Part 1 of 2: An open letter to the people I’m grieving (and leaving) this 2019. For better, and not for worse, you’re no longer part of my journey.
To the friend that I lived for
The funny thing about everything is that I’m honestly not surprised that you did this. The first time was in High School, and I was quick to forgive it. This time though? I thought I could forgive it. I thought that I could let it go for the sake of all the times I needed you to pull me out of the darkness, but how am I supposed to be okay with what happened when you not only affected my mental health but my physical health as well? Maybe I’m not in a position to forgive you– I’m probably the villain in your story with all the times I willingly bailed on you and your partner, the few times I expressed how miserable I felt around you, and my disdain for your choices. There’s a part of me that wanted so hard to believe that your friendship was genuine; that out of everyone that’s hurt me, you wouldn’t ever dare because you of all people knew all I’ve gone through and lived through it with me. I really wanted to believe that things would be different but again, if I told you I was surprised at how things ended, I’d be lying. Part of me expected this; in the back of my mind I always knew it would end like this, it was more a matter of when.
I think my biggest challenge lately is training myself on something I knew would happen eventually: I can’t rely on anyone but myself. Maybe part of this was my fault because I heavily relied on you; every moment of weakness, every time I let out any heart-wrenching sobs, you were who I called. I expected you to calm me down every time, and maybe that’s why one could say you got fed up. I’m not over how quick it was to cut me off from everything in comparison to your POS ex-husband though; you took FOREVER in cutting him off, yet the moment I get home, there’s no trace from you on the places I willingly left you unblocked from. You’d at least know this if you’d made any effort in reaching out after cutting me off (and after I blocked you from virtually everything), but I never blocked your phone number, not even from WhatsApp. You’d probably know that if you even bothered to reach out if you thought I was overreacting. Either way, thank you. You’ve taught me one final important lesson and that’s that you can’t force people to stay with you when they don’t want to. I think for the longest time, I was forcing you to be my best friend and to stay by my side; and in return, I let a lot of things slide in an effort to keep you around.
To the “almost was” that’s turning me sober
Admittedly, you shouldn’t be important in my life. You should have literally no place in my thoughts but you do and it bugs me, but I finally figured it out. It bugs me because you see, you find someone who’s practically the embodiment of everything you could ever possibly ask for in a love interest and things seem to go perfectly. You have your guard up, you constantly wonder if this is even for real because why would such a good thing actually happen and then the worst part: they prove to you just how real this is, how perfect it is, and how good you can have it… until they fuck up. Those texts still haunt me: “I fucked this up for myself”, “We just can’t be together now”, and the worst one: “I’ll hear what you have to say”. I’m actually still having a hard time trying to figure out what was most hurtful: seemingly punishing me for your fuck-up and not letting me even have a say in the matter, telling me you won’t hurt me again yet hurting me in the most horrible way for the second time in less than a month, or your stone-cold expression when you admitted you hadn’t missed me, you didn’t even like me anymore (two days after the fact).
I desperately want to feel indifference towards you. If I hate you, I have feelings still and I can’t afford to have that. I’m tired of one-sided feelings and actions, I’m tired of placing importance on people that can’t even see me as an option–not like I should be an option, but still. My inner turmoil got the best of me the day I tried reaching out and told you I went to a dispensary (because I know you smoke and are into that) because you’d been “concerned” that you at least wanted me to still talk to you. So the moment I made the effort, you couldn’t even dignify a response. I let you get the best of me that night and I drank and I smoked. I drank as much as I could that night and honestly the thought of alcohol is repulsive to me now. I don’t know if I’ll be okay with drinking again, because that night, I let you win. Suddenly, wanting to be sober doesn’t seem like such a bad idea.
It’s not until you hit some sort of rock bottom that you start to see how ugly some people really are. I remember the first time you hurt me I told you I had no regrets and that I wished you all of the happiness in the world because of how good of a person you were. However, you’ve kind of made me see how horrible you really are, and I kind of wish I was saying this from a spiteful place but I’m actually not: I don’t regret you because you taught me that the right person is out there for me and he’ll be a million times more the man that you are: he’ll have the same interests as me and be slightly weird, just like you were, but he won’t harbor any petty thoughts as you did. The last time we spoke you mentioned how my wanting to travel is great because I can afford it but that obviously you can’t because you don’t earn as much as me, because you’re paid minimum wage, etc. The moment you said that… even if things had worked, I knew you’d harbor resentment towards my work and my efforts to get to where I am today. I can’t ever allow myself to be with someone like that, so thank you for making way for the person that does deserve me.
To the one that can’t seem to let me go
NYC is one of my favorite places because of you. I never should have let things get to the point that they did, but I also should have seen the red flags much sooner. It still makes me sick to my stomach to know that you still try to find ways to upset me and have control over me. You’re getting married and the person you’re getting married to is now your employee; you’re nowhere near ethical and despite any logic or reason, you still refuse to let me go. I don’t think that I’m an amazing person: I made you angry plenty of times, I’ve shown you how green I was (and still am) and you’ve let every other employee before and after me go without all of this drama, yet somehow I’m still relevant in your life even though I don’t want to be.
I’m not sure how to let you go just yet, not because I’m actually holding on to anything of yours, but because I still have flashbacks, I’m still haunted by memories caused by locations or events. I still have to bring up everything you did to me as an employer whenever I look for a job or am asked about how I learned to do this and that in my industry. Even when I don’t necessarily bring up the really bad stuff like sexual harassment, I still cringe remembering when you challenged my then-fiancé. Even if I try not to remember the bad stuff, the only good stuff I can remember is your way of grooming me. I remember the roller-coaster of emotions from closing a deal and your trusting me to say the right things (that you trained me to say), and how when things finally came to a crash, all of the emotional and verbal abuse that you subjected me to.
I’m thankful in a way, because as I’ve told other people: you’ve taught me what an amazing boss can be, as well as what a boss from hell is. You showed me how a leader can change into a monster the moment he stops caring about the client and focuses more on the money. You showed me how to fake it til I make it, how to belong to a rich and famous society when my entire life is a reflection of lower-middle-class. You showed me that I have it in me to be ruthless and relentless, and as much as I wish you hadn’t shown me the monster in you, I’m glad you did. I’m hoping that this is the last year I have to think of you; I also wish you peace from me.