I want to hate you. I want to hate you like my friends and family hate you. I want to hate you so much that I cannot stand to be in your presence. But I don’t hate you, and I’m not sure why.
You have taken more from me than you ever gave, but you did still give. You gave me comfort when the world became too much to handle. You gave me an escape and an obsession that I could use to distract myself. You gave me a feeling of mastery when I watched the number on the scale decline. You gave me answers when all the world could give me was questions. You gave me a feeling of accomplishment. You gave me an out when obligation bound my hands and taped my mouth. Even when the relationship was abusive, I still woke up in the morning hoping to feel your presence by my side.
For all of that, I am thankful. I am thankful for the experiences, regardless of how miserable I was. Saying goodbye to you feels like mourning the loss of a close acquaintance. Because of you I have grown wiser, tougher, and more disciplined; however, there is no longer room in the relationship for me to grow. Like a tree planted in a flower pot, what once provided stability and guidance now suffocates my roots. I need to branch out and ground my roots in a more stable foundation.
You are not good for me. You have taunted me with false promises, and 10 years later I am empty handed. You made me a puppet, unaware of all the strings that yanked me in a million directions until I was too weak to dance on my own. You disguised happiness in a blanket of false hope, and manipulated my thinking to match your plan. Looking back over the past few years, it’s hard to know what was me and what was you. You blurred the lines so thick that not even hindsight can sort through the mess you made.
I still find comfort at times when I hear your words on a quiet night. I still see you in memories distorted to seem good even when I know otherwise. But I no longer see you when I close my eyes. I have different visions of my future where I wear purpose and passion instead of shame and guilt. I no longer find peace in pain. I am ready to blossom, because a powerful oak tree was never meant to be delicate rose. I will never say goodbye to you, because you will always be a part of my story. Not in the chapters or words, but in the font and punctuation. I am more loving, gentle, and encouraging because I know that not everyone can advocate for themselves.
Overall, I cannot change what was done, but I can choose who I become. I am not a victim or survivor because you do not define me. I am on a journey. You are not the only enemy I will encounter. I choose to live a life defined by my savior not by my sin. I choose to love God without saving any room for hate for the enemy. The enemy has been defeated and victory is mine. I choose to celebrate my God-given victory, even when I do not feel victorious. I choose to wear my gold-medal even when I feel like I am losing, because freedom in God is not a destination but a team.