Dear Future Husband

Let’s go back to my earliest memory, before the adoption, before the ugly, before the broken.

I was still living in a home, I was a little girl, innocent and pure. My smile was as bright as the sun. When my world was so small and safe.

Sometimes I close my eyes really tight and remember that time where silence wasn’t deafening or filled with scary monsters but when it was hearing the kids next door laugh in mischief or hearing grandma sing.

But that’s just a memory now. My mind since then has filled with a different kind of silence. The silence of a child who never grew, the silence of a child whose growth stopped abruptly. The silence that was forced on me. The “You are going to keep quiet or else” slience. The silence of death.

Now dear husband… Wait, future husband of mine, I’ve probably told you this story before by now and because it makes me uncomfortable, I’m sure I’ve only told you bits and pieces of it. I can assure you that no one who has been molested or raped wants to keep talking about it.

But since this is a letter and we aren’t in each other’s presence, I’ll tell you about the little girl who lost her smile, but gained so much more in the end.

She is just a child who never grew up and she is the reason we are here today. She, I mean I am needy, more than I will ever let you know. See, you can never really recover from abuse, a child’s mind is so fragile and to get it scrambled like mine was, really messes you up.

So, through the course of our relationship I’ve thought many times that you are bored of me, That you are probably annoyed with having me around. That I’m probably wasting your time. I’ve probably pushed you away too many tmes to count, but only because I was taught at such a young age that I don’t deserve good things and it pains me to admit that I’ll always look at you and wait for you to walk out of my life.

Imagine living your entire life thinking you aren’t worthy of anything good. Imagine living your life waiting for the other shoe to drop because it always does. Imagine purposefully looking for people and things that destroy you day by day. Just for a second, try to imagine someone purposefully walking into a fire wanting to burn, wanting to feel that pain, wanting to feel their skin melt off their bones because they feel they deserve it. Because they were told over and over again that the only thing they are good for is being on their knees or back or whatever suited the stolen moment. That even then, they just aren’t good enough.

The little girl in me, she needs constant assurance, constant reminders. She needs random acts of affection. I wanted us to start here with her because she is me. She is who you are with, the little baby that never got to grow up. She is my inner child, a broken mess. She is a part of me and will always be annoyingly playful and at times overbearing.

So please love and care for her. She is where I get my humor from, my playfullness, my need to always sooth everyone and everything, that’s all her. She is wonderful because when they tried to break her, she protected those parts of her with all her might. Even when the world tried to destroy every bit of light she had, she still believed. That belief, that hope is why we are still here, without it we wouldn’t be here writing. She, well I would be dead.

Most importantly, you are now reading this because she let you in and you should be proud of yourself because she is very wary and extremely cautious. She is also the brave little girl who learned not to cry no matter what got thrown her way. She is the girl who maintained a straight face through it all.

In conclusion, I will always be broken, I will always be that way. My past will always be the darkest part of me and I’ve accepted that. I’m okay with it now, denying it won’t make it go away. Acting like it never happened would make me go crazy. Yes, it has given me irrational fears, mightmares, and even damaged some relatonships beyond repair. But I’ve counquered my demons, over the years I’ve learned to slay my own dragons.

So future husband of mine, I need you not to fight any battles but to stand by my side and love me and most importantly, acknowledge her struggle, her strength, and her will to survive. Pleae accept that you cannot “fix me”, that you can’t “make it go away” because in all honesty, I don’t want her to go away. It would be killing my strength, my source of hope, love and compassion. So as needy as she can be sometimes, let her be. She is just a child, a child who never grew, a child who never laughed, a child who never cried. Cherish her, please.

Loving her is loving me, remember that.

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Gone Too Soon

I write when I’m upset, and when I’m upset with someone, I write a letter and hand it to them.

I’m upset and I can’t give you anything because you are no longer here.

I found your obiturary on facebook, I read it about fifty times trying to find some kind of mistake. Trying to find any kind of reason or proof that you were still here. Still breathing, still laughing.

You were a great person. I don’t care about the people you hung out with, the decisions you made with them, the path your life took. I don’t care about that.

I care about you.

I always cared about how you saw the world you lived in, and what you thought about this life. I  always cared how no matter the decisions you made, I could always find pieces of you that were true and raw.

You were always searching for more.

I don’t know what happens after we close our eyes, but I hope you found whatever you were always looking for.

I will never forget our drives at night, looking for ways to feel alive and you always showing me your awful taste in music.

You were always bringing the people around you happiness, and I hope I offered some happiness and peace in our friendship.

