(updated to reflect a less vile version of me)
When I was 2, my parents separated and my father was no longer a daily presence in my life.
When I was 14, a boy broke my heart. He told me I was the only girl for him and then he impregnated the preachers daughter.
When I was 23, a man broke my heart. This man did not walk away. I chased him away. I was too afraid to love him. Loving him made me feel vulnerable.
Allowing him to love me, frightening me. I held my stomach in when he was near. I stood up straight. I could not let him see my weaknesses - my needs, my fears, my flaws.
When I lost this man, I did everything I could to get him back, but silly me, you can't make a man love you. You can't control a man, and so... I set out to control my world.
Silly me, you can't control your world. You are not that powerful. I am not that powerful.
When I was 23, after the man broke my heart, I lost 90% of my hair - on my head, and in other places too.
I spent the rest of my twenty's trying to get someone to love me for who I was, not for what I looked like.
I did not look good.
I went on cortisone. I grew some hair but I also grew a second chin, a hump on my back, and 20 pounds.
I went off the cortisone and wore a wig.
One day I woke up and decided I would WILL my hair to grow.
And it did.
Then I met a GOOD man. A man who proved, without a shadow of a doubt, that he could love a woman who was sick, vulnerable, and in need - that he would never turn his back and walk away.
I married that man. I had a child with that man.
Years later, no fault to the man, I realized I could not live with this man.
So I left this man and found another man. A broken man.
I am attracted to this man because I am broken too.
I married this man and together, we schlepped through many trenches.
Tonight, I asked this man to leave and he has agreed.
He will go to Aspen, where his brother is waiting for him. Always waiting for him.
We will revisit our relationship in the spring.
And I will heal myself.
This cancer is not about me dying. It's about me learning how to love myself.
I hope he finds whatever it is he needs to make him feel happy. Because I love this man and always will.
And I need to focus 100% on me.