Dear UnSent 4

Dear UnSent;

After our break-up I’d placed a moratorium on anything and anyone new from entering my bubble, and pushed out those that had stayed by me.  Life became reduced to events that I could control, and so redacted my existence to the four walls of my apartment and two cats.

By spring of 2013 I stepped out from my bubble and attempted to reconnect with life, but the individuals that I had chosen to enter reflected only negatives, my mistakes and fears.  The ones that I had dated were selected because they were unattainable and unavailable.  I had traded physical isolation for an emotional one, telling myself that I had tried to expand my world but that I was too unique to be understood.  My individuality was my safety net that allowed me to remain securely alone with a fabricated freedom.

The inner monologue warped from “I’m too smart, too unique, and too fun” into “I am too much, and I’m too exhausting.”  They were the insecurities that had nagged me through my life, louder and more powerful than prior. I sealed myself away again, vacuum wrapping life to protect from usage.

Sincerely,

Carl

 

Dear UnSent 3

Dear UnSent;

We broke up in 2011 on a Sunday in mid-January.  Thank you for being polite until after my birthday, but that didn’t make it hurt any less.  We hadn’t seen one another the previous night – I had worked late, so was all puppy-dog tails to see you.  When I arrived I was greet by your friend unceremoniously handing me my things.  I was numb and needed to understand, so putting my belongings down took out my phone.  Unfortunately, all I received was a generic text stating the official dissolution.

I should have predicted the break-up because of the distance for three and a quarter months.  I persisted by being better at playing house as a new year’s resolution, but it was all too little, too late, and now suspiciously out of character.  Your apprehensive glances telegraphed the to end our relationship.

I covered up my exuberance, believing that a demeanor of cold detachment decision making would be impressive, because in my fantasy of you I saw strong and decisive; weighed down by another’s gushing emotion; a man that saw devotion as a flaw.  Instead I became frigid and distracted with constant repair on my ice-walls.  I never learned to thaw for those I care about.

Sincerely,

Carl

Dear UnSent 2

Dear UnSent;

I let loneliness and a fear of isolation control my actions, pushing me to be in relationships and constantly remodeling my life to match them. I made the prison myself, and blame no one else because there are always options.  Unfortunately, I began taking them too late and damaged my identity, having shattered and buried it to gain acceptance from others.  Then I swung the other way and pushed everyone away to focus on myself.  Rather than dig deep and excavate my memories and experiences I relied on nostalgia to wrap myself in.  Armored in rose-tinted memories I pushed forward, believing the invented truths I told myself about the joys of singletude.  Still with optimism I kept every day the same routine, foregoing desires for a relationship for a good time – someone, anyone, to break the monotony of my life.  Dates though stopped after a single dinner date because I covered up insecurity by dominating the conversation.  I did my best to never stay on the side-lines long, and was always willing to try and to laugh.  I created a rich inner world trying to make my armor into every day clothes, knowing I would’ve survive the failure of another relationship.

Sincerely,

Carl

Dear UnSent 1

Dear UnSent;

I never thought I was complex enough for you.  I had never been brave like you for living so loudly.  I was scared the whole time that you’d find out that beneath the image I had crafted wasn’t someone you deserved.  I feared your rejection.  This is a deep seated fear that I carried with even before I knew was different, a homosexual.  To avoid being alone the rest of my life, friendless and isolated, early in my youth I began creating masks to hide behind.  I never knew the damage those masks continued to inflict until after you had left.  You were fed up with the chaos that I created to deflect from the cypher that was hidden.

I’ve been working to illuminate the inherent shadows behind my various masks.  By taking apart and reassembling my formative years I have involve myself in crafting my queer identity.  This is allowing me to discover the root of my conceptions of homosexuality, developing a relationship with queerness, which will inform how to better navigate and perceive the world and my relationship to it and handle problems.

I should’ve taken time off before you, but I was excited that my crush since 20 years old had found me.

Sincerely,

Carl