“I couldn’t fix you; but because of you, I am learning to fix me.”

Some days I just want to shake you.

I want to ask you why?

I want you to fix it. To fix yourself. To fix me.

I want you to be the things you say you are, and I want you to become the man I believed you could be.

I want you to have been genuine in your love for me and I want that to have been enough.

I don’t want to admit it, but if I’m being honest, it still hurts a little. This feeling of emptiness and loneliness. The death of the dream I had for us. It’s still there. It’s always been there. You couldn’t take it away then, and you can’t take it away now. But I wish you could.

I don’t feel it often and I rarely ever let my mind wander down the path that leads to you. It’s always a dead end; and just like they always did when I was a child, dead ends leave me wanting.

I wanted you to be my happy ending. Not my dead end.

In many ways this dead end you lead me to is the best gift I’ve ever been given. But on the days of loneliness and sadness as I struggle to figure it all out while you seem to breeze on through, it’s like something has gripped my heart and the squeeze is suffocating.

It doesn’t seem fair.

It isn’t fair.

Maybe I tried to create something that wasn’t there, but you stood in that role like a silhouette. Knowing the real you could never fill that spot, you took it up anyway. You filled it with lies and facades and false promises.

You filled it up with emptiness, and then you moved on. But every now and then, you stick your shadow back in that spot and try to make me believe it’s you. A you filled with potential, “if only I’d give you a chance.”

I hate you for that.

While I should really hate you though, I don’t. I loved you. I loved you with my whole self. Everything I had I placed it in you. You took it all and you left me with a bag of brokenness.

But just like you, I’m moving on too. I’m getting there. And rather than filling my voids with more emptiness, I’m learning to fill it with myself. With God. With our sons. With the things that matter.

No matter what I do though, there are some days that it’s just not as okay as I have convinced myself it all is.

It’s not really okay that you rarely see the boys. It’s not really okay that you’re a father but don’t act like one. It’s not okay that you called yourself a husband and acted like you wanted to be a family man, but never really did what it takes to earn those titles. It’s not okay that you choose your new girlfriend and your own life over the lives we created together. And it’s not okay that you still occasionally make me those same empty promises you have no intention to fulfill.

It’s really not okay.

But I don’t have any other choice but to say that it is. I have to make it okay.

I am making it okay for myself and our sons.

I’m okay. They’re okay. We’re all okay, and we are better apart.

But some moments of some days, that anger comes back and it chokes me. The disappointment wraps itself around my throat and I can’t breathe.

You took pieces of me I can never get back.

But maybe that was the point. Maybe God placed you in my path to take those pieces and to give me better ones. Maybe God allowed me to make that choice so that He could help me really find myself. So that I could really find Him.

So I circle back.

I let go. I release you again. I give you back to yourself and take myself back as well.

I forgive you one more time for not being all the things I needed you to be. I forgive you for still not being the things you need to be. I stand in both of our roles for our sons and fill the emptiness you left with love.

And once I release my anger and grieve my sadness, I come back to a place of peace and I find gratitude.

You didn’t break me like I thought you did. I came to you broken. That part wasn’t your fault.

It doesn’t sanction the rest of our story; but I release you from the roles I held you in, both as my breaker and my fixer. I forgive you for not protecting me. For not being able to hold me. And most importantly, for not being able to fix any of it. For not being able to fix either of us.

I forgive myself too.

I couldn’t fix you. But it is because of you that I am learning to fix me.

So thank you.

My love for you burned holes through my life that may never get fully patched back up. But those holes created space for new things to breathe. For me to breathe.

So while some days I feel crushed by the sadness, angered by the disappointment, and betrayed by the love; I ultimately have found a way to hold you respectfully as the man who both shattered my already broken spirit, and helped me learn to heal it.

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