“The Doctor has come into your life and has given you a gift. You have been offered a do over. You are allowed to redo one moment of your life.
What moment would you do over? Why?”
I have thought long and hard about this because in reality, though there have been really bad decisions I have made in my life, there is little that I would do over. I have my husband, my children and my grandchildren in my life. Even the most horrible things that have happened to me and finding the strength to overcome them has made me who I am. And I am finally getting to the point where I may actually like who this person is now and how much stronger I hope to become.
The only thing that I can think of that I would change is a letter that I wrote and sent to my first ex-husband. He was my first real boyfriend, the first person to love me for who I was. Problems and all. I met him my senior year of high school. We worked at Burger Chef together. He was the nicest, sweetest person. He could make me laugh and smile. I loved his laugh and his smile. I loved the walks we would take on summer nights and the conversations we would have. He listened to my poetry and I listened to his. In all of my pain and trying to regain my sense of self I had forgotten about all of that. I had forgotten about the man who loved me and the man I had fallen in love with. Not sending this letter would not change anything except for the hurt I caused him. The person who loved me and wanted to stay with me no matter what until I tore him apart and threw him away because I hated and despised myself so much that I could not fathom, could not believe that anyone could love me as much as he said he loved me. I just couldn’t believe it.
I did terrible things during our marriage. Terrible and unforgivable as far as I was concerned. My problems with sexual addiction and depression were at their all time worst during that time. Memories and flash backs to the abuse, the rapes, molestations and incessant criticisms of my mother, father, grandmother, stepmother were replaying constantly in my head. “You are lucky he wants you.” “You have to marry him, you have to stay with him because no one will ever love you or want you.” “I have never been proud of you, you have done nothing to be proud of.” “You deserved everything that happened to you, you are a tramp.” All of this and more constantly playing in my head. I began to see his not sticking up for me against my family as a betrayal and proof that he agreed with everything they said.
How could he not agree with them with everything that was going on? That I was doing? How could anyone want me after all of that? I pushed and pushed until I pushed him right out the door. I was so sure I was destroying him, killing him by not making him leave. Being married to me would destroy him. I am not saying he was perfect. There were things that happened on his part that made the situation worse and reasons that I could not reconcile with him at a later point, but they were healthier reasons then why I initially left. But, the letter I wrote telling him that I never loved him; that he was a great guy and I thanked him for basically giving me the time of day and for marrying me in spite of everything, that letter was so wrong.
As I have gotten better and allowed myself to remember some parts of my past at that time I came to realize how much he had loved me. And that I had loved him. I realized that no matter what I thought I was doing and that I thought the letter might actually help him deal with his emotions it was the most selfish and hurtful thing I have ever done to someone. I had deluded myself into believing that I hadn’t loved him because it made it easier to deal with what I had done. How can you really love someone and do the things you did? I now know that you can love someone like that and because of mental illness and pain do horrible things. And because you love them it makes everything worse. To the point that you have to make yourself believe that you are worthless, unlovable and unable to love.
I was unable to love. I was so terrified of allowing someone inside of my heart fully that I could never allow it. Not for many years. Not until my third husband and with that marriage I learned that I could really love someone, have them tear my heart out and stomp all over it…Karma is a bitch you know….and I could survive. I learned that I can allow myself to love someone completely and it wouldn’t kill me; the husband I have now.
From what my daughter has said, her father had difficulty letting go of me emotionally and of course the current wife didn’t take too kindly to that. She was abusive to my daughter for years because of it. Supposedly things are much better between her father, her stepmother and her. I hope so. Though I don’t know if I can forgive either of them for what they did to her. What would I say to him now? What would I write in a letter?
I want you to know how sorry I am. How much I want your forgiveness for what I did to you back then. For the terrible letter that I wrote to you saying that I never loved you. How could I have done that to you? You were the first man to ever treat me kindly and with respect. You loved me with all your heart. You once told me that the first time you thought you could love me was our first date and it was raining hard. Your car stalled because of a huge puddle and I had to get out and help you push it out of the road, wearing white pants no less. What girl does that? We laughed about it. As I have healed and allowed myself to think about the past and that horrible period of my life I have allowed myself to remember. Really remember emotions and feelings. I have talked with my husband about writing this letter and he knows that this letter is about healing and forgiveness, not about disrupting your life or wanting you back.
There are different kinds of love. And I have a love for you as someone who gave of himself. Trusted and loved someone enough that you were willing to marry them and be with them no matter what. You were my friend first and that is the love I remember best. Summer walks, fireflies in fields of grass and trees. Poetry under the stars. Your playing guitar. You always did play well. Introducing me to Willie Nelson’s Stardust. You were and are a great person. You deserved then and deserve now the best. I just want you to know this; I did love you.
Love and blessings,