Last night as I cried myself to sleep I started talking out loud to ex-boyfriends in letter form, as if dictating to an assistant. Then today it was still on my mind so I took some lined paper and began writing out these so called letters. I didn’t have Miranda (my computer) so I wrote in the fashion we did in junior high.
I wrote these letters because sometimes it just builds with in me to cry out and tell them what I really think or felt, or how I feel now in reflection. I couldn’t be bothered to write their names I addressed them as “Dear #1” and that right there is enough ammunition for a therapist to dive into my past.
What I found in writing them was I became extremely blunt and didn’t try at all to soften any blows. Maybe this was because they weren’t actually present, or because I no longer care, or because it was just for me and no one else. Even though I still might type it out and post it and share it. I don’t know.
What I also found was that I am only poetic, and I use that term loosely as words do not necessarily sing out of me, when I refer to #1. After that I become bored, and the language I use is boring and lacks imagery or beauty, as I believe poems are the opposite. And as I wrote to #2, and 3 and 4 I found out more of who I am and why I had those experiences or what I did to attain those experiences. I found out the kind of person I “really” am. Which is another session with a therapist just waiting to happen.
I stopped writing these letters when I saw that the next letter was “Dear Jeffrey” Not “Dear #5” but with him, I used his name. Maybe it’s because even if I never used his name people would know who I was talking about when I mentioned husband, or marriage. Maybe it’s because it’s still fresh in my memory. I don’t know.
I know that while “dictating” to my fake assistant in the middle of the night last night I used his name as well. I told him everything I thought or felt and the only reason I hadn’t screamed was because my 16 year old brother was fast asleep just in the other room. I know rubbing my eyes began to hurt and so did the salt water.
And last night, I began to write a new letter as well. It was “dear…” and I continued as if he would know who he is. As I imagine if you follow my life at all, you would guess who it is. That there is an order to the numbers coinciding with the ex-boyfriends of my life, you would know who the next letter was to.
But I couldn’t get any words out. My thoughts were running wild and my chest was hurting. Hurting the way it did with #1. The words couldn’t make it from my head to my mouth and the aching wasn’t stopping with the tears. The uncontrolled gasps for breath and the sobs and sounds that echoed in my small room were driving me insane, as was the pain going on emotionally. I was losing myself again. I was unable to stay in control as I had trained myself so well over the past decade when it came to boys. But this time it was about a man, and I was hurting him, and he was hurting me and the only ammunition I seemed to have was…what all the other numbers did. As if I was using him as my punching bag to take out all the aggression that had built up inside me…for..10+ years.
There is nothing less romantic than comparing your new love to old ones. Nothing more hurtful than picking out their small faults and pin pointing it as a HUGE problem because of the HUGE problems you had with other people. At least…there doesn’t seem to be anything worse. I guess it could be worse if it was happening TO me, and instead of being in the line of fire – I am the fire…burning him with all that I have left. And when I run out of flames I leave him alone, only to return with more matches.
And the sickest, most disturbing part of all of it is he is always willing and ready to take it because he wants me to get it out, and he wants to be the man that can stand the heat then hold me when I collapse into his newly charred arms. He wants to look at me after I’ve finished my destruction, after he’s bandaged the words I had branded on his swollen, tender skin, and remind me he’s not going anywhere.
Can you believe that?
I am not well.
I am torn
I am not kind
I am in love
I am lost
I wake up and try, I fail.
I give up
I give in
I run away
And somewhere in the letter I couldn’t speak out to the dark cold walls, words I had believed drowned with me when #1 left started to pop into my head. Truth, vulnerable, pure… Somewhere between healing and hurting I was remembering that he is human, and in that – for the first time in over ten years I looked at a boy, a guy, a man – and actually saw him.
And I guess, that’s where the story begins.