Friday, February 9, 2018

the most important letter I never sent

The post you are about to read has haunted my mind for months, and I’ve delayed it way past its overdue date. The clock keeps ticking, faster and faster each day… but now time is up. And so, with great shame, sadness and regret, I give you “the most important letter I never sent”.

Dear F

I am probably the last person you want to hear from right now, and I know whatever I say won’t change a thing, but I need you to know why even if it took me a while to figure it out myself.

I know I have told you about the bullying I grew up with, but I have never let you know the extent of the damage it caused. What now can be labelled as “just kids being mean”, left me drowning in a pool of self-doubt for most of my life. I was never pretty enough, smart enough, athletic enough… I was never (or at least I felt I wasn’t) good enough. And that feeling of unworthiness followed me everywhere.

Until you came along and, suddenly, I was good enough, perhaps even pretty enough. And I could breathe again.

But that shadow of doubt was never too far behind. For a while, you kept me afloat; by the end, it was you pushing me down, back to the water you had pulled me out of.

When you left, I drowned again - I wasn’t good enough again.

And everybody else kept trying to convince me that I was good enough, that I am good enough, over and over again… but the damage was done. My confidence was lost once more and I was back to square one, unsure of my own self-worth.

I really thought that that attempt of reconnecting was helping; in a way it did. Just not in the way we both expected it. But if anything, it helped me realize I had left my mental health on the back burner and it wasn’t doing great. It also helped me finally understand that I cannot keep basing my own self-worth on what other people think of me. And finally, I knew that if I was ever going to give us another chance, I needed to be the best version of myself I could possibly be - for you and for myself- because we both deserve that. I wasn’t there then, I’m still not there yet.

I stayed silent because I was trying, and failing, to swim against the current, to stay afloat; trying to understand if I was strong enough to fight my own demons and still be who you deserved me to be. I failed at both, I failed you, and you paid the highest price.

I have come a really long way since that shameful day; I have taken risks I would otherwise never take; I have grown a little proud of my achievements (no matter how small they are) and sent them out into the world… and someone I don’t know and that doesn’t really know me, looked at them and decided I deserved a chance to prove my worth.

That is why time is up.

I’ll wake up on Monday in a different country, with a job I always said I’d never do yet, so far, I have actually enjoyed doing. I am going to start fresh, be happy, and learn a whole lot of new things… And if things go right, I am not coming back.

If our paths ever cross again, I hope I’ll get the chance to apologize for how I dealt with things. 
I hope Life treats you with kindness, and may you find happiness wherever you go.

Yours always,