You’re Future Self Knows a Secret: You’re Gonna Make It.
I’m standing here in the country, I mean literally in the woods, 18 years into the future. Today is his wedding day. I can see you and I want to let you know that it will pass.
I know it sounds trite, but I wouldn’t lie to you.
I know you don’t even want to be alive right now. In fact, you prefer to disappear and never have been. Oblivion is preferable to the pain, the pain of feeling alone and not wanted.
It’s happened to you again and it’s a kick a teeth that’s left you spewing out blood, the shards of your broken teeth cutting your mouth. You know you must look like Dracula after a feeding.
You know exactly what it feels like to have your heart bleed. You can feel the dripping in your chest. You’ve been cleaved with an ax from the top of your head down through your crotch. It’s not the first time you’ve felt it, and it won’t be your last. But it does go away.
He threw his stuff into the back of the truck. You hugged him good-by and held back the tears.
You then climbed the attic stairs, sat on his bed and wept. Abandoned. His posters stripped from the walls. Hangers empty. His room stark in its orderliness.
You called out his name to the emptiness.
There’s that view of the neighbor’s yards, the ocean. Planes droning overhead, jets rip through the atmosphere. Leaves on the trees are rustling and life looks beautiful. But it’s not. You’ve been slammed by someone you gave everything to, again.
You wonder, “Is it even worth trying to recover and clean up the mess? Or should I just leave it as a warning so I never feel like this again?”
All of your relationships, mother, father, husband (now ex) and child have all made you feel worse about yourself.
Mom was hardly there for herself. Her only refuge was her bed. She was so uncomfortable in her body. I wonder if it ached? You discovered that depression does hurt, but as a child who wanted mommy, you couldn’t possibly have known this. You can kind of get how she felt, not wanting to be alive.
Dad is as hurt as you by this, but he’s left for his camp refuge. He can’t share it. And you know he can’t help it.
He has been there for you. He’s always done his best. It’s just that his outbursts are scary and sometimes irrational. His mother and father raised him with no self-esteem and unfortunately that was passed on to you.
You were bullied at school and came home to a person in bed and someone who didn’t refute the fact that you were weird, stand-up for you or help you stand-up for yourself. It wasn’t intentional, but that’s all you heard so you figured it must be true.
Your ex. That was ugly. He replaced you before you were even legally separated. He remarried within a few months and didn’t bother mentioning it to you. Oh well.
Let me tell you a secret: this one doesn’t work either.
But this is the worst. This is your child. He plotted and planned with your ex, who never even called to talk to you about it. He had your son call and announce he was leaving to go live with him.
Your “friends,” fellow moms, have disappeared. Guess they don’t think of you as a mother anymore. Talk about a shitty support group. That’s alright. You’re going to make new friends. And you’re going to have them the rest of your life.
It’s to your credit that you let him go. You didn’t make a mistake, so don’t question that. That’s what you have to do when someone wants to leave you, even if it’s your child. Even though your entire life and existence was centered around his needs and activities.
You know what? You have a new lease on life. Your time, except for 40-hours a week, is all yours.
And here I am, 18 years into the future and 250 miles away, where he is now as a groom.
The ex and his ex, who he left you for, and third wife are all here. And it’s all nice and I don’t feel my guts churning inside. It’s a beautiful day, full of laughter and you will experience it, so just hold on.
You will have a new daughter-in-law and beautiful granddaughter in addition to the extra wrinkles, but you’re well preserved. And there are no visible signs of trauma.
Everything changes. Always. For the good as well as the bad.
Time does do a lot to heal a broken heart. And the scars you’ve accumulated over the years have only made it more resilient, more open to let in the light.
You’ve not only survived, you’ve thrived. I think you’ll be pleased.
This will all happen. Trust me. If you can’t, then who can you trust?
Your Turn. Join The Thriver Challenge.
Write a letter to your past self during a difficult time, honoring it and the fact that you not only survived, but thrived. Thanks to Jordin Kelly for starting this challenge. I offer it to anyone who’s reading this, but would like to invite the following Medium writers: Crystal Jackson, Billy Manas, Christina Hausauer, Jun Wu, Scott R. Tucker, Anne Bard, Karolina Rzadkowolska, Lisa Swain, Aspiring Author, and Bill DuBay Jr. ⚡️