I bet you never expected to get a thank you letter from me. After the way you behaved, I never thought I’d write one. It’s been five years now since I learned of your existence, and although I’ll never like or respect you, I have many things to thank you for.
Thank you for having no regard for the institution of marriage. Thank you for texting nude photos to a married person. Thank you for making numerous public photos of your affair available on multiple social media platforms. Thank you for ignoring my multiple requests that you stop posting those photos – or at least have the decency to privatize them. Thank you for moving into my neighborhood to make yourself available 24/7 for that affair. Thank you for your cruelty and selfishness and disregard. Thank you for never giving up on getting what you wanted.
You may think I’m being sarcastic, but I’m not. After enduring two years of being beaten over the head with this abuse (What can I say? I believe in “for better or for worse.”), I finally came to realize that someone who truly loved me would not only NOT treat me this way, he wouldn’t allow YOU to treat me this way. In fact, if he truly loved me, you would never have even been part of the equation.
If none of that crap had happened, I might not have found the reserves of strength within myself that I never knew I had. It broke me. I was broken for a while. I couldn’t understand why another woman (a mother, no less!) would do such things so publicly. But eventually, I came to realize that no relationship, no cruelty some young girl could dish out, was actually going to keep me down. I mean, come ON. “Shit happens,” right? I stopped trying to make sense out of nonsense, and I found, deep down inside, a kind of determination and resolve that I’d never accessed before.
I learned that some people just don’t care how they affect others – even if those others are children. I learned how to be alone. I learned how to ask for help. I learned what a true apology is and how to make one. I learned how to be an example of grace. I showed my kids that you can be heartbroken and forever changed – and better for it. I learned who I wanted to be – and who I didn’t. I set new goals. I took myself down to the bottom and built myself up again. I learned that I was worth so much more than I thought. I learned my love is rare and that anyone who is the recipient of it is lucky. I learned that I am deserving of that same kind of love.
Although I don’t agree with your methods at all, I learned a lot from your peripheral existence in my life. Not all learning is easy. And some learning, like this kind, doesn’t always make itself clear until you’re far enough removed from it to see it for what it was. I’m thankful that I’m a good student. I never would have thought I’d have so much gratitude for such a shitty experience. Thanks for being instrumental in providing it for me.
Oh, and all the best with your upcoming nuptials.