So today, is our wedding anniversary. I’m not sure how to feel about this. This date has been looming on the calendar for a while and now that it’s here, it just feels weird. We’re in this crazy separated limbo because deep down, we’re both afraid to do what we have to do. Instead, I’m using this day to empower me and take the necessary legal action to put some closure on this whole mess.
I've immersed myself in emotion-provoking music with meaningful lyrics ever since I saw you last. It was the first time I had seen you in a couple months. And although we still share the same last name, we haven’t lived together in seven months. I was panic-stricken at the thought of seeing you. You definitely weren't expecting me. Since this day, your refusal to sign any papers has confused me and I have since discovered your sorry attempt to avoid me by obtaining a new phone inclusive with new number. How soon you underestimate my detective skills and intelligence.
I made a PROS and CONS list about you. The CONS far out-weigh the PROS. There are so many reasons we cannot work, but I can remember days where it seemed like there was no doubt that we could.
You were the first person I ever felt completely secure with. I knew you would never stray. I knew you loved me. I knew you desired me. Yet I continued to sabotage our life together. We had it all. The marriage, the house, friends, jobs, cars. I regret so many of my poor decisions and impulsivities. I resent your avoidance, ambivalence, and your endless supply of Budweiser.
We were a team. You were the brawn, I the brains. I know you remember all the talks we had. You always said that was one of the things we were good at. You showed me things I otherwise would have never seen. I like to think I did the same for you.
And now, we can't even be friends. The hatred your loved ones feel for me, coupled with the strong disdain mine feel for you, make it virtually impossible for us to coordinate any part of our lives together any longer. Let alone the intense resentment we feel towards one another. You resent me for loving another when it was already over between us. I resent you for not having the balls to officially end it and for choosing your addiction over me.
I know you still think about me. We've always "spoken" to one another through song. I know when certain songs surface on the radio, you can't escape the thought of me. I secretly like that you keep getting mail with my name on it because at that precise moment, you are forced to think of me.
Enough time has passed that I'm coming to terms with our separation. And while that last legal thread connecting us will eventually be severed, I fear how I will feel when that final thread is gone. Yet you've also made me believe that I am no longer a good person. You've manipulated your hypocritical wiles to effectively turn the table on everything that transacted between us, taking none of the blame for yourself. I've gone through my stages of grief: anger, guilt, sadness, denial. Have you?
Remember the last time we slow danced? I do. As usual, you were singing off key in my ear. I remember rolling my eyes. I took things like that for granted. Now I wish I could have that moment back. I don't even remember anymore what it feels like to have you touch me. Your constant physical touch provided a lot of affirmation for me. I'm not so sure anymore. You know I hate being unsure. You also know I hate change. You've had to press on and provide for yourself. You always had more drive than I did. I've had the luxury of taking a few steps back and time for myself with little to no responsibilities.
I looked up to you in so many ways. After a while, I became disappointed. Now thanks to you, I quickly skip over certain TV channels and NASCAR races. I don't listen to country music at all anymore because I know you still do. Certain grocery stores make me sick to walk into because of you. My heart falls into my stomach whenever I see an orange truck. I can't even tell you the last time I listened to "our song".
I long for us to be on the same wavelength we used to surf together on all the time. After I left you that day, I was traveling on snow-covered roads remembering how you used to call me at work to tell me to be careful on the way home. At that precise moment, my mind sent you the same message. Did you get it?
Alas, all of my wishes cannot come to fruition. I would at least be happy to know that from time to time, you think fondly of times we shared, and remember the good you loved about me. I think those things of you. Our inside jokes, our morse code by squeezing one another's hand, our nicknames, the good ole futon days and Hostess cupcakes. I know you well enough to know your bitter tone is just a front, especially after I found out you wanted to take your own life this past Christmas. You’re too damn stubborn for your own good. You’re too afraid to let your guard down.
The hardest is knowing the house we used to share is up for sale. It breaks my heart to know I abandoned not only the house, but also us. I sabotaged the good we had in exchange for what? Every single day, I wish things could just reverse themselves, to the good times at least. I know there isn’t anyone out there like you and when I reflect on your good qualities, it felt like you and I were supposed to be a forever thing. Yet I know better that this certainly wasn’t entirely my fault. I’ve let you make me believe it was for way too long. Now I know that my need to put my wants and needs on a pedestal are not unreasonable. It’s what I deserve.
