I'm writing for you, Warrior Dragon Slayer. It seems crazy that I would call you that. I'm aware, but that's who you are. The dragons you’ve slayed don’t have scales or breathe fire. You never set out to be this person. Life handed you trauma and cut you deeply and the fact that you’re still here, still humble and moving on, means you are a warrior. It’s living but not as a survivor. You’ve learned to thrive in adversity.
You have faced down so much in life that tragedies capable of destroying other people are things that you face, knowing there are no other options. Fear and pain are present, but you won't allow them to weaken you. You have learned to navigate life through bravery and with courage. You find yourself alone quite often, not that you want to be. The place you fit in is such a rare position that most people are incapable of reaching the perch where you rest and recharge. They listen to you, inspired but unable to relate and connect with you. Many know you or know of you, but there are few that you know well. You don’t have the time to fulfill anyone's desire for connection. You couldn’t imagine being tortured the way they are over things that are laughably trivial compared to the journey that created you. You’ve been through worse and you know it was necessary to help you face what is still coming. You don’t fear it because you know you can handle it. There's not much embarrassment because you live in a place beyond the reach of someone else's opinion.
You understand loss, pain, despair and betrayal. You see patterns in the peaks and valleys you watch for. This is the very reason you are resilient, adaptable and resourceful. You choose to endure. You learn perseverance and tenacity as a daily lesson. You never give up because you know quitting is failure. You face the difficult conversations, delving deep below the surface to remove the scabs and scrape the infection clean so it can heal again.
The cost for the life you get to live will always follow the choices you make. To stop, to wait, to turn away, to act . . . These choices remind you that you are an active participant in life and that your life happens for you, not to you. You face your choices with integrity and in excellence. You do your very best because to hold back is to be a taker, denying the world the benefit of who you are and what you could give.
You love hard, no matter how many times you’ve faced rejection and betrayal. You have a heart filled with empathy and compassion because knowing the heart of others keeps you safe when dancing on the eggshells of their rough day.
You found someone, or really, he found you. He convinced you he loved you and would be there for you. He loved the fire inside of you and wanted to contain it to keep him warm. You did your best not to hurt him when you had to make up for his weakness. This sacrifice was for the greater good and took a fraction of your energy while building your world around being better and doing more. You did more than anyone thought you could because your goals and dreams scratched an itch he could never reach. It was enough that his presence felt like support, despite his dissent. You made a choice in him and it didn’t matter where the grass was greener. You were in this together, at all costs and you know how to soothe your own soul when it matters most, although the comfort of his presence was often enough. You elevated him as your partner and believed he was your equal. You didn't watch for the unique temperature of his moods because you felt he was meeting you at your level.
He became tired of waiting for your attention. He didn’t realize the children you created together would need you more than he would, and they would be your focus. He tried to fill the aching hole left by your rapt attention toward him and his needs. He began to resent the things he loved because he didn’t know how to create it. You assumed he was able to find the same strength you had because you weren't destroyed by the ways he wasn't meeting you. He was unhappy and looked to find you in someone else. He loved the ways she wasn't you, not seeing the many ways she could only aspire to be like you.
Betrayal is devastating. Breathe. Know only something amazing could come from the shattered pieces of what was. At the end of the day, you chose him, but didn't ever need him. Not really.
He’s not the man you once knew. The dreams and goals you built together were destroyed and dreaming on your own is suddenly scary, but again, you can do this. He became so unhappy in his life that he chose self sabotage of what was only his for a smaller version of what he had. You couldn’t imagine wanting to play small because you were building your empire in the ways that you felt were best.
He’s not the same man you once knew. He chose lies because the truth of who he was in your shadow was too shameful. His decisions were too embarrassing for honesty. He was only confident in leaving once he secured someone else because being alone was too scary. Your circle is a circle of choice. His is about necessity. He went against everything he once believed in because he was unable to own the fact that he, and not you, carried the responsibility for how he felt about his life. His broken pieces that fired off to hurt you are not your fault or responsibility. It’s not your job to make anyone else feel better about their lives. You can only control your reaction and his feelings aren’t your burden.
You could beat yourself up over it, but don’t bother. He’s already going to resent you for the choices he made. You are a badass. You have the power to take care of yourself and build an empire with a set of feet tapping on your bladder and robbing you of sleep. You are a powerful and capable life bringer.
You’ll wake up several times a night as your world fractures and shatters around you. Repeat your forgiveness until you doze off. This will help you to remain open to love and away from bitterness. One day you’ll stop waking up to reach for him, and you’ll love the space to spread across your bed. You may even choose vulnerability with someone new. Someone worthy of all of your good and all of your bad.
You’ll find your choices and instincts were always right as you learn you can take care of yourself. You'll stop missing the days of him trying to take care of your needs because you're so much better at it. You'll focus on what matters to you. There's no one to compromise with. There's no one to acquiesce to.
The seas are rough. But you are strong and built for this. Keep your eyes on the horizon when the storms rage and you are unsettled. Take your dramamine and nibble those crackers. Don't drown in substances to forget because the work required is so much harder if you allow time to harden you into a walled in fortress. Focus on your destination, scooping up those lessons along the way and trust the process of the journey you’re on. Nothing great comes from the comfort zone of what you are used to. Faith, growth and strength only come once you’ve endured something you never thought you could.
My sister once told me that I’m stronger than I think I am. I’m telling you, you’re more powerful than you know and knowing comes from the pain of betrayal, and loss, and facing the giants you didn’t know were around. Slay them, you Warrior Dragon Slayer.