15 October 2015

A letter

Letter to Myself
Please deliver Sunday July 29, 2012
At Sunset


Dear Self,

Right at this moment you are sitting on your raised garden beds, up on the hillside, looking down at the home you thought that you would be in for a long time, where your husband, that you thought you would be with for eternity, is probably still pacing around the living room. Your life has just imploded.

Divorce. Divorce. Divorce. The word burns your tongue like acid. How could he really have just asked for a divorce?

You don’t know how you could feel so angry and numb and sad and confused and bitter and scared and and and...all at once. You want to scream. You want to curl up in a ball and cry. You want to drive away. You want to disappear. You want to throw up. You want to die. You want to be with your family. You want to be all alone. You hate him. You love him so badly you can’t imagine how you are going to live without him. You don’t know where to go or what to do.

Somehow, in the midst of all this, you realize that you are even heartbroken knowing that you will leave these garden beds before you can harvest the vegetables. Such a little thing in comparison to your crumbling marriage, and yet.... It all seems equally overwhelming and devastating. So many feelings and details and worries and fears. You don't even know how to start processing.

I want you to know that whatever you are feeling--it is ok. You don’t have to be ashamed about wanting to crawl into the spare bed with him. You don’t need to muffle your sobs in your pillows. If you need to yell at God, He will understand. Let yourself spend three days numbing out with ice cream and crying while watching every season of Say Yes to the Dress. And it is alright to take pleasure in smashing the computer with a baseball bat.

I know that you wonder why you went through the last seven months of hell--not telling anyone about how much you were hurting, giving every particle of your being trying to make your marriage work, begging and pleading with God and with your husband for a chance at happiness--if it was all just going to shatter anyway. You feel like you have hit rock bottom.

It’s going to get harder, my friend.

The trauma will come back and kick you over and over. The shame will attack and tell you that it was all your fault. You will feel worthless. You will regret things that you said and did. You will feel like you deserved the way he treated you. Many nights will see you lying in bed, shaking with fear, shame, pain, loneliness and despair. When sleep finds you, the nightmares will attack. You will think that if you had been sexier, funnier, skinnier, happier, better---just MORE--you could have made it work. The question “Is it always going to be like this? It get’s easier, right?” will flash across your mind almost every hour.

It is not your fault. Nothing you could have done would have made any difference. It WILL get easier. But it’s up to you to find happiness again. So buckle up, sister.

Be kind to yourself and know that it will take time. But, it is also going to take work--so much work. Inside yourself is a strength that you could never before imagine. Tap into it. Embrace it. Let its fire flow through you. This strength will propel you forward to grow and improve. You can do this.

However, you can’t do this alone. Let your strength bring you to the One who can truly heal. Trust in Him. Let go and let God. You will find that as you focus your life on the Savior, you will stop surviving and start living again.

One day, you will hear yourself laugh and realize that you are genuinely happy in that moment. There is the evening you will discover that you haven’t thought of your divorce all day. And then all week. And then all month. And then he-who-you-thought-you-would-die-without will become just somebody that you used to know.

You will find love. Friends and family will rally around you. People will be placed in your path to help guide you through your recovery. Your Heavenly Father’s arms will surround you. Hatred, hurt and bitterness will be replaced with forgiveness, charity and peace.

Someday, you will look back and you will see yourself just as you are right now--right in the thick of drowning, full of pain and confusion and fear. You will think “Is that me? Was that MY life?” and all of the feelings will be there in your memory--but they will be worn down by time and forgiveness and healing. You will look back at yourself with an understanding for that girl and you will hurt for the pain that she had right then. And you will wish so badly that you could give her a hug and whisper, “Oh, Jennifer! It’s ok! I promise. Everything will be ok.”

I know it will be ok because I am here--your future self in your future life. And it is ok here. It is MORE than ok. This is my hug and my whisper to you. I promise. You are so disconnected from what you once were. You rose from the ashes of your life. You are braver, stronger, fiercer. You are softer, calmer, and smarter. You radiate light. Somehow, you will find that your life is beautiful. You will have serenity.

Hang in there. You are enough.

Love,
Me
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