It started as a rebound. A spur of the moment fluke. Initially, I never wanted anything to come of it; I just wanted to come. Casual or not, you can’t stay involved that long without any notion of feelings. We are not shells. Regardless of how we strive to portray ourselves to be.
An open letter to no one in particular, except for a certain someone.
I bet you think this post is about you. If you’re right, then you’re right. But my bet is that you’ll never see this. My hope is that you don’t.
I write as a coping mechanism. A way of processing. A way to break down and digest the aspects of life that can be hard to swallow. The loss of a lover. A new stepping stone to stumble upon. The notions, suggestions, fantasies and realities swirl around and spin me out chaotically- this is how I take hold. This is how I gain control as the motions drag me along.
I know I’m the one who ended it. I didn’t feel like I had a choice. You were pulling away. In an attempt to preserve what was left of my ego, I made it easy for you. It was easier than asking you to stay; only to hear all of the reasons why you wouldn’t.
A clean, casual, friendly break. We didn’t exchange much of a dialogue. Just confirmation from both sides that this thing had come to a close. It seemed so abrupt.
When it felt like it was going somewhere, everything came to a halt.
I reel out. Weighing the various options, but always coming up short.
The guidelines were laid out from the beginning. Know your place and follow suit. I fluctuated with adoration. Sometimes I wanted more, at other times I really didn’t. I began to lose sight of what was appropriate. I got so stuck in our routine that when I started to develop feelings, the whole thing felt ruptured. I forgot how to act.
The way you looked at me started to change.
It was like you were starting to see me. Your eyes reached into me, taking hold. And I panicked. I started to pull back, trying to wriggle free. Mostly because I didn’t want to mistake this, or that, for something it wasn’t.
You shouldn’t have been surprised. You knew my situation from the get. I’d taken a hiatus from all things dating and sex. I’d had enough. After an eight-month celibacy, I felt that I had healed enough to let someone into my life. But only at arms-length. After all of the progress that I had achieved, I needed time to struggle with the various toxicities that sometimes arise in a relationship. I needed to face them from a different angle, re-strategize and overcome. If you ever felt like a casualty from my ongoing battle- I’m sorry.
It’s not that I didn’t want to let you in, I just didn’t know how. My fortress is just too high. I saw you at the door- but I’d disposed of the keys. Speak your piece and be on your way; visitors are encouraged not to overstay their welcome.
As I’d mentioned, I flip flopped with the notion of turning our casual-whatever into something meaningful. I was taken aback by how in-sync we felt. In those moments I melted into you; I forgot about the chaotic mess going on around me but mostly inside. My mind was still, peaceful, only focused on you. To be completely honest- I’ve never had that capability before. I’ve never been able to be fully present. I’d get lost in our motions, lost in you. Only to open my eyes to find no one looking back. You were always somewhere else. Never with me. Fully wrapped up in someone- and yet I was alone. Aren’t paradox’s a bitch?
So, I shut down. I decided I would only give you my body, the shell of myself. I never shared with you the most genuine parts of me. My notebooks filled with ideas, stories, poetry- some of it about you. I never let you taste my food- the most authentic portrayal of my self-expression.
You never tried to keep me in a box. You let me run wild and held me in the moments when I was yours. Never judging. Always understanding, or at least trying to.
Still keeping you at arms-length but preserving the connection. It was something. A very convenient something that took no effort at all. I managed to find comfort. I managed to find solace. I considered you a safe haven where I could harbor my broken pieces until I found a place to keep them.
You helped me piece my fractured sense of self together, I want you to know that. But no matter what, my cracks still showed. I think that scared you. My scars define me. My past defines me. My damage defines me. It surfaces and it dictates. I’m sorry that I would fall apart and come to you with my pieces, throwing them at your feet, hoping that you would help me get it together. Just know it’s because I felt safe around you.
I found solace in you. Your eyes, so deep and caring. You gave me support when I felt suspended. That’s why I unloaded all of my shit on you, oversharing. Knowing eventually that it would drive you away. You didn’t know how to hold me when I was falling apart. Probably because you had your own broken pieces to find places for.
You know what it’s like to be sad, but not how to hold yourself prisoner like me.
My distance, my damage; it was too much to handle. I never expected you to understand- but I give you credit for trying.
If you think that I hold any ill will towards you- you’re wrong. We all have to follow our own path to happiness, I truly hope that you find yours. And I thank you for giving me a bit of shelter during my search for mine.