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The Letters I Never Sent You

Updated: Apr 25

Today I wrote another letter to my almost ex husband. Our divorce will be final in a few weeks. After almost 35 years together, the connection will be broken with a painful finality. I didn't envisage this path. I didn't ever imagine that I would have a future without him. But I do and I have, and that's ok. So why am I writing to him, and why don't I send these letters?

It started not long after we separated. We didn't have a typical relationship. We were together all the time, working together, travelling together and generally having fun together and being best friends. So when it all came crashing down, one of the hardest things for me was to not have him around to share things with, to bounce ideas off, just to generally talk to. We had been best friends for so long that it was like a huge gaping hole inside me.

I had an idea of filling it by writing to him. So for the last 18 months on and off I've written 1000s of words in letters I've never sent. It's been quite a few months since I last wrote to him. I've sort of weaned myself off the need to share now. I tell my friends or my family or just wander round the house talking to myself! I don't seem to need the support or validation anymore.

This morning I wanted to tell him about the two books I've written in the last year. The fact that one was published last week. My first book. A lifetime dream of mine. He always said one day I'd be a writer and I am. That's who I am now. But he doesn't know it. He doesn't know that in a few months the book that is me baring my soul will be published and that I'm absolutely terrified of that. If he was here he would have reassured me that it will be a wild success and that he was so proud of me.

But the ironic thing is that if he was here it would never have been written. The book was born from the absolute chaos that my life became after we separated, of how lost I felt and how much thinking about anything further than a day away panicked me. It came from the pain of his betrayal, and the heartbroken knowledge that life as I knew it had vanished. Without all this change, I wouldn't have been forced to reassess my life and examine my soul to see what I was supposed to be doing for the rest of my life. Without this I wouldn't have realised my dream of being a published author.

This time though I didn't even finish the letter or read over it again. It's just on my computer and will stay there with the others. I'm glad I wrote it though as I reminded myself of something. I'm ok without him. I've survived something I would have thought was impossible and that makes me feel invincible. Like I can do anything I want to. So why am I worried about the book, about everyone knowing my deepest thoughts and fears? Well I realised I'm not really anymore. I sent off the manuscript to the publisher today so now the process has started.

I don't think I'll be writing any more letters to him. It helped me when I needed it, it helped me process things and work though my pain, but I don't need that anymore. It's served its purpose. It's a great tool to have in your healing kit though. Sometimes all you need is to get it out of your head and onto paper or screen. It's a sort of letting go, releasing all the emotions, frustrations and letting the pain and hurt seep out of you. Try it if you don't believe me. It works beautifully and is so simple to do. The trick is to not hold back though and not to think too much about it, just let the words flow.

Let me know in the comments if this is something you do or would try.

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