Dear sister friend

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Dear sister friend…

They say the sense of smell is the strongest connection to memory. Eight months later as I approached a court case intended to protect myself from threat after threat. I caught a whiff of a vanilla candle and I broke down into tears. Because I once loved him, and part of me still did. That candle, embodied our connection.

I know just how you are feeling. It’s called survivor’s guilt. Yes, he is still alive. But you know for at least a little while, you both died emotionally, spiritually, and in the case of depression or addiction, physically. It’s not quite as easy as many who aren’t in your position make it appear to be… “Just leave,” they say “He doesn’t deserve you” they say… but you’ve built a life. Imagining that life without the ying to your yang, no matter how bad, is difficult. See, the scent, the vanilla candle, reminded me of the nights I came home to a warm bath, a cooked dinner and my favorite candle light. But those nights also meant something horribly wrong happened. Something that would cause me pain. Tears. Most days, a pain I chose to bury…for the sake of love, for the sake of the candle.

Dear sister friend…

It’s okay to miss the man who abused you emotionally, mentally, and/or physically. Why? Because at some point, he was not your abuser. At some point, he was the man you were madly in love with…at some point, he was the man who loved you too.

Dear sister friend…

You did not cause him to change. He was that way, long before you knew him. He didn’t love himself more than he loved you, and there was no way to know.

Dear sister friend…

It is okay to grieve for this man who was abruptly removed from your life, this man you once loved and perhaps you still love. It is natural. I want you to know it is okay. It is important to grieve the loss of the love you have built despite the wrongdoings. You cannot get to healing without accepting the love. You loved him for a reason. Deep down you see what no one else can. The problem has always been that he cannot. And so, my sister friend, you must grieve, and move on. Move on for you. Move on for him. And stay there…in the moving on. It WILL get easier with time.

See the vanilla candle made me cry. Now, it is what I light to bring new and refreshing energy back into my space. Now, I can write to you, I can write to me. I can write to all of us.

Because… I know I did what was best. I saved TWO lives. Not just one. And now, all I hope it that he leaves me alone and stays in his space, as I have mine.

Dear sister friend.

It is okay to begin again.

Dear sister friend, I love you. I am here for you. And I will help you as best as I can. You can do it. How do I know? Because, I did it.

Dear sister friend, love yourself first. You deserve it.

Love,

Janay

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6 thoughts on “Dear sister friend

  1. THANK-YOU! Just when you think it’s done and you don’t have that emotion anymore it is definitely a Denial! Yours words cut to the core of many, being strong willed and stubborn certainly I would NEVER admit to the Love once existed…
    I wish My Sister’s were alive to share your Healing Feeling Words! I stand against the violence and struggle to help others see the possibility but I would NEVER have considered to accept the Love that Was part! Sometimes the pain makes you Hard!!!
    MUCH LOVE N PRAYERS N LIGHT 💖🌹💖

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  2. Heyyyy Janay, I’m always inspired by you’re writing. I really look up to you as a role model and a big sister. I appreciate you sharing you’re knowledge to the people and standing up for what’s right. You’re a strong women ✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾, keep the faith, pray, prepare and proceed in anything you do. I hope all is well. I’m wishing you the best of luck in life and I hope everyone on your end stays happy and healthy. Take it easy. Dont forget to relax and just enjoy the day inbetween all the hard work.

    God bless, 👍🏾

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  3. I wish my sister was still here to hear those words. She stayed married to her abuser for over thirty years and when she finally decided to break away she did not live a year in peace. The first year she left and going through the divorce he hatrassed her so she couldn’t sleep nor eat even though she moved in a gated community and the second year after it was final the divorce that is dhe was diagnosed with lung cancer and lived for three months. I just hate she waited until her life was ending to finally move on. You see just ad she was beginning to live she died so I say she lived all her life miserable for she was only 18 when she married him and died at 56.

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  4. Thx Janay, I don’t know how to stop the tapes in my head sometimes they get so loud. I’m on my way out now but, every day I’m here I feel like s prisoner, I feel like there is no me I’m just an empty shell tossed around and discarded. It’s true people don’t get the whole dynamics of trying to get out, there’s lots of reasons guilt, love, finances, & fear all the things they scream at u start to feel real. On the sick side is when I see him in court I miss him and my heart melts. Thanks for what u wrote u get it when others don’t get it, yes, it’s crazy but that’s how it is and love/relationships doesn’t always make sense.

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  5. Thank you for sharing your story. I know know I’m not alone. I’ve tried to leave my husband of 17 years and he’s made it a nightmare including turning my kids against me. You see, the day I told him I was leaving is the day he tried to change everything about himself. I keep asking myself, but for how long? I feel so lost.It’s been over a year since he’s last hit me, but he has done other things to hurt me. Always making excuses as to why and blaming me. I’m setting up counseling this week for me so I can get this all figured our.

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    1. Lynette, you are courageous for even writing here. It is when we feel most lost that we begin the journey to finding self. Write to yourself if you need to- to help quiet the other voices to only hear yours. I am glad you are going to counseling, that helped me a lot. When he refused to go, after I left I went on my own. I am here if you even want to chat. Through my blog or otherwise. I apologize this is so late. I am sending you love, light and healing.

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