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Dec 2018
Dear Bri,

I've put this letter off the longest
Because it doesn't come from anger
And although it may resemble it
It does not come from regret either
This letter just comes from my soul
From me
From a place I can finally trust

This letter differs from the rest
Because I want it to be a mix
Between explanation and closure
And the others I didn't want them to read
But part of me hopes you do see this
I just finally think I understand
Why I had to leave

First of all
I never used you
Not one time
You learned that I'm fiercely independent
And I hope you know it was never
Ever
Ever
About money for me
Or about your home town
Or your fathers property
No that relationship was about love
I loved you

See, the thing about love
The thing I didn't know about
Was that it changes over time
There are not always sparks
Even so, those fade eventually
And from there you must create deeper ties
Connect to one another on a new level
That is the point at which I failed

I know you hated how
I always explained my behavior by my past
And for that I am not sorry
What I am sorry for is the fact that
I did not step up
I did not know how to grow with life
How to let go of the pain
How to move forward
Instead I hid the pain behind drugs
Legal and prescribed
And behind other people's affection
I pushed away the pain
Because it hurt way too much
I was not ready to face it
I had no idea how to do that
And by not accepting my real feelings
I not only blunted the unhelpful ones
But the pleasant ones as well

By not dealing with my past
By not allowing myself to heal
I could not have allowed myself
To love you

It's been over a week since
I wrote the first half of this
It's hard to find the right words
It's hard to open my heart
On something so sensitive
As a love that I ended prematurely
I want to let you go though
We both deserve to be happy again
And I am, most days
But I need to acknowledge my heart
Allow myself to be sad one last time
I want to be entirely honest with you

You've been the hardest person
For me to let go of recently
Now that you live in town again
I think about you a lot
When I'm driving through campus
Past the engineering building
When I'm walking back to my car
Memories constantly surface of us
Like when you left that phone number
On the windshield of my car
And it was to some Pizza Hut in DC
Or driving through the town where we lived
Surrounded by white snow
Singing different parts to Pentatonix
Or when we spent Christmas with your family
And we connected through the calm of a place
So far from the city
As we chopped down a tree and
Played video games under warm blankets
Or even when we sat on the edge of a cliff in St. Francis
And I told you I felt nothing when we kissed
So so many memories
Of love
Of pain
Of a connection
Of my best friend

And it's not that I want to be together again
We are very different people and
I really am happy again
And I don't want to make you sad
Or make you feel anything bad
Because no matter what I care about you
I just need to reprocess everything
With the recognition that
That relationship would have lasted
If, back then,
I were the person I am now

See,
We may have been entirely different
And we definitely had our issues
But you were right when you said
That I couldn't commit
Because I couldn't commit to myself either

I couldn't love myself
I couldn't believe in myself
I couldn't process the trauma
I had no idea how to
I didn't know what to do
I felt only pain all of the time
Underneath everything else
I always had a sadness hanging onto me
I was emotionally unavailable
I didn't know how to love
I didn't know what love meant
Because I never loved myself
And I don't believe that line
That you can't love someone else
Until you love yourself first
But it sure makes it easier

Back then,
I didn't trust myself
So I let everyone else lead my life
I never questioned the path either
I just accepted life as it was
Because I didn't believe that I could change it
Which leaked into our relationship
Because if there was something I needed
Or something I was unhappy with
I could have tried to talk about it
I made the choice not to

I used to self-sabotage a lot
Before I realized that I didn't have to
I could feel those urges anytime
But that did not mean I had to carry them out
I lived entirely by my emotions at that time
When I was sad, nothing could be positive
When I was angry, I had to let it out
I did not even consider that
My actions and my emotions
Are two entirely different things

I have grown so much since then
I'd like to hope you'd be proud
Because despite anything I've said or done
I still care about how you feel
And how you see me
I'm always tempted to check your writing
But now I can distinguish between
My helpful and unhelpful urges
So I do not allow myself to try
You deserve your privacy
And I deserve to not let these residual feelings
Interfere with my life now

I just want you to know that
I messed up when I hurt you
I made a choice for us both
Instead of sitting down together
To talk and figure out how we both felt
I don't think I could have figured myself out
If I hadn't left when I did

Because since then
I went through a toxic relationship
That empowered me almost as much as it broke me
And I hurt some people along the way too
I thought I loved people I really didn't
I did acid and developed positive habits as a result
I actually take care of myself now
And most of the time I like myself
Often I even love myself
I stopped doing drugs
I finally trust myself and
I listened to myself for once
And I'm changing my career path now
I learned to be mindful of my feelings
And to not take them out on those I love
I learned what love means
I developed more compassion
I learned to be assertive
And entirely honest and real
I learned who I am

And now I'm here
An entirely different person
Writing a final letter to you
A person who I loved
Who's also entirely different now
But someone who could have been my forever
Once upon a time

But I'd like to believe in fate
And trust that all of this
Is exactly what needed to happen
For both of us to grow into ourselves
And I can't speak for you
But you will always be in my heart
Thank you for the years we spent together
Thank you for teaching me that life isn't all bad
Thank you for being there for me
For being patient and kind and for loving me
Thank you for being you
I truly hope that you find happiness
I wish you peace and love
And everything good
And I wish the same for me
Carter Ginter
Written by
Carter Ginter  22/Trans/Wisconsin
(22/Trans/Wisconsin)   
936
 
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