I don’t want to be friends anymore. I know we’ve been together for a long time. We met when I was very young. You taught me that when people were mad at me, or if I did something that made them sad, it was my fault. You kept me company and sat with me and kept repeating, “This is you. You aren’t good enough.” If you had been good enough, they wouldn’t be so mad. If you hadn’t screwed up, they wouldn’t be crying. If it weren’t for you, they would be happy. You caused all this and you are worthless.
The first time I really remember you visiting, though I am sure it wasn’t our first, I was just a little girl on her way home from school. Three middle school boys tried to shove me, my coat and my books into a storm drain. I fought and cried and won, but you kept their words in my ears. You are ugly. You are stupid. You are worthless. You told me over and over again that they were right and you made sure I remembered that it was my fault they were mean to me. It wasn’t. They picked on others to make themselves feel better. It was never about me.
You kept me company on the playground after I moved schools and didn’t feel like I belonged. I was shy and the new kid and you told me it was all about me. It wasn’t. It was never about me. You sat with me in my room when my parents were tired from a long day at work and wanted me to just be quiet and leave them alone. That wasn’t on me. That was on them.
You held my hand when my first heartbreak occurred. That boy didn’t like you enough to stay with you. You weren’t pretty enough for him. You weren’t fun enough. You should have done what he wanted and then he would have stayed, at least for a little while longer, but he still would have left because it was never about me.
You made sure when I sat in my messy room to remind me what a lazy person I was to not keep it clean. Your mom would love you more if you could just keep your room clean. My mom couldn’t love herself enough. It was never about me. You kept it going when I couldn’t keep the house clean enough for her either. You told me it was all my fault when it wasn’t. It was never about me.
You were there again when the next boyfriend left and the next. You were there at boot camp when the drill instructor told you how fat and stupid you were. Stupid loser. It didn’t matter that it was his job and he didn’t mean it. You made sure I thought he did, even though it was never about me.
You held back my hair after a night of drinking and making a first move on a man who rejected you that night. You know the one, the one you would later marry and spend the next 22 years trying to be good enough for. Good enough for him to see you, to hear you, to love you enough to do better, be better, instead of what you could do for him or give to him? I didn’t know you were also sitting with him, convincing him that the only way to avoid rejection himself was to create it. So he did. It was never about me.
You stayed with me after he did, making sure I never forgot that I had been rejected by a man who I pledged my life to, who I created children with and who I thought held my heart and the keys to my happiness. You made me think it was all about me.
When my mom took her life, you were impeccable at telling me that I could have stopped it. I wasn’t enough for her to stay alive for. Even your own mother didn’t want to stick around for you. You would remind me for years to come of that. You lied to me. It was never about me.
When my daughter saw me and ran the other way, keeping me out of her life for the last two years, that was the final blow. I fell to the floor in defeat. I wanted my heart to stop beating. You had won. I was down for the count, defeated once and for all, rejected, trampled and ready to let you win. I believed it was all about me, about my failures about not being good enough, even as a mother, the job and role I treasured most.
Then, I saw Jesus. His arms outstretched, open, warm and inviting. His arms emulated love and peace and I watched people run. They were running from Jesus, the picture of perfection. I watched you stand next to him and bow. You took a knee. You had no power over him. I watched him raise his hands to you and you fell. You shriveled and died next to the son of God.
I’ve got news for you, rejection. I’m also a child of God. You have no power over me. You will hold me prisoner no more. I am not a product of other people’s ideas and beliefs. I am not a result of other people’s rejections.
I am not perfect, but I am also not rejected. I stand with Jesus at my side and you will not hold me back. You need to take a knee. You haven’t met me, the real me, the strong me, the me that is done with you, the me that overcomes, the me that stands with the power of God next to her, in her and with her.
You will not let me think for one more day, one more hour, one more second that the decisions of others mean I’m not good enough. It is not about me. They are fighting their own battle against you. You will not creep into my head and cause depression to overtake me. You will not hold me prisoner any longer. WE ARE DONE.
From this day forward, I stand with Jesus. I stand with all the other people who feel the sting of rejection and betrayal, whether it is from divorce or simply broken people, making bad choices that really never had anything to do with me, but it was always about them. We will stomp you and what you stand for together. We are united and strong. We are here to overcome your sting, to find our power and to help others fight against you.
Rest in peace my longtime partner. Today, I reject you. Today it is about me.
Angela Miller is a Professional Life Coach passionately pursuing her purpose to help others remember who they are and how to become their best self. For more information, visit www.soaringforward.com.