered pieces of ourselves means going back and giving love and healing to the past events of our life story where the pain is locked away. In an attempt at furthering my quest to become whole, I have composed this letter to my ex-husband. There is no me vs. you; no us vs. them, and that has to include our personal relationships as much as the big picture that is sometimes so vague, it is easier to assume is accomplished.
The real healing is work. When it is done, it feels like another piece of the puzzle assembled, another step of the mountain climbed.
This is my personal story, but I publish it here in hopes some piece of my story may resonate with you and inspire to facilitate a similar healing adventure.
A Letter To My Ex-Husband
It has been 7 ½ years since we divorced and even though we remain linked through our children, we haven’t taken much of an opportunity to really talk things through and discuss who we are now that it is all said and done. With February’s blogs being centered on love, I feel enough time and healing has taken place for me that now I feel the need to explore what that means and explain the person I have become as well as send gratitude for the person I know you to be.
At 18, we were both such innocent children, ready to prove to the world that we knew what love was and we had enough of it to succeed against the odds of getting married at such a young age. Remember we had to drink sparkling cider at our own wedding reception because we weren’t even of legal drinking age? I was a young bright eyed girl who lumped the responsibility of taking care of me onto you, to take over where my loving but very overprotective parents were leaving off. At many times, even though we were the same age, I looked to you to be my parent as well as my spouse. You are so tender hearted and loved me so much then, you felt you needed to help raise me and protect me in order to prove you were a man. You did your very best to take care of our little family. Don’t think I don’t know or appreciate that.
We went through the motions of conforming to routines and we grew up together, working menial jobs as we grew our little family. Even though you didn’t think we were ready, you went along with the idea of trying to have a baby because I needed to align myself with my picture perfect, white picket fenced identity. We didn’t have much then, but we had each other, and our co-dependence deepened.
We had babies and careers and the white picket fence. One day turned into another, and our life roles broadened, and I was fine existing in auto pilot, doing what was expected, each of us doing our best, but neither of us truly living.
Years later as my eyes were finally starting to open up to the world, I blamed you for being controlling and wanting my world to stay small. But in many ways, you were only fulfilling the role I gave you and you were lost when I wanted to change the rules. I was lost too, not having a clue who I was outside the roles we’d constructed and angry at myself for being afraid of everything. Once the path to becoming more authentic began to lay itself out before me, I had nowhere to go but deeper within.
I couldn’t console your grief as our relationship was ending because I was ashamed and embarrassed that my being birthed was what had caused its death. I’m sorry now that I was so embroiled in my own emotional drama that I couldn’t be more of a help to you. You had always been there to comfort me in my times of need but I had abandoned you in yours. We, who had spent our whole lives together by this point, each had no idea where to turn as we became pitted against each other. All these years later, I am still working on letting go of this shadow self of guilt and I want you to know I am truly sorry for the pain I caused. You never asked for the game plan to change and I’m sure it must have seemed like I pulled the rug out from under you.
I am truly sorry.
For me, getting through that dark tunnel in trying to figure myself out and stop being that little girl who needed protection, who needed someone to always know what to do…It was hell for me to have to rely on myself and figure my own way out. It was like several years stretched out in one long dark night of the soul, but no one could do that for me. I had to figure it out on my own.
Now, on the other side, I am forever grateful for the journey, and this birthing of myself and the recognition of my own existence, but I need to extend compassion to who you and I were and send healing for the pain that was in our past. That is the story of that half of our lives as I see it now.
I hope that the wounds have healed for you as well and the scars are easily managed. I hope that you too, are able to love yourself for who you are and move forward in all your relationships as the whole who has only just now been allowed to come into being.
I wish only for your happiness and peace as we continue to journey separately. Despite the pain and the anger that once existed in me, I am able to see you clearer, as much a victim of our established roles as I was back then. Love well, laugh hard, and be healthy. Thank you for taking care of me when I felt small. Thank you for trying your best to give me the space I needed to grow up, even when it terrified you.
I am where I am supposed to be now. Despite all of it, I am so very grateful to be here. I’ve read you can’t really appreciate the light until you’ve experienced the darkness. I am learning to breathe in the light of each day and I welcome its challenges.
This letter is sent as an extension of friendship and peace and growth and closure. I sincerely wish the very best for you. I hope you are filled with love each day, from your wife and family and especially from yourself.
And so it is.
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I am a 43 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast