I’ve done a lot of writing this past year. Most of it, I’ll probably never share with anyone, because it would probably implicate any chance of me running for office in the future. 😂
But this was one piece that’s raw, real, and relatable to anyone who has been through a situation like mine.
A lot of times we don’t realize the impact our actions have on others, or the healing that has to occur because of what we go though. It’s hard to put emotions into words. It’s hard to rationalize hurt. It's also a fine line between being informative and being bitter.
Thanks for letting me share my heart this week. Thanks for your continued love, prayers, positive vibes and encouragement. If I’ve got any advice for today, it would be to let the people in your life know how much you care about them, and strive to start treating all fellow humans with dignity and respect. If you ever feel inadequate, I promise that you have far more to offer than you realize.
Here’s the piece I’ve written:
In life, you are allowed to reject people. You are allowed to say, “I don’t want you in my life any more because of x, y, and z.” You’re allowed to walk away. Being rejected hurts, but that’s not what I have the issue with. The issue I have is with your actions before walking away without explaining why you were never coming back. I want you to understand something:
You led me on.
When you make someone think she is going to spend forever with you, when you do things like pick out the names of your future children, go ring shopping with her, tell her parents you want to marry their daughter, and make future plans with her – but then bail? Sounds like leading someone on to me.
You can’t treat people this way. Actually, you can do whatever you want. But what you did was downright cruel. And as you go on in your life, I want you to understand that when someone thinks you’re special and gives you her heart and is anticipating spending forever with you because of what you do and say, you cannot manipulate her into a one-sided relationship while you hope that someday your feelings play catch-up to your words and actions. This is the textbook definition of leading someone on.
Love is not a game, but you played me like a hand of poker. You kept your cards close, wore a straight face, and always kept me guessing. I was the fool who always saw the best in you, never stopped believing in you, and always thought you were worth it – no matter what. All I wanted to be was your Queen of Hearts. But you lied through your teeth. You were nothing more than a Joker.
This isn’t a case of a simple misunderstanding. You used me. You knew exactly how I felt about you, what I wanted, and where I wanted to go. And piece by piece you took parts of me, and then, when you were done, you left me with nothing without ever telling me why.
I did so much for you, but it was never enough. I spent months trying to help you build a business and poured countless hours and late nights into chasing down a dream with you. I said I’d pack up my life and move with you in a heartbeat when you were interviewing for out-of-state jobs. I made your mom a collage that she liked so much and thought was so thoughtful that it made her cry – because I didn’t just care about you, I cared about your family, too.
I served cheerfully alongside you at church, even when I was tired, exhausted, and didn’t want to get up early – or be cheerful for that matter. But you always told me that couples who serve together stay together, yet that was nothing more than a half-baked story and another thread in your web of lies. When you were looking into starting a brewery with your friends, I offered to help you find a space to rent or buy, and I’d even do the marketing for the business... And the list goes on. Every. Single. Thing. that you asked me to do, I did. Why? Because love is manifested through giving.
Love is not a game, but even if it was, the odds were never in my favor. Whatever I did was never enough. And you know how that made me feel? Like I wasn’t enough. And you know what? That’s bullshit, because I am more than enough.
I’m a beautiful woman who has her shit together. I’ve got a college degree and a good job. I own a house. I am relentlessly pursuing an epic life, setting goals, and helping people achieve theirs.
I’m an encourager. I’m incredibly smart. I’m emotionally intelligent. I’m an amazing writer, a talented singer-songwriter, and an artist to boot.
I’m a great cook and an even better baker. I’m brave, adventurous and daring. I’d do anything for the people I care about. I’ve got some of the most amazing friends and mentors in the world.
I’m well-traveled, well-read, and well-rounded. I love with my whole heart, body, mind and soul.
But somehow, you convinced me that I wasn’t good enough. You took the best parts of me and then threw me away with no explanation. And that’s extremely unfair.
When push came to shove, all of the leadership principles you supposedly embraced disappeared. Shame on you for portraying yourself as someone you weren’t – but shame on me for believing it was real. When your true colors came out, you weren’t a leader, you were a coward. You weren’t a man, you were a boy.
You know how I know this? Because when you give something valuable to a man, he protects it. He cherishes it, and he will do whatever it takes to make sure that this thing of value is kept safe. But a boy? A boy will take something valuable and he will tarnish is, break it, and leave it in such a state of disrepair that it will take a miracle to restore it to its original form. A boy is too immature to understand anything of value – and I regret that I let you break me.
But if I had to be the sacrificial lamb for you to learn how to treat a woman, then so be it. I write this because you need to understand that you have to treat the next girl better. You need to grow up, and you need to man up.
I hope you learn that you have to choose her every damn day – not just on good days or when it’s convenient for you. I hope you realize that relationships are hard work. They’re not always fun, people aren’t perfect, and everyone will disappoint you, hurt you and let you down at some point when you fully let them in.
I hope you learn to fight the problem, not her. I hope you learn to communicate how you feel and find solutions to problems instead of holding grudges and stonewalling her.
She can’t fix what’s wrong if you don’t tell her because she can’t read your mind. I hope that when you no longer see the stars in her eyes that you will travel to the end of the universe to find them again. I hope that from now on, you say what you mean and you mean what you say.
And most importantly, I hope to God that you don’t lead her on.
So as I move forward with my life, I want you to know that I would have done anything for you. I believe in fighting for love, and I always will. But I also want you to know that you betrayed me deeper than anyone ever has. You’ll never fully understand the pain that you caused me, or how sad, hurt, and deceived I felt because you of what you did to me. I want you to know that I didn’t deserve what you put me through.
But really, I want you to know these things so that you never treat someone who loved you this way ever again. Once is enough