Sometimes when a relationship ends even if it was amicable there are words left unsaid. There are unresolved feelings and you may find yourself in a situation where you are not able to resolve them with the other person. Sometimes you may think you have resolved everything only to find out later that you have a lot to say, some of it bitter or angry, some of it melancholy, some regrets, some loving thoughts and you want to express it. You may find that you are having imaginary conversations with the other person. Or you can just feel inside that something is off. You have long ago stopped talking to your friends about it. And still something remains.
I learned a long time ago, even before it was vogue, that writing a letter to the other person can be very effective, even though I never send it. You might say I learned this the hard way. There was this guy I dated in High School. He was really cute and really popular. I honestly couldn’t believe he wanted to go out with me, but he did. What is dating is High School anyway? He would ask me to go to parties. He would call me on the phone. We would meet at basketball games and sometimes we would make out. It was all very innocent, until he dumped me for her. He never said anything. He just stopped doing what he used to do and then I began to see them together. They held hands when they walked down the hall, he raced to meet her at the end of class. It was sick, they were joined at the hip, inseparable.
In High School, I bounced back pretty quickly and I had a new boyfriend in no time. They were still together after graduation and I thought it was a done deal, they would marry and have a house and a picket fence and a dog in the backyard. We all thought it, me and all of my friends. He and all of his friends.
Fast forward, I’m in my twenties out at a club and who is there, but him. Sitting alone in the dark, starring into a glass of vodka. He sure looked sad, sad and alone. My heart went out to him, but I wasn’t going over there. I was taught by my big sister that a woman never crosses a crowded room to talk to a man. The man must do all the work, and wouldn’t you know it, he soon came over and asked me if I wanted a drink. He was heartbroken. He had been heartbroken for a couple of years he said. I’m a sucker for a sob story and with that and the drinks I found myself in his truck in the parking lot making out with him, but I wasn’t that drunk and I left.
After that he started calling me and asking to meet me and the make out sessions continued and one night I weakened. I did the unthinkable. I went home with him. The next morning was great, he left a note on his pillow because he had to be at work very early. I read it, dressed and went home. All was well in the world. I had a spring in my step a smile on my face and a mark on my heart. Everybody at work noticed and I told my close friends about him.
He didn’t call for a few days, but when he did it was to invite me to a party at his house. I made a special effort to look really good that night and planned to stay over again. I showed up fashionably late. When I arrived he saw me and I saw him. He was standing too close to a gorgeous woman. He walked across the room to greet me. He took me by the hand and said come here I want you to meet my girlfriend.
This was the experience that started my letter writing campaign! See he was a shit heel and I knew it. I also knew that anything I said to him would not matter, but at the same time I had all these feelings. So I wrote until I had nothing left to say and soon. I let it go. I chalked it up to experience. He actually, without ever knowing, gave me a gift. I have been writing ever since. I have learned that through writing I can reconcile with myself. After a while my anger turned to self reflection and I could see him clearly as well. It sucked at the time, but I see the usefulness of the experience now and I cherish it.
If you are wondering what happened to him. Well he is married now and travels all over the world, and yup, you guessed it, he cheats on his wife.
Here’s a site, called the Journal of Sadness that I found which uses both visual images and words for expression. I think it’s an alternative way to express what’s inside.