I’m alright, I promise. You don’t have to worry.
I know that every note I give to you now sparks fear in the pit of your stomach, and you skim over my sentences looking for words like “suicide” and “I’m sorry.”
When I hand you a note, you examine every word. From my handwriting to the ink I use, you take in every detail. You read between the lines now even on a blank sheet of paper, where there aren’t any lines to read between.
Your eyes are trained to spot the differences now. My life has become a game of Clue where you are the only player.
When my voice cracks, even the slightest bit, your ears have been conditioned to tune in immediately. You are constantly scanning for hesitation when I talk. You watch me to see if my hands shake, or if I bite my lip. You are searching for the warning signs that you think you missed last time, even though I never showed any.
They say that when you lose one sense, your other senses grow stronger to compensate. We say that we’ve become so close, but what we mean is that we’ve always been codependent. We did not bond over shared trauma; we bonded over a mutual fear of being alone. Our anxieties have molded into one huge, chaotic mess. Our fears have become so tangled that neither of us know who is afraid of what anymore. The only fear I am certain of is the fear of losing you.
I lost my ability to feel anything, and you developed a sense of hypersensitivity to balance out my numbness. I stopped caring about myself, so you started caring about me even more. You feel too much when I feel nothing.
I know you won’t believe me, but this is not a suicide note. You don’t need to worry about me. I’d promise you, but I’ve broken so many promises that I know they have no meaning anymore.
I cause you pain. There’s no use in denying it; we both know it’s true. I’m not trying to push you away. Even if I did, I know you’d come back. I have been draining your happiness and health slowly. Now, I am trying to rip off this bandaid all at once.
I’d rather you hurt from this revelation of who I really am. I’d rather you hate me for being someone who takes the easy way out, than hurt you by letting you believe that I have the potential to be in love.
I am capable of loving, and maybe I don’t show it the way that I should, but I love you. God, you have no idea how much I love you.
What I am not capable of is trusting. I love you, but I can’t trust you. I have no trust left, not even for myself.
And what is there without trust? Love itself isn’t enough to build a relationship off of. We talk about love as if it is a miracle. In every fairytale, true love is what saves the princess. Love breaks the curse. Love can turn a frog into a prince, a beast into a man. We talk about love as if it cures all. But love isn’t as powerful as we make it sound. You can’t love someone back to life.
I don’t know if I even want to save myself anymore, and you can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. I am so grateful for your love, but your love alone is not enough.
I’ve always said I’m a realist; you’ve always said I’m nothing more than a pessimist in disguise. Maybe that’s true, maybe I do see only the negative side of things. But those negatives have kept me safe. I prepare myself for the worst so that I can never be disappointed, only pleasantly surprised. I can never be let down. In a way, I guess we’re both right. Pessimism has been my reality. This numbness has been my reality.
When you’re done reading this note, please tear it up into a thousand tiny pieces. Rip it, crumble it, destroy it. Make it impossible to reread. Please throw it away and don’t dig it back up. Please walk away and don’t look back.
If you turn back around, and if I look into your eyes again, I know that I will not let you leave. I will pull you back to me and let this cycle of destruction begin all over again. I hurt myself, which hurts you, which hurts me. It will not end.
When you go through the photos of us on your phone, please go through them quickly. If you have to delete them, then delete them. Deleting a picture doesn’t delete the memory with it. I know that, but it’s a start. One less photograph is one less reminder of me. One day, when you’re strong enough, maybe you can go back and flip through our old albums. But by the time you are strong enough to live healthily without me, I doubt you’ll still have them saved. One day, you will leave me in the past. It’s hard for me to admit it, but I know that is where I belong.
When you climb into your bed at the end of the night, please do not remember me sleeping next to you. I know how wrong the bed will feel when you get up in the morning and notice that there is no warm spot left on the other side. I know how strange it will be to turn over and not roll into my arms. This loneliness will feel like a foreign language, but please, learn to understand it. The words will eventually feel natural on your tongue, even if it doesn’t happen until your tongue is in the mouth of someone new.
When what used to be our songs play on shuffle, please don’t ruin them with thoughts of me. I want you to be able to hear their lyrics without pain. You deserve to smile when songs begin to play. I don’t want you to have to turn the radio off. You deserve to blast your music loud, and to sing without embarrassment. You deserve someone who will dance with you around the kitchen the way that we did once. You deserve someone who makes you laugh, and who makes you feel loved. Despite what you have made yourself believe, you deserve better than this.
These songs deserve to mark happy occasions, not to bring up bad memories. They deserve to be sung to, not cried over. They deserve to be shared with someone who’d mention their titles to you in love letters, not someone who only writes you suicide notes.