I recently heard something that has been haunting me ever since: "You come from a family of leavers."
It wasn't said directly to me, but since I'm in the same family - it includes me via the generalized nature of the statement. And herein you will find a rhetorical response to the statement.
I'm not a leaver. I'm a SURVIVOR. The two are quite different. To have stayed would have meant a life of loneliness, emotional destruction of my soul, financial demise, arguing, and a lot of heaving of shit across the room at your fucking lazy ass. To have stayed would have meant that I chose to pander to your "poor pitiful me", "the world is against me" attitude. To have stayed would have meant that I chose to roll over and die - - kill the person I am on the inside - so I could stay back and be miserable with you. Because misery does love company, right? You blamed your series of unfortunate events on me. I was holding you back. I was bringing you down. Which is funny - because I was miles ahead of you and 7 rungs higher up on the ladder. YOU turned it into a competition. YOU didn't like the fact that despite your miserable existence, I was able to hold my head up high and keep climbing and moving forward. So you tried to drag my ass back down to your cess pool of a life.
YOU are a leaver. YOU chose the misery over the happiness. YOU chose irresponsibility over responsibility. YOU chose booze and fun over family and home. YOU LEFT. I was standing right there all along. That was me you saw alone with our kids on holidays, weekends, evenings. That was me you saw fiddling with the plumbing at 7 p.m. with two small children standing at bay because YOU left the broken pipe spewing water all over the house and went on to work and left it for me to deal with. That was me you saw organizing family gatherings and celebrations. That was me you saw mowing the grass, running a household and caring for our children. That was me you saw vacuuming the floors 26 hours after giving birth to our 2nd child - because you had to go to court over a ticket and left me at home alone with a newborn and a 2 yr. old.
YOU weren't there - most of the time physically absent. But even when your body was in the same house - your heart and mind were somewhere else. A walking shell of a person I once loved and admired and respected. You took for granted my kindness and benevolent love for you. You abused it. You tromped on it. You didn't respect it or nurture it or reciprocate it.
YOU left. I SURVIVED.
I'm not a leaver. What I am is someone not willing to buy into horse shit any and THAT my friend, is what pissed you off the most - that you could no longer manipulate me to get your way. When you could no longer fuck with my mind, you tried puffing your chest bigger, raising your voice louder, even made a run at using your physical prowess over my small stature. But I looked your fierce mean, hateful, stupid ass square and the face and dared you just do it. Just fucking punch me square in the face - because that'll be all I need to have a good solid reason to get out. But you didn't go through with it. I think you were afraid of my strength and determination and the fact that I was not scared of you or buying into your shit any longer. I won and you left - physically. And I breathed a sigh of relief, smiled and survived.
I have someone new now. Someone who loves me and respects me and nurtures me and empowers me. Someone that only says kind, loving things to me and only wants the absolute best for me. Someone who cries when I tell them about you, unable to comprehend how anyone could have treated me so badly. And every time I see you now, I'm reminded of what a manipulative, game playing bastard you are. And I thank God YOU were a leaver, so I could stay.