I can tell you from experience, in almost all cases where a person’s presence is taken for granted, there will come a day when the person with the “oh, he/she ain’t going nowhere” attitude will look up and wonder where that other person slipped off to. Trust and believe, he or she didn’t slip anywhere. You let them go. Period.
Early on in marriage, my defunct marriage, my ex-husband and I were having one of our few mild exchanges and somehow the conversation led to us separating. He said, “I was telling my mama that you told me you were going to leave and she said, ‘Trease ain’t going nowhere. She’s not stupid. You pay all the bills, give her extra money, and you buy her stuff.’ ” Y’all . . .
Well, I did leave him later that year. I didn’t leave the state, I just moved to a gated apartment complex, but that gate was a deterrent for him. He made his way past it several times. Obviously, I went back. I was determined to make that thing work. I thought my absence and my presence were of equal importance in his life, but as it turns out, the former would ultimately be the best choice for both of us.
Later on, I will lay out the details about the time I left him in 1997 and moved back to Louisiana for a sort of sabbatical. Many things happened during that separation that: (1) should have opened my eyes to just how rotten a person he was and (2) should have shown me just how weak my own flesh was. One of the things that happened during that separation has a tremendous bearing on my life today. The heart wants what the heart wants. So does the flesh.
As flesh-and-blood humans, we are all subject to being mistreated by another. Most of the walls and barriers that people have erected up and around themselves are their answers to being treated badly. Yesterday as I was driving from my mom’s, I thought about the fact that despite all that I endured during those 19 years, despite the fact that I almost died on July 21, 2009, and despite the fact that my ex-husband used my heart and mind as a doormat, I refuse to be a victim and I refuse to be the angry chick.
By all accounts, it’s his loss. I am far from perfect, but I’m a good, good woman who loves hard. Not one bit of arrogance goes into that statement, it’s just that after years and years of being told I was worthless, I finally realized that I’m worth it all.