I feel like I just talked to you yesterday, but in reality its been forever. I’ve been through so many phones that I don’t even have your number anymore. It’s so surreal, to think that the last time you and I spoke, I was unknowingly saying good-bye to you.

You always accepted me, even when I struggled to understand myself. You respected me even when you had no real reason to.

I don’t care how many times you messed up in life, I care about all the things you tried to do to make things right. You are a great person, a lovely soul. I don’t care about anything else. That’s how you affected me.

They say you die twice… Once when we leave this world, and the second is when our name is no longer said. I promise you, I’m going to keep you alive until my heart stops beating. I sit and wonder why this has hit me as hard as it has, I haven’t spoke to you in months.

But I suppose it’s because I always expected to catch up, revisit, chat for a while. Now, we can’t.

I don’t know what I believe or what will happen. But I know you and I will have a final conversation, whether it be you visiting me in a dream, or if you will remain your stubborn self and wait until I meet you on the flip side.

Whatever it is, I’m excited to talk to you again.

Until then.

-Me

Two Months

Two months. That’s all it took for me to fall for you, and keep fallng for you. One night. That’s all it took for you to walk away. Leaving me confused with a cracked heart. You didn’t break it, but there was definitely pain.

I spent so long denying to myself that you were any bit interested. I heard the comments from our friends, but they left me more confused than anything else. I had a hard time believing you actually liked me. I just wanted to here you say it.

Then you did.

It’s not that I didn’t want to let myself give in, it’s that I knew I was going to be doomed to falling too fast if I did. There was something about you which made me feel different towards you than with any other guy. Some sort of magnetic attraction that I can’t explain.

Eventually, I gave in. 

I let you see me in as vunerable of a state as I could possibly be in. A state I didn’t think I’d be so comfortable being in so quickly. But you made me feel safe. Something I can’t say I’ve always felt, but it didn’t last long. You faded away. Leaving my overthinking mind to replay everything. Trying to find what I did wrong.

After months, I know what went wrong.

Mistakes were made, at least on my end mistakes were made. I’m not sure if you see what happened as a mistake on your end. That’s up to you.

Now I haven’t seen you in a while. I can’t lie and say I never look for you when I’m out. Our friends only hang in a few areas so I’m bound to see you, right? But I haven’t, and maybe that’s okay.

I’ve tried so hard to pretend I don’t care. I’d listen to your stories about all the other girls you’ve been with or are going to be with and hold in the emotions that wanted so badly to spew out. Because I wanted to be around you. I felt better when I was around you. Even though I’m certain you never felt the same way. I had convinced myself you didn’t.

I just wish you would have stuck around. I wish you would have gotten to see me more than you already have. There is so much more I wanted to show you. So much more to tell you. So much more I wanted to know about you.

You’ve intrigued me from the start. That hasn’t gone away. The attraction hasn’t gone away. I can see it in your eyes, and the way you are still able to hold my gaze a little bit longer than you should.

Maybe one day you’ll try to get it right. Or maybe one day I will wak up and not wonder what you are doing. I won’t look for you when I’m out. Maybe I’ll understand what actually happened.

How I feel at this moment hurts in the best ways possible, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

For Him

You don’t want my heart anymore. I know that, trust me I’m painfully aware of it. So I promise I’m done pleading, bargaining and trying to fix our problems. I will leave my heart out of it. 

I won’t keep bringing up my feelings because honestly, it’s all been said. I’ve poured my heart out to you and it didn’t change a single thing, so can we just pretend like everything is normal? Can we act like there’s still something here, like we still have something to lose but we’re not scared of what’s coming next? 

Don’t get all guarded and worried like you need to protect me from an even bigger heartache. I know this is over, and there is no tomorrow or any glimpse of the future we so thoughtfully planned for. But why can’t we just have one more night? 

All I’m asking for is one more night where I can feel like the girl of your dreams, like I mean more to you than anyone else. I just need one more night to feel your love in every touch and kiss. I can’t make plans with you anymore, so please, if what we had meant anything to you, I just want one more memory. 

You don’t need to remind me of where your head and heart are at. I know this is over. I can see the indifference in your eyes, as I’m sure you can see the fear in mine. I’m scared I’ll never feel a love like ours again because no one will ever know me like you do. 

All I’m asking is for one more night where I can run to you. I promise I don’t want to argue or even ask for your forgiveness. I just don’t want this to end with us being so cruel and vicious to one another. 

I may never love again and this may be my biggest lesson in love but please don’t let it end like this. 

You matter to me. Our love matters to me. What we had matters to me. So it matters how it ends.


