As you all read this post, I am sure that several of you may not be expecting the words to compose and weave the story that is here to tell. On some levels, I find it hard to understand myself, but I am no longer burdening myself with things do not have to be understood. It has been a wonderful year, despite the wreckage I had to climb out of not really all that long ago. The hurt and desperation has faded into the past, and I have to share my appreciation with all of you, even though these words will most likely never reach the person to whom they are intended. This is not of concern to me, and I guarantee all of you that if I never see this person again, it will be too soon. However, I have shed the negativity, and I choose to send out words of encouragement, of hope, and of appreciation
In just a few short weeks, it will make a year since I have been free of your presence. In seventeen days, I will have the first of many anniversaries of freedom from your control, anger, paranoia, deceit, and iron fist. Eleven and a half months ago, you spotted my porcelain white skin with the undeniable evidence of your malice and cruelty for the last time.
Despite the suffering I endured at your hand, I will no longer lament and mourn over the years of my life that you selfishly squandered away. You may had been untruthful with me from the very beginning, playing my emotions and needs with orchestral precision, but I will not mourn the time that slipped away. You see, I offered myself to you honestly, with genuine affection in those early weeks, and if you ever felt one positive emotion toward me, I can say with an unburdened heart and absolute, unwavering faith in my mind that I earned it every step of the way. I opened myself up and let you see what was really within, and in turn you simply deceived me, thinking I was your fool.
However, I must tell you that true fool in this case is you. For you brandish what you think you are worth around like we should all fall at your feet and perform an act of obeisance to you as though you were a god. You are a fool, naïve and oblivious, because these machinations you do with full knowledge that if you ever allowed anyone to see you for who you really are, you would be alone. So you stole what I initially felt for you, and you used it against me to try to manipulate me into staying. You were undeserving of the best of me the entire length of the way, and I have come full circle and I have made peace within myself that this was always the case. I feel no shame, no regret, no humiliation, and no anger, because it only serves as evidence that I am a woman created of love and integrity, and with this I will always act in concert.
This letter will not find its way into the vast expanse rife with accusations, hatred, or insults. We are fully aware of what you were able to do in the presence of my silence. Instead, I spill these words across the page so I can put a voice to the gratitude I have in regard to what you did for me. Your domination, your tyranny, your control have taught me things about myself that I could never know unless and until I was faced with such impossible futility of me and you.
By way of your relentless brutality, I have learned that I am strong and courageous, to the point perhaps of being bold. I never ran and hid from you. I faced you. Sometimes I defied you, and often I had to fight you off to preserve my own life. I swallowed the fear, and I did the riskiest thing I could ever do in this life by leaving you. Walking out and showing you that I had enough. Bold to rip away the control from the talons and claws you call your hands. It takes a certain amount of daring to think that after all you took away I could make it on my own. That I could build my life back up and be even better off without you.
As a result of your addiction, stealing my money, and refusal to meet your responsibilities, I have learned that I am resourceful, perseverant, and able to handle monstrous workloads. It isn’t an easy feat to figure out how to stretch forty dollars to last for a month’s supply of food for two adults and a cat, but after a few practice runs, I figured exactly what places I needed to go. Not only did I have to handle my own personal, financial, medical, and educational responsibilities, in addition to the housework, cooking, laundry, and working a full time job, I handled everything for you as well, including doing your drafting work and applying for employment on your behalf while you ran the streets. And I learned that I could do it all under immense loads of stress.
But there were two things you taught me that are worth far more than these, and it was these things you tried your hardest to keep me from seeing. First, you tried to misguide and deceive me into thinking that I was unworthy of love, that I was not valuable enough to be treated with kindness, mercy, compassion, and the most basic level of respect. Every time I hear the kindness and affection in Kerwyn’s voice, I know in my heart how wrong you were. And beyond this I need no further proof of the value and worth that lies within this soul.
Above all, you showed me that when everything thing else around me is falling apart, when my back is against the wall, and I am left bare and alone to endure, I am not ever truly alone. Further, when I felt that I did not have the strength or courage to allow myself to trust or have faith in anyone, I cast the fear and desperation upon Jehovah, and I trusted that He would sustain me and give me what I needed to survive and endure you and the wisdom and boldness to leave when it was time to go. And when I look back on this past year, all the evidence I need for this stretches out behind me like a river.
