In my Rebuilding class, we write a goodbye letter. I wrote mine but I need to feel it. It may be TMI for some of you. I have thought hard about this. And I think part of my Rebuilding is letting go and Believing I CAN let go. So here is my Goodbye Letter.
I started to tell you goodbye. After two pages of solid, single spaced, tiny handwriting, I hadn’t even gotten close to the goodbye part – I was still tracing history. And I realized I wasn’t saying goodbye because I haven’t gotten past the blame.
The blame I have taken for our breakup.
The blame I want to assign to you for not loving me. For never loving me. For lying to me about being my Prince Charming. For pretending to be the other half of “the perfect couple.”
And then I realized that I need to say goodbye to the blame, to the past, to the dreams shattered, the heart broken. I need to say goodbye to the pain of never being heard.
I admit it – I wanted the perfect life. I wanted 2.3 kids, a dog, a picket fence, a vacation home, and lots of cousins and grandparents. Most of all, I wanted love. To love and be loved, warts and all. I wanted to be the girl you thought you married. I tried to be a good wife, a good mother, a good Sunday School teacher, children’s choir director, Brownie Mom, Denmother. When that didn’t work, I tried to be the best law student and then the best lawyer. Something – anything – that would bring back the dream. The dream of us, of our family, our extended family, all of it.
When it became apparent that nothing I did would ever be good enough, when you gained 50 pounds and told me you didn’t care because I was killing you, I broke. I schemed, I planned. I told you to leave – it’s what you asked for all those years ago. It’s what you said you wanted when the kids went to college. So I gave you an early release for bad behavior.
And you hated me for it – you said I was selfish. I wrecked the dream, I ruined our future. I damaged the children.
I wore a big D on my shirt. I was shamed. I failed. I lost the future – grandchildren in rocking chairs on the front porch, growing old together, holidays, milestones celebrated, family time. All gone.
Despite my friends, my family, your sisters, my children – telling me it was OK, I started to believe you. I started to take all the blame and the guilt and to doubt myself as you were always so good at making me do.
Until today when I put it all down on paper and said Wait. This is a child’s dream built on a foundation of make believe. The 5 year old in me wanted Prince Charming. The 18 year old girl thought she found it. The 30 year old girl clung obsessively to it. But the 40 year old girl woke up and saw the lie for what it was.
Maybe I could have done it better. Maybe I could have been kinder. Maybe I could be nicer some days. Maybe you could, too. But today I am saying goodbye to the blame. Today I am saying goodbye to the childish dreams that never had a chance of coming true. Today I am saying goodbye for being a foolish girl in love with a lie. Today I am saying goodbye to the heartache of trying so hard to get you to notice me. Good-bye yesterday.