The walking wounded

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I’m not the Woman you cheat on your girl with. After being on the receiving end of that heartbreak, I’ll never be the cause of someone else’s.

But a realization I’ve come to lately is that I’m no longer the girl who gets cheated on. I refuse to be so blind ever again.

When I look back on my life, I want these to be the defining moments. The days and years that proved myself to me.

Because the girl that lets a man break her with her eyes wide open, unwilling to see what’s happening to her? That girl ends up a wretched mess on the side of the road.

Begging for scraps of love.

Wrapping her tattered shreds of sanity around her and shooing away both the night,

and the memories.

But the woman who gives love a chance and, upon finding herself bewildered and betrayed, decides to stand up and see clearer anyway? That woman faces the reality head-on. She figures out what must be done and gets the 40 hour a week job.

That woman does whatever it takes, standing for hours on end, accepting any overtime they give her, learning and running and ignoring the lack of sleep.

She makes friends. She makes a plan. She builds a career.

She sacrifices her skin for blisters and rough patches and health insurance.

She even gives up watching her baby grow that one last half of an inch that finally means she’s tall enough to get on the toilet all by herself (a milestone mommy was losing her mind trying to have them reach together just months earlier.)

And through it all, the Woman refuses to change who she is.

A fallen love is no reason to stop believing in falling in love.

Being wrong about the man she chose doesn’t make it wrong for her to have chosen in the first place…no matter what the world might say.

The wounds eventually heal as much as they ever will. What’s left can only remind her of what was, even if once in a while a bit of salt finds its way in and begins the stinging and healing process all over again.

It comes and it goes. And she keeps going.

***

I loved and I was lied to and I can still be happy. I can still love again someday.

My wounds won’t transform me into the type of female who makes men pay for the hurt in my soul.

And my heart can’t be punished for its part in the injuries of my past.

These wounds can’t be allowed to isolate me from laughter and joy.

If they do, then everything this Woman has worked for during the past three years have been for nothing.

But I’m also not the one who flirts with every guy around, engaging in intrigues and trysts, naturally becoming the favorite subject of the gossipmongers and drama queens.

I’ve never been that one. Not because I care what people say about me, but because I’m happy as long as I’m doing what feels right to me.

I’m a nerd. I’m a nice girl. I’m not apologetic about it.

These blisters are nothing more than a sign of my commitment to the future I dreamt of when my little big girl was merely a warm and tiny loveball in my arms.

And part of that commitment was to do things right this time. To live my life the way I want to live it, without excuses or placations to the world around me.

To build myself up, from the ground up, doing whatever it takes to get to a place of stability, and who knows, maybe even some money to spare.

To not be the girl who gives everything up for the guy and then gets cheated on anyway.

To be the Woman who I was meant to be. The Woman my daughter already believes I am.

So while I won’t be dancing on any tables, I won’t be a wallflower on the dancefloor of my existence either. I’ll do what feels right and my soul will be whole- even with the wounds, even with the start all over again.

No waiting to join the party. Just me, who I am. Who I’ll always be.