You’ve gone out of your way to cut off all communicative ties with me. Yet my confusion lies in the fact that although you won’t talk to me or see me, in the eyes of the law, we’re still as one. This is the hardest for me to wrap my mind around and I sometimes feel as if I still hold some entitlement to you because of this. I wish we could just talk. I wish you had the balls to face me without running away or avoiding your problems. I wish you’d let down your walls and stop being so damn stubborn. I wish you’d admit that these past few years weren’t just a fluke. I need to hear you miss it too.
So as I sign this formal complaint for divorce to file at the courthouse, I bid you a happy anniversary and a fond “see you in court, m-effer!”
I’ve had these writings for a while now. I have gone back to them from time to time. Keeping the letters to myself allows them to haunt me. It’s time to set them free so I can move on.
I miss you. I wanted to call you the minute I walked out of class today. I wanted to tell you that the minute I walked into the school it reminded me of you. I remember doing work there or attempting to do work and then calling you. It was around the first time we started talking on the phone. I could always just talk to you. I feel empty now.
When it was good I didn't even know how good it was at the time. I didn't allow myself to fully appreciate it because I was so wrapped up in being sad and mad and confused about her. Why don't I get it at the time it's good. Why do I wait? Why does it come to me when it's over? When it's too late? I miss you.
It's so hard for me to live in the moment. I'm constantly looking back in the past and letting feelings of regret control me and when I'm not doing that I'm looking to the future and letting feelings of fear control me. For some reason NOW is a scary place for me because it’s the most unfamiliar. Of course I know the past because I was there and I fear the future because of the past. And NOW is usually bad because I'm stuck in the past. If I could turn my brain off, like keep it from analyzing the past and assuming the future, then maybe I could actually focus on now? But obviously that can't happen I can't just turn my brain off. So somehow I have to train it like when it starts to go there I need to outsmart myself or trick myself. I'm not sure how to do this but I'm going to try.
If I think about NOW I know I'll never be with you. I'm not even sure we will ever be friends. I do know I’ll always wonder "what if"…what if I really gave you a chance? What if I really picked you? What if I didn't let her control me? What if… And it's those thoughts that make NOW hurt. But those thoughts are thoughts of the past and future. But…those thoughts define NOW. I'm still so confused. I miss you.
Today was tough. My roommate moved out which I thought would be a really good thing…well it is a really good thing it just makes me feel even more alone. I talked about you today to my therapist. I told her how much I respect you and how horrible I feel about what I did to you. She said it was bad timing. I agree. I just wonder if we will ever have the chance for good timing? I hope so.
I found the envelope you addressed to me, the one you sent the CD in. I ran my fingers over the writing and for a moment I felt close to you again. I keep thinking back to the day we were supposed to go snowboarding and how that was it. The day I lost you for good. But the confusing part is I was sure I had lost you before that day. I said it before but I'll say it again. I was heading back here just two days after we were supposed to hang out. And I got scared to death. This time not because she might find out but because I felt I didn't know you anymore and it would be a day of sarcasm and mean comments and there was no way I could handle that then leave and be back down here remembering you like that.
Why do I get so scared? Why does it seem I'm always making the wrong decision and then regretting it so much? I feel I have more regret than I do accomplishments. That's why I'm staying here and finishing what I came down here to do. I really considered running back home. I can't even go to the park without thinking of you. Thinking of how I'd call you and give you a play by play of what my dog was doing and you could really care less because you don't really even like dogs but you listened and you enjoyed it and that meant the world to me.
I want to contact you so bad. But I respect you. I hope you're doing well. I mean I really have no way of knowing but I hope you are happy and laughing. I love the way your face lights up when you laugh.
The days are getting easier which is something I never thought I'd be able to say. I know it's the increase of depression medicine and addition of anxiety meds. I'm not proud that it's the pills that's keeping me sane but at this point in my life I can use all the help I can get.
It does frighten me though, the fact that I'm completely unstable, anxious, depressed and scared without medicine. It's like I'm broken and the pills are there to fix me. I'm determined to learn the skills I need to in order to fix myself. But today I need them and today I'm doing good. And today is all that matters.
I decided to stop writing you. But began to feel lonely and lost without putting my thoughts down because they just stayed in my head. I didn't have anyone to share them with. Even though you're not here and you want nothing to do with me, I like to at least pretend I'm talking to you because talking to you was one of my most favorite things.
