My marriage therapist began some EMDR work a few months ago and suggested that I am grieving. As soon as she said the word ‘grieving’ the flood gates opened and I nearly hyperventilated with an abundance of emotion. I haven’t allowed myself to grieve because I’ve been spending these past 14 months surviving. Now the grieving process has begun and I’m learning to let it go and move forward. She recommended that I write a goodbye letter and I’ve put it off until this weekend when I became triggered by a few small incidents.
While much of this letter might sound whiny or as something you may not understand, it’s a requirement for my healing and I’m so glad that I’ve finally given myself the freedom to grieve what was lost. Now it’s time to say goodbye.
*Also be warned that this is long and unedited. I tried to write from a genuine place. A raw place. Those places are deserving of their unedited emotional state.
Where have I gone and why can’t I find myself again?
Why is moving forward in this direction so difficult?
I’m still grieving all the loss. I still want things to be different. The simplest of things can send me in to dark places. Over the last 24 hours I’ve been triggered by an unfamiliar pumpkin patch making me miss the familiar. I’ve been triggered after being lost in a corn maze and not being able to find my way out and watching my boys cry because they know they can’t rely on me for help. And, lastly, I’ve been triggered by my mattress pushed in to a corner, sitting on the floor like an ugly college bed of a poor, surviving student. I’m living 3 houses from a main highway and train tracks and all I hear is chaos. There is no peace here. There’s no peace within me. There’s no peace in my home and there’s no peace in my relationship with Adam. I hate this life. I hate this direction and I would still give anything to have the security and peace back. I’m tired. Tired of the struggle. Tired of the conflict. Tired of the sadness. Tired of change. Tired of seeking. Tired of moving. Tired of pain. Tired of loneliness. Tired of missing me. Tired of missing Adam. Tired of the struggle. So I’m going to attempt to say goodbye and see if it makes a difference in me being able to accept my current life. At times, I feel that everything but my kids is gone. Everything.
I have loved you. I still love you. You have defined me. Given me comfort. You are a part of my life that was good. You gave me security. You held me. You let me feel like I had made good choices in life. As much as I love you, desire you, and still need you, I’m forced to let you go. It’s time that we part ways. I know that we’ve already abandoned one another but I never said goodbye. I’ve been fighting so hard to find my way back to you, to replicate you, to find authenticity in new loves but I’m finally accepting that we can no longer be together. You cannot be restored, replicated, or forged. It’s time for me to let you go. To say goodbye. To love again.
With great sadness, a heavy heart, and crying eyes, I’m setting us free.
Goodbye Soldier Trail.
I miss you every day. I miss you more than all the others. I miss your bike paths, the nature, the animals, your gorgeous deck under starlit skies, lightning storms and double rainbows, playsets and pools, secrets of passionate love, rooms filled with friends and family, and the security you provided to me and my young boys. Goodbye.
I have a love/hate relationship with you. I miss your monsoons, the smell of desert rains, traditions and familiarity, the life that we built there, the mountains. But, Tucson, you abandoned me. Us. After all we had given you, you chose to judge us on just two minutes. You turned your back. And so I must say goodbye.
Goodbye Friends and Family.
I miss the ease of being with you all. The laughter, the tears, the support, the therapy, training runs, watching our kids grow up together, honest conversations. I miss the intimacy of knowing people so deeply. Because you love me too, I’m sure you’ll understand that I have to seek new friendships. New people to love my boys. New people to share the holidays with. To share my secrets. You will always be a part of me. I will always love you but I need to say goodbye to loneliness. Not to you, but to to navigating this life alone.
I often wish you hadn’t abandoned me. With you, I felt secure. With you, I didn’t need to lose sleep because of trains that shake and rattle my home. With you, I didn’t need to ask the government to help me feed my boys. With you, I didn’t worry about how to pay for insurance, car repairs, tickets, extracurriculars for the boys. With you, I could see a dentist when I needed. I could give my son the eye therapy he requires without wondering how that will affect our bank account. I could buy vitamins and organic foods. Now I have to question health vs money every time I make a purchase. Because you left us, Money, I have to say goodbye to so many things.
Goodbye GMC. Goodbye vacations with my husband. Goodbye babysitters. Goodbye home ownership. Goodbye cable and fast internet. Goodbye races. Goodbye furniture and clothes that fit. Goodbye purchased iced teas. Goodbye easy Christmases and birthdays. Goodbye fitness classes. Goodbye pain relief for Decker. Goodbye summer camps. Goodbye Dignity. Goodbye Self Sufficiency. Goodbye Charitable Contributions. Goodbye Retirement. Goodbye College Savings. Goodbye Stability. Goodbye Health. Goodbye Inclusion. Goodbye Freedom.
I’m coming to accept that you may have never existed in the first place. But I sure felt secure living in Soldier Trail, Adam working as a CFO, the boys in a great school, us involved heavily in the community, our marriage on the positive side of recovering from a religious exit. I deceptively felt secure. I now question your existence and am saying goodbye to the facade.
Goodbye Adam and Amy.
We lost ourselves along the way. Individually and relationally. I so desire to find me again. For me not to be lost in the jumble of this chaotic life. I’m accepting that I likely will not return the same as I was before. Too much has changed. So I’m saying goodbye to my previous self and making room for a new self.
I can’t find or rely on Adam any more either. He is a new self on a journey to say goodbye as well. I’m saying goodbye to the labels I have used to “know” Adam. Goodbye, Adam. Goodbye. I’ll be here waiting when you return.
When we reach the other side of this life altering course, I’m hoping we will find each other. We’ll join our hands together in that old, familiar way, our hearts will connect, and we will emerge as survivors do…stronger, deeper, thankful, and more aware.
Goodbye Adam and Amy. I’m letting you go and learning to see you as individuals who are fortunate enough to journey beside one another.
May this journey of grief propel you in to a bright, new, peaceful awareness. I’m releasing these sadnesses in to the universe and am accepting what is.
What is the truth?
I am wrapped in love, protected with a roof over my head, a dog snuggled beside me, sounds of laughter streaming in from my backyard, a body of health writing this letter, money in my bank account, food in my fridge, and a glass of iced tea sitting in front of me.
In an imperfect universe this moment is perfectly divine.