Dear. Calling you ‘dear’ in any context, even one as innocuous as a letter opening, is bitter. It leaves a sour taste at the back of my throat. You are not dear to me. There was a time that you were. It’s so distant that I can’t recall if it was days ago, or years. The place in me that held you dear is a void. Not even resentment resides there any longer. I suppose I’ve come to terms with a few facts, and I’ve had to let go of the idea that there was anything there to being with for me to be angry about.
You were my hope. You were home. I’d finally found you after so many years of suffering a deep loneliness I thought there was no cure for. You were familiar. You were an easy transition. You were shared humor, intelligent conversation, nights in watching absurd television. You were not the flip side of me, but the compliment. You were freedom from the deepest broken parts of my soul.
I gave you so much of myself because of this. Under the impression that you understood all, I gifted you with every ounce of trust I had. In a way that I’ve never previously done, and am unsure I will ever be able to do again. I laid myself bare before you, I let you see all the darkest parts.
I tore open my chest cavity and allowed you to wrap yourself around my heart.
There was no reason not to, so I thought. You knew. You knew the kinds of pain I’d experienced. You’d been through similar. Our minds met on how we saw the world, not to mention how we’d been able to deal with it. We had ideals of how to treat other people, and ourselves. We knew what we wanted. There was a moment of sworn sentiment behind openness and clarity in communications. You saw inside of my horrors and didn’t flinch away. No, instead you shared your own. We commiserated and bonded in the cutting experiences of our lives.
It was, quite honestly, inevitable that I would love you. I even knew that it would happen quickly. It’s funny – not haha, perhaps more sad than bitter now – but it was precisely why I did everything to keep you away. Why I fought so hard to block your advances. Why I constructed walls that I had thought were too solid to be broached. I knew that I would love you, and I didn’t want to.
I knew, too, that stumbling over the line from love to in-love would be easier than I’ve ever known it to be.
Luckily, I never had to try to revive myself from that fall. It all disintegrated long before that line ever wavered into view.
My mistake was, perhaps, telling you that I loved you. I don’t hate you… anymore, but I hate that you’ve made me regret expressing myself. If this was an error, though, it was my only one. My sole contribution to the downfall of us.
The thing that hurt the most, in case you were wondering, is how utterly you have vanished. You were there one day, fully integrated into my being, with plans on the horizon and experiences around every turn, and then the next you were not. You excised me from your life with a hot scalpel so sharp that I didn’t even feel the incision until much later.
You made this choice with no input from me. You picked this path alone, counter to everything I’d known you to be. Against what I’d thought we were. Promises were broken. Wishes forgotten.
I have been left out in the cold, alone and confused. Unsure of the world around me. Blindly groping to find my life again. To find myself again. It has felt as if I’ve lost and limb and I’ve had to re-learn how to function.
There are things I still don’t understand, of course, and trying to sets me back into the thick of that confusion. How does somebody treat the person they care about the way you did? The only conclusion I have been able to muster up in light of all I’ve experienced, in all that you’ve shown me, is that you never did. And this, this has helped to guide me toward the void I now harbor. These are the facts that I have had to accept. Replaying our time together, and all that occurred before your exit, your refusal to even acknowledge me as a person, this is the only logical resolution.
This state is better than where I was before. You cannot even imagine the rage I existed inside of. It wrapped a jagged bubble around me, burdened my shoulders, wore me down. The bleak blank that followed was no better. Navigating the world without being a part of it. Watching all from a vast remove. But now, where I am, I do not loathe you. I don’t resent you. I feel no urge to express myself upon you with violence and vitriol. I am disappointed that you are not the sort of being I had thought you were, but I no longer hold onto the giddy hope for your abject misery.
I have emerged from that murky hollow place, shed the veil of mourning, and ceased to be my own ghost.
I have been born as something new and very disparate from what I was before you. I’m nervous about what this new thing is, but I’ll figure it out. I will accept it for the reason that I have to. I cannot throw myself away merely because I don’t like the appearance of my transformation.
The time of wondering if things could have been any other way has passed. As has the time of wishing I’d never embarked upon this adventure with you. With it goes a tiny, mostly hidden, secret longing that you might come back to me.
Only you and the Universe know if you’ll ever decide to acknowledge me again. If you’ll apologize, or at least redeem yourself in the scope of our long friendship.
Only the Universe knows how I will react if that day comes.
But for me, now?
I’ve erupted out from the other side of despair. It’s time for me to wade back into life and the world. I will chase the storms as I did, once upon a time. I will revel in the flash of lightning, the rumble of thunder. I will soak in the rain. I will take back those essential bits of me that I let you hold onto. They will fit somewhere into this new puzzle of self, I am sure of it.
This is why I write you now.
To let you go.
Your Disremembered Past.