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Juliet's Diary

In no way do I have life figured out, but I'm learning as I try to live mine to the fullest.

Fountain pen
Flowers on Wood

I still remember the thanksgiving dinners, the Christmases that we spent as a family, and everything else in between. I still occasionally scroll through my phone to look at the pictures that even a year later, I haven’t been able to make myself delete.

But, don’t flatter yourself. This has nothing to do with you. Don’t get me wrong, you were important to me once, but I’ve said goodbye to you emotionally before I ever did so physically. What I haven’t been able to say goodbye to are the memories and the wondering. What I find myself still holding onto is the history and the what ifs. Because in saying goodbye to you, I was forced to say goodbye to those I considered family. I can hold on to the hope that everything will work out one day. But that will mean that I accept you coming back into my life as inevitable. And I refuse to do that. Meting you, loving you, trusting you; those were inevitable. Letting you back into my life is not inevitable, it is improbable.

To be honest, you hurt me more than I thought you could. After all, our demise wasn’t sudden. But I’ve held on to that hurt for too long. I’ve let your betrayal dictates my actions and my relationships for too long. So, this is my goodbye letter to you, to our history, and to what could’ve been. I’m going to make a conscious effort to stop asking myself what ifs, to stop comparing and measuring others’ actions by your actions. You were inevitable because without you and your actions, I wouldn’t have realized my worth. I wouldn’t have realized that I sometimes make excuses for those who don’t deserve to be forgiven out of a messed-up sense of loyalty. I wouldn’t have learned the difference between fighting for love and family versus fighting for familiarity and broken trust. Without you, I wouldn’t have the strength to recognize toxicity and have the strength to let go of it. Thank you for the lessons, I will keep the memories, the good and the bad but, this is my final goodbye to you.

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Why do we hold on to something that is toxic? Yes, history is important, but we should also know when to just learn from it and put it in the past. Nothing justifies keeping toxicity in your life. Let go, move on. This past year I’ve learned that letting go of a toxic relationship does not make me ungrateful for what that person did for me in the past. It does not make me a bad person to refuse to help someone who’s used me. No matter what someone has done for you, it does not justify allowing them to hurt you in every way they can; it does not justify accepting emotional and psychological abuse. The moment someone makes you doubt the foundation of who you are, the moment that person asks you to go against your beliefs, find the courage to leave them behind.

It’s not easy to walk away. I stayed in a toxic relationship for years. Tried every way possible to please someone who I’ve come to realize never gave a damn about me. In the end, I was left with debt, tears, and emotional scars. Even after I left, it took me months to actually acknowledge that I was not fine. It took me months to finally allow myself to break down because I finally realized that crying did not make me weak. It did not mean that I wanted that person back in my life. It just meant that I grieved for what I believed I had, for what I thought my future would be. Only by finally letting myself grieve and accept that yes, I had been hurt, did I finally take a look at who I had become and start working on building who I wanted to be. It’s been a while; I have a ways to go, and I have no clue what to expect moving forward. However, what I do know, wherever I end up, I’m proud of me.

So many times, I’ve looked back at some relationships, and I wonder, why did I stay? Why did I not fight back? I wouldn’t change my history for the world. Yes, changing some things would make my life easier today. Changing my definition of family, loyalty and trust would make me more financially and emotionally stable now. However, all those changes would mean that I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today. And I don’t want that. Having been the naïve and trusting girl, the one who was vulnerable enough to open her heart to love regardless of the outcome, has shaped me into the woman that I am today. And despite all my heartbreak, she is still a part of me. It has taken me a long time to find her again. A long time to learn to open up, to trust, and to love. I still have things to work on, but I am truly in a better place. And I’m grateful, for every heartbreak, for every scar, and for every memory, good and bad. I know that there are no guarantees when giving your trust. What my past experiences have taught me, however, is when to just let go. No matter how painful, always choose you!

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“I am better off healed, then I ever was unbroken”.

-Beth Moore

How many of us hide our pain behind the words "I'm fine"? At one point in life, you get so used to having to be strong, putting on a face becomes a part of you. Hiding the pain behind a smile because we’re afraid to break. Afraid of what others would think. Worse yet, we’re afraid for them to pity us. So, every day, we put on a smile, and to every “How are you?” We say, “I’m fine”.

So, I’m going to ask, how are you guys doing today? Really? I’ll answer first. I’ve been using the aforementioned phrase for so long, that, even though I know I’m lying, I don’t know how to be vulnerable enough to let someone in. I’m afraid to break because I feel as if I might not be able to put myself back together. But I’m slowly learning that it’s OK to break. It’s OK to NOT be OK. We’re humans! Sometimes, life deals us some heavy and unexpected blows. So, here’s me taking the first step. Today, I’m NOT fine. How about you? How are you today? Truly? Sound off in the comments!

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