Letter 16 is two letters to the same person, a husband and an ex.
The writer is the founder of the blog ReMemories Magazine.
To my ex,
Remember this letter I wrote you (below)? No? I thought not.
That’s why you’re now my ex.
We’ve been through a lot, you and I. Especially this last year – by far the hardest year I’ve ever had. I almost didn’t make it. I certainly almost didn’t make it with you. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to. But I made my decision, and I learned to slowly trust you again. Then I read a letter. A letter from you. A letter not intended for my eyes. A very deep letter professing your love and adoration for this other person. Someone you’’d only met once. Once! Someone you were willing, according to your letter, to discard us for and pursue. For whatever reason, I needed to read that letter today. For one year it sat and waited to be read. Waited for me to accidentally discover it, and for you to initially deny it.
Reading that letter, I learned that you weren’t in a good place; that I was reacting to that negative energy with more negative energy. I tried to change – and you were resistant to the change at first. You didn’t want to go there. You didn’t want to see a different me. Now I understand why. It’s so much easier to blame, so much easier to see me as something less than perfect so you can cover up your own imperfections. So much easier to justify your actions when you misread and capitulate falsehoods about mine. It was so much easier for me to raise my walls and protect myself than it was to see over the wall to the other side.
I had had enough. I decided to change. I decided it wasn’t worth it to be hiding; combating negative energy with negative energy. It wasn’t working. I wasn’t working. So I changed. Bit by bit, I got better. I’m still working on it. I’m not at all perfect, nor where I should be. But reading the letter and your subsequent reaction to it helped me see why some things happened the way they did. They helped me see that not all of it was my fault – as you led me to believe. Not all of it was even about me. That was a relief of sorts: to know I’m not as bad as I feared. Not knowing whom to trust about it, or who was brave enough to tell me the truth about myself. Not trusting my own feelings/emotions/thoughts/fears/etc. Certainly not trusting you(rs) either.
The ironic thing here is, I actually have started to trust you again. I have decided to open my heart for one last time. I think it was being tested today. Tested and, thankfully, a bit healed as well. I know the idea of an affair with her was over for you a while ago. You said you are a “different person now” and I’m going to choose to believe you. For now. I can only do one day at a time, and I can only take so much pain at once.
I warn you: this is the last time I open my heart to you again. I won’t do it again. I can’t survive another stretch like this. I am not attaching any anger or current frustrations to the letter – it was, after all, written a year ago. What I am going to do is remind you that this is IT. This is the last opportunity you have to live your life with me. If you wish to go down that path again, fine. I won’t stop you. But I won’t take you back either. You have to show me that you really mean it, otherwise, I will show you the door. I will help you pack. No, screw that: I’ll throw all your shit on the grass.
Ironically, when you said you wanted to burn the letter, my first thought was “Why? So you can hide the evidence?” I wish it had been “Yay, good for you!” That does make me a bit sad. So I know things aren’t perfect, and I’m not living in a cloud. But I am living now. I’m more alive now than before I woke up this morning. Things are clearer to me. I’m glad you “forgot about that letter.” I’m glad I found it. I’m glad I had to have a really good cry today so that all these old emotions could come to the surface, be examined, and then discarded. I’m glad I can purge with my written words. I don’t know how to survive without purging this way. Okay, I threw up in the bathroom too. That helped as well. I admit it.
Remember, this is it.
*** Have you a letter to someone you would love to write? A first love? A letter to a younger you? Someone you wish to thank? Maybe a confession? Or a letter to someone who has made your life difficult?
I am still taking contributions to this series of letters. Check out the guidelines for submission or just contact me with any queries. You can read previous contributions using the “series of letters” link.