November 28, 2020
Thank you for showing up, if only to reflect and say goodbye. And thank you for your honesty and openness this past Tuesday.
I have taken the past ten or so days to think about our relationship and who we are as individuals, and there are a few things I wanted to share with you. The first is that I care deeply about you and want you to be happy, just as I wish this for myself. In our last call I heard from you that this relationship was not making you happy. I heard that you want more ease and freedom to be yourself, and that you were not finding this together. It makes me incredibly sad to hear this. I am sorry that I could not see this during our relationship and that I did not make conscious efforts to understand. I do not want to fight for this relationship if you are not happy; I want both of us to feel nourished and joyful from being together, at least most of the time.
With that said, I want to offer some flowers for who you are and our relationship. One of the things I really appreciate about you is your kindness and generosity, to me, your family, and your friends. Simple acts of service and presence like making me a strong cup of coffee in the morning, listening to me reflect on a tough conversation, turning on the heater so I wouldn’t be cold, coming to Mariposa to take care of me after the car crash, even eating the salty ramen so I could have the healthy one. The little ways in which you took care of me. I appreciate your sense of adventure and your ease in uncertainty. With you the world became a wide-open landscape for exploring. Many things felt possible together. I appreciate your ability to step into wonder and play, wandering through the trees together. I appreciate the tenderness and freshness of sex with you. And even if I didn’t say it as much, I appreciated your tendency towards logic and science, to present new ideas and perspectives that encouraged me to open my mind and my heart. You also taught me about electricity, history, politics, culture. Thank you for sharing your heart and ideas with me and for your patience with me through difficulty. You’ve been a very meaningful piece of my life over the past three months and I just wanted to start by saying thank you. Thank you for showing up as you are.
Abbas, I am sorry for all of the ways I caused hurt or difficulty for you. There are three things in particular I want to take responsibility for. First, I see that I did not always take care of my own anger, especially in situations with minor difficulties. I see my tendency to want things to be “my way”, and how quickly my anger arises when they are different from what I expect. You arriving 30 minutes late to dinner, you evicting flies from your house, you saying words that I deemed not inclusive. In each case I overreacted to the difficulty with anger that resulted in us fighting instead of celebrating our time together. I am sorry and see that I can do a better job of calming my anger when I don’t get my way or when I feel uncomfortable. I can practice not blaming you or others for my own discomfort and learn to regulate my own body more consistently without others needing to say anything. I notice that sometimes I fight to be seen or heard or cared for, and that perhaps I could have trusted in you and our connection more fully.
Second, I was not always able to be present with you in difficulty. I see how I asked you to meet me in my difficult emotions and to listen without being defensive or angry. I admire your efforts to do this in ways that calmed and took care of me. I was often not able to do this same for you, and I am very sorry. In the last days we were together, you mentioned your frustration that I had tried to fix my wifi without being considerate of your time needs. You also mentioned your difficulty with my forgetting to turn off the furnace. On both occasions, I regret not meeting you fully without defensiveness. I am sorry for not considering your schedule when fixing my wifi. I am sorry for not turning off the furnace before we began driving. I am sorry I was not always considerate to you and I could have done a better job of allowing your truth space to exist alongside mine.
Lastly, I want to take responsibility for my judgment and anger in response to certain words and topics. I heard from you on Tuesday that you are afraid of angering me when you speak. On my side, sometimes I hold my breath when I speak to you because I’m afraid that you’ll dismiss my feelings or try to give me advice. I am sad that there is this tension and worry in our communication, which I imagine leaves both of us feeling unsafe at times. I am sorry for the ways in which my anger made it difficult for you to feel safe in speaking freely and with ease. I do not want my sensitivity and fear to create friction and lack of harmony in the relationships I care about most, including with you. I am sorry. I can practice with letting go of small things, and focusing on your good intent alongside impact. I can also recognize that we don’t always have to agree or share behavior, as long as we have a common set of values as a foundation.
Finally, I want to express a hurt to you. Abbas, I want to feel safe around you, to not tiptoe around my truth to avoid fights. I want to know that our relationship has resilience and the ability to withstand and grow from conflict. I take my time to process and break through resistance in relationships; I want to know that you’ll work with me on this and have the ability to assert your own boundaries when needed. I do not know if any of this is possible for us.
I say these things not because I think they will change your mind or heart, although I am curious to know their impact on you. I say these things because they are honest. I see in this relationship the possibility of growth and emergence into new spaces of understanding. I cannot promise we won’t fight, and I know there is lots of un-learning for me to do. I want to do the necessary inner work, not to please you but to become a more loving and considerate human being. I am grateful to see this work cut out for me and commit to doing it for my own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around me. Thank you for showing these next steps to me.
I sit here with an open heart and mind for what comes next. I can choose to dwell in the beauty of you and us together, and to try to make it work with you in partnership. I can choose to see the difficulties as signs that this won’t work long term. Both can be true. If we are to remain broken up, I am happy and grateful to have had these three months together. Thank you for your kindness and the gift of who you are. I simply hope for both of us to be happy, and send my love and care to you.