When I left my husband, I had no idea of the purity of life that would engulf me in these following months. I met people who said what they meant. I met people who could be upset without letting their tempers spill over into conversation with me, toward me. I met people who don’t have to make someone else feel small in order to feel better about themselves.
I learned that saying what I meant and meaning what I say has value. Most people I’ve met respect me for being honest, whereas the man I once loved could never believe a word I said. I told myself that it was okay to believe someone when they shared a thought, to take them at face value. I learned that it is okay to trust others, that not everyone in the world will take advantage (of what he called) my inability to understand the real world.
In short, I am reminded daily that it is okay to be genuine, trusting, open, honest, and kind. Yes, there are people in the world who will try to take advantage of those qualities, I suppose. I haven’t met them yet. But when I do, I think there will be an aura about them, a familiar feeling will come over me, and I will recognize them before it’s too late. I trust that my experiences in life so far will alert me to those I must beware of before opening myself up too far.
By and large, this world I find myself living in is more trustworthy than the marital relationship I am leaving behind. He was my world. He was my life. I willingly gave every part of myself to him. But I feel his view of the “real world” – harsh, uncaring, unjust and stereotyped – carried over into his view of me. I feel that the real world he holds in his mind destroyed us.
But it won’t destroy me. I don’t live in his world any longer.