empathy

A Letter To Those Who Have Reached Rock-Bottom

Standing Lovers, 2004 
by Nick and Sheila Pye

Standing Lovers, 2004 by Nick and Sheila Pye

Dear self,

You’ve reached rock-bottom. The bottomless pit. And you’ve finally dug into self-pity, insecurities and doubts and buried yourself. Let me tell you why:

You met her or him in your younger days, as if you are wise enough now, but let’s not deal with that. And in some rush, screwed up way, you both got in a relationship. Nothing serious, of course. You wanted something (or someone) to get by with. You were going away for college and you knew it was bound to end anyway. But you’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so that changed in a jiffy. You started giving more & giving in to the fact that it was what you wanted and needed. You went on dates, & like any normal couple, spent the wee hours of the night on the phone & wanting more. You “braved” the differences, the distance, the conflicts of being in a same-sex relationship in the 21st century & everything else in between. You were feeling “us against the world”. It was, indeed, great. It suddenly felt like your happy place, your messed up but happy place.

But you misread all the signs. In between all the arguments was someone new waiting to fill up your space. Everyday, you choose to deny the signs & convince yourself that it was always the new one who screws everything up. But deep inside you always knew, she wanted this too. You saw this coming the second time & you still chose to stay. And it kept happening and you kept giving in to the pain, wishing, hoping some day, it’ll all change. You had to find out the truth by yourself because she did not respect you enough to tell you what’s really, and I mean, really wrong. And every single time, you listen to her sick, twisted, unbelievable, sad excuses a.k.a. her version of the truth. But you stayed. You stayed because you hoped she’ll change & start treating you right. You stayed because you wanted her to realize you are not just some doormat, some comfort zone, just some girl in her life. You fell into the “But I love her, that’s enough” pit countless times. You wanted her to change so you kept giving chances. You wanted her not to just choose you, but to commit to you like you do. You were willing to give your all for someone who has never seen you that way. You chose, everyday, to deny the signs.

And then you felt exasperated. You were no longer YOU. You were already changing for her benefit. You were giving her so much that you can no longer spare some for yourself. You were spreading yourself too thin. You thought you hit rock-bottom and probably started making “Dear self…” notes. You finally got sick of being in the same situation and you wanted out.

And it was the best decision you’ve made. You got yourself back, you got back on your feet, you graduated college, you started working, you met new people and even had the chance to fall in love. When that didn’t work out, you knew that you knew better. You became a little more optimistic, you were happy just by yourself. You gave time for yourself to heal.

And by some rush, screwed up way, she came back. And yet again, you let her. It’s all different now, you said. We’re more mature now, you said. What is it about maturity that made you think you can just go back to that same, toxic relationship? It didn’t matter. We’re grown-ups now, we know what we want. It all makes sense now, you said. It didn’t work out before because we had to grow apart, you said.

It was all good until you know what? I’m going to stop you right there. You knew this was going to happen. Of course someone else has to be involved. You got yourself back to the same situation you swore caused you emotional, physical and psychological pain. And this time, it’s causing you twice the pain you felt before. It took you years to be completely satisfied with who you are and the moment she waved at you, you gave it all up. No, you don’t get to wallow and cry yourself to sleep. Be really, really hard on yourself this time. You need to see this:

You do not deserve to be loved by a person who treats you like a side dish. You have so much love to give that it would be such a waste to pour it all to someone who will always be ready to give you up the moment the situation gets tough. Do not settle for that one person who will never be contented with what you can give. It’s time to let this ship sink. It’s time to cut ties with this emotional suicide.

So go on, wipe your tears, pat yourself on the back and start moving forward. I promise you, it’s the best decision you’ll ever have to make. It’s not yet too late to choose yourself this time.

Love,
You

Written by Tam Ramos