At first, I was hurt. I was angry. I was bitter but then I became grateful because when you let me down, you answered every question I had — questions I never thought would be answered.
Thank you for making me cry, the tears washed away the mist that stopped me from seeing your true colors all these years but now I see things more clearly. The tears made me realize that I was blinded by your vision. I believed everything you told me about myself and I avoided mirrors because all I saw were the imperfections you pointed out, the flaws you would always remind me of and the person you told me I was. So thank you for the tears, I can now see the good things you never magnified to, the positive qualities that you kept suppressing so you can shine, and now I don’t avoid mirrors. Now I look at myself with pride because I see the person I could become. The person you told me I could never be.
Thank you for taking your love away from me. Thank you for not telling me things I needed to hear to love myself. Thank you for not showering me with the love and support I needed to thrive. Thank you for constantly reminding me that I’ll never find love in your arms because you forced to fight for another kind of love. You forced me to find a better kind of love. You forced to love myself without your help and you forced me to look for the kind of love you never had, the kind of love you never knew. You made me realize that all you knew was a hostile kind of love. The kind of love that hurts and offends people. The kind of love that keeps score. The kind of love that turns into a war of who cares less, who’s always wrong and who can lose faster. Thank you for showing what kind of love I really don’t need in my life.
Thank you for letting me down and abandoning me. You forced me to upgrade. You forced me to find myself. Your forced me to find better and more loving people and you forced me to find a better life. A life where I don’t have to be condemned for being human, making mistakes, learning or growing up. A life where I can be myself and still feel safe. A life where speaking up doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. A life where love is freely given without any tears, bruises or injuries.
Rania Naim is a poet and author of the new book All The Words I Should Have Said, available here.