If you have been around here long enough you know that Mardi Gras is my favorite holiday, and Lent is my favorite time of year. It’s about a week away and I have been thinking a lot about what I’m giving up this year. I definitely settled on something, based on experiences the last two weeks. And I’m hopeful this will be the last blog post specifically on this topic.
An Open Letter
This is a letter I could never send. You’d see it as petty, and dramatic, and you wouldn’t take it seriously. But writing it is still cathartic to me. And so, here we are. I need you to know that I’ve woken up, I’ve seen through a lot of what happened, and I am choosing me. At the end of the day, the gaslighting, which I don’t use lightly, was not okay. And it wasn’t in just one area. Trying to convince me that I am fundamentally not who I am was not okay. Trying to convince me that interactions were precipitated in ways that were so different than the truth was not okay. I realize we are allowed to have our own perspectives on a situation. But you aren’t allowed to tell me my reality didn’t happen (because, honey dee, it did). So here is what I’ve decided, for me:
I’m giving you up for Lent. Do I realize how silly that sounds? Yes. Is it important to this time and place and does it hold deep meaning? Also yes. It’s proof to myself that there is no turning back. It’s proof to myself that even though Lent starts on your birthday, there is no need to reach out. It’s proof to myself that I can disappear for 40+ days (and never return). It’s a very real metaphor for me: walking in the desert with my own temptations. Part of me wants to “stick it to the man” but none of this is actually about you. It’s about me, and my growth, and standing up for myself. And you aren’t worth it.
You’re savvy. You’re sneaky. You don’t like to be called out. You don’t actually want accountability. Your emotional capacity is nonexistent. You manipulate. So I’m also giving up: trying to crack your code, trying to understand the secrecy, the backlash from calling you on your shit, battling the gaslighting, giving and not receiving, being taken advantage of for crumbs. I recently said to someone “know better, do better”. And that is my new trajectory I am claiming. I see more. I learn more. And then I adjust and act accordingly. I do more. Giving space for others is important. Forgiving is important. But you can do that without keeping someone in your life. Not my typical MO, and obviously not something that is easy for me. But it starts now, today, in actuality and perpetuity. No turning back, no turning back.