My Final Letter To Xander…

I want to empower other survivors to use their voices. To help foster that effort, I am allowing anyone who would like to share their story to submit posts to the blog.  You already saw one of these shared stories earlier this week from Nic.

Our next post is from my Twitter friend, Heather.  Heather blogs at Singing With My Heart. I want to thank Heather for allowing me to share this powerful letter with you.

Viewer Discretion is advised.*

And love is blind but then I knew it,
My heart was blinded by you.

-James Blunt “Goodbye My Lover”

Dear Xander,

Today, I want you to know, it stops.

I have spent the past several weeks, writing letters to those in my life, who have changed me, who have helped me, hurt me, healed me, and given me hope. I have poured my heart and soul into these letters, hoping that at some point, I will feel that release.

From the time of my first blog post, in 2004, I started to chronicle my life with, and without you. And as I look back, I know there are many things I have learned. A million emotions, and feelings I’ve had towards you, and for you. I’d like to go over them, so you can truly understand just what I’ve been through, and what you have put me through.

Acceptance.
ac⋅cept⋅ance /ækˈsɛptəns/
–noun
1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favorable reception; approval; favor.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.
5. acceptation (def. 1).
6. Commerce.
a. an engagement to pay an order, draft, or bill of exchange when it becomes due, as by the person on whom it is drawn.
b. an order, draft, etc., that a person or bank has accepted as calling for payment and has thus promised to pay.

I will never go a moment in my life, without thinking of you. There will be nights, for the rest of my life, that I will wake up in a cold sweat, screaming “No” at the top of my lungs. I will never be able to get back what you took from me. I will never be able to look at my inner thighs, without thinking of you and that horrific night you took it upon yourself to turn me into a human ashtray.

I have accepted this.

Regret.
re⋅gret/rɪˈgrɛt/
verb, -gret⋅ted, -gret⋅ting, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
2. to think of with a sense of loss: to regret one’s vanished youth.
–noun
3. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
4. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.
5. regrets, a polite, usually formal refusal of an invitation: I sent her my regrets.
6. a note expressing regret at one’s inability to accept an invitation: I have had four acceptances and one regret.

I let you ruin my first, and what should have been my only, college experience. I let you talk me into things I should have thought twice about. I let you control every decision in my life, and every aspect. I let you convince me my friends, family, and life outside of you, was unnecessary and pointless. I let you convince me condoms were useless, and sex was a game that I was going to play, whether I liked it or not. I let you change everything about me; my morals, my dreams, my entire life. I regret that.

I regret that I let you ruin me.

Hate.
hate /heɪt/
verb, hat⋅ed, hat⋅ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
2. to be unwilling; dislike: I hate to do it.
–verb (used without object)
3. to feel intense dislike, or extreme aversion or hostility.
–noun
4. intense dislike; extreme aversion or hostility.
5. the object of extreme aversion or hostility.

The actual feeling I’ve been holding onto for the past 5 years. Anguish, hurt, ache, heartbreak, pain, sadness, anger, regret, blame, and acceptance. Those are all feelings I’ve had, over the past 5 years. One feeling has stood out over the course of those long months. One feeling has torn me apart, sending shivers down my spine, and emotional roller coasters through my days. I hate that.

I hate that I hate you.

I want to tell you so many things, Xander. I want to tell you that not only did you rape me physically, you raped my mind. I can say with certainty, that there are times, where I hate you with such an intense rage, that I see red and am doubled over from the sensation of anger pulsating through my entire body. There are other times that one noise will send me into a full blown panic attack, and I am immediately taken back to days where you slammed my body into a wall, or held my wrists down as you pounded into me. Tears flow freely out of my eyes at any given moment of any given day. My moods change at the slightest word. I lost all faith and hope in myself, in God, in men. I can’t close my eyes without seeing your face over mine. I can’t sleep without feeling you on top of me, in me, surrounding me. I can’t hear the crack of a baseball bat without cowering in fear, and the smell of anything burning sends bile rising to my throat. You did this to me, Xander. You and only you.