And when I think I couldn't miss you more...YOU sign on. I know that sounds so corny but it's true. You signed on once more that I noticed, put your status to "away" right away with the message of "snowmobiling".
Your button changed from green to red right away again just now but I still feel close to you when it's red. It's when you're not on that I hurt.
This always starts out as a letter to you and ends up a letter to myself as well. Truth is I don’t have many broken connections in my lifetime. But of the few, you are one…and one that bothers me greatly. My subconscious beats me up with you at least once a month – more frequently, once a week.
I don’t know why I have allowed myself to fixate on making this connection. On healing something you don’t even know exists for me. Or maybe you do know because I’ve reached out to tell you on occasion. I can only assume you’ve rejected the attempts because I am a nothing to you.
My waking mind understands. My sleeping mind does not.
All I can figure in regards to my need for a peaceful connection here is this:
I interacted with you at a time in my life where I was so absent from my truths – I didn’t know myself. I wish around you I had been different. I wish that some of my reasons for acting had been clearer to me at the time. I wish we had been friends. I wish that I had been friends with myself and made friendships based on the real me and not the front that I put on.
You happen to be one of the people I know I purposely acted out against in my struggle to find myself. And I hate that. And I think somewhere in me I believe we would have been friends.
It doesn’t matter to you, no. But it does to me.
So, this is my apology either not received or unaccepted. Yet, as I start to write it I realize that it is as much to me as it is to you.
I am sorry that I acted the way that I did to you simply because I didn’t know me. I’m sorry I fought for something that I didn’t even care to have – when really a friendship with you would have been more satisfying. I’m sorry that this is pathetic and prolonged – existing 15 years after we even saw each other last.
I’m sorry that my mind does this to me and I can’t move on from it. That it carries so much meaning. That a portion of my worth is defined by it - that it consumes me and doesn’t really matter much at all.
I don’t even like looking back on these words because they don’t make much sense in the context of who I am, but they are true.
This is my attempt to let go of something that doesn’t really exist in the first place. This is my attempt to forgive me in my youth, and quite possibly even now.
It’s been fifteen years.
Since that day you were supposed to pick me up. But you never showed which was typical.
I remember standing by the window watching the snow hit the ground. I was so excited to go Christmas shopping with you. I went to bed that night understanding that you were a busy person, and that there would be other days we could go.
But there wouldn’t be another day. Waking up to my mother crying, explaining that I was never going to see you again was something I didn’t expect, or understand. I didn’t get why God took you from me and why there were so many people crying. Four year olds don’t really understand the concept of death, and it took me years to truly understand it.
The wake was hard. I remember sitting on sissy’s lap and being told to remain quiet. I wanted to run around and play, but was told to sit there. Tears were running down everyone’s faces like a waterfall. Everyone was hugging me and telling me how sorry they were. Sorry for what? They aren’t the one’s that took you from me.
They told me that your heart had stopped. Mommy said it’s because you smoked too much. That doesn’t stop me from smoking a pack a day now though. Like father like daughter right?
You were only 42. You had so much more life to live. A life with me, and the rest of your family. It fell apart; the whole family stopped talking when you died. I saw you sister the other day; she didn’t even know it was me.
So my question is why, why did you leave? You left me with her, who reminds me every day that I was a mistake. And that she wishes you were here and she was gone. Well, I wish you were here too.
No one ever told me I wasn’t allowed to date, no one gave me my first boyfriend that “shotgun” lecture. You weren’t here to see me graduate or help me pick out my first car. A psychiatrist once told me that I felt uncomfortable around men because you weren’t in my life. I was never athletic; mom told me playing inside was more fun than going to parks. I thought that as years pass mourning is supposed to go away, but why is it that I mourn more now than I ever have? I miss you every day.
I go to your gravesite a lot. I play songs that mom told me were your favorite. I don’t have much of yours, a few pictures and a raggedy flannel. Sometimes I forget what you looked like, how you smelled, what you personality was like. People say I look like you, I wish we could compare face to face.
Who will walk me down the aisle when that time comes? Who will give my husband-to-be that “if you hurt her I know where to bury you” look?
I wish I could have a conversation with you, one last time. I’m older now, and I think we would get along great. I miss going to work with you, and spending the night at your house. I remember you used to make me giggle a lot, and that I was always happy when you were around. I remember the birthday where you smashed the cake in my face, and mom got mad because it ruined my dress.
I miss you more than words can explain.
Keep watching over me, and I will always do my best to make you proud.