The late husband of Sybil in The Rightful Lord of the Castle is a combination of both of my ex-husbands. My second ex-husband was good to me for ten years and gave me a much beloved daughter. Ultimately, however, I couldn’t keep him from the worst parts of himself. That’s the bitter aftertaste of love: knowing you can’t make them change.
The only person you can change is yourself.
So get up, grab your undies, and run fast and far away from where you are not loved.
Melt down your heartbreak and hammer it into something new.
You’ll still feel the pain, but at least now it will shine pretty on your bookshelf.
To that end: The last thing I said (if he is even listening) to My Rose, My Executioner, from the book of the same title, was “Be happy” and I meant it.
I probably should also have said other things like “Thank you.”
The anguish was transformative and I’ve found inner depths of strength and kindness that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I like myself more than I did a year ago, and it’s because I faced my greatest fear, refused to submit to someone else’s narrative, let go of two decades worth of regret, stayed true to my own feelings, and evolved.
Also, I got a rose tattoo on my right index finger to remind me to stop being so stupid.
So, to reiterate: Be happy and thank you.