All I had to do was walk out that door and leave you behind, so this is what I did. I did not act in bravery or boldness that day. I acted out of respect for the life that Jehovah gave me. If I love Him, how could I allow you to mistreat this gift any longer? For that is what I am, Kevin, a gift, and even if you fail to recognize this about me, about any woman you were or shall be with, we as women are not created to be objects for you to do as you choose, for you to abuse and mistreat in the name of possession. We were created and assigned with honor to be the weaker vessel, but this word “weaker” does not refer to our worth and value as human beings. For we are not less worthy than you as a man. We are simply built to be a compliment to the right man, a God-fearing, loving man who knows how to assign us the respect and love we deserve. And a true man will recognize that we are a gift and acts accordingly.
If I was so unworthy of you, Kevin, tell me how I failed? Tell me exactly what my error was. Did I not keep the house in order, wash your clothes, cook for you, made sure you had your medications and kept your doctors appointments, care for you even at the end of us after you had shoulder surgery? Did I not administer insulin, bring you back to consciousness all those times you crashed and were convulsing in seizure like fits? Was it imagination that I regularly examined your feet for signs that your diabetes was worsening? Was it not me who comforted you when you father passed, when your sister passed? Was it not me who provided for us both, who fought the endless battles you waged by endlessly burning up the money and causing me to figure out ways for us to get by? Wasn’t me who tried to find you work, who helped you fill out every piece of paperwork you had? Did I not teach myself to draft so I could finish projects that you abandoned in the name of the streets? Was it not me who somehow managed to find a place to live each time after we were evicted, and I had to pack up and move every last object in every apartment on my own? Am I not the one who unpacked it all? Who changed our personal information with countless places? Who gave it more than normal human strength to somehow make a home out of the disaster you caused?
How was I the one who was unworthy, Kevin? How was I the one who failed? It was not I who put us the constant upheaval we faced, but thank you so much so proving to me I was strong enough, consistent enough, stable enough, and wise enough to straighten it out. No one would fault me for saying I owe you nothing. In reality, I would not find one person in my life who would disagree. But I feel do owe you a thank you, an acknowledgement of appreciation, for all these things you taught me…. and more. You were so busy trying to convince me that I was valueless that you have done quite the opposite. Rather unintentional on your part, I can acknowledge, but it is the case just the same.
I also feel that I owe you some kindness. For the horrible things I wished upon you in the weeks just after I left. For referring to you as a monster. Perhaps you are, but from this point forward, I no longer will call you anything other than your name. Instead, I will offer up prayer for you and hope that your transgressions will be rectified not by permanent death, but instead by you simply turning away from your course of disaster, from turning aside from the bad, and changing your ways. I will pray that you take steps to rectify and repair the damage you have brought to others, that you will return to the family you abandoned and care for them, provide for them, and support them, even if this means you are not allowed to do this from within the household. Your daughters are growing into beautiful young women without you, and they deserve a better male role model in their lives than the one you have provided for them thus far.
Why should I be so kind after all the cruelty you dealt? On some level I recognize that you are human, and according to your imperfections you have acted. On other levels still, I know there are things you have done long ago that you regret, or why else would you be trying to so fastidiously numb yourself with that poison you keep so close to your side? Why else would you take your anger out on someone who only showed you kindness? I exhort you to see that it takes far less effort to be kind and loving, merciful and compassionate than it does to continuously fuel the rage that is ravaging your life. You are making the choices impacting your life, and you alone have the power to change them. It is not reflected in your actions, but you are intelligent, you are talented. You could be anything you wanted to be, so why have you chosen this? Anger? Hatred? Cruelty? I will pray for you to find another way.
You have to know that this will not change the things you did to me. You can never go back and fix the damage and hurt of the four years and five months you had with me. I may have forgiven you, I may appreciate the wonderful things I learned about myself and acknowledge that it is sad I had to learn them in such a traumatic way, but I will never forget the things you did or the nasty things you said to me over and over, never as long as I live. Unless you choose to violate the order (which I will petition to have continued), I will not pursue you or seek to ruin you. There is no man who could properly hold you accountable for all the damage you left, and I have chosen to leave how your actions are handled with Jehovah. He will act with wisdom and fairness with you, and if you would just turn around and write His law in your heart so it could change you into a new man, He will also forgive you. But it is you who must act. It is you who must change.
I will not cry over what you did to me. If any tears are to be shed from here on out, they will be tears of joy. Of unbounded appreciation and love of the life that my dear, kind, loving Creator gave to me. Of recognition and gratitude for sustaining me through it all. They will fall in overwhelming awareness of the blessings that He has bestowed upon me, the blessings that continue to fall over me like tropical rains. And ever the object of your contempt, your scorn, and your jealousy, Kerwyn is one of those blessings. And I thank you for making me a stronger, wiser, more forgiving, and more reasonable woman for him.
Thank you for helping me to become me. I only hope that some day, you can do the same for yourself.