A Letter to the Relationships I've Sabotaged


This is the letter I wish I could send to you. To everyone who gave me a chance, only to have it thrown back in your face with no warning. You deserved better. That’s the first lie I would tell myself while trying to fall asleep. I am simply allowing you to back out of whatever arrangement we had. I just did the work for you. But of course, I didn’t give you the option, did I?

That’s the second lie. If I hadn’t nipped this friendship/casual acquaintance/potential romantic relationship in the bud as early as I did — you probably would have left anyway. It can be hard to love someone who doesn’t love themselves. Who doesn’t know how to navigate a healthy relationship. I honestly can’t blame you.

It probably started with small talk. I was confident and chatty — we clicked straight away. We laughed and joked and discussed how great it would be to catch up again. You said you enjoyed my quirky humor. This is the part I can play well. I can hope things will be different this time.

Soon enough though, my quick quips to rebut any compliments you give me start to get irritating. I can see it in your eyes — you can tell there is something off about me. You start to see the wall behind the smiles. Catching a glimpse of the turmoil.

This makes me paranoid. So I start opening up. Trying to explain myself. This sudden change in pace is probably really confusing to you, I get that. Black or white. All or nothing here. I can feel the cycle starting to repeat as I tell myself how repulsive I must be. I flip between cold deflection of your attempts to get close to me and edging on clingy. All I want is to have someone choose me. Bruised and battered as I come. Me.

You’re probably thinking how easy it is just to be open about what I want. Assertive, if you may.

But I feel frozen. That would be intruding. It’s not the way these things should begin. I’m being presumptuous. Nothing has been said about what this is. Don’t cross that line. Don’t send them away. Don’t leave.

How can I expect anything else though? If I can’t rely on my own family to stick around or even want to get to know me, how can I expect that from you — a virtual stranger.

Writing this letter in a way is the start of my healing process. I have acknowledged that there is a problem, and I am starting to see the pattern that is left in its wake. I have no idea what the next step in my journey is — but I am determined to get through this somehow. Not only to prove to myself that I am worthy of love, but to ensure that my pain no longer becomes a weapon to those around me.

I hope you will be proud of me.

Follow this journey on Bree & Kali.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Mental Health

A woman leaning against a wall, looking up. text reads: 14 Lies People With Bipolar Disorder (Sometimes) Tell

14 Lies People With Bipolar Disorder (Sometimes) Tell

Everyone deserves to be honest about how they’re doing, but unfortunately, not everyone has that luxury. Whether because your family members don’t “get it,” your boss would never let you have a mental health day, or you’re too nervous to tell your friends how you’re really doing, if you live with bipolar disorder, you might [...]
young woman lying on back in wildflower meadow

How a Phrase My Mother Told Me Applies to My Life With Bipolar Disorder

“Things are temporary.” This phrase is something my mother has always told me. I’m ending the first few weeks at a new job and there have been many mornings I’ve woken up (after snoozing my alarm four times) and wished I was back at one of my old jobs — jobs that I hated in the moment and jobs [...]
The sad boy with tear in his eye on a black background

16 Signs You Grew Up With Bipolar Disorder

There’s a certain misconception that children are “too young” and don’t have enough life experience to have a mental illness, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Studies show the age of onset for mental disorders usually occurs in childhood or adolescence. Of course, these mental disorders are often unrecognized by our peers and [...]
Kanye West on Jimmy Kimmel talking about bipolar disorder

What Kanye's Jimmy Kimmel Interview Means to Me as a Wife to a Black, Bipolar Husband

Recently, Serena Williams and Beyoncé spoke very openly about their near-death labor experiences and the ongoing trauma surrounding their high-risk pregnancies. They spoke about how motherhood changed their bodies and about their struggles with postpartum depression (PPD). The transparency of these beautiful black women was so refreshing for me as a survivor of severe preeclampsia [...]