February 3, 2016

Dear Ex-Husband

The other night, you were so kind to help me with my car issues, seeing how M and I aren't exactly mechanically inclined. Yeah, it's a little odd to see you and M occupy the same physical space but we are all grown ups and handled it so well. You two were even talking and laughing, which made it less awkward and I'm grateful. It makes me happy to see the two of you raising above any perceived slights and bad feelings. You made it slightly awkward when you kept bringing up memories and telling him stories about me from our marriage but M laughed it off in the moment and teased me.

After you finished up with the car, and M excused himself to return some work calls, you and I lingered to talk about house stuff, our families, and how work has been for each of us. I'm not sure where we derailed into talking about our divorce and marriage but I see now that I should have immediately shut that down and made you leave. But, you refused to give me answers for so long that it's nice to now finally know the whys and hows. I've spent the better part of the last 3 years since our split thinking I was a failure at marriage, it's nice to know that you don't see it that way. It helps ease my guilt.

I have worked hard, and in lots of therapy sessions, to deal with my issues and correct them to the best of my ability. I am quite amazed at how far I have come since 2012. I am much happier, more confident, my germ issues have resolved, and I am so much more relaxed. I am no longer quick to anger now and my rage takes a lot to bubble up, my patience has multiplied tremendously. I am SO damn proud of myself.

For you to undermine all that hard work, frankly, pisses me off. To stand there and listen to you tell me that I'm not logical, that I'm high strung, and that you think I'm "ghetto" (which, eww, racist much?!) really and truly upset me. Not for long, mind you, because your words mean very little, coming from a man who doesn't know me anymore and who left me for another woman. But for a minute there, I was floored and quite pissed off.

For you, XH, who is the most uptight person I have ever encountered, to have such opinions about me is laughable. You view emotions as weakness and can't fathom why family should matter as much as they do to me. You care so much what other people think of you, which is odd considering how cold and cruel you can be, that you act stiffly at all times. You are so detached from emotion that you seem robotic. And while you can be funny, you are often funny at the expense of other people. Your refusal to bend is infuriating. Your arrogance about your own looks and sexual skills are laughable. You expect too much from people, especially from your partner.

I was mentally and emotionally broken at the end of our marriage, not just from losing my Dad, but from your constant judgment, snide remarks, and passive aggressive behavior. The house was never clean enough, I never cooked enough, I wasn't strict enough with the dogs, I wasn't saving enough money, I didn't dress right, my insomnia annoyed you because you insisted we go to bed at the same time and threw a fit if I wanted to stay up because Heaven forbid I wasn't tired when you were. I scrubbed the bathtub 6 damn times every time I cleaned it, lest you come home and sneer at me because it wasn't clean enough. I was CONVINCED that I was the crazy one because you told me I was. That all our problems were in my head. That I misread your words and actions because I liked drama. You told me these things over and over again. I believed you. I hated myself. I hated everything and everyone.

But no. None of that is true. You were simply an asshole. You were controlling and demanding and rude. You were emotionally abusive. It's taken a long time to see that, and the extent, but I do. It's hard to admit or talk about but I do. I rebuilt myself. I'm happy. And slightly messy because there is no one breathing down my neck to keep the house spotless at all times. I rarely wear makeup because IDGAF what other people think of my looks. I wear yoga pants to run errands. I drink rum when the mood strikes because nobody is saying I can't. I live my life for me and it's so fucking amazing and freeing that I want to weep from relief.

Get the fuck out with your gaslighting bullshit. Your attempts to try to start something with me are simply you trying to exert control over me again. I'm not having it. I don't hate you, although I probably should, I just feel nothing. And that is so, so wonderful.

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