My ex and I brought out the worst in each other. He didn’t often make me feel special or loved or even respected. Most days, I got a sick feeling in my gut when he walked in the door because I never knew what emotional crisis he’d lay at my feet. It was a relationship led by fear. Fear of what he thought of me, fear of what he’d say, fear of what I’d say back, fear of making mistakes, fear of losing my family, fear that I couldn’t make it on my own. Love cannot grown in a garden of fear.
But despite my awful pride, I still miss him sometimes, and that’s what hurts the most. We had so much that was good and hard to let go of. You can drown those sweet memories in the conflict of the day for only so long before they bubble up to the surface, demanding to be recognized.
In the quiet aftermath of the battle, I’m forced to acknowledge the truth. We were deeply in love. We were not a mistake. We were both incredibly flawed, we caused each other pain, but we made a beautiful child together. Knowing that we weren’t good for each other doesn’t dull the pain caused by the fact that we will never be a family again. It is a loss I’m slowly still mourning. Seeing him with our son, so loving and attentive, is healing me. He is becoming what I always wanted him to be…only he’s not mine anymore.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the bittersweet reality.