When life pushes you to the edge, build a bridge

Have you ever had a dream in which you were being chased? If you haven’t, you can probably imagine what it would feel like. Suppose you were forced to climb a mountain, but as you run across the peak, you suddenly stop because you find yourself at the edge. It seems the only option is to jump.

But as you’re about to make the final leap to avoid your pursuer, something catches your eye. Just a few feet away, you see a bridge, and even though you can’t see where it leads, you have no choice but to trust and cross it.

On the other side, you find yourself in a garden at some kind of party. You’re surrounded by people you love and everyone’s having a good time. You feel safe and thoughts of worry are far from your mind. You’re caught up in the joy of being. The troubles you experienced just a few moments before are long gone, left in a distant land in a distant dream.

Sometimes certain aspects of life can feel hopeless. When we resist or run from problems, they only seem to get bigger and more daunting. There are times when it feels like our experiences push us to the edge of a figurative cliff, rendering us stuck between a daunting past and an unforeseeable, dangerous future. We find ourselves paralyzed, not willing to go back and yet unable to jump.

But the choice to move forward or backward doesn’t have to be daunting.

There’s a way to progress into safe territory.

We simply have to look around for the bridge that will lead us to a joyous existence, and even if it isn’t readily apparent, we have the ability to build one simply by thinking it into form.

Our minds are often caught up in circles that begin and end in extremes. I can’t stay in this situation because of ___, we think, but I can’t get out of this situation because of ___.

Our inability to build a bridge to a mental landscape in which things work out in our favor is what renders us paralyzed and unhappy.

We tend to think that because things have happened in a certain way, they will continue to happen in a certain way. It’s subconscious conditioning; it’s our brain’s way of developing a pattern to keep us safe from future harm.

But unless we find a way to break the pattern, we will continue to experience the same thing, even if our experiences come in different forms.

This is true of relationships, jobs, habits, and personality traits.

For example, if you’ve ever been in a relationship and you’ve been cheated on, your mind will try to convince you that any relationship will potentially end in disaster and heartbreak. You will find yourself constructing scenarios in which the person you love, whether or not they’ve been faithful, is dishonest and probably lying to you this very second. Trust issues are the reason so many potentially wonderful relationships end up dissolving. Accusations of wrongdoing get old after awhile, especially when one person is paying the price of the past mistake of someone else.

But your mind will continue to assume that because it’s happened, it will happen again until you make a conscious effort to alter the pattern of your thoughts.

But it isn’t easy to simply “switch off” the negative thoughts and move into an assumption that everything will work out perfectly.

Instead, we must learn to guide our thoughts to the happy ending. This is how you build a bridge.

Next time you catch your mind in a loop, assuming the worst is yet to come— imagining bad things that haven’t happened based on experiences of your past— remove yourself from fear of the situation by observing the way your mind is working. Notice the pattern you’ve subconsciously developed to keep you safe. Then, ask yourself whether that pattern is keeping you safe or hindering you from experiencing something potentially wonderful. Do you have reason to be fearful other than the “triggers” that caused your mind to run in circles?

Why hasn’t he/she answered my text message? Maybe I freaked him out. I probably freaked him out. He’s probably with someone else. He probably never wants to see me again. I should just accept that I’m going to be alone forever. No one is trustworthy.

Even though this inner conversation happens mentally, our attitudes and behavior naturally mirror what we believe to be true. We always assume a defensive stance when we believe we have something to guard against— even if that “something” doesn’t really exist.

The greatest gift you can give yourself is the ability to control your thoughts, rather than allowing your thoughts to control you.

When you notice a mental loop like the above example, correct it by talking your mind away from the edge by building a mental bridge.

Why hasn’t he/she answered my text message? Maybe I freaked him out. I probably freaked him out. Wait… maybe I didn’t freak him out. I probably didn’t freak him out. Someone hasn’t answered my text message in the past because they were with someone else, but not everyone is dishonest. There are good and loyal people out there. People fall in love and are honest and loyal to each other all the time. I don’t have to guard against the unknown or assume anything. Things will probably be fine, and even if they turn out bad, I don’t have enough information to assume they will. I’m fine right here, right now, and I know that because I’m deserving of something good in my life, that good will find me.

Can you see the difference in the way our thoughts have a powerful affect on our attitudes? By thinking thoughts similar to the first example, we will work ourselves into a panicked frenzy. But by simply talking ourselves to a safe, calm place, we can feel at ease in any situation, regardless of the outcome.

We don’t have to worry about outcomes. We’ll get there when we get there. If something bad happens, it’ll happen regardless of how much time we invest stressing out about it potentially happening.

That time could be better spent enjoying life and where we are while we’re there.

