I am a difficult woman to understand. For the longest time in my life I was nothing more than a ball of smothering love and sulfurous self-hate, mingling together until neither side could determine who would win and one moment I was loving the world and the next minute I was sobbing over broken incense burners.
How do you love someone like that? How do you dedicate—willingly—your life and spending it with someone who’s apparently emotional maturity is that of a confused and angry seven year old?
I don’t know.
For the longest time, I couldn’t imagine loving myself, let alone anyone else.
And yet, there is Shawn.
Shawn has seen all sides of me. All the sides. ALL THE SIDES. The sides which people don’t get to see. The angry, the jaded, the hurt, the insulted, the temperamental. He saw me at my worst—when everything in my life seemed like an argument waiting to happen. When I was so lost within myself I was sure everyone and everything was out to get me. When I was angry for no reason. When I was depressed. When I got so depressed that I was actually blind to my own depression.
I cannot say that I have been a good wife these last ten years (officially married and not officially married.) I forgot to iron his clothes. Sometimes I forget to wash them. There are dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor. Some days I roll out of bed in a pair of pajamas and shuck them to put on another pair and my idea of primping myself up is making sure I am clean and my pony tail isn’t too messy.
I have never heard him tell me he was giving up.
At the worst of me, he never left. He never, ever, gave up.
There were times in the beginning where he had to simply get up and go for a walk—but he never gave up. He always came back. He always tried. He has always tried to understand, to be supportive the best way he can be, and he has always, always been in my life.
For the last decade I have never truly been alone even when I have convinced myself to think I am. If I fall, he laughs at me for being a goof and picks me up. If I yell at him for no reason he yells back to inform me I’m yelling at him for no reason. If I cry, he wraps me up in his arms and holds me. And if he finds out I cried without him he chides me for crying alone and reminds me that he loves me and I can cry whenever I need to.
I don’t know what I did to deserve a man like this who has been patient in the storm that I am. Who sighs and picks up the socks I promised to pick up two days ago but I forget because I am busy trying to get to level 50 in SWTOR. My house and my life and my insides might be a mess—but that never mattered to him. All that mattered was whether or not I was happy.
It took a long time to get to that point. But I am. I hope he knows it—I am happy.
I can’t imagine loving me like he has through all of this.
But he does.
And for that, there are no words eloquent enough, pretty enough, or poetic enough to say: thank you.
I love you, too.