January 22, 2010

An Unsent Letter

Last year I made a very obvious statement about “washing away the affairs of the past”.  At the time I considered it to be my final goodbye to Jared and all he was to me. As the car wash scrubbed on the mud on my truck I could also feel it scrubbing on my heart. As I drove away my heart fairly squeaked with the closure of a clean truck and a clean outlook.

They say that admittance is the first step to recovery. I often wonder where I am in that journey towards recovery. For the most part I have moved past the anger, hurt and regret. Some days I don’t even think about it. The days I do remember are still hard. Some days I seethe with anger. Some days I wallow in the hurt. And then the days come that the regret and embarrassment suffocate me. Thankfully with the more time that passes, the more days there are between. It has now been over a year since our official breakup. A year and a half since the beginning of our end (or any other trite phrase to describe the beginning of pain)

And then there are other days where I can sit back and relive the past without reliving the emotions of the past. Today has been such a day. I had embarked on a mission to clean out my closet, and I was already two trash bags into the mess when I found a letter from Katie dated Oct-13-2008. Judging by the letter we had had a disagreement/misunderstanding (as only Katie and I can) over nothing really. (mushrooms dammit mushrooms!) I stuck my head down the rabbit hole and remember the day I received the letter distinctly. It was in the middle of my “dark days of depression”, not that that is any excuse at all. I was aggravated all over again. After all I didn’t want to hear anything but what I thought I wanted to hear. What that was at the time I don’t even know. Looking back all I see is how self-centered I was. So self-centered I caused her hurt. Not intentionally, no not at all I just couldn’t work 
past my broken heart enough to see anyone else's brokenness.

Reading over the letter and my subsequent reply, I can’t even recognize the person I was. In that dark time I didn’t care if I lived or died. I went to work in a haze. I slept in a haze. I even cried in a haze. I pushed everyone away in desperate hope that they would love me enough to push back into my life. Jared did for a  time. He repeatedly (according to this letter, I don’t remember) tried to assure me that he loved me for me and didn’t want a “brunette bobbisue clone”. Katie repeatedly told me how much she loved me just as I am. In my reply I told her how my dad had told me how proud he was of me and I didn’t understand how anyone could be proud of me. I was worthless! Why couldn’t anyone else see it?

In the end of her letter Katie said “Why would you say “I’m so depressed” and how can you be okay with that? Why do you insist on being down? You are an amazing girl. Let nothing stand in your way…. You are a strong girl! Present that to the world!" I wish I could say that in the year since she wrote this that I had taken her words to heart and had worked through these issues and in fact I had planned on saying it. However, when I think on these last few weeks I see just how much I lie to myself about how ok I really am. Just the other day I caught myself thinking that if I didn’t have to tip-toe around Katie, constantly worrying about annoying her; we would have the perfect friendship. Then I read this letter and remember she has seen me at my very worst and still cared enough about me to write me a letter telling me how much she loved me despite my faults. Wait Wait! She knows my faults, understands I’m far from perfection and hasn’t run a million miles per hour in the opposite direction? How can this be? I’m sure that you, my dear reader already have this figured out. She flat out says “you are the biggest drama queen I know. 
But I love you despite all that."
It isn’t just with Katie but all other friends, family and relationships. I automatically assume that if I make a mistake they will write me off as a screw-up. If they aren’t expressing their amusement they must think I’m an idiot, or they must be angry with me. My inadequacy stares me in the face and I wake up every morning with the reality of how incompetent I am. Someone wise once told me “You are only as incompetent as you let people tell you, you are.” Maybe the deeper truth is that I’m only as incompetent  as I assume people think I am. Insert any other disparaging adjective and this truth holds true. 
Novel concept eh?
These past few pages reveal so much of the behind the scenes of my issues with anyone in the past year. I wonder how I possibly thought I was okay. Because the truth is, I’m not okay, but then again who really is?  I’m still broken and I’m still trying to heal. This letter opened up a new area of brokenness to me. Where I had previously stuck a piece of duct tape, this letter ripped it off and has opened it up to healing air. 
In reply I said something not as much for then but really for now “I have learned independence and although it’s a lonely place; it’s where I need to be right now." I’m lonely it’s true. I don’t have any friends left in town and nights like New Years only reminds me of how lonely my days really are. Yet, it has also been a time for me  to read old letters, consider past mistakes, and grow through present hurt.
That is true healing and I’m thankful for it.

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