This essay is amazing. This woman I know had been through hell and back with her soon to be ex. Makes me cry and makes my stomach turn. 

You think everything is my fault. Every. Damn. Thing.

And, it’s not. That truth is not because I don’t take responsibility.  It’s because you won’t.

It’s not my fault. None of this is my fault. Literally, none of it.

It is not my fault that you have some tightly-wound need to control those who are close to you. And that you’ve been successful with that for decades. That you’ve gone unchecked with that for as long as you likely can remember.

It is not my fault that by acting on that selfish need your behavior gets increasingly unpredictable and violent.

It is not my fault that you break things. Glassware, cupboards, electronics, glass doors.

It is not my fault that you hurt me. That you scared me in a way I’ve never been frightened before. That you literally and figuratively pinned my back against the wall in a very aggressive way one summer day. A way no man should ever do to any woman, much less the one he “loves.”

It is not my fault that you are no longer allowed to speak to me. Or be around me. Your actions made that so.

It is not my fault that the life you carefully crafted, the one that was riddled with holes and lies and deceit and control and brazen infidelity, is no longer on display for your fans.

It is not my fault that the real you has been exposed.

It is not my fault that people who have known you for years, closely and from afar, are now recalling incidents about you that are finally adding up. The way you made them feel.  The way you acted around me, toward me. The sour taste they had in their mouths following interactions with you. The things they’ve seen you do, from buying beer at 7:30 a.m. to sneaking out of your own home in the middle of the night, putting your car in neutral, rolling it down the driveway so as not to be detected. The people who have said they’ve known for years but thought it wasn’t their place to say anything.

It is not my fault that you chose to violate a series of court orders.

It is not my fault that you are being prosecuted because of those decisions. It’s not my fault. But I will say, I’m not mad about it.  It’s well past time for you to be held accountable for something.

These things, all of them, are your fault.

My consistently queasy stomach and hot-and-cold appetite is because of you. My sleepless nights are because of you. My disrupted days are because of you. My sorry financial situation is because of you.

Me, handling everything, is because of you.

But guess what is coming of all this bullshit? An awakening that I never predicted, never asked for, never anticipated, but one that I would never surrender – for anything or anyone.

Because of the things you’ve put me through, and because I realized I was worth more than what I had allowed for years, I’m in the midst of an epic expedition, allowing myself to find what brings me happiness. What makes me full. What challenges me, in the best ways possible.

It’s a collection of small things and big things. But, in all honesty, even the small things are big things.

Running, when I want. For as long as I want. With whoever I want, even if it’s just me.

Reading, without shame or guilt. I mean, reading. This was a thing that I couldn’t do without guilt.

Talking to friends, for brief moments or hours. However long I want.

Hiking. Traveling. Trying.

Just doing. I’m doing the things I never could, because my reasons for doing them were never valid.

I mean, reading. Reading!

I don’t turn on the AC until I’m sweating. I keep the plans I make. I stay up. I go out. I run errands after dark.

Shit. I get the bath mat wet.

I GET THE BATH MAT WET!

No one can stop me now. Not even you. I’m on a roll. And that’s my fault.

I’ll own that. But, I won’t own your faults. Not anymore.