today i feel so blessed to feature
my dear friend Jennifer's story.
These are her words, her images, her "I'm Better For It."
This is not a story I am proud to tell.
I tend to keep it safely concealed.
Ashamed to share it because I know
that the choices I made were poor.
The effect it had on another was large.
Over the years I have learned that all stories,
good or bad, need to be told.
Not all stories have happy endings
or are filled with good decisions.
Some stories are dark and riddled with hurt and pain.
These stories are important to tell.
Giving them a voice allows the pain to heal.
My story is dark and it involves another individual. One who I dated and lived with for three years.
This account is purely my own and is
therefore jaded with my opinions and feelings.
I am unable to say what he was going through.
I do not know what exactly he may have been feeling.
I do not know nor understand the deep plot of his story. Possibly that is how it all went wrong.
From the outside we looked happy, as most couples do.
We were so in love,
enjoying each moment that life brought us.
We worked together and lived together.
We spent most of our time together. We laughed a lot. Played games. Went on all sorts of adventures.
We had a lot of fun together. Things seemed great.
There were many great moments, but there were also darker ones as well.
There were moments of feeling small.
Unsure of who I was.
There were moments when I sobbed uncontrollably.
Unsure of the ground I was standing on.
Darkness crept into my heart.
It filled me up so much that at times I struggled to breathe.
It was during these three years that I fought an inner struggle within myself.
My heart and soul revealing little pieces of who I was.
Excited at the glimpse into this person yet afraid and unsupported in showing her to the world.
It was a roller coaster ride of emotions.
Happy when I found pieces of “me” and sad when I was pushed down for showing them.
I felt like I was struggling to find my way.
So I choose a path
that was not straightforward or honest.
I choose a path that was filled with lies and deceit.
While I was still living with this man. Working with him. Laughing with him. Enjoying time with him. While I was still with him I fell into the arms of another and I cheated on the person that I had spent three years with.
No matter how toxic my relationship was.
No matter what happened behind closed doors.
What I did was wrong. Incredibly wrong.
I did not even have the guts to tell him
of the horrific thing I did. Instead he found out because
of his own gut wrenching intuition.
You may be wondering where the
“I’m better for it” part is coming.
I was the one who was wrong here.
I was the one who destroyed another human beings heart.
I definitely was not a better person for doing what I did.
What I did was horrific and unforgivable.
It killed me inside to know and see the powerful effect that human beings have on one another
and how I was the cause of this destruction.
I know now that I am a better person for having gone through this situation even though
I was the one to cause the hurt and grief.
I was small then and unsure of myself.
I was afraid to be seen and heard.
I allowed things to happen that never should have happened. And I caused pain that I never should have caused.
But it was in that moment when things ended between us that I slowly began to climb into my skin.
I took the time to learn about myself and pushed myself through my fears.
I opened up myself to be seen for exactly who I was,
the good and the bad.
It was in that movement of destruction
that I was cracked open.
My heart on the floor, my soul shattered.
I realized in that movement that I
have to always take the time to
listen to that small voice in my heart.
That voice is wise and telling.
I need to listen to that voice and do so
with grace, dignity, and pride.
I learned that all situations no matter how difficult
need to be faced head on.
When we dance around them and avoid them they end up exploding in horrific and life altering ways.
It is difficult to put back the pieces of that explosion.
We need to gather our strength
no matter how difficult it may seem and be honest and open. In this life the best thing that we can do is
to be honest and share the truth of our story,
our thoughts and our feelings.
I made a terrible mistake.
I ran from that voice and avoided speaking about what my heart was feeling.
I looked for an easier way out.
But there is never an easier way out.
We must face the truth, always.
So I am better now for
making that terrible decision because it forced me
to learn and grow.
Although it is not something I am
comfortable admitting up to I know that I
cannot run from it.
Rather I must give this story a voice
and share with others what I have learned from it.
I am better now for going through it.
Learning from my mistakes.
Forgiving myself for my actions and
sharing the truth of my story.
- Jennifer Belthoff
you can visit jennifer here
and read her AMAZING words.
she is an incredible writer and i am
grateful she shared one of her stories with us.
thank you for visiting.