June 4, 2014

“Found a letter with ‘Read Me’ written on it at San Francisco International Airport on an empty chair.”

Found a letter with “Read Me” written on it at San Francisco International Airpot on an empty chair. (Message in comments)

Sometimes, messages from strangers are the most powerful—especially when they remind us that we are not alone.

“I recently left an emotionally abusive relationship. After months of insults I won’t repeat, false accusations, lies, delusions, broken mirrors, nightly battles…I left. I knew that I was being poisoned by each day that I stayed. So with a heavy heart, I left my love of three years, knowing that I had already put it off too long. At first he begged, then he cursed, but eventually he packed his bags and faded out of my life like a bad dream.

For the first few weeks, my body seemed to reject this. For three years I had seen the world through him & colored glasses. I didn’t know who I was without him. Despite the kindness of friends and even strangers, I could not help feeling utterly alone.

But it was this sense of aloneness that set me free. Somewhere along the way, I let go. I released all of the painful memories, the names he had called me, the shards of him buried deep in my brain. I stopped believing the things he had made me think about myself. I began to see how extraordinarily, breathtakingly beautiful life is. I meditated, drank too much coffee, talked to strangers, laughed at nothing. I wrote poetry and stopped to smell and photograph every flower. Once I discovered that my happiness depended only on myself, nothing could hurt me anymore.

I have found—and continue to find—peace. Each day I am closer to it than I was yesterday. I am a work in progress but I am full to the brim with gratitude and joy.

And so, since I have opened a new chapter in my life, I want to peacefully part with the contents of the last chapter. The end of my relationship was the catalyst for a wealth of positive changes in my life. It was a symbol. Most importantly, it was an act of self-love. It was a realization […] do not help me grow, I am letting go of a relic from the painful past.

I wore this necklace—a gift from him—every day for over two years. To me, letting go is a joyous declaration that I am moving forward with strength and grace and deep, lasting peace.

Please accept this gift as a reminder that we all deserve happiness. Whoever you are, and whatever pain you have faced, I hope you find peace.





How to come back to the present moment:

“Students wrote to their favorite authors asking them to visit. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one who responded, writing this beautiful & humorous letter.”


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KAV Jun 6, 2015 4:35am

myself an Indian woman,married for25 years( Love marriage with consent of both families) and have a 21 year old. My husband has been in relation withdifferent girls, half his age for last many years and whole family is aware of it (while he thinks he is able to fool the family with his daily excuses of different sort for always being unavailabe for family). . He is usully indifferent to me and my son but helps if he feels that we can not handle a particular situation alone. I am financially independent and have thought of leaving him many times but as per Indian values when I married him I formed a bond not only with him but with his family also. Today his parents, in their nineties need care which he is not giving them. In the long 25 years I have spent more of my life with my in laws than with my own parents and that makes a bond which I am can not to break.He is not my whole world and my son does need his father and has to learn the family values.We do not have intimate relation but do care for each other and he acknowledes that his home can not run without me . sometimes I think if I am being used as a servent who insted of taking salary , runs the home financially also. But to marry him was my desicion,. I have taken it as a challenge and am enjoying it . no regretts because I know and he also knows that all those short lived relations are for the money he provides them They wont last long and I am going to have a good last laugh when he is no more handsome and not able to shower them with money any more. My son is ready to hold his hand that day because he is going to feel horrible that day. In the end I love him . whole family love him and pray for his dis illusionment. You may call it blind love or stupidity but I seriously am no old fasioned women . I am highly educated and am enjoying every moment of it. And no , I never wish any harm to him and just pity the girls who think they can break our marriage and own him.

Ksk Mar 29, 2015 10:43am

Being a Man, I don’t have the guts to ‘free’
myself. My Wife (we’re wedded for 15yrs now
and that too a love marriage) has been cheating on me for the last 7yrs – she has an illicit relationship with a colleague (10yrs younger than her) that included multiple pregnancies/abortions (4 in specific in the 7yrs illicit relationship). I recently discovered this and upon confrontation, she tells me that her paramour is her life and she doesn’t care for the world and social circuit. When I brought this up with her parents, all that they uttered is “so what”. Such a value-less creatures just addition to the population count (sic).
Mind you, we are an Indian couple(sic) who the world thinks otherwise (unlike the West). All I am continuing in this relationship is for my only Daughter who is aware of the whole situation and is not vocal given her young age and she conveniently takes the side of her Mom. I don’t blame my Daughter though. She is too young to understand what’s love, cheating, illicit relationships, and unlawful pregnancies).
My soul shatters every second. All that I pray everyday is that God will deliver some justice to me which seems to be rather elusive.
I want to set myself free.
Do you know what it takes to live a life – unable to die (because death won’t embrace me so easily) and at the same time, unable to live as well. It’s hell I am living right in this birth.
My dear Dad always brought me up with two morals – Never lie and Never cheat. Wiseman he was, for imparting values at the very childhood.
When character is lost, all you got is just draping your clothes on your body. That’s all.
May be, the day you realise Wife, that day will emerge cleaner from a conscientious purview. But by then, I won’t be next to you, to protect you from shame…….
Life is simpler….We complicate it ourselves. But relationships are like that and true love is like that. I still believe in commitment. I am from old school – morals, values, blah blah.

Marinía Jan 22, 2015 5:44am

Amazing, as a survivor of a similar experience I can tell you that this is exactly how it feels the moment you finally wake up from the nightmare of abuse. Thank you for sharing and I hope this helps more people.

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Emily Bartran

Emily Bartran has been a Writer and Editor with Elephant Journal for five years. She has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh and is particularly interested in exploring writing habits, authorship, and how we put the experience of modern life into words. You can find her on Instagram.