What I Can’t Say | A Letter

Last night, I had a dream that you actually cared about me.

When I woke up, feeling ill and shaking with something a little like fear, I cried because I realised the dream was just that – a dream. Over the next hour, it hit me that not only did you not care but there was nothing I could do to make you care. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it give a shit about the water, after all.

I could send you a thousand messages, do everything possible to get your attention but that’s what they call “attention-seeking”. I could tell you if I felt miserable in the hours when I wasn’t sleeping; I could let you know just how sad I’m feeling; I could tell you that when I spoke to you, it calmed something within me but no matter that it’s true, even if you believed me, you still wouldn’t care. There wouldn’t be much use in exhausting all avenues of communication if it’ll just go unanswered. It wouldn’t be of much use if it’d just make you hate me.

Now, I don’t think you hate me, just that you don’t care. We’ve gone through too much for you to hate me; you’ve said it countless times. However, the ceaseless paranoia I feel in the cavity of my stomach makes me believe that you just don’t care: that you’re tired of caring. It’s like all my attempts to talk to you, instead of bringing you closer, have pushed you away. Maybe it’s my fault, for being odd and scarily attached to people, but sometimes, it just happens.

You may think that I write this in anger that you wouldn’t care but the truth is, I’ve come to accept it. Yes, it breaks me a fair bit that the beautiful friendship I suppose we still had will be marred by me, where I constantly seek reassurance, but it’s part of things which I have to come to terms with. I’ll change that part of me but for now, I know that when I next speak to you, I’ll be filled with the terror that I’ll say something that’ll make things worse. That doesn’t mean I’m angry or resentful; it just means that I’m both scared of myself and of having direct proof that I’m losing you.

I’m a jumble of thoughts. I want you to care but I don’t want to show you that because I can turn into a pathetic mess. I don’t want to be misconstrued as attention-seeking when a small part of me wants a crying sort of assurance. In short, you make me become a juxtaposition, like I want to shove you away in case I screw things up but I also want to still have you here because no matter that you don’t care, I still care. Will that tear me apart? Perhaps but I must stop lying to myself and I have to stop pretending that I don’t have a heart.

You’ll never read this and that’s why I can say all these things, all of the confused strands of paranoia and loneliness spilling out onto a screen. Maybe I’m wrong and maybe you do care but I don’t want to waste energy wishing. In time, you’ll prove to me that you care or that you don’t and then I’ll know. I’ll just have to wait and try not to lock myself into a loop of wild hope and crushing disappointment.

People stay in your life and people leave; people are there for a short time and a long time and often, you can’t predict what it’ll be. I couldn’t say what you’ll be to me in 5 years because you may have cut off all communication with me by then. It’s okay to do that but what I can’t deal with is this uncertainty: I know that you don’t care as much now but to what extent is still not known to me. Time heals all wounds, they say, but how much time are we willing to give each other?

If you do end up reading this, I might get a message telling me I don’t know you at all, that this just shows that I don’t understand you. To that, I’d say “I’m sorry but in order for me to understand you, you have to let me.” Or I may just leave it. You may say, “Why would you think I don’t care – I have a lot going on so I’m sorry for that.” Or you may never send me a message at all.

I’m not sad now; I’m not angry. I’m neither resigned nor hopeful. I’m just here and so are you and that’s, really, what matters. Beneath all the confusion and torn up thoughts, silent wonderings and spoken happiness, we’re still here.

I’m glad of that. Maybe, at some point, I’ll get my answer but if not? I’m still here.

From Elm 🙂

Letter to a Liar

Dear you,
I have a nagging, horrible feeling that you lied to me, somewhere along the way. Maybe it’s my constant paranoia, but maybe it’s not.

It would be absolutely terrible if you had lied about that. What it was, when it happened, how it affected our relationship moving forward from me finding about that. The latter, if touched by any lie you told, would just make things… Wrong. I’d have to re-evaluate my feelings towards you, towards our previous (and dare I say, current) friendship, so here’s to hoping I never find out for sure whether you did or not.

I’m being elusive again, like I was in my last letter. It just means that yet again, I won’t reveal who this “you” is. The exact thing you might have lied about won’t be said either, because that’s too invasive, and barely anyone knew when you told me – though maybe a thousand different people know exactly what occurred that day, from your perspective.

