September 26, 2011


Dear AnimaSola,
I know that you are feeling a deep sense of shame about your depression and where you have let yourself end up emotionally, particularly after having the strength to come out as a lesbian and leave your 10-year marriage behind — but I forgive you. And really, you are so much better than you were a year ago. A year ago was the real low point for you. You and The Nurse went through this whole last year on-again and off-again just so that you could both be a little more okay with letting each other go I think. At least not suicidal, right? Sigh. But you know it was about so much more than the breakup. It's deep issues you've got in there: Yearning for family. Sexual abuse. Abandonment by your mother. So much loss. But this relationship too, has taken a toll on your self-esteem. You were doing all the dreaming for a future that only you wanted. That was certainly clear after you both moved out of your dream apartment last Fall. It was clear that there was no love for your children in her heart — and something very far from love directed at your teenager. You knew that you could never marry a woman who didn't love your children. It's so heartbreaking to even put that into writing, but you both need to face that truth, so that you can heal.

I know you are in deep pain. I know how much it hurts to see The Nurse, her daughter — and oh, the dog you adopted together. How your heart aches for the damned dog! Maybe because her love was so...unconditional, you miss her so. You have permission to avoid as many sporting events, school socials and church gatherings as you need to. You are not required to go to most of these things --but you are required to take care of your heart. You are not required to try to be friends. Right now, that would be asking the impossible. You are not required to put up any fronts for anyone. Protect yourself in anyway you need to. Block/restrict whoever you need to on Facebook. Limit your exposure to postings that might upset you. It doesn't make you a bad person that you are not capable of putting on a false front for the world and pretending to be friends with your ex when you are truly heartbroken. It took you 9 months to get over your last relationship, before The Nurse, so you know it will take some time. Give yourself all the time you need.

When the new girl you don't really know tells you that you have beautiful eyes — you say thank you but you don't pursue it, because you know it's not time yet. Not for anything real. There have been times in your life that you've shared single nights with such women — and men — just to let the loneliness pass away for a moment, just to feel beautiful — just to feel...but did you really feel anything at all? No. You have only ever felt connected within relationship — so that is what you will wait for again. But, of course, you know better than to look for it. It will just come when the time is right again.

It's so odd that you haven't given up on love yet. Heartbroken, crushed, defeated, lying on the couch for days and sobbing and still — still! You're dreaming about future love! You have always believed that it is out there, waiting for you: a true partnership, someone to share your life with and grow old with. And here you are, on the brink of 40 — alone and still dreaming! That is pretty powerful!

Be really good to yourself. Try to eat a little more. Try to keep biking through the Fall. Keep singing! Push yourself really hard to call friends and keep asking people if you can come over and just hang out -- its so good for you, even though it's so hard and I know you'd rather be alone. Keep processing the hard emotions. Don't shut down. Keep exploring new hobbies and rekindling old ones. Connect. Pray. Enjoy bonding time with your girls. Get new pets. And forgive yourself. You fell in love and tried so hard — I know you did. It's okay. I still love you and you are worthy of love and someday, I know that your dreams will come true.
All my love,

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