I can’t sleep. You have been going round and round my mind again for the last couple of days and although I’ve sworn to myself that I won’t contact you, I have some things I wish I had said to you. Maybe one day I’ll get the courage to send you this letter, or maybe just writing it down will be enough to get me to sleep, enough to help me let go.
Don’t get me wrong, things with us weren’t always bad. Actually, most of the time, things were amazing. I remember one day, after we had been going out for about three or four months, whilst driving to work, Our song came on. I sat and cried, almost hysterically, but they were completely happy tears and the hysteria a mixture of insane smiling and happy giggles. I was actually in love with you and right there and then I understood what other people had always said about being in love. I was so happy I couldn’t even contain it, hence the tears.
But from that point onwards, and actually, with hindsight I now know it started a bit before, you started to wear me down. You paint yourself as a confident, almost arrogant, person on the outside but we both know that’s a cover up. I don’t have a problem with that as such, but the way that you make yourself fell better, I cannot handle. I had a friend like you, once, who used to get all of her self-esteem by putting other people down and after being in her life for about 18 months, she decided she had drained me of all confidence-boosting and ditched me. Why did she think she had drained me? Because she had. She left me, a 16 year old, single anorexic behind because how could she get her self-esteem by leeching from someone who had none?
Ok, I know things didn’t get quite that bad between us, but you were wearing me down in the same way. It was like you had to be better than me at everything, and when you were, you had to rub it in. If you did better on an assignment than me, you rubbed it in my face until I cried. If you cooked something that was better than my attempts, you went on and on about it until I cried... I think you notice the pattern here. It made me feel like there was no point in trying to achieve anything because the achievement meant nothing to you other than as a new goal. Something to achieve, something to beat. I knew I could never make you proud because you would only ever feel that you had to surpass me and as a consequence, I began to see signs of slipping back into the protective, self-destructive shell that I used to spend my life in. And I started to struggle from that point onwards.
However, it wasn’t solely that which started to ebb away at my self-esteem. It was knowing that you were always settling with me, that I was there to serve a purpose and nothing else. I know I’ve told you before that I remember talking to you in our first year, and you said that you preferred dating men but that you disagreed with same-sex marriage and parenthood so you would only ever marry a woman. I sat there right then and thought, “holy shit, I feel sorry for the poor girl who you end up settling with”, and yet I nearly let myself become her. I know what you want from life, and I know you want that stereotypical wife and 2.4 children, and that was what you wanted me for. Not only that, but you tried to mould me into the person you wanted for your game of Happy Families. You obviously have it set out in your head that a couple get together then, after a set amount of time, they live together. Then they get engaged. Then they get married. And it seems to me that you have no intention of ever deviating even slightly from that plan. Which is why it all kicked off when I said that I didn’t want to live with you yet. You took it to mean that I didn’t want the same things as you just because I didn’t fit into your schedule and I again ended up feeling like I wasn’t good enough for you. So you walked away, choosing to leave me for not fitting your mould rather than wait for me to be ready.
And this was why I got so upset that night I got insanely drunk and rang you at 3am. Because after you ‘outed’ T to me and I found out from him what he actually said, by those standards, you were basically outing yourself, thus proving that you were just settling with me so you could get married, have children and keep your family happy. I was enabling the life that you always wanted because I wanted the same things as you. We just never aligned our time-frames.
I don’t blame you entirely for this. I mean, when we got together and you told me what you wanted, you seemed perfect. You wanted everything the last one didn’t, you were perfect. I just didn’t realise I had to run with your timings, I didn’t realise I couldn’t just settle into things at my own pace and it never occurred to me to check this with you.
And right then, at that moment when you tried to walk out on me for, God forbid, saying I wanted something slightly different than you, I realised what I was. I don’t doubt that you love(d) me, I just don’t think it was for the right reasons. I realised I wasn’t what you wanted and that I could never live up to your precise standards, and I felt useless, unloved and unappreciated. The worst thoughts ran through my mind at that time, as I realised that actually, I could see why the last one cheated on you. I could see why she needed some affection because even though I was kind of getting it from you, actually, I wasn’t. You loved me for being a future wife and mother, not for me. You tried to change me, you reduced my abilities to a series of challenges and completely ruined me when I tried to step away from your prescription.
Then I gave you another chance. I asked you not to do something and you did it, showing that again, respecting me and my wishes meant nothing if you felt your agenda was more important. Then you told me to stay with you despite feeling that I didn’t trust you because, again, my happiness shouldn’t interrupt your master plans. As long as you were happy and got to keep me, who cares what I felt, right?
And this is why I can’t sleep tonight. Because I’m lying here, thinking about someone who I love but who I can’t stand. Someone who I love but who doesn’t love me enough to let me be me. Someone who I love but who is so caught up in his own motives that I can’t have my own. I’m now scared, really fricking scared, where once I felt confident. I wonder if I’ll be a good enough teacher, if I’m strong enough to survive on my own, if I’m a good enough friend and actually, I don’t just wonder, I worry. And that’s not something I’ve felt in a long time.
And despite this, I still fucking love you.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t stand you. But I still love you.
And I’m still not tired. My mind is still swimming. But it’s out now. And maybe one day you’ll read this and maybe you won’t do it again. Or maybe one day you’ll read this and laugh it off because my opinions have never mattered, have they? You probably think this is the rambling of a bitter woman who is feeling lonely and therefore is in no way based on truth. It is, by the way, but if you’ve gotten this far and think that then nothing I can do or say will change that.
Good luck in the future. I hope it’s a bit crap. Not too bad, but I don’t want you to be too happy. That’s just not fair. I want to win for once, I want to have a better life.
P.S. If I ever do send this to you, or you find it another way, then I would appreciate a reply. Just a few words so I know you've read it and maybe to know that I didn't waste my time.