DEAR SISTER FRIEND

October 7, 2015

Dear sister friend…

They say the sense of smell is the strongest connection to memory. Eight months later as I approached a court case intended to protect myself from threat after threat. I caught a whiff of a vanilla candle and I broke down into tears. Because I once loved him, and part of me still did. That candle, embodied our connection.

I know just how you are feeling. It’s called survivor’s guilt. Yes, he is still alive. But you know for at least a little while, you both died emotionally, spiritually, and in the case of depression or addiction, physically. It’s not quite as easy as many who aren’t in your position make it appear to be… “Just leave,” they say “He doesn’t deserve you” they say… but you’ve built a life. Imagining that life without the ying to your yang, no matter how bad, is difficult. See, the scent, the vanilla candle, reminded me of the nights I came home to a warm bath, a cooked dinner and my favorite candle light. But those nights also meant something horribly wrong happened. Something that would cause me pain. Tears. Most days, a pain I chose to bury…for the sake of love, for the sake of the candle.

Dear sister friend…

It’s okay to miss the man who abused you emotionally, mentally, and/or physically. Why? Because at some point, he was not your abuser. At some point, he was the man you were madly in love with…at some point, he was the man who loved you too.

Dear sister friend…

You did not cause him to change. He was that way, long before you knew him. He didn’t love himself more than he loved you, and there was no way to know.

Dear sister friend…

It is okay to grieve for this man who was abruptly removed from your life, this man you once loved and perhaps you still love. It is natural. I want you to know it is okay. It is important to grieve the loss of the love you have built despite the wrongdoings. You cannot get to healing without accepting the love. You loved him for a reason. Deep down you see what no one else can. The problem has always been that he cannot. And so, my sister friend, you must grieve, and move on. Move on for you. Move on for him. And stay there…in the moving on. It WILL get easier with time.

See the vanilla candle made me cry. Now, it is what I light to bring new and refreshing energy back into my space. Now, I can write to you, I can write to me. I can write to all of us.

Because… I know I did what was best. I saved TWO lives. Not just one. And now, all I hope it that he leaves me alone and stays in his space, as I have mine.

Dear sister friend.

It is okay to begin again.

Dear sister friend, I love you. I am here for you. And I will help you as best as I can. You can do it. How do I know? Because, I did it.

Dear sister friend, love yourself first. You deserve it.

Love,

Janay


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