It breaks my heart to know that I have so little faith in you now that I’d even consider that you lied – when we were close, or much closer than we are now, the thought of you lying about something so important to you and I was inconceivable. I scoffed at that idea, because I was absolutely certain you would always be honest: you’d tell me when I was awful; you’d let me know if something happened; you’d be the person I could rely on. For a time, you were that, like my own little light in the confusion that was my head, but you aren’t that now.

The reality is that I don’t trust you. I’m not sure when I stopped, and I could easily dive back into the well of trust that you and I once had, but that would hurt. When you’re not sure if the foundation of your friendship or feelings were based off lies, it’s difficult not to fall into a different kind of well entirely – one of endless worry. Luckily, I’ve not despaired so much as to be like that, yet, and I never want to get that low.

Some people say that I never should have trusted you in the first place, but I disagree. You were something special to me, that I’ve moved on from but still hurts in a little corner of my mind, and I can’t forget that. You brought me happiness and laughter, security and friendship before any pain. What you did wasn’t your fault, I know – and not mine, though I convince myself it is. Somehow.

I can’t talk about untruths, because I lied to you too. You may not know it – you may suspect – but I did, after it all. Never did I lie during our friendship, or whatever you want to call it. It was only after: after my morals twisted a little and I became even more suspicious of everything, that I told you things that weren’t the truth. Like a lot of liars, I did it to stop you hurting, to shield you and me from something – your anger, my hurt, my fucked up sense of what was right? I don’t know.

I wonder – did you do what I did? Perhaps I’ve overthought this, but let’s go with the idea that you lied: did you do it to save yourself, or to help me? I wish I’d known, and you’d known, that lying only brings complex tragedy. Wishing for changes in the past gets you nowhere: ultimately, we didn’t know and so the web of lies that I now can’t reveal to certain people for fear of fucking things up even more than I have has entangled me.

In a parody of thought, I’ll be honest with you. I miss you, but I miss the version of happiness we had. One that wasn’t tempered by cynicism and careful dancing over subjects that would reveal that I’d been dishonest, or you, or either of us; I don’t know what’s reality any more when it comes to what we had. That’s the thing: I could have avoided lying, and you could have too, if we weren’t so scared of the other’s reaction. Fuck knows if, and when, you lied but I know that I was so petrified and still am that if you find out the truth of what I did after things went to shit, you’d hate me and never speak to me again.

I’m done with lies, and secrets, and stupid amounts of care to get my words right in case I step over the line. If I don’t trust you, and I’m worried you lied, maybe it’s better if I remove myself from this situation. It hurts, but you don’t deserve to think about someone who got so overwhelmed and miserable by her situation that she spoke to the one person who hurt you, who did the same thing to you that they did to me.

Perhaps people are destined to lie if they have to, but that doesn’t mean it’ll continue. I’ll never find out if you told me the truth that day, but I don’t really want to know. I want to love who I love without being terrified that they’d lie to me without thinking, and then get so caught up in lies that we run away. I think that’s what we both did, and that’s okay, because moving forward, I can remember to always, always be honest: it’s what you taught me, then and now, when your honesty made me happy, when it didn’t and when your lack of it made me think.

I won’t be bitter over something that might not have happened the way I thought. Life’s too short for that.

From me 🙂

Letters to a Memory

Dear you,
Perhaps writing these will give me a better form of closure than what I had, though I’m beginning to think that how it ended wasn’t closure at all. This most certainly won’t be the last “letter” I write to you, because my emotions can’t be summarised in one sitting. It would take far longer than that, and it makes it easier that I’m writing it here because there’s no fear attached.

Can I really call it a letter, when you’ll never read it? Even if you do, you’d never realise it was you, or you’d think it was you when it wasn’t. I wouldn’t make it easy for you, simply because I don’t want you to know. I want to speak as freely as I’ll let myself.

I still don’t blame you, despite being told I have every right to, because you broke my heart. You taught me what friendship was like, what it was like to make awful and stupid mistakes, but then what it was to forgive. Then, that all shattered and I was left – but there’s something important that’s missing there. The shattering, the ending, isn’t what should define how you thought of something. The journey to that ending, the things you experience along the way that make you grow as a person, should.

The simple reason I can’t blame you is that I know that it wasn’t your fault. If I were a different person, I would have cut off contact the minute you said those awful words – but I wasn’t. I’m me, and you know that I forgave you a long time ago, because there wasn’t anything to forgive: I fucked up, and you returned that sentiment in kind. I can’t help but think it’s a sort of karma, despite the fact I’m finally admitting I didn’t deserve it. That I wasn’t somehow to blame.

