I’ve put this letter off the longest because it doesn’t come from anger, and although it may resemble it, it does not come from regret either. This letter just comes from my soul. From me. From a place I can finally trust.
This letter differs from the rest because I want it to be a mix between explanation and closure and the others I didn’t want them to read but part of me hopes you do see this. I just finally think I understand why I had to leave.
First of all, I never used you. Not one time. You learned that I’m fiercely independent, and I hope you know it was never ever about money for me, or about your hometown, or your father’s property. No, that relationship was about love. I loved you.
See, the thing about love, the thing I didn’t know about, was that it changes over time. There are not always sparks. Even so, those fade eventually and from there you must create deeper ties, connect to one another on a new level. That is the point at which I failed.
I know you hated how I always explained my behavior by my past and for that, I am not sorry. What I am sorry for is the fact that I did not step up, I did not know how to grow with life. How to let go of the pain, how to move forward. Instead, I hid the pain behind drugs, legal and prescribed, and behind other people’s affection. I pushed away the pain because it hurt way too much. I was not ready to face it, I had no idea how to do that and by not accepting my real feelings I not only blunted the unhelpful ones but the pleasant ones as well.
By not dealing with my past, by not allowing myself to heal, I could not have allowed myself to love you.
It’s been over a week since I wrote the first half of this. It’s hard to find the right words, it’s hard to open my heart on something so sensitive. As a love that I ended prematurely, I want to let you go though. We both deserve to be happy again, and I am. I found someone I can open up to and I can do better. But I need to acknowledge my heart. Allow myself to be sad one last time. I want to be entirely honest with you.
You’ve been the hardest person for me to let go of recently. Now that you live in town again, I think about you a lot. When my mom is driving through my sister’s campus, past the engineering building, when I’m walking back to my mom’s car. Memories constantly surface of us, like when you left that phone number on the windshield of my dad’s car, and it was to some Pizza Hut in DC. Or driving through the town where we lived, surrounded by white snow, singing different parts to Pentatonix. Or when we spent Christmas with your family and we connected through the calm of a place so far from the city, as we chopped down a tree and played video games under warm blankets. Or even when we sat on the edge of a cliff in St. Francis and I told you I felt nothing when we kissed. So so many memories of love, of pain, of a connection, of my best friend.
And it’s not that I want to be together again. We are very different people and I really am happy again where I am and who I’m with. And I don’t want to make you sad or make you feel anything bad, because no matter what I care about you. I just need to reprocess everything with the recognition that that relationship would have lasted if, back then, I were the person I am now.
See, we may have been entirely different and we definitely had our issues. But you were right when you said that I couldn’t commit because, at the time, I couldn’t commit to myself either.
I couldn’t love myself, I couldn’t believe in myself, I couldn’t process the trauma. I had no idea how to. I didn’t know what to do. I felt only pain all of the time underneath everything else. I always had a sadness hanging onto me, I was emotionally unavailable, I didn’t know how to love, I didn’t know what love meant because I never loved myself. And I don’t believe that line that you can’t love someone else until you love yourself first, but it sure makes it easier.
Back then, I didn’t trust myself, so I let everyone else lead my life. I never questioned the path either, I just accepted life as it was because I didn’t believe that I could change it, which leaked into our relationship. Because if there was something I needed or something I was unhappy with, I could have tried to talk about it. I made the choice not to.
I used to self-sabotage a lot before I realized that I didn’t have to. I could feel those urges anytime but that did not mean I had to carry them out. I lived entirely by my emotions at that time. When I was sad, nothing could be positive, when I was angry, I had to let it out. I did not even consider that my actions and my emotions are two entirely different things.
I have grown so much since then. I’d like to hope you’d be proud because, despite anything I’ve said or done, I still care about how you feel and how you see me. I’m always tempted to check your writing but now I can distinguish between my helpful and unhelpful urges. So I do not allow myself to try. You deserve your privacy and I deserve to not let these residual feelings interfere with my life now.
I just want you to know that I messed up when I hurt you. I made a choice for us both instead of sitting down together to talk and figure out how we both felt. I don’t think I could have figured myself out if I hadn’t left when I did.
Because since then I went through a toxic relationship that empowered me almost as much as it broke me and I hurt some people along the way too. I thought I loved people I really didn’t, I did acid and developed positive habits as a result, I actually take care of myself now. And most of the time I like myself, often I even love myself. I stopped doing drugs, I finally trust myself and I listened to myself for once. And I’m changing my career path now. I learned to be mindful of my feelings and to not take them out on those I love. I learned what love means, I developed more compassion, I learned to be assertive and entirely honest and real. I learned who I am.
And now I’m here, an entirely different person, writing a final letter to you, a person who I loved, who’s also entirely different now. But someone who could have been my forever, once upon a time.
But I’d like to believe in fate and trust that all of this is exactly what needed to happen for both of us to grow into ourselves. And I can’t speak for you, but you will always be in my heart.
Thank you for the years we spent together. Thank you for teaching me that life isn’t all bad. Thank you for being there for me, for being patient and kind and for loving me.Thank you for being you. I truly hope that you find happiness, I wish you peace and love and everything good. And I wish the same for me.