Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dear Jxxxxxxn

I've heard a lot about how it can be cathartic to write a letter to someone that you'll never be able to speak to, and so I decided to write this. It felt incredibly good to get all of this out, even with it being this many years later. So here it is:


Dear Jxxxxxxn,

I don't know why I'm writing this letter.

I don't know what I can say to you, eight years later, that would bring me any more closure than what I had to find by myself. Because you never looked me in the eye and said it was done. Never saw my face and the tears streaming down my cheeks. Your message of finality was sent to me online, or in half-eaten phone calls at random hours of the day and night. 

It was in the box that you left outside my apartment building at seven a.m. one day, along with the monogrammed journal I'd gotten you for your birthday.

I could tell you that things have gotten much better since I last saw you. The broken girl, the shell you left behind has filled back in and is complete again. Complete not because I know I'm okay even though you're not here, but because I know I was okay even when you were there.  You don't make me more or less. I am better not because you are gone, but because I  have finally arrived.

I remember you messaging me once, months after everything happened, to tell me that you were sorry for ruining my life. 

I was as angered by it then as I am at peace with it now. You don't owe me any apology, silly, because you didn't ruin my life. In fact, it's because of you that I know what being in love feels like. I know now that you didn't feel that way about me, but it does not make what I felt any less real. 

I loved you very much, you see. It surprised me how much I did, because I had no idea I could feel that deeply for someone. I thought being on the autism spectrum meant that I would never fall in love, but you proved me wrong. I learned that I could give my whole heart to someone, that I could feel tingly and slightly nauseated (in a good way) at just the thought of seeing someone, all at once. I learned that I could lose myself in love and find my way back, no matter how long or hard I fell.

In the end, you tore my heart out and stomped on it. As high as the high of being in love was, the low of losing it was the lowest I've ever gone. I felt everything and nothing at the same time, a pain so profound it just bled into numbness. Sometimes I still wonder if any of it was real, for you. If you ever actually felt anything for me. But I don't need the truth from you anymore. It wouldn't matter even if you told it to me.

You didn't fall in love with me, Jxxxxxxn. But I think instead I got something a lot better, something that maybe wouldn't have happened without you.

I fell in love with me. 

And I'm still standing.

Sincerely yours,

~*Amy Gravino