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A Letter to the Relationships I've Sabotaged

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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.

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Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

Originally published: September 3, 2018
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