To Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I don’t really know how to begin this, or if I should even start at all, given the fact what happened is so fresh…just a few hours old. But if I don’t express these particular feelings and emotions now while I have them, they’ll be gone, maybe in another few hours. Maybe as quickly as they began, or I may always feel like this. It’s hard to say. I find it ironic I’m writing about feelings and emotions since I’m so completely inept at discussing them in person.

When my parents divorced and had their new spouses, a very frustrated father of mine said to me, “you never talk. That hurts me you feel you can’t talk to me.” I always found this funny–odd, not ha ha–that he said this to me. I grew up in a household where discussing feelings wasn’t commonplace, so to express dismay for a learned behavior nearly 30 years later confuses me. I’m glad you had found someone to whom you could be open to and she back, but growing up, father of mine, you were as I am now. Children learn by observation of their parents. I learned from you. From you, okay? I learned it from watching you! 

However, Anonymous, I know you’ve come to understand a few things about me over time. One is previously mentioned. And two, because of one, I find other outlets to express my emotions and feelings. I’m not a sociopath; I don’t injure small animals because my daddy didn’t love me. I am not devoid of emotion. I don’t know how to express it properly verbally, so I take to the written form. Writing is methodical and precise. If I write the wrong thing, I can immediately delete it, and no one knows what I’ve written except me. With words, once you say them, there’s no taking them back. You can apologize for what was said either out of anger or fear or rejection, but harsh words are absorbed. We long to deflect them, and try desperately to do so, but the reality of it is, words can only be absorbed, it’s what we choose to do with them after that’s imperative. Let them get to us, to be a part of us, or to compartmentalize them so they don’t hurt us. Maybe that’s the purpose of the appendix–it’s a harsh words collector. I’ll alert the media on this important discovery.

Always joking, this one. Can I not be serious for once? Sure I can. And I will in my own good time. In this letter, in fact. Be patient; it’ll present itself shortly.

Anonymous, I’m writing to you today because of what happened. I’m writing to tell you in a way that’s most comfortable for me that I’m going to continue keeping you on the pedestal I’ve created for you. I know you think I’m foolish for doing so. I’m human. I’m fallible. You’re setting yourself for disappointment and heartache putting people where they don’t belong. To me, this is exactly why you belong there. You realize you’re going to disappoint and cause pain. You realize your human ways. It’s those who don’t accept this part of themselves who I worry about. I put you there for a reason, Anonymous. You think you don’t deserve it, but you aren’t me and you don’t know how to see yourself through my eyes. Trust me, you belong there. If that makes me foolish or naïve, so be it.

I told a friend about what happened, Anonymous. My friend, showing loyalty and offering some comfort, said, “you deserve someone better.” I’ve always hated that expression. It’s not true in the way that no one is really ever better than the next, it’s just that some people offer more than others. That doesn’t make Person B better than Person A, I don’t think. I stood up for you. Who else could be better than you? You’re the one who makes me happy. (P.S. This is the thing I probably shouldn’t be writing about, or probably should be. Hard to tell. It’s what I feel in this moment.)

Anonymous, you up on that pedestal, made me happy. If this makes you uncomfortable, I’m not sorry. I don’t think enough people tell you this, or if they do, you don’t believe them. How could you possibly make anyone happy when you express unhappiness in your own life? You station in life has nothing to do with how my heart would feel when you’d smile at me. I don’t care about your material things, they don’t measure your worth to me. How you pat your knee to the rhythm of the music playing matters to me. The way you laugh when you find something amusing matters to me.

Again, I’m sorry this is coming from written not spoken words. I’m sorry my lack of words made you uncomfortable. I’m sure this comes as little-to-no shock, but that isn’t the first time I’ve heard that. This isn’t the first time my lack of words has ruined something. The last person who told me they hated me not talking also felt uncomfortable by me being so quiet. He didn’t understand why it was so hard for me to not just open my mouth and speak. It isn’t so fucking difficult. Not talking makes it seem like you don’t care and that you’re cold-hearted. That couldn’t be any further from the truth but that’s a moot point now. No use scrutinizing that or this situation anymore.

This is all I have to write, Anonymous. It’s time for me to retreat once again to heal my heart, to listen to the saddest songs I know and weep for what can’t be. I told you to not be alarmed if I become cold and distant to you now. I may do so, but it’ll give a better view of you on the pedestal.

Always,

E

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