The ride isn’t fun anymore. I’m getting off. I accept now that there’s a third option besides helplessly pivoting back and forth. I can and should just… get off and walk away.
I want you to know that this is the end — forever. A previous version of me would’ve been sad to say that because I always held out hope we’d eventually find our footing. For years I longed for a potential you — the you I hoped you’d grow to become, the you I saw in glimpses, our connection I sometimes believed could never be replaced. I couldn’t lock the door forever because it felt like I’d eventually miss out on that future you. All that longing, all that wondering if we’d ever get that next weekend together, all that praying for you to care when it mattered most. All for not.
I blocked you a few days after my last text — a few weeks ago now — when I promised permanent deletion to myself and my therapist. I took that time to process whether I wanted to say something final to you or let you think whatever it is you think when you eventually notice you’ve been re-blocked. Who knows? Maybe this was the forever end for you, too. Unlike a lot of people, I keep my side of the street clean and prefer not to vanish from someone’s life forever without some kind of explanation. So even though most of this writing is closure for me, at least part of it is meant to answer any questions you might eventually have, however far down the line.
To quote Peyton — I have no compassion left for you. I had it, and then you still said nothing. I hate to confess that I saw your team get kicked out of GC yet again and only felt vindicated. I’m simply out of grace to give. I’m out of hope — the same hope that kept me circling back for so many nauseating rides on our rollercoaster. There is no more circling back. No more euphoric recall. No more mentally keeping the door unlocked for the future — for you to change, for me to change, for us at all. There is only a boarded up door to a room full of shattered glass.
I admit that I’m angry you couldn’t muster up a pitiful sentence or inch or two to someone who’s given you miles. That anger will probably fade, but whether I feel any differently later, the door is staying shut. Whether I like it any less later, I need to erase you from my DNA once and for all. So let’s tell it how it is and then lock the locks and throw away the keys for good.
You didn’t sign up for history repeating itself. You must realize I didn’t exactly aim for that, either. I really believed that, with mutual concerted effort, we would find a way. You must’ve known it wouldn’t be a smooth road without speed bumps — especially when we always go pedal to the metal. And yet it only took a single momentary setback for you to throw in the towel like you so expertly do.
How in your mind does that momentary setback — a person regretfully succumbing to their most intimate struggles one night — exempt you from giving a single inch over the weeks to follow? Your failure in my eyes isn’t even your frequent choice to disengage from relationships — it’s how you choose to do it. In our case, I gave you weeks to spit out anything. I basically spoon-fed the opportunity to you. Still, again and again and again and again into eternity, you choose silence with no remorse, no effort, no self-sacrifice. Even a couple of words would have sufficed — an anthill of effort to the mountains I’ve climbed to forgive you, to fight for you, to try to be in your life. I shower you with support when you’re struggling most.
One of the last things you said to me is that you never ask anyone for anything, so why do you have to meet the demands people make of you? You may not ask for things, but they’re given to you, and you happily accept. You may build your walls so high — sequester your heart so securely from any kind of threat — that you somehow never need anything from anyone, but a lot of us are out here with bared souls and full hearts and open wounds. We have legitimate needs even if you don’t.
You do seem to have at least one “need” — going radio silent when the going gets tough. In that way, our needs have always ended up in conflict, but one of us has worked exponentially harder to accept and persevere through the other’s. My “worst”, my trauma, my struggles — all of the shit that I proactively work through in therapy, that I always take accountability for, that I communicate about at every turn? You collapse and disappear at the first real sight of it. Your “worst”, your trauma, your struggles — all of the shit you treat with edibles and a distinct refusal to get help? I’m expected to bear it all with no complaint. We’re all supposed to take it or leave it because you say you only have so much to give, and you make that very clear.
You are, and always have been, a certified professional at conditional giving. It’s a pattern, and the pattern persists in part because you’re comfortable being this way — with your tall walls and caged heart — and generally, you have friends who wouldn’t dare to challenge how you operate, or you romantically busy yourself with empaths who pity you, dole out excuses, and would rather take your pennies than have nothing.
You asked me in that last conversation why you can’t have your own way of coping. Well, you can — we should all be entitled to deal with our feelings how we see fit, but let’s look at the pattern and how your way of coping is especially confusing and harmful. You give love and support and companionship to people when things feel alright — when it doesn’t stress you at all, put you out in any way, or isn’t outright asked of you. Every so often, someone actually needs something from you. You start to spin the narrative; you can’t be who they need now. Suddenly you have no love or support or companionship to give, and you insist you were never that person. You dismiss their feelings through your infamous cold shoulder and/or your twisted logic about being too emotionally broke to front the bill. They end up pleading with the callous shell of a person they thought they knew or manipulated into thinking they’re the problem and their needs are invalid. It’s as if opening your wallet to people with needs or even the smallest of expectations is never worth the trouble to you because if someone stands their ground about what they think they’re owed, you’ll answer by outright discarding the relationship. All while you’re worth every bit of trouble to them, all while they’re willing to work through every speed bump, all while they’d never dispose of the relationship the way you effortlessly do. All because they wanted a shred of what you’d already shown and given.
It’s amazing how generous someone can be when it comes at no sacrifice to them, only to selfishly close up shop when the needy show up looking for some loose change. The reality is that when the check lands, you’re too stingy to settle the debt. You think their pain isn’t your problem, and well, I guess that is the problem. It’s the same thing I always said: there is a stark difference between being truly unavailable and refusing to make yourself available. You’ll go to lengths to justify how you navigate these difficult moments but make absolutely zero strides to change or consider another way. The whole “I’ll never be who you need me to be and I think you know that” copium couldn’t possibly just be an excuse for you to shove aside the self-work and escape having to be uncomfortable for someone else’s sake. News flash: no one is asking for the moon. Sparing some cash won’t kill you, and it’s actually just the kind thing to do — whether it’s your problem or not. I wonder what or who it might take for you to finally face the music and start paying your dues.
Remember us by how it really went. You always called the shots, chose when and how we could speak, and got out unscathed. I was always the one left scarred after you’d evaporate into thin air to protect yourself and neglect any impact it may have. Where are your scars? What damage did you take compared to mine? The guilt you work tirelessly to avoid? You barely took a scratch for me while I took bullets for you through every new fallout.
I wish you luck. In a world where I’m no longer coddling you as a “younger version of me” and blindly believing you’ll wake up one day and retire your pony, I’m really not sure if you’ll ever actually change, or even try to. I hope you do for your own sake. I won’t end up getting to see it myself.