To the Young Woman Who Stayed Too Long
Thinking Things Would Get Better
He told you he could see himself marrying a chocolate goddess who he could bring forth life's greatest gift with. His fingers seduced you with strings on an acoustic guitar, and his voice serenaded you into a false sense of home. You stayed for five long years thinking, no praying, that things would get better, all for it to crumble beneath your feet one lone night. The phone he used to sit out in the open, he now clutched tightly in his grasp close to his chest. The password is no longer a mix of your birthday and anniversary. He leaves the room to respond to anonymous texts and exits the house to answer calls. You finally work up the courage to demand the truth as you are two seconds away from losing your sanity. As he opens his mouth to speak, you can't quite believe the words that come tumbling out next. He doesn't know if he ever loved you or if he could ever love you.
You start to look back at all the tiny moments in your relationship a little differently. Before today, you thought he was only trying to encourage you to do what was best for you. Now, you realize he was only trying to turn you into a mannequin he could manipulate anyway he sees fit. He poked fun at the weight you gained, only after you were both together. He gained weight as well, but you don't point it out to him. You know that he is sensitive about the extra pounds. He believes the goals you've accomplished and the dreams you have created for yourself, pales in comparison to his. He doesn't like the fact that he's graduated, but you are still in school, or that your bank account reads $300, while his reads 30 grand. He fails to realize that you are a catch, and you are going to do great things in the world someday. He missed out.
You are resilient. Many in your position would have given up on obtaining their degree, but you didn't. Pretty soon, you will be walking across the stage. That little weight added to your midsection is nothing to be ashamed about. That weight will be unnoticeable once you lose the back-breaking weight of a little boy trying to dress up like a man. You are going to become everything you've dreamed of being. Your bank account will grow as you grow. And when you turn, you will see a little boy stuck in the same place he was when he thought he was better than you. He'll come crawling back, trying to whisper those same sweet nothings in your years. Maybe things will be different this time around, but that is not for you to figure out. Your job is to figure out your next steps once your tears have finally dried up. What do you need? What do you want?
If you need to surround yourself with friends and family to stop the feeling of being alone, I will gladly hand over my phone or make the calls on your behalf. If you need to lock yourself in a room and curl up in a ball in the middle of the bed, all I ask is for two seconds to make sure you have clean sheets. If you need to pretend like he never existed, I will go through and scrub all the pictures, texts, and call logs from your social media and out of your phone. If you need to find an ocean to scream over and let out your frustration, let me grab the snacks and plug in the navigation. Allow yourself to feel and allow yourself to heal in any way that you need to. Don't berate yourself for how long you stayed because that time allowed you to learn whatever lessons you had to learn. It taught you your breaking points. And when the love of your life finally comes along, you will be able to spot him a mile away. So dear young woman who stayed too long thinking things would get better, they will get better. They will get better as you learn who you are on your own.