To Who Love Me, and To Whom I Love – An Open Letter

Dear person who loves me, who brings me joy when I am down,

Have you ever really wondered what makes you yourself? What makes you, you, in the rawest of senses? Is it your hopes and dreams, your memories and emotions, is it all the people you’ve ever loved, or is it the people you’re yet to become? 

Well, I’ve wondered a lot. Out of curiosity, yes, but of pure necessity as well. For when you have to choose – when you have to choose a part of yourself that you need to abandon, your mind often wanders, in search of what ‘yourself’ really is.

Dear person who I love so dearly, dear mom, dear dad, dear friend who I can’t begin to imagine my life without,

Is it truly too much to ask, to want to live my life as I am? Truly myself, unapologetically?  To want to express all that which I feel, and to feel not in silence and solitude, but in the warmth and comfort of your care and your love? Is it truly too much to ask, to not want things to change? To not need to make a choice, when I was never offered one in the first place? 

But is it fair? Is it fair to ask of you so much? Is it fair to ask you to trust me when I tell you I’m still the same person that I’ve always been? Is it fair when I ask you to love me as you always have, when you know that in doing so, your life can never be the same? That people will talk, unrelenting and unforgiving – that peace and normalcy will be no more than distant memories of a jaded past?

Can I truly blame you if you reject this with all your being? If you refuse to let this change eat away at what we have? If you scramble in denial for ways to erase it all, and choose to do all the things I always pray that you won’t?

And know that it breaks my heart no matter what. It breaks my heart to feel the need to do this, it breaks my heart to put you through this, and more than anything, it breaks my heart to know that we were never really given a choice.

Though, maybe I was. Maybe I can choose. Yes, I can choose to be myself – I can choose to be authentic no matter what I need to face. I can choose to be myself actively, and with no regret – to let go of anyone who doesn’t stand by my side 

But would I still be myself? Can I still live my life if I lose all my love? 

Once again, it breaks my heart, for this love I’ve been given is not something I can just let go, nor do I wish to ever need to do so. In every memory I remember, every smile I’ve been gifted, and every ounce of affection that’s so selflessly been poured into me, I see a love that I cannot put into words. I see a love so beyond myself that it would be tyranny to call it my own.

Is every tear you shed, mother, truly at your own despair? For if not my fault then who’s? And if no fault can be beared then who am I to blame when I choose? When I willingly, consciously, choose. Am I more important – more valuable – am I simply more than the pain I will cause? Is my illusion of happiness – my honest identity – enough of a reason to lose it all? Is there really any meaning in being myself, when myself becomes the only thing I have to lose?

Dear person I’ve so unfortunately been blessed to hold closer to my heart than I do myself,

I only ever wanted to make you proud. I only ever wanted to love you back, and to show you that everything you bestowed upon me was worth it. But my love is different. Inherently the same, but different nonetheless, and I hate nothing more than the position I am in right now.

At the end of the day, I was only ever human. I was only ever doing my best, playing with the cards I’ve been dealt, but sometimes we simply draw a blank. I don’t know what to do, and I truly believe that I never will.

And lastly, do not mistake my vulnerability for a longing for sympathy. If I can ask you one thing, it would be empathy instead. See my side of the picture – this wonderful portrait that I’ve had so little a role in painting – see the pain that colors my soul every time I must think of this inevitable confrontation.

But perhaps it is still too much to ask of you. To love me even more, in spite of it all. For the truth is, your love poisons me. It somehow fills me with a guilt that I did nothing to acquire – it encapsulates me in all of the most beautiful emotions one could ever hope to experience, conditionally. It fills me with a simultaneous joy and sorrow for the very fact that I cannot feel your love to the fullest extent…it brings tears to my eyes and a stinging pain to my heart. A regret that I could not do better, as though there was anything I could do at all.

Maybe it isn’t my fault. Maybe it isn’t my choice either, but there is at least one thing I know I can choose for myself. 

Dear person who loves me, who brings me joy when I am down,

I will give you the only thing you’ve never really given me. I will love you, unconditionally, because I understand. And I can only ever hope that one day, you will too.

With love,

Always.

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