To Love A Stranger

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I said so many times I was lucky. I was more wrong than I would ever know. If I could’ve foreseen this outcome, I would never have replied to your message.

I must admit it hurts. To know I will never have any closure. That I couldn’t foresee the last day we saw each other was really the last day forever.

You already told my sister you wouldn’t reply. That’s why this letter is on my blog and not in my email. Because I won’t needlessly use the email storage. Why wait for a reply I know will never come?

Unfortunately, I still have feelings that are sitting and tearing a hole in my heart. I suppose that’s what you meant when you told my sister you believe I’m guilt tripping. I can only guess because you didn’t say how.

I realized 2020 has nothing to do with these circumstances. I also realized the virus controlled the relationship. Despite I was visiting nearly every week, spent time around those at-risk relatives, and we slept in a total stranger’s home, you now believe I do not take the virus seriously, despite the precautions I do take. Those precautions are not enough for you. You believe any relationship between us will spread infection to your family and kill them.

Strangely, your siblings don’t agree. Your brother called it over-dramatic.

More strangely, I recall being very paranoid of the virus during March and April. So much so, my resolve was to commit suicide before the virus could claim my life because I saw no difference bewteen death from the virus and from my own hand. Your response to that was you didn’t want me to be a sacrifice for this virus. You didn’t want me to be so afraid. Perhaps you changed your mind and kept that secret too?

If such fear is not acknowledgement of the virus’s existence in your eyes, I can’t imagine what would be. Is it only acknowledgment when someone is terrified, fearing death around every corner? Does fear make someone a believer?

For me, it calls into question why you were in my home, around my things, touched my body when you believed all this time I was a virus on legs waiting to explode?

But I’m already struggling to make sense of the things you do, so that is likely a question best left unanswered.

Like your belief it’s reasonable to intentionally do damage to a relationship. You told my sister you knew cutting off the relationship suddenly would further damage it. I have never heard of anyone recognizing their actions would cause harm and still choosing to commit. Well, not unless they had a weapon.

Speaking of commit, I recall you saying you are committed to being my girlfriend, but not to having a future with me. Except you’re not committed to the former anymore. You cut me off again. And your response to the suggestion (via my sister) I could be hurt? “Whatever. That’s her problem.”

To all of my friends with more relationship experience than us, who are older and wiser, this makes zero sense. But to you, it is the height of being reasonable.

You consider yourself self-aware and accepting of your flaws, and consider me to “play victim” because I am utterly wrong, wrong, wrong to you – despite saying twice in conversation I am not flawless, and never having considered myself such in my life – and refuse to accept your perception of me. All while rejecting my perception of you.

You left me and came back with the most egotistical attitude I have only ever seen from Facebook and Tumblr bullies.

Like the ones who said it “needed to be said” I look homeless and look like nothing. Or those who said I deserve sexual harassment. Or the one who considered me a “gobshit” for not wanting my appearance to be brought up since it was irrelevant to the topic.

Yes, all of the people who do those things also considered me “playing victim”. And now, five years later, I learn you are no better.

You stalked my Reddit account. So much so, I had to delete it entirely. I had to change my Instagram name. And still, this is reasonable to you. It’s reasonable to you to stalk my accounts for posts you can then laugh behind my back about with my sister.

But to be dissatisfied with your behavior means I make everything about me.

Everything you accuse me fits you as well as it may fit me. But you only believe you are reasonable. You will never consider, or care, you may not be the only one who has a point. You reject everything I say, every way I feel, all while insisting I am the one who rejects your words.

I only want you to change how you speak to me. But you would never consider it could be a problem. Because I could see as a problem couldn’t possibly be if you don’t see it as one too.

All of this while claiming you still love me, and being wholly offended I don’t believe your love is real.

You told my sister you opened your heart to me and I crushed it. I really, really cannot fathom you believe only you ever gave any heart to the relationship. That I gave or had none. All while still claiming I am “playing victim”.

You constantly complained we had no communication, only to continually cut it off or try to have me talk through a third party (your sister). When I told you I don’t open up because you react badly, you insisted you don’t.

But you did. And you keep proving it.

I opened up when I said I feel unloved. You responded by getting angry at my feelings.

You told my sister you still view me as family. Minutes later, you said you would only cut off family if they did something unforgivable, and stated I hadn’t done such. But you cut me off anyway. You utilize my sister as a vessel and want me to use yours in the same manner.

I don’t think I’m family to you.

You told my sister you don’t want to see me, you don’t want to speak to me. You believe I don’t care and so, why should you? I will put aside that’s false – hence the pain – but it sounds like revenge. Maybe it is.

Or maybe you stopped caring as long ago as you stopped being committed.

You told my sister you can’t see a future with me as a girlfriend. As a friend, you said yes. But friendship could not work out.

Because my friends don’t cut me off!

It was my friends who reached out to me, not you. It was your sister who asked if I was okay, not you. It is my friends who are helping me handle this pain.

Not. You.

A friend of mine I’ve known since high school – though only reconnected with last year – invited me to hang out. He went through this pain with his ex-girlfriend. He hurt for a year. He invited me to talk, to say what I feel, to relax for the night.

