Do you ever see an image that touches your soul so deeply?
I saw this image today (below) on my Facebook feed, and if I had the power to, I would have reached through the screen and wrapped my arms around the person that shared it — because you know that person is going through something that you can relate to. To that person I want to say, that you are not alone.
I bet this wasn’t where you thought your life would end up.
You met the man of your dreams, and you experienced a feeling inside that you never felt before. You can’t stop thinking about your lover. You rise in the morning and go to bed at night obsessing about this new relationship and what your future would look like together. Soon, he took on your kids as his own. You let him in — unguarded — because you fell in love, and he loved you back. You trusted him with your heart, and your kids hearts, because he showed you the kind of affection and kindness you never knew could exist. He was your knight, and to your kids he was their confidant and protector.
But along the way, something happened. He withdrew from you, and from the family you created and entrusted him with. You started clinging to hang on, but he was transforming before your eyes. Who is this stranger? The man you fell in love with is in there somewhere…right? Better keep hanging on. Better sacrifice your dignity and self-worth to resuscitate the love inside him.
I bet you didn’t think you would go to bed alone while he “worked.” I bet you didn’t think he would say “not tonight honey”, and I bet you didn’t think you’d be suspicious when he took his phone with him when he went to have a shower. I bet you didn’t think you’d call him while he was working just to see if he would pick up — and I bet you went to bed with tears in your pillow when he didn’t.
You see, I know you. I know the tears you had to wipe from your kids eyes when they asked why he left, and I know you went to the bathroom afterwards to wipe your own. I know when the evening arrives and you go to bed alone you’re wondering if he’s sleeping with someone else at that very moment. I know the light on your cellphone is on at 2:00 am because you’re up googling “Why did he do this to me?” or “How to get over heartbreak.” I know that you look at that shattered light switch that he broke when he got mad, and think that he could have at least fixed it before he turned his back on you.
I want you to know that you are doing a good job. No, you are doing a REMARKABLE job. I want you to know that you are beautiful inside and out, and that this is just setting you up to be with someone better. I want you to know that you are unstoppable and capable of things that you never even dreamed of. I know you feel guilty about letting him in your children’s lives, just to have him leave you in the end. But guess what? Your kids still see you as their hero, and they are resilient. I know this because I see the pictures that you post on Facebook, side-by-side and in the arms of your children. I know you’re paying all your bills, and in full, with no help from him. You don’t need him; you’re doing just fine. I know that you caught that spider, and trapped that mouse you were going insane trying to find. I know that you figured out how to use that steam machine, and you broke out those tools like the bad-ass you are — and I know you fixed it too.
I know that you can’t even fathom the idea of moving on; that it would feel like “cheating” because your heart still clings to the hope that he will walk back in the door…but I also know how lonely you feel without having a man to call your own at night. You miss his arms around you at night. You are not alone.
One day you will see that this was all setting you up for something better. I see the sadness in you with that image, but I also see the strength that is about to emerge. You’re on your way sweetheart. Like a butterfly finding its wings, you will soon break free from your caccoon, because real love is waiting for you around the corner. Soon you are going to meet someone new and he is going to treat you so well. At first you won’t believe him because you’re not used to the compliments; he saw to that before he left you in shambles on the floor. You will suspect you are being used for sex or money — maybe both. Eventually, your hardened skin will soften and you will let him in. Before you know it, the man who caused you to share that image on Facebook will just become someone who you used to know.
I know you, and you are an incredible woman. Hold your head up high, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. Fight until you have no fight left — because you will always have 30% more.
You are not alone.
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