A Letter to My Pain Part 1

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This letter isn’t to any one person, nor is it about any one thing. You see, transitioning from the school year to summer has been a uniquely difficult challenge for many different reasons and after watching Alexa Losey’s video “A Letter to All the Boys I’ve Loved,” I realized I needed to write some letters. In fact, I needed to write one gigantic letter to everyone and everything about everyone and everything that feels like it’s pulling me apart. Therefore, this letter is based on various people and experiences that have built up in my heart and my life over time.

For the past 6 months or so I’ve struggled to write anything at length besides poetry so putting words to my angst has been very challenging. This is because I’ve developed a tendency to feel like I must defend myself or discredit my emotions if my writing expresses any feeling. Today, however, I’m done with fear and denial. Today I have to face myself head on and accept that things aren’t perfect– I’m not okay and that’s okay.

To the problems, people, events, and cosmic questions that have and do hurt my heart–

Dear You,

My biggest frustration is that I cannot recognize your face. Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but those are the only two things you have. They are the only two things you had for me– so what am I left with now?

Growing up with you was beautiful in so many ways. You taught me how to think, how to grow, how to love. But still to this day I feel a lot of pain because of the way you never supported my passions. Here I am now, 19 years old, trying to become the person I want to be– but it hurts my heart to do the things I love because when I do them with you around, I don’t feel free. You support me in the things you think I’m good at, rather than the things I care about. It makes sense, I suppose, because you don’t love the things that I love but it’s still hard for me. I always knew this was a problem, but I didn’t know it would feel like such a knife to the heart until now that I’m old enough to pursue the things I’m really passionate about and yet I feel like I can’t because of you. I’m hoping God will teach me the lesson of perserverance that I know is in here somewhere.

Until this moment, I didn’t realize you impacted my life in so many ways. Now that I’m back, I see you everywhere. Every building has traces of us, every park holds our laughter. There isn’t a single memory we haven’t made… While that sounds like a beautiful sentiment, it’s the most painful thing there is.

I thought remembering the hard times would be the thing that hurts me the most, but I was wrong. Looking back at the hard times is simply unfortunate, the good times hold all of the pain. Remembering the good times feels like an invisible chef is using a potato peeler on my skin, making me feel more raw with every moment until I am emptied out into the sink climbing down the drain with the garbage disposal on. The good times remind me of the beautiful things I had and am terrified I will never get back. They are the happiest and worst times of my life because they remind me that I could never make you as happy as you made me because I was never enough and I never will be. With you, I felt like I was on top of the world, but you felt like you were underneath it.

I gave everything I could to be the people you needed me to be but everything is never enough to make you stay. Money is nice but I don’t want money, I want you. Unfortunately money is more reliable.

Just the thought of you overwhelms me with distress. I am the sand and you are the ocean. Whether you are tossing ships in a violent storm or calmly supporting sail boats, in a single day I may be dried out in the sun, tossed by grubby human hands, eroded by the tides, or swirled under the surface. Whatever the weather, I am on edge, waiting to see how you feel so I can brace myself for whatever happens to me next. My logic tells me I should find a child to put me (the sand) in a bottle and take me away for forever, but for whatever reason I cannot explain, I stay by the sea.

That’s the worst part of it. You mean so much more to me than I ever care to admit. You are the most painful part of my life because you are the most meaningful part of my life. I suppose that’s only fair. How could something cause so much pain if it didn’t have immense meaning? Of course I chose the sharpest tool in the shed, if you were the dullest you couldn’t have cut so deep.

I thought I was over you. I figured we were done. You hadn’t entered my mind for months. But now you’ve run across my brain again and the footprints are being cemented. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if I miss you or the way you made me feel. Either way the one thing I know is that the pain in my chest is real.

I’ve had many adventures since you– many great adventures at that; but I cannot deny that nothing has ever been the same. We used our imaginations to do the impossible. I’ve tried to find others who would be willing to do the things we did, but no one has been. I wish I could talk to you and see how you’re doing but I can’t. Since you, I’ve found a few other groups who were almost as free as us, but no one will ever measure up.

The hardest thing about admitting all of this is recognizing my own fear. I see now that I’m afraid because I don’t trust that God will completely restore goodness into my life– though I know that isn’t true. Perhaps I’m mostly just sad because I wanted to hold onto the goodness that I found but I couldn’t.

Am I so repulsive that only God would stick by my side? I want a relationship with another human in which he or she is able to know me intimately, knowing my deepest flaws, but choosing to love me anyway. I thought you were such a person, but boy was I wrong.

My goal was simple, I wanted to help you, support you, and make the world a better place by your side. Everyone tells me that I would have been the perfect girl for the job, but once again, I wasn’t good enough (or something) because you didn’t accept me for who I was. So now, I’m back where I’ve started, having to trust God when I don’t want to, being obedient to the things that I don’t want to do. I know it’s just a fact of life (that we aren’t always called to the things we desire) but it doesn’t make it less painful.

I don’t know if I’m going through depression, I don’t think I am. How can you tell? Merely imagining a piece of you in front of me sends a grey cloud over my head. Rather than “My own personal flurry” like Olaf, I have my own dreary rain cloud instead. As if you would care. You’ve always blamed me for bad things because of my “troublesome emotions.” In fact, telling you about my pain would drive us even further apart. Which is why I keep to myself, building walls around my heart.

And I told myself I wouldn’t write a poem, but naturally I’m starting to rhyme.
So I suppose I’ll title this letter, “Part 1” and we’ll wait for “Part 2” to come in time.

Forever and Always,

Emma


 

P.S. Thank you for reading. Here’s a link to Alexa’s video which inspired me to write. I encourage you to write a letter of your own to any people or things that leave you with unprocessed emotions. Sometimes writing a letter to someone else is what you need to do in order to tell yourself the things you need to hear.

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