He has no romantic interest in me. In his words, I’m too young for him. He wants nothing to do with me romantically. He doesn’t want a relationship with anyone at all because he is a workaholic. He has very limited free time.

But he made time. And he listened. He made me feel I had a voice, and one that mattered. He hugged me tight. And the only “cutting off” he did was disallowing me to drink any more alcohol when it was clear I was drunk.

Yet, your excuse for not talking to me for nearly two weeks is you weren’t paying attention. I’ve come to believe you don’t necessarily think that sounds better. You just don’t care it sounds bad.

And still, you believe you’re reasonable.

You claim you think about me every day while admitting you gave no thought to me at all.

The resulting headache from many attempts to solve that puzzle of logic tempts me to overdose on aspirin.

All of the above said, neither a relationship nor love can be forced. If you want nothing to do with me, I have no choice beyond accepting that. But I still can’t help but wonder.

When did five years stopped being “too much history”?

It’s very painful – more than I have words to adequately express – to know all of the times over the past years ultimately amounted to nothing. That they no longer have meaning. That they now serve only as pointless, painful memories. That they can ultimately vanish like they never happened.

Maybe that’s what hurts the most. That the end means everything that proceeded never mattered.

You told my sister you’re tired of the fighting. I am too. I despise fighting. But you are angry when I believe you don’t listen, when I believe you don’t understand. When I struggle to believe I make the list of things – not necessarily people, but things – that have some significance to you. It’s impossible not to fight.

But there is something I am exhausted of more than fighting. And that is the nostalgia.

My sister told you I said I miss when we couldn’t get enough of each other. You claim you miss those times and never took them for granted. I like to think I didn’t either. I have a long post on this blog about how I felt time stopped when I was with you.

And I’m very tired. Tired of missing the past.

I will never comprehend the connection your job loss and the relationship we had. While tragic – and I lost two jobs in two weeks, so I’m very familiar with it – it’s not an event I caused. Yet had it not happened, none of this would be happening. I would’ve visited you as we planned that weekend and all would be proceeding as normal.

But it happened and it somehow triggered the avalanche that has now claimed our former relationship.

I never saw reason the happy times had to stay in the past. I never saw why I couldn’t still long to see you, why we couldn’t laugh together again, why we couldn’t hug each other, why we couldn’t still be happy the other was there. I still see no reason those times couldn’t be brought to the present. Yes, even the hellish present of 2020.

When did just us stop being enough?

Was it when I could navigate the city alone? When we no longer had to worry about outside circumstances preventing us from seeing each other? When we thought we were secure?

That last one is the one that hangs in my head.

You want space. You told my sister to give you a week or two. You can have all the weeks you want. This letter is not meant to convince you of anything.

But in truth, I believe you have given up. I don’t believe you want to put in further effort. I believe you don’t consider any relationship between us worthwhile. Or me worthwhile. I feel positive this letter would only make you angrier, only further assure you that you are the only reasonable one between us, only further your belief I am wrongful.

You told my sister you never once implied that I am an abuser. But that is what it sounds like.

Because the tactics you accuse me of such as “playing victim” and insulting you (while, again, believing you never insulted me or talked down to me in any way) are indeed those of an emotional abuser.

But there is also a word for making someone question their own sanity and well-being: gaslighting.

This is not all about me or all about you, and yes, I know you will insist you never make it all about you, despite your absolute confidence nothing I say about you is correct and everything you say about me is correct.

Contrary to your beliefs, it is not a normal reaction to become angry when your partner states they feel unloved. No. A normal reaction is want to know why, to want to see what they see that is causing that feeling, to want to know when it started.

It is not normal to complain about communication while doing everything in your power to eliminate it.

Were this letter to reach your digital possession, I don’t believe you’d read so much as half of it before discarding it as another way of me “guilt tripping” and “playing victim”. Which is why I chose to put it here instead of directly send it. Because I know in the end, absolutely nothing I say and nothing I feel will have even the smallest amount of value to you.

Which utterly sucks because as much as it kills me inside to confess at this point, I very much still love you and want the relationship between us to revive.

But I also know it’s fruitless. You made it clear. You don’t want any communication. You don’t want me. And that’s fine. I’m not entitled to anything beyond my own death.

But despite what media and fears of the virus claim, I’m not a sentient disease vector whose only use is spreading infection (if I even have the infection…). I am human and being human comes with emotions. Emotions I needed to get out and chose to do so through this letter.

I still believe if we had a chance to talk face-to-face, this conclusion wouldn’t have been reached. But again, I realize it’s too late. I know this letter is the most closure I will get.

Perhaps my sister is more your type?

I don’t know how to end this letter. The memories can never leave, so my only choice is to hold them as tragic keepsakes. That’s fine. I want to keep them. The five years we unknowingly misspent can never be recovered. But the memories are there and I won’t make a prison of them.

Because… they still make me happy.

And as foolish, naive, and childish as it is, my dumb heart will never stop holding the tiniest bit of hope. It’s very faulty.

I wish you would reply, but it’s probably better I never receive an answer. Because I already know it will cause more pain.

And I’m already dying.

Such is the pain of loving a stranger.

Or rather, watching someone you thought you’d never imagine turn into one. Then again, who imagines that?

So, this is why love hurts.