I want to send you a “CONGRATULATIONS, YOU RUINED MY LIFE” card, but I am bigger than that.
I am regrettably bigger than that. I will never tell you how much it hurt when I showed you all my vulnerabilities and you stomped on my heart without thinking twice. I opened up my soul and you threw your garbage in it. I read what you wrote about me, had a panic attack, and threw up three times. There is only one word I can think of that fully describes how I felt then, and even now, because of your words.
I feel ruined.
You could have just called me worthless. Honestly, it would have gotten the same message across, but it would have saved me the trouble of having to continue reading with tears swallowing my eyes. I hope you never feel the way I feel, and I regret that I feel this way. I regret that I am too sympathetic to take any anger out on you. I regret that I am so harsh on myself that I will allow your criticisms to eat me alive. I will allow you to continue on with your life, not knowing what you did to mine. Maybe you’ll secretly feel guilty… I mean, it’s not like you didn’t know I was going to read it. Maybe you meant to make me feel this way. Maybe you would even appreciate a congrats card.
One of the hardest things in life is caring. Sometimes it’s hard for people to care about others, sometimes it’s hard for people to not care about others. I am more properly described by the latter. My love for you, my faith in you, my dedication to improving your education consumes me. It does a good enough job eating me alive without your additional help. I literally volunteered my time to help you. I have a family, another job, and quite frankly better shit to do. If I could go back in time, I’m honestly not sure if I would choose to work with you again. It’s hard to justify putting myself through all these tears. It’s also hard to justify letting one situation hold me back from a lifelong career of teaching.
Am I a failure if you think I’m a failure? If you think I am a failure then I will feel like I have failed you, but maybe one day you will realize how much I helped you and contact me. Maybe you’ll contact me to apologize for being so hard on me, and tell me you’re sorry you couldn’t see all of my passion at the time. Some things take time.
You can use criticism to improve yourself or let it ruin yourself. Right now it is ruining me. I know that maybe in five years I will realize how it has improved me, but I’m not there yet. Maybe I will be the one to write to you, and apologize not for the way I treated you but the way I feel towards you at this very moment. How can we tell if we are taking criticism too personally? Is there a line you can draw between being too self-absorbed to acknowledge your mistakes and being too emotionally unstable to even make suggestions to? There’s probably a very thick line, full of different coping methods for accepting personal criticism. And somewhere in the middle of that line is me, crying, because I’m not sure which one of us is the real jerk in this situation.
There is no way to say this without sounding at least slightly condescending, but I hope you grow up to be a beautiful person with a beautiful life. But honestly, next time, just write, “2/10, you are worthless.”