America, I’m sad to say, I’m going to have to put our relationship on a hold, take a break if you will.  I just need some space to sort out my feelings on a few things, really check in with who I am as a person. I know you don’t mean to hurt me, and that some of the things you’ve been saying aren’t what you mean deep down, that it’s just an expression of your own frustration and pain.  I hope you can find a way to heal.  I hope the decisions you’ve made can bring you some peace or at least some resolution. But I can’t pretend you didn’t say those things, or that you’ve hurt me to my very core.  I’m not saying we’ll never get back together, or that I hate you, on the contrary I love you so much that my disappointment and pain feels debilitating right now and I need some time alone.

Other people who are looking in at us from the outside might not understand.  They say you’re abusive, that you don’t deserve my forgiveness, but I know that’s not the truth. I know there is so much more going on here than even I understand, and I hope when things are calmer, we can discuss them. For now though, please forget my number, please stop driving by my house, please stop calling our friends and asking how I’m doing.  Because I’m not doing well.  Not well at all.

You see I’m afraid.  I admit it and it’s painful to say, but I’m afraid of you.  I’m afraid of what my daughters have seen you do and what you might do to them one day.  I’m afraid of how you treat me, of how you talk about my black friends.  I’m afraid of how you think we should deal with my young friends who are discovering their sexuality and gender identity. I’m afraid you might actually do some of the things you’ve been threatening, and I just can’t live this way anymore.  It’s like there’s a constant blade held against my throat, close enough to draw a drop of blood and getting tighter with each new insult and attack.

So you get the house. I’ll leave our family pictures. I can’t bring myself to look at them right now.  But please, remember our history, remember as you’re rebuilding what you can of yourself how far we’ve come, how hard we fought to be together.  Remember the hurdles we’ve overcome, the injustices we’ve fought.  Most of all, remember how beautiful you are and how much you are loved.  Don’t let your demons tear you apart.  Things are tough for everyone right now, but you’ll get through this.  I believe in you.  I just can’t be the one to hold your hand as you heal, I need a little healing myself.

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