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he chose her 2 weeks after i made the biggest commitment of my young adult life, he chose her. i remember knowing something was different. i felt it in every part of me but i didn’t know to trust what i felt quite the contrary i imagined myself crazy… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

he chose her
2 weeks after i made the biggest commitment
of my young adult life
he chose her

i remember knowing
something was different
i felt it in every part of me
but i didn’t know to trust what i felt
quite the contrary
i imagined myself crazy

i remember watching him with her
from my office door,
how he looked at her
took my breath away
but i was sure he would be honest with me
after all he had promised
at the very least
to never lie to me

so i told myself to let it go
i told myself i was just being insecure
i made myself look away
when i knew he was leaning into
cheating on me

and instead of asking the man
who crawled into bed with me each evening
if he was leaving
i went cold on the inside
while forcing sweet nothings
faking sexy
trying to recreate what used to be
when he still loved me

it’s a sick, self inflicted torture
to pretend you are okay
being lied to
because it makes a liar
out of you

i became a liar
with him
acting like all was okay
when the truth was i was far away
slipping into such darkness
there were many a nights
i wished the sun would never come up

it took a month for me to speak
it was my first day off in weeks
and i had so looked forward to sleeping in
it had been a month of 18 hour days
and everything hurt

i had imagined i would wake rested
to have a day of play with him,
a day where i didn’t have to make things happen
a day that would make everything okay

but instead i woke
to the slamming of the front door
and i rushed to my window
just in time
to see him leave

it was my first day off in weeks
and he was leaving

i remember sitting at the kitchen table
for hours

it was mid-day when he returned
i had been planning what i was going to say
since he left,
i had rehearsed it over and over

i was going to be loving and clear
soft and sweet
as i knew he would want me to be

but as he approached me
the words came out harsh…

“did you make love to her”

he burst into tears
“emily,” he said
reaching for me

“don’t say my name”
i heard myself whisper
and as i got up to walk away
i collapsed

i remember hitting the floor
i remember my eyes closing
and knowing i was still there
but hoping like i did when i was a little girl
that if i closed my eyes,
no one could see me

some moments change you
quite literally
this moment fractured me
and i can see how even so many years later
it has a home in me
and how it shapes the way i see
how it impacts the way i feel
how it causes me to quiver
when i sense he isn’t choosing me

and i have to remind myself
i am not that girl anymore

i am not the girl
who swallows truths
and sleeping pills
just to get through the night

i am not the girl
who uses sex
to fake intimacy
to keep what no longer wants me

i am not the girl
who giggles
when she really wants to cry
or the girl who doesn’t trust
her own body
when it’s screaming,
pay attention to me

i am just not that girl anymore

and while yes, this has shaped,
impacted and informed me
it will never define me
because i am not who i used to be

sometimes we need to be reminded
of who we are
sometimes that happens in gracious
and celebratory ways
sometimes it happens in painful
and heart shattering ways

but as far as i can tell…
what matters most is not what happened
but how you let it change you

and that my friends
we actually have authority over

we cannot control other people
we cannot make everything be just so

but we can learn to be with ourselves
no matter what happens
and we can choose
how we want to move forward
who we want to be
how we want to be

we always have that

and that is what’s most interesting to me


where you turn even the darkest of muck
into the mightiest of trees

where all the hurt becomes
liquid gold in your veins

this is how we keep going
without going numb

this is how we ensure
we keep feeling
without breaking

this is how we
get stronger
and softer

this is how
we don’t just deal
but heal

❤️ emily joy rosen

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