You’d find me pathetic if you saw me now, seeming as I still cry quite a fair bit – not just over you, mind; there are plenty of things – not only from years ago – that make me cry. Strangely, though, whether you find me pathetic or not is something I don’t care much about any more; I hope I’m not lying to myself when I say that, because I’ve done that a lot recently. However, my tears are my own and not yours to shed, and I’ve suppressed them around other people so the only outlet I have is this, and my own thoughts now. How times have changed.

One of the main things that scares me is something ending. The missed opportunities, the things that will never happen, and I can’t breathe from the pain of it sometimes. I realise how small I was in comparison to everything, and it makes me question whether I was worth it to anyone that came before or after you. I miss it, you, everything; it’s comforting that you’d never think to ask because I don’t think that either you or I would want to hear the truth coming out of my mouth.

I don’t think that you ever loved me; I was just deluding myself into thinking I had a chance with that level of emotion. That started a whole spiral of self-worthlessness, something I’m still surrounded by; it can’t go away with the flick of a switch. I think that people underestimate just how little I think of myself now, and no: it isn’t just because of you. In fact, it existed so long before you came along that I wonder if it all started when I realised I couldn’t see like the rest of my classmates could, or if it just grew and grew until it turned into the leech it is today.

You never took anything away from me, and I hope you know that. You turned things into other things, security into paranoia – but no, that wasn’t you; it was my mind that did that. I absolutely can’t blame you for that, because that was far outside your control. You didn’t twist my ideas of who you were, not really – I always knew who you were, and who you are is not and never has been a bad person.

I’m not crying whilst I write this. I’m in control of my emotions, unlike yesterday and the day before, and so many days before that. Finally getting some of this out has helped a little, I suppose.

I’m very removed from the person I was when we were close, because as much as you said that you would always be there, you aren’t. You aren’t here now, and you haven’t been for so long; it’s understandable because I’m pretty sure I irritated you, annoyed you and exasperated you. I certainly did myself. But you broke a promise – one I knew, in the back of my mind, couldn’t be kept – and I find it so difficult to get past that, from an unwavering set of morals I used to have.

I can’t forget what was once so precious to me. If I do, I’ll forget why I can call myself a good person in the first place: because I understand why people did things, and I accept it.

The person who you used to know is still me. There are a few more layers now, a few more walls, but I still cry for help and I still need somebody to hold me together. That somebody isn’t you any more, and will never be again because I know you would never want that. It’s just that I don’t know where I stand with anybody; I’m scared and worried, so that’s why I’m writing this because I want to get some of my hurt out.

I don’t know where you are now, who you are, or if you’re happy. I hope that you are; you deserve to be. I’ve never said that I hated you, not once – though I suppose I hated how you treated everything for a short while, but that feeling’s been reasoned out of me by my own mind. I’ve not felt bitter, even though I joke that I do; life is just life, you are just you and I’ll be the me I want to be at some point.

Hope’s what I cling onto. It’s not like I’m drowning, or like I’m lost; it’s more that I’m trying to find my footing when the rug’s been dragged out from under me. I know you understand that, and I can just imagine you sighing in that way you did before, or laughing as if you were surprised by it. I always found that beautiful.

If, for some reason, you’re reading this, I wonder if you’ll figure out it’s you. To anyone, it might seem obvious, but read between the lines. This “letter” could refer to a myriad of people, and one thing that I can keep to myself is the fact that the only person who truly knows who this is about is me.

Hold onto your morals, okay? Whatever you’re doing, if you’re laughing now or crying, just remember a little segment of the past for a second. You know which one I mean. It’s doubtful that I’ll see you again, or when I do, it won’t be with much significance attached; it might just be a passing word or a nostalgic “Hey, remember the old days?” Do you?

Yes, I remember; sometimes I wish you could forget it. Never let the memory of a girl you used to call a close friend tarnish any memories you might make in the future. Let me just be something old, something safe. I’m content with that.

You were the possibility in the midst of a rainstorm, something that grew with every cloud and kept my tears from becoming an ocean. Now, you’re the echo of that, but you’ll still remain in the back of my thoughts. A reminder: all things come to an end, but you can bloody well find true happiness whilst those things are on their way.

From me 🙂