As much as I wanted to in the beginning – as much as my heart cried out for retribution and my soul for understanding – still, I could not hate him. And I could not hate him because I couldn’t blame him. Not even when it seemed that breaking my heart had become a thoughtless exercise which he mastered completely; not even when his silence tore open my barely healed wounds, and his indifference rubbed like salt into each and every one of them. In the end, neither one of us was to blame.
I came to understand that he couldn’t will himself to love me anymore than I could will myself to stop loving him. Though we both tried; God knows how much we tried.
But it was a wasted effort, each one of us warring against the rival parts of ourselves that knew beyond a shadow of a doubt what needed to be done. I knew his toxicity would inevitably destroy me just as he knew that I was the one with whom he might finally find peace.
We were like soulless creatures buried in graves of our own making, clawing our way through the crushing weight of dirt piled on top of us in desperate attempt to become alive again, but stopping just beneath the surface. For though the dirt was suffocating, it was familiar, and we’d grown accustomed to not breathing. And though breaching the surface would have meant a fresh start and a new life, we were both addicted to misery and death.
He was the vice I could never surrender, and I the redemption he could never accept. In the end – though he was the one to walk away – the decision was ultimately out of either our hands. The closure I received was not in retribution or even in understanding, but from the Author of our respective fates whose hands closed that door forever. Strong yet gentle hands that dug themselves into the dirt, grasped my outstretched arms, and lifted me out of the grave.
It was there that I breathed in for the first time in years, letting the fresh air fill my lungs and restore my soul.
“We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it.” The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis