If You Think This Post Is About You, It Probably Is

Here is a letter / blog post I recently wrote to that person I did date once nearly two and half years ago after which we became really good friends before she decided at the end of last year that she no longer wanted to speak to me again. She was the person referred to in all the “Digital Age Relationships” posts, and it was this letter than inspired me to take a look at how relationships are conducted in the modern world.  She was the person I apparently dehumanised, hence why I read the book that introduced her to the concept and wrote about it.   I wrote the below letter a while ago.  As it happens, the person in question stopped looking for me the day I finished it.

I think it’s about time to say something.  I’m trying just to use facts, rather than opinions.

When you said goodbye, I assumed you meant you didn’t want to know me anymore, but it appears that you said goodbye and then haven’t walked away.  You’re still there, looking at me.  To use your own metaphor where I was the rock stopping you, the kite, from blowing away on the winds of another boyfriend or job or opportunity, however strong that wind is it still hasn’t been strong enough to snap the lines keeping us together.  (You told me that I was the rock, or at least part of it, before changing your mind).

I know you said you were checking I was OK by checking social media, WhatsApp and this here little bit of t’interweb.  Three months have passed and you haven’t missed a post.  I know I said that I wished you could look out for Virtual Me because you were interested in what Real Me was doing and not out of sympathy or worry.  However, I can guarantee your boyfriend wasn’t thinking of his exes at certain times that you were reading my blog (you grouped me with your boyfriends for the benefit of your friends, so let’s assume I’m now an ex).  I referenced you indirectly in some posts and how you reacted to those compared to other “regular” posts was telling.

I said in a post a while ago that when stories become too inconsistent and too confused, like the one you told me at the end, I’m always tempted to believe that what was there at the start was the closest to the truth that I’m going to get, the rest just being spin to achieve what you think is needed.  When we were sat sharing tea and carrot cake that night in November, you told me that you thought of me when you were dating other guys and it upset you.  That was why you wanted me not there, because you told me it was easier when I wasn’t – it was a “relief” not having a supposed “friend” there.  I thought you meant that it was easier to concentrate on them when I wasn’t there, but now I’m not there physically and you’re still coming looking for me.  You’re not stumbling across a Tweet or a status update, you’re actually making a decision to find out and come to me.

There’s so much more I want to write but I promised myself I’d stick to facts.  I’ve thought long and hard about posting this because when I’m writing I do sometimes think of you and I like the fact I can share with you what I’m doing and what’s going on.  It’s also public, but no-one else who reads this knows you and you’ve blogged about me in the past.  This is the All Or Bust Moment for me and remember that I didn’t want to be here.

You look happy with your boyfriend and you’ll realise that all my insecurities around “us” were because I never wanted to get in the way of your romantic relationships and sometimes I felt I did because I took up time that could otherwise have been spent with them.  I didn’t want them to think I was a threat by taking you out, spending time with you and other things because if you were happy I didn’t want to get in the way of that.  I still want you to be happy.  I’m still not trying to break you up. Please know that.

Years ago you told me that I was your best friend up here.  In December last year you told me that I was more (“more” not “different”) than your regular friends to you.  You volunteered why I couldn’t be your boyfriend and it wasn’t that “you just didn’t think of me that way” or that you didn’t have those feelings towards me, it was that you were planning in to the future and didn’t think I’d go with you despite having a pretty good idea how much I thought of you.

But the thing is, even three months after not wanting to speak to me again and having your new wind, I’m not sure you’ve solved the problem you told me about right at the beginning.  Sure, he doesn’t know about me and you no longer have to make time for me whether you wanted to because you liked my company, I was useful or you were just providing sympathy.  You still haven’t cut the chord though.

The psychologist has confirmed that I seem to be a normal, well-adjusted and sensible individual.  The therapist thinks I’m a really nice person who wanted nothing but the best for you and did nothing outside the realms of a normal relationship and doesn’t understand how you decided I wasn’t worth keeping.  I actually reduced another therapist to tears by telling her the story – she felt that sorry for me about the way you’ve gone about things.  They do all think our relationship was one sided because they can’t see an instance that you went above and beyond being company (think even little things like you jumping on the train to meet me somewhere half way) and, when things got tricky, you called an end to it.  No-one seems to be able to understand what went on between us though (one would love to talk to us together!) and it’s this that still confuses me too because nothing fits, yet all four of us have hypotheses.

I’m still struggling for closure because of the massive inconsistencies in your story.  I never said that you were full of opposites, I said your story was.  It’s the fact you changed your mind on so many important elements of casting me aside.  Even in the last letter, you changed them again for a third time.  I guess I also thought I might get “I’m sorry, you deserved better way than the way I treated you at the end” but you can’t provide that because of how you’ve changed your story to make all the faults mine or because all those hints you were dropping weren’t actually to break us up.

You know, I read a quote the other day – it just popped up on Instagram.  It read “I could never cheat on anyone.  It’s the type of mistake and wrong doing I couldn’t live with.  Knowing that you destroyed someone’s trust is bad, but destroying someone’s perspective on love is far worse”.  You didn’t cheat on me, but how you chose to play this has destroyed the little confidence I have with relationships by you telling me that trying to be the best friend I can be and doing pretty much everything you asked (which you wanted me to do) was a burden on you, and so could presumably be a burden on others.

So I guess this is where I say it.  I haven’t quite closed the book on you yet because I didn’t want to be here and knowing you still care enough to check up on me alongside when and how you do it means I don’t think you’ve closed the book on me either.  Actions speak louder than words sometimes.

You said you’d made peace with the situation but are demonstrating you haven’t and I think it’s easy for you to think you have because, on balance, you haven’t really lost anything.  So how about we talk about it?  Not with the goal of going back to what we were even if we could rebuild, but so that we can both tie up the loose ends by actually being honest.

As an aside to bring it up to date, now you’ve finally cut me out, three months after you could have done, it’s just fuelling the thought in me that this isn’t the situation you wanted to be in.  Either that or I’ve made you angry by discussing our relationship with other people and publicising that in a forum where no-one can identify you, but being angry means you cared.  Me being there was still hard.  I still don’t get it.

 


 

 

On New Year’s Day I broke and ended needing to find someone to talk to.  Everything was falling apart so I went to Samaritans because, at that point in time, I had exactly no-one.  They put me in touch with a councellor as I alluded to earlier.  To tell the truth, I’ve been seeing two – a private one because I was desperate and a free one I was referred to by my GP.

We’ve spoken about a lot of things because the hardest thing for me is how you ended us.  It feels weird going to talk to people and, when they ask what the problem is, I say that it’s because a friend isn’t talking to me anymore.  They ask me why and we go through the things you told me.

The dehumanising is the first thing we spoke about, because it was the biggest deal to me as it would affect every other relationship I have or will have, with friends, family or romantically.  The conclusion they have both come to, and obviously they only get my side of the story but have both said that I defend you far more than you deserve, is that it was actually you that dehumanised me.  Sure, you didn’t put me on a pedestal, but you liked the idea of having a rock there who would always be there and do everything you asked.  When you didn’t need it anymore, you just got rid of it, and said that that was what you always intended to do, and presumably that was your intention for months.

We moved through the mental health side of things and I’ve also done this with people more medically qualified.  I’m fine, as I said.  If you didn’t think you could handle me being sensible, then I guess that has to be fine too.  I understand that you’re a big advocate of mental health awareness, as am I having had people close to me suffer from genuine issues.  However, what you said to me, not just that you thought I might have a problem and that I might find it useful to talk to someone but that it was actually so big you wouldn’t be able to help me in the same way I tried to help you is actually very dangerous.  I understand the need to talk about mental health, to share and that there is no stigma attached, but do you understand how dangerous it is to tell someone they have a mental illness when they don’t?  It’s actually staggeringly irresponsible of you.

We’ve spoken about the “relief”, how you thought of me when dating others, how you kept checking up on me, the hints you dropped…  They both think that you had feelings for me far greater than you’ll admit and I think they lasted far longer than last Spring.  You say all I asked of you was to be my friend (neither councellor sees any issue with my self-worth although maybe self-esteem considering that you had just told me I was a wimp, mentally unstable as well as the physical limitations you had identified and were never shy in sharing with me).  That was all I asked and that was too much for you.  It makes me wonder what you’re providing to the new guy if it’s too hard for you to just be there for someone.  I think you thought I was lonely when I wasn’t with you.  You made me happy, but I was happy when you weren’t there too.  When I was in, when I was on my own, I wasn’t moping.  I did stuff I enjoyed.  I saw other people.  I did have, albeit only one, date when we were friends!  Life was good.  You just made it better.  You weren’t my entire world, whatever you thought, but you were a big and great part of it.

Both the people I’ve spoken to think the hints, that you later changed to just being normal banter between girl friends, were actually things you wanted to happen.  It doesn’t make sense to wait for 6 months to end it and do it that way.  I admit that those hints made me scared.  You’re more experienced in relationships and dating than me and vastly more experienced at certain aspects of those things.  In all my confusion about whether you meant them, I was scared I wouldn’t meet your expectations.  Because of how you always told me about dating a few guys at a time, I felt you would be comparing us and it would put pressure on me which was another reason why I was happy as just friends.  Yet it’s why I wanted my new experiences to be with you anyway – because you were my best friend.  I couldn’t think of anyone better to be sharing those experiences with.

Having spoken through all those things, I’m left with the fact that I just miss you.  I have dreams about you still and I got out from a shit day at work the other day wanting to tell someone about it and you were still the first person I thought of.  Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking about texting you, asking if we can talk and that formed the basis of this week’s conversation with the councellor.

She asked me what I wanted to say to you.  I want to say I loved you and I miss you.  I want to say I’m confused.  She asked whether I would want to be friends again and my honest answer is probably “yes”.  She asked whether I’d believe what you said to me if you explained what had happened and I’m honestly not sure.

I suppose it’s the missing you that’s still the hardest.  As I said, I’ve walked in to my sessions this week belittling the importance of our my situation, insisting that they must have far more serious situations to help than someone who no longer speaks to a friend, but each councellor says that we were more than that.  You know it, I know it; it’s why you had to dump me rather doing what regular friends do.  It’s a shame you’re just blaming my feelings when actually it was yours that caused this.

I was telling a friend of a friend a tale the other night and they asked me what happened between us.  All I can say is “I once did her washing up and we liked each other too much”.  No-one sees that as a reason not to be friends.  That’s what I’m still struggling with.

 


 

 

I did my best to notice
When the call came down the line
Up to the platform of surrender
I was brought but I was kind

And sometimes I get nervous
When I see an open door
Close your eyes, clear your heart
Cut the cord

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

Pay my respects to grace and virtue
Send my condolences to good
Hear my regards to soul and romance
They always did the best they could

And so long to devotion
You taught me everything I know
Wave goodbye, wish me well
You’ve gotta let me go

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

Will your system be alright
When you dream of home tonight
There is no message we’re receiving
Let me know, is your heart still beating?

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer

You’ve gotta let me know

Are we human or are we dancer?
My sign is vital, my hands are cold
And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
Are we human or are we dancer?

Are we human or are we dancer?
Are we human or are we dancer?

Human by The Killers

 

Comments 3

  1. Michael Del Rosario

    That took a lot of bravery to write about this, and I admire that. I can really tell your writing came from your heart, and it speaks loudly. Even the part where you shared about your visits with the psychologist and therapist took guts, and not a lot of people can do that. Great work!

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