And the emotional scars, while incredibly painful at times, are no match for the physical scars you’ve left on my body. The broken wrist. The six cracked ribs. The cigarette burns on my inner thigh. The permanent bruise on my left hip from the baseball bat. The countless black eyes and cuts on my face. Sure, these things have all healed, but they have still left lasting impressions on me. You know, Xander, that I could list more scars than that. I can’t even begin to know the scars you caused to my body and mind. And the constant, physical ache. I just hurt, all the time. But worst of all, Xander, worst of all, there is still a very teeny, tiny part of me, who says “You will never find another person to love you for who you are now, now that you are broken, tattered, and torn.”

I hate that part of me.

I hate that part of me that you made weak. That part of me who still feels that I could have stopped you from taking so much from me. I hate that years of therapy will probably never change that. I hate that no matter how much progress I make, still, in the very depths of the back of my mind, will be that teeny, tiny voice, that you have permanently embedded into me. The voice that tells me I am nothing but worthless, that I will never find anyone to love someone as pathetic as me, and the voice that haunts me in my sleep, in my dreams, in my day to day life.

Today, I’m going to settle the score with me. Not with you. You took that option away from me when you decided that you would take the easy way out. I hear your words echoing in my head, “You’re pathetic,” and some days, I almost smirk.

Who is the pathetic one?

I chose life.
I chose living and breathing, which is more than you can say.

And even on the worst days, the days where the flashbacks rip into my core, I still can smile knowing that I have made the right choice. I say choice because at one point, Xander, one low point, in the sleepless nights after your death, I thought about ending my life.

Not just “thought about” but actually tried to, with the intent to die. I remember sitting there, my stomach flipping over, the vomit rising in my throat, and thinking that I was no better than you. At that exact moment in my life, I chose life because I picked up the phone and called for help. I didn’t want to live at that exact moment, but I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to die.

I didn’t want to be you.

Over the past 5 years, Xander, I have learned a lot about myself, and a lot about our relationship. It was toxic. And toxic seems like such a trivial word to use. It was one of those relationships that ruins the lives of those it touches, ruins the faith in love, and destroys the people within it. I would like to think, at this point in my life, that I am ready to move on from this. That I am ready to let go of this toxicity in my life.

Slowly, but surely, as I heal, as I grow, I start to feel some semblance of normalcy in my life. And as that normalcy creeps in, settling into my soul, I start to feel sadness. For you. You’ll never know what it’s like to be blessed with all of the things I have been blessed with. You’ll never hear a child laugh again. You’ll never see the sun set with someone. You’ll never feel a snowflake fall on your cheek. You’ll never graduate college, walk down the aisle, or celebrate the birth of your first child. You never saw the age of 21. You’ll never eat Chinese food (your favorite) again. You’ll never scream as your whipping around a roller coaster, or smile as you pose for a family photograph.

Pity.
pit·y (pĭt’ē)
n. pl. pit·ies

1. Sympathy and sorrow aroused by the misfortune or suffering of another.
2. A matter of regret: It’s a pity she can’t attend the reception.

I feel pity for you. I feel pity because you were too selfish to realize that you were going to miss out on all of these things, that you were too selfish to realize that by killing yourself, you killed those around you, in a way. You snuffed your life out, and everyone who loved you, went out too. I feel pity for you because you will never be able to enjoy the little things in life, ever again. You will never understand the life that I have now because you cannot feel these things, and you didn’t want, ultimately, to feel these things again. You didn’t want the feeling of free-falling into love, of cuddling on cold nights, or stargazing as the warm breeze blows across your face. That is sad. And while I pity you, I also recognize another emotion that has never dared to rear itself into my life. I’ve kept it out for so long, that I almost forgot about it.

And that emotion is forgiveness.

You see, Xander, I’m afraid to forgive you.

It’s honestly, stupid, the reasoning behind it.

But once again, your power overcomes my hope in letting go.

