Ashley Gilmer
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An Open Letter to the Man Who Destroyed My Family

You suck, but that's okay...

To whomever it may concern,

I don't know your name, what you look like, where you are from, or anything about you. And I don't care to. You ripped my family a part. You took the seams of my parents' marriage and helped my mom pull them out thread by thread. I don't blame you entirely, for it takes two to tango, but it takes an extremely low, greedy person to come between a married woman and her husband. Who knows? Maybe there were multiple of you. Like I said: I don't know, and I don't care to, whomever it may concern.

This letter has been a long time coming. Seven years, if I'm being precise.  A lot of emotions have been felt and delt with since you forced your way into my life story and altered it permanently. But you tore irreparable holes into my life. Because of you, I will never be the same person. Because of you, I have an estranged relationship with my mother. Because of you, I went through the hardest parts of my life, the horrible teenage years, without having a mom and a friend to lean on. There are countless other ways you wrecked my life. Those were just to name a few. Your selfish actions took it all away. Both of your selfish actions and ambitions took it all away.

My family: me, my mom, and my dad, that was my entire world and my entire life. I was once the kid that would rather hang out with mom and dad than hang out with friends. My parents and I? Inseparable. I thought their marriage was the bomb dot com. The thought of their divorce never even crossed my mind. You caused my life to shatter. You broke me in ways you can not imagine. And you caused me pain you cannot fathom. Because of you, I experienced depression for the first time and had my first suicidal thoughts. To think a man I did not even know caused me to not want to live. A young girl with her whole future in front of her wanted to die because of what you did. You were the perpetrator of some of the darkest times I've ever experienced and probably ever will. I have only physically felt my heart ache two times in my life, and you were the direct source of one of them. Physical heartache. To a 15-year-old girl. 

This letter isn't all about pain and sadness, though. 

To whom it may concern,

Thank you. You made me stronger. You taught me emotional maturity. You taught me how to overcome obstacles. Most importantly, you taught me forgiveness. Because of you, I can overcome depression and suicidal thoughts. Because of you, I am strong. You tore me down and ripped my life apart, but I am better for it. I came out stronger, kinder, and with more compassion and empathy. I no longer hold the hatred in my heart that I did for you years ago. I don't thank you for what you did or your motives behind it, but I thank you for the outcome and who I became because of it. I am who I am because I fought to become her despite everything you caused. And I like to think that, for the most part, I am pretty awesome, so thank you. I forgive you. Don't cause anyone the kinds of pain and misery you brought upon me. Surely you learned your lesson. I wish you well. 

Sincerely,

Ashley 2.0 (the upgrade)

Taekwondo is what got me through it... Now I blog about it.

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