Andrew Snowdon

An open letter to an imaginary ex

In Uncategorized on Monday 9 November 2009 at 5:29

Note: You probably shouldn’t read this if you know me personally.

I apologize in advance for this. When I get down like I am now, the only way to fix it is to write how I feel at the moment. As soon as I write it and send it out into the world, the feeling changes. It’s infuriating.

Usually I send a private, inebriated e-mail in the dead of the night to the person in question. They’re rarely well-received. I doubt this would be, and take comfort in the idea that nobody can really be certain who I may or may not be talking about. I was smart enough not to read the last thing written to/about me on the Internet, and she’s smarter than I am, so I’m banking on that.

Since nobody reads this blog (such as it is) anyway, it’s kind of like sending and not sending an e-mail, at the same time.

Think, for a moment, of how the person on the other end feels about receiving a letter like this, especially when they don’t feel the same way. It’s unwelcome. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. It has the opposite to any intended positive effect. It defeats its own purpose.

Yet it’s the only thing that helps.

Dear imaginary ex,

I was in bed just now, and I couldn’t sleep.

You know, the last time I had a really good night’s sleep was next to you. In fact, those nights were the times in my life I have slept best. I never needed anything other than you to fall asleep, those nights.

Early on in our relationship, it was clear that things wouldn’t work out because of what you wanted from life, and the fact that I’d made choices that made my contribution to that pretty much impossible.

I don’t know if I ever told you how much that bothered me, every day. I’m pretty sure I didn’t. Yes, when I made my choices I was making them for reasons I believed in, and now that we’re quite thoroughly over with no chance of reconciliation, I do not regret them. But because of that, I stopped looking at you with just love in my eyes; it became love and an apology. Then anxiety set in, hard.

By now, being nearly thirty, I ought to know myself well enough to recognize when I’m depressed, and why, and that I always react to depression with some combination of alcohol and insanity. Maybe I just wanted the relationship to end so I didn’t have to admit that I would have done what was necessary to change, but was too scared. Hence the self-sabotage.

I know, rationally, that it wouldn’t have worked out. Or at least I’ve convinced myself so.

You’re lucky: your life will work out the way you wanted it. You were worried that you would never find someone that you could be with forever, and who would love you forever. Yet I don’t see how you can avoid it. I would find it hard not to love you, unconditionally. I know; I’ve tried to stop, and it didn’t work.

Don’t get the impression that I’m thinking about you all the time (although I easily could) or that I’m stuck in some melancholy state; not that that would matter to you anymore, granted. I’ve found things to do, and other people to care about. So have you, I hope. You have your life, which I view with a bit of envy even though I wouldn’t choose that path myself, and I have mine, whatever form it may take at the moment.

Still, I miss our conversations. I truly do.

It was a wonderful time together.

Well, mostly.

Take care. I miss you, and I am content with that.


And there that is. Suddenly, magically, it’s not there anymore. Rather, it is, but the pain is gone. It’s a form of catharsis.

Now I can go back to bed.

  1. How can that not be every ex you’ve ever had? The main thing you’ve always ever hidden, my dear, would have to be how much you care. The depth of it really does hurt you. But also doesn’t. &.


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