If you are reading this letter, your feed, like everyone else’s, would be cluttered with tons of other posts about Valentine’s Day date and gift ideas. You would be taking notes too, trying to figure out how you could make the day most special for him. Or maybe, you would be feeling exhausted just looking at them, dejected by the futility of the exercise.
It’s been a while now since you told me about the abuse. I know you still haven’t told me everything. I see that in your hesitations when you talk to me, looking for alternate versions, screening out the worst parts as you speak. My horror knows no bounds.
I know you’ve thought about getting out of the relationship, tried to do it even. But you love him too much. You always say you aren’t strong enough to do it. You, you who have gone through what only you know and survived through it all, think you aren’t strong enough.
You say it feels like cutting off a limb. I tell you it would be like finally breaking to the water surface when your lungs were bursting for air.
You are surrounded by people who care for you to fall back on. Just take the leap.
I know you think he is the best person for you and that you would not find anyone better than him for yourself. You say he is smart and intelligent and caring when he wants to be. But darling, we both know he does not keep you happy. True love, it heals. And you have just been burning. He has taught you to hate yourself. I know there was a time when it seemed like he did really care but that is gone. And so is the man you loved. You owe him nothing to be with him now.
Your body and your self are the only things in this world which are truly yours. You need to love them, because trust me, no one else can if you don’t.
Do not let anyone corrupt what is yours. Do not let one filthy piece of man ruin this lovely experience of living for you.
Remember when we climbed up those rocks to the top of “our” place, the “road not taken” road we took? Remember yourself there. Imagine yourself lying on that stretch of dewed grass once more, breeze combing your hair, fanning them around your head on the grass and the sun so bright you see red behind your eyelids. That moment was so beautiful we couldn’t stop humming to ourselves. It’s been a long while since I saw you that happy. And I miss that happy you.
Toni Morrison is, you know, one of my favourite authors. “You your best thing.” she says. So let’s begin again. This Valentine’s, put yourself first. Arm yourself with the pieces he managed to break of you to strike him out of your life. Choose to love yourself. Take the leap. You know I’m here for when you stumble.
From your valentine
Waiting with your favourite ice-cream tub