Dear State of California,
I am writing today because my therapist tells me that it would be a good exercise to get some things off my chest. I know our versions of our breakup are different. You are telling your friends that I left you with a massive debt and a million needs to fill. How can you spread such lies? The truth of the matter is far more sinister and we both know it.
When I first met you, 34 years ago (I’m not counting the brief acquaintance we made four years before that), you were the most handsome one I’d met so far. Everything about you was bigger, shinier, more fabulous. You took me to Disneyland early on and I remember all the fun times we had playing on the sand and in the water. Your rugged, majestic charm really overshadowed the issues I knew were present underneath it all.
I just didn’t want to see it.
Even my friends warned me over the years to leave you. They pointed out your obvious dangers to me. But I didn’t want to listen. I kept believing in you, hoping they were wrong.
And it didn’t help that you kept taking me away to Catalina Island… you knew that place takes my breath away.
And your friends were such exciting people! Artists and actors and brilliant, dramatic, fashionable people.
But as much as I would try to cover my eyes, I knew DEEP DOWN that you were not good for my health as you began to take the steps to hold me prisoner in my own home.
It was really after we made a commitment to one another that things began to change. When I applied for that marriage license I had no idea you would hold jurisdiction over me in every way. Beginning in 2006 you ordered me to stay within your house or you would lock me up in a cage.
I know, I know, looking back now I can’t believe I even let you have that kind of power. I should have left then. But I was scared and you had brainwashed me so thoroughly during our prior courtship. I didn’t believe I had the option to be free.
I did everything you told me to. And then the day came, almost two years later, that despite my best intentions you say I broke one of your many rules. Well, how was I even to know? You never told me the rules. You were constantly terrorizing me, telling me rules I had broken only after I had done so! There was no way to know how to please you!
Four years after you began holding me captive in your home you locked me in a cage. Not because I was rebellious, but because I apparently didn’t please you despite trying my very hardest.
You humiliated me, stripped me naked, ridiculed me and forced me to go without sleep, warmth and food.
When you finally released me I was so undone. My body began to suffer and my mind began to break.
The years that followed were ones that should never be experienced by a human being. You took away everything.
But you did not take my will to survive.
And so, State of California, I am leaving. Today. I am not interested in the beautiful sunrise or the warm, cozy day you have set in front of me to woo me back into your abusive, control-freak presence. You can have your rugged charm, your beach front property and your glamorous friends.
I am tired of starving and suffering to try and make things work. I would rather be FREE. I AM FREE.
-An ex girlfriend