Because if I forgive you, then this chapter in my life, has closed. And in some sick and fucked up, twisted way, I don’t want your chapter, in my book of life, to close. If it closes, that means that you, your hurt, your abuse, your power struggles are over. I’ll have to truly rely on me again. I’ll have to take back that power one hundred percent again.

It scares the shit out of me.

Part of me, as horrific as our relationship together was, doesn’t want to forget you. The you who held my hand while we talked of our dreams and whispered “I love you”, when we made love the first time. The you who made me mayonnaise and pickle sandwiches to cheer me up after you started using drugs, and stopped caring. The you who slapped, hit, and hurled verbal assaults at me, while forcing me onto the bed. The you who once laughed as you pushed me down a flight of stairs. The you who made me a victim, and then left me helpless, scared, and all alone.

I’m not a victim anymore, Xander, and I haven’t been for awhile.

But it’s still a part of me that I can’t let go of. A part of me that I won’t let go of. I’m afraid if I do, I’ll loose me completely, even though I know who I am again. For the first time in my life, I’m self-aware. Even though I hated you with a passion, I still loved you. Loved. You. I don’t anymore.

And while I have accepted you, regretted you, loved you, hated you, and pitied you, it still doesn’t feel like enough. That’s how I knew there was still room for one more emotion.

Forgiveness.
for·give·ness/(fər-gĭv’nĭs, fôr-)
n. The act of forgiving; pardon.

I’ve been told that it’s easier to forgive, then to hold onto other emotions, but at times, I find that a crock of shit, Xander. It’s easier to stay angry, to hate, to not let go. Letting go means finding the true meaning of your life, and moving on. It means finding peace, in your life, and the situation that allowed the hurt and anger to overtake everything else in your life. It takes so much more strength to forgive, then it does to just stay in the same place. Being angry and hateful is easier, it’s allowing the walls to stay up, and staying inside a shell that one has created.

I’m crumbling those walls down, Xander. I’m tired of taking the easy way out. When it comes to you, I have always taken the easy way out. I’ve let you hurt me, I’ve let you control my feelings, I’ve let you stop me, from truly living, even after you took your own life. I can’t do that anymore. When you took your life, you took mine. I want my life back. I want me back. And the only way to get me back, is to forgive you, even if it’s hard. Even if it forces me to leave my comfort zone of “angry”, my safe place of not letting go. I’m scared, Xander. If I take this risk, I will absolutely become a new me, and I am not sure if I’m ready for that. But I’m not willing to stay here. I’m not willing to stay in this place any longer. It will be hard. I will still have my moments. And forgiving you doesn’t always mean I’ll be able to understand the reasons why, I know this. I’m willing to try though. I have to try. My life depends on me doing this.

Out of all these emotions and feelings I’ve told you about today, the one I want you to take with you most, is forgiveness.

I forgive you, Xander.

We attach our feelings to the moment when we were hurt, endowing it with immortality. And we let it assault us every time it comes to mind. It travels with us, sleeps with us, hovers over us while we make love, and broods over us while we die. Our hate does not even have the decency to die when those we hate die–for it is a parasite sucking OUR blood, not theirs. There is only one remedy for it. Forgiveness.
-Lewis B. Smedes

Love,
Heather

Find out more about the “Open Letter Series” by clicking here.

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~ by After Silence on October 2, 2008.

One Response to “My Final Letter To Xander…”

  1. to forgive is a therauputic powerfull action.i believe its possible to forgive…………after treatment after healing after releasing pain anger hatred if we don’t find ways to b free of all these toxins its pointless 2 forgive.i pry 4 all humans that have experianced rape that they find as soon as possible healing.the journey of healing can be a long one so why wait.i was sexually abused by my father when i was five today i’m 62 and yes i’m still on the healing journey.the only reason i cant afford 2 giveup is that i refuse 2 take all this junk with me into my next life.i embrace u all in my heart and feel sad that there dosen’t seem to be an end to rape cases.where did we go wrong anyway what happened to mankind.all i can think off right now is o g-d protect our children because we can’t.yvonne.

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