You Could Have Had It All

Photo by Ákos Szabó on

Dear M,

You could have had it all. Right now you could still be living in the country, living the life you love. But no, you had to control everything: the food we ate, the temperature in the house, where we went, what we did, and the air we inhaled.

You chose to make decorative changes to the house while the roof leaked when it rained and the windows rattled when the wind blew in dust that coated everything.

Instead of setting up the oil tank so we had a ready supply of oil, we had to buy diesel in jerry cans on a daily basis. Then you thought you would cut up the dead wood lying in the yard to burn. It worked, but pretending to live the little-house-on-the-prairies life gets old real fast. When winter was almost over I muttered to myself that I wasn’t going to play this game next winter. I didn’t.

All those trips to the tank, your favourite bar and the one we frequented the most. I’m not a bar person but I went along. It was always the same people complaining about the same issues. The mind-numbing banter and the same one-liners. They weren’t all that funny the first time, and after the umpteenth time, I wanted to bang my head against the wall.

I hold nothing against dive bars, yet a more dysfunctional group of people you will never meet anywhere else. A lot of them look homeless. A good number are missing teeth. Everyone is an alcoholic with the worst life experiences you could imagine.

The difference between them and the rest of society is that they, like you, have acted the victim their entire lives. As long as you have a victim mentality change is impossible. People change their lives all the time because they choose to stop thinking like a victim. They choose to break the cycle. They become survivors.

If I could wish you one thing it would be the desire and determination to overcome everything you believe makes you a victim. I would like you to have compassion for yourself and empathy for everyone else. I don’t think change is impossible for you. I just believe you won’t change because you don’t want to.

The saddest part of leaving you was knowing how much you loved living in the country. I know you blame me for ruining your life and destroying your dreams.

The truth is that losing everything is on you. If only you take responsibility instead of focussing on blame. You would see that you really could have had it all.