We met in a moment of newness and transition.
You were a breath of fresh air, a bright spot in a world of possibilities. I found myself in your eyes, falling in love in every moment.
There were new experiences, new places and new adventures that I would only have with you. I longed to see every city with you, kiss you in every corner of the earth and desecrate every spot our bodies ever graced together—to mark the world with our love, so that when we returned to those places someday, we would always remember.
I wanted a future with you that I had never considered possible when we first began.
And when I tried to walk away out of fear that you didn’t want the same, you came back for me every time, promising that you wanted the same future—one with me by your side.
And I believed you, again and again.
I trusted the beautiful words that fell from your lips, even while our story did not change and the lies and deception only deepened with each twist down the rabbit hole.
The future felt uncertain, for it was marked by your own fear and inability to embrace change.
I held you to a standard that you were not capable of meeting and expected you to meet me where I was. I longed for a relationship you were not ready for, and found myself accepting a situation that left me unrecognizable to myself.
The haunted, hurting look in my eyes became my constant companion, a reflection of the pain in my soul. My head and heart battled one another in a war of longing and pain.
I had chosen to jump into the unknown adventure of a love with you for I was more afraid of regret than pain. But, I hadn’t expected to fall so hard, to want so deeply and to cling so desperately to an ideal that you led me to believe would happen, but was not possible.
Then one afternoon, I learned that your fear of being discovered was so important that you destroyed all memories of our love.
Your priorities became clear to me—I was an option, a time-filler for your busy life.
In that moment of rage, I threw my wine glass across the kitchen. It broke into a thousand pieces.
I didn’t know my heart could hurt this much, but I finally realized that we desired a different future.
I envisioned a future that could be shared openly. I wanted to be loved by someone who would not be afraid or ashamed to be with me. And yet, I found myself hidden in plain sight for you, telling myself that I was alright with it. But the hurt kept digging deeper into my heart with each passing moment as I buried my pain for you.
So I ran to you, negotiating, discussing and bargaining with you to end my pain, to find a way to fix the brokenness within me that I had accepted as a condition of being with you. And you were expecting me to ease the monotony and discomfort of a life that did not challenge you.
Our love broke us both.
We had clung to each other to fill the gaping wounds within us, while simultaneously creating even larger ones that bled more deeply. We served as mirrors, showing the flaws we possessed but could not see well enough to heal properly.
Was it love? Attachment? Addiction? Or was it all those things?
Whatever the answer, I knew that living a life out of harmony with who I was, deceiving myself and others for you, was not how I wanted to live anymore.
I longed to know myself again—for I had become a stranger.
I am sorry for discounting my intuition and believing the lies you convinced yourself of. I am sorry for seeking what you could not give. I am sorry for expecting you to be someone you are not.
I am sorry for holding you responsible for my pain and wanting you to fix me. I am sorry for trying to fix you.
And now it is time for me to heal so that someday I will be whole enough to love from a place of strength, and not a place of brokenness and pain.
Thank you for being the lover who wouldn’t claim me, for you taught me that we should say yes to things that feel authentic and no to things that feel incongruent with who we are as a person.
You helped me learn that we must think things through when we are unsure. That we should give fully from every part of our soul and expect others to meet us there. That we should accept our feelings and honor those who trust their heart to ours.
That we should be discreet, yet honest and open within our most intimate relationships. That we should give love without judgement, and share it freely even when we are scared. That it is in the giving that love multiplies, expands, and grows, so we will always have more to give.
That the only love we need is not to be found in another human being, but within our own soul—for we are the love that we seek.
Author: Stephanie Parry
Image: @elephantjournal on Instagram
Editor: Nicole Cameron