an open letter to you.
when people lose an arm or a leg, they go through this period of time where they experience something called phantom limbs. the weight of the missing limb is there. the memory, the feeling. it’s all there. but you look and it’s missing. you’ve gotten so used to it constantly being there, but it vanishes when you try to find it. and that’s how i feel with you. like you’ve always been this thing that’s always been there. and then you vanished. this isn’t a new feeling because it’s always been this way.
a relationship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient. it’s about being there all the time. it’s about standing up for this person, your person, and standing by them. it’s about making them feel loved. because even in silence, you’re communicating. when you’re not communicating with me, contacting me, being there for me, you’re standing on a rooftop and screaming,
“you are just not important enough.”
and i’m not. and i haven’t been for a long time. and i don’t know what’s worse. accepting that and staying around out of desperation for the fleeting chance that you will care, or walking away and pretending that i don’t.
me leaving you isn’t selfish. me leaving you is about taking my self-worth and nurturing it in hopes that i’ll remember it exists. because outside of what i am to you, i am a strong woman. my opinion isn’t always the popular one, but i stand beside it. i can move mountains if i want to. i am bigger than this, bigger than you. and so not wanting to be used, and left feeling like i’m nothing. that isn’t selfish. wanting you there at one of the biggest accomplishments i’ve had thus far. that isn’t selfish. that was an expectation. and i don’t expect a lot, or even ask for much. in fact, i ask for very little. less and less, even, as time goes on. but now i ask for nothing. i expect nothing. and regardless of how much i love you, i cannot disservice myself anymore.
but the worst part about all of this. while i cry over old memories, and the symbols you’ve twisted yourself into in my life, i know that you don’t give a damn. while i stay up and write this, you’ve already wound yourself into someone new. and i can’t help but wonder if any of it ever mattered.
spoiler alert: it didn’t.