We can build a bridge for any trigger of worry, regardless of the situation. Releasing thoughts of potential disaster is not only conducive to inner peace, but also allows for hope to grow in a place where darkness once lived.

We can return to a state of childlike innocence, to a time before the growing pains of life caused us to build walls around our hearts. We can live happily and freely knowing that life will take us where it will take us regardless of our mental resistance to what-ifs.

Most importantly, in developing an ability to talk ourselves out of seeing and expecting the worst, we’re able to love others, and ourselves, openly and unconditionally.

Illusions

11

Meeting you was the best and worst thing that could have ever happened to me,

You easily destroyed me with your words, your smile, your touch.

Everything about you was amazing,

You said the right words,

You did the right things,

And to a girl who had never had an encounter with “real love”,

It was more beautiful than anything I could have imagined,

Or at least I thought it was love

I wished it was love,

If it was love that we both felt then maybe ending things would have been better, easier, sweeter.

I felt a love so all-consuming that I couldn’t imagine being without you,

You? You were in lust.

You had found someone who would do anything when you needed your quick fix,

And you knew that you had power over me,

So you manipulated me, used me, controlled me,

Don’t do this, don’t wear that, don’t talk to him, don’t talk to her,

I wanted to make you happy, I wanted to please my man,

So I did, I melted and bent, fit into boxes for you,

Soon you had chipped away all the pieces of me that made me, well me

I was a shell of myself, and a container for you,

In less than a year, you had grown tired of me.

You left me, devastated, empty, a mess.

No friends, no family, no contact.

I’ll never forget you,

You were a whirlwind, you came into my life and made a mess out it

I let you get away with, only because I didn’t know better

Now I do, now I’ve learned,

I’ve learned not to allow whirlwinds disguised as soft breezes into my life.

I’ve learned that I am also a whirlwind, not a weed that bends and tosses.

I’m glad that you came into my life and messed it up,

Cleaning up your mess was hard but worth it.

Never again will I be that naïve girl who lets a man come into her life and destroy it.

& this is what goodbye looks like

 

swing

After some much time together, you would think that I would have learned something more important about you.

You would guess that I had moved on, that I wasn’t thinking about you at all. Because time really does heal wounds.

But it also makes you forget.

 I forgot what it was to care about you, I forgot what it was like to be able to look you in the eyes and know that no mater what, you would always be there.I guess that was just the naive part of my heart, telling me that our love was real and strong, something to hold onto too.

but we both got older, you moved on, and i thought that I did too.

Until I finally understood that sometimes, there is no last moment. There is no closure. Sometimes, there is just goodbye. And without you saying anything at all, that’s what I got. I didn’t watch you leave, I didn’t have to deal with the pain of begging you to stay and then watching you love someone else.

I didn’t even get to tell you the real truth, only parts of it.

But sometimes, when life happens, we have to take control. And we have to learn to grieve in out ways because that’s what you made me do.

You made me have to face the idea of forgetting you all together.

And I’m slowly learning. Taking it day by day. Some nights are harder than others because they make me think about you. How much I worry, how much I still wait for a phone call, you on the other end, saying that you’re sorry. That you want me back.

But I think that we both know that you’ve made up your mind. And that you’ve found someone else, someone who could give you what I never could. Someone that’s not really better, but better for you.

And I hope that she takes care of you.

I hope that when you tell her you love her, you really mean it. Because I’m not sure you ever did with me.

I hope that when you have to say goodbye to her, you give her more than you gave me. And most importantly, I want you to know that I forgive you.

For handling this all wrong. For making me look like a fool and feel even worse. For making me think that you were going to wait for me.

I forgive you for falling out of love with me, because these things happen whether we are ready for them or not.

I forgive you  for almost everything. Every moment that you let go. Every minute I thought we were making progress, and then hanging me out to dry.

I forgive you for not being brave enough to say that one word that we both knew was coming. But I hope that one day, years from now, you think back on what you gave up, and I hope that you remember the love that we shared.

The memories that still come to me in dreams, the ones that are the hardest to let go of. Because we really were something We were really good for one another, and I hope that even though you walked away, I hope that you think of that, and of me, and smile.

Anyway, I know that time will pass, and that I’ll be able to say goodbye to you in my own ways, and I won’t need to wait for your permission. It’ll probably happen one day out of the blue. I’ll wake up one morning, and I won’t miss you.

But I’ll keep going because I know that the only way to be at peace with this, with you, is to keep moving. Is to make sure that I’m strong enough, that my heart has enough courage to really let you go for good.

Just know that now, to add to the list of things you taught me, is how to say goodbye. Without really saying anything at all.