January 18, 2023

Our Goodbye Was My Second Chance.

“I’m not angry, I’m just sayingSometimes goodbye is a second chance”
~  Shinedown

~

As I closed the door and watched you walk away, again, I felt the crushing pain of loss. A sickening numbness.

I couldn’t see straight. I couldn’t hear anything but the deafening sound of silence after those words. I couldn’t think, my mind and body grappling with the onslaught of panic.

We had tried this walking away a few times; each time you came back. Each time we had more lessons to learn. Each time I let you jump my boundaries. Each time I lost myself a little more.

Of course, I didn’t realise any of that at the time. All I wanted was you, and I didn’t care how you showed up, as long as you did.

And you did. You showed up desperately trying to fill your gaping voids. Oh how I tried to fill those voids for you. I took everything from myself trying to soothe the tormented beast in you.

You showed up for love, and I loved you with everything I had, but it wasn’t enough. You were bleeding, and it didn’t matter how many bandages I applied, you kept bleeding. You bled and bled all over me, until your wounds became my wounds. You showed up for connection, an energy and passion that made you feel alive. Like a charge of electricity, you would take what you could get. These wounds sitting in the unconscious, playing out your trauma, on my stage because you didn’t know any better. Because you had no connection to yourself. Because insecurity was masquerading as ego. Because you had no idea who you truly were. Because you lied to yourself. Because you were in pain. Because I let you.

I, of course, had my own trauma simmering beneath the surface. My need to please you, a direct reflection of my belief that I was not enough for you, maybe not enough for anyone. My lack of boundaries, teaching you that you could do whatever you wanted. Say whatever you wanted. Behave in anyway you wanted, and I’d still be there, standing in front of you, offering you all that I had. Time and reflection has shown me that I was not honouring myself.

So there we were, drawn together like magnets. Two wildly passionate beings who experienced in a few years what many never do. The messy and ugly, but also a depth of feelings that regardless of the ending has been the catalyst of so much growth for me and a journey of healing.

Were we soul mates? Who knows. Were we twin flames? No idea. Were we a karmic connection? Maybe. Or were we trauma bonded? Perhaps. Whatever this connection was, it opened me up to a different world. Moved me into a different space. Broke me over and over again. Pushed me repeatedly off a cliff. I endured pain I never thought imaginable. But I also felt something in my soul, something that has stayed with me.

I was lost and found a version of myself in you. A version that needed to be found so I could discover what needed to be healed. So I could discover the best version of me. So I could finally listen to my truth.

I hated saying goodbye to you. In fact, I avoided the finality of those words, like somehow if I didn’t say them out loud, I didn’t have to face my new reality. I always thought you would remain in my life in some capacity, which was so naïve. Perhaps even toxic.

Each time I would take a step forward in my healing, you would reach out, “Just a hey, how are you?” Or there would be something you needed to tell me. Perhaps it was hard for you also. But every time you did this, I would take two steps backwards. It seemed you couldn’t fully let go, but I understand now, keeping some kind of contact with me was still filling a need in you. Consciously or unconsciously, you needed something from me. And consciously or unconsciously, by responding, I was still filling your voids.

Letting go and disconnecting your energy from me has been a painfully long and challenging process, and the truth is, there will always be a small part of you, the vulnerable maskless part of you, the best part of you, that resides in a little corner of my heart.

Mirrors. We were mirrors. We showed each other a depth of feelings, connection, energy and passion that we soaked up like sponges. We drank that in like we were parched and dehydrated. Had we forgotten what that felt like? Or had we not actually ever felt like that so deeply? Whatever the answer, we fiercely needed that at the time.

That mirror we both held up allowed us to experience so much beauty. But like all mirrors, they show the truth. They show the beauty and the ugliness and we were soon shown the other side. Your jealousy and control brought out every insecurity I had and left me fighting to prove my worth. My openness and lack of jealousy ignited your fears, and your ego stepped it up until you either projected all that messy fear on me or you would rather run away. Anything rather than actually address what was going on. It became a cycle, of the beauty and the ugly. The love and the pain. The joy and the heartbreak.

Until all that was left was to fight or flee. To face the truth or live a lie. To choose the comfort of what everyone expected, or the discomfort of what my soul was screaming. You took the road most people travel. I jumped into an abyss.

Your story is simply that, your story. Whether you learnt from those lessons or have distracted yourself enough to not have to face your truth is no longer something I need to concern myself with.

The mirror doesn’t lie though and neither does our soul. I had reflected on you and us for such a long time—until I diverted that reflection onto myself. And what I discovered was, I wasn’t meant to fix you, and you weren’t meant to be my happiness. I needed to do the hard stuff, and understand why I let you bleed on me, repeatedly. Why I thought it was my job to fix you. Why we kept falling back in each other’s arms, as unhealthy as it was. Why I felt so deeply connected to you on every level when you kept stepping over my boundaries. Why? Why? Why? The good was so damn good that it overshadowed the bad.

It’s taken me a few years to really understand us and me, and to be honest, there are still questions because understanding you is part of that puzzle, and the you I thought I knew is a chameleon. I’ve surrendered the need to understand you as you’re not part of my life anymore. But my hope is that you finally understand yourself and have found a way to go into your darkness and begin your own journey of healing rather than bury, distract, and rug sweep—which was always your way of dealing.

My mirror to you was your gift, as was yours to me. It presented me with insights and learnings I could not have achieved without your mirror. As hard as it’s been, I have accepted your gift and used it to rediscover and heal myself, elevating myself to a better me.

It dawned on me recently, like an epiphany, that whilst some goodbyes are final, they can also be a second chance. My second chance has manifested in so many incredible ways. Career changes. Pursuit of passions. Reigniting my writing. Studying and earning my Master’s. Finding my happiness within. Making amazing connections all over the world. Newfound self-belief and love. Diving headfirst out of so many comfort zones I never dreamed I could do.

So whilst saying goodbye to you and finally closing the door broke my heart in ways I didn’t think possible, it gave me a second chance. And in the quietness of solitude, I found so much love and happiness—that were in me all along.

So I thank you for the mirror. And whilst I don’t thank you for the pain as you really need to tackle your shadows, I am grateful. Feeling what I felt. Loving you the way I did, devouring all the passion you offered, connecting at such a depth I didn’t think I’d ever be able to break free from, and seeing the beauty in myself have been the blessings I took. The lessons were hard, brutal, and gut-wrenching, but I was eventually able to see that they too were needed to propel me to this space.

The saying that the Universe doesn’t always give you what you want but rather what you need has been a profound learning for me. Our journey together impacted me on every level, and there were times I was angry, devastatingly sad, grief-stricken, and felt broken, but without it, I know I would not be where I am today.

We were meant to be, even if just for a moment in time. The gift was taking what was offered by digging deep in the aftermath and learning who we really were and what our truth was. And doing that is the second chance.

Our goodbye pushed me to my knees. It devoured me for the longest time. It shattered parts of me. My heart. My soul. The future I saw. The person I thought you were. The me I was with you. But sometimes we really can put our shattered pieces back together in the most stunning of ways—when we can see the gifts we were given and left with rather than losing ourselves completely in the loss and the pain.

Our goodbye was a new chapter.

Our goodbye was my second chance.

~

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