Letter to an Old Lover


I had such a long vivid beautiful dream of reunion with a loved one. There was such blissful unity and love and kissing and lust and forgiveness and hope and a future together. All was perfect. I woke up and realised it was a dream. That was hard. I was reminded of the reality. It was just my wish life. How beautiful life can be in my fantasy life. A partner, a real equal mutually supportive partner in life us both looking after each other. A loyal best friend. The one I chose was just too hard for me to deal with. I don’t know what its like to have suicidal depression or how to deal with it. But I am still in love with him.

I am going to write him a letter. Here and now. The truth of what I feel.

“Dear *****, I had a long dream of a blissful reunion with you last night, there was complete and utter trust and love and closeness and we knew we were supposed to be together and it was a restoration of how things were meant to be. A bit like the last time we had such an intimate reunion.  I was so overjoyed. All our damage and baggage was forgotten, blown away by the depth of love and fierce loyalty we felt to each other to support each other and be together. I woke up to discover it was a dream and I felt sad. I don’t really believe dreams mean much and don’t bother to interpret them but this made me realise how much I miss our closeness.

I know the reality of us being very close and intimate is quite different. I know I have stood on your feelings many times and vice versa. I don’t know what it is like to have your particular mental health issues of depression and suicidal thoughts, and you can be very good at hiding your lows at times. Sometimes I don’t know how to be with it, what is helpful and supportive and what is not. At times I totally forget too. But my intention has always been to be a good friend to you and for us to enjoy each other and the support of a solid relationship.

You have told me you feel mostly very alone and have difficulty trusting and making connections that you trust. I had hoped that the length of time of our friendship would have been some proof of trustworthiness. Or whether that has just triggered you more perhaps. I’m not sure there is anything I could do to show you how much I value your friendship or whether even if that causes you more suffering. I don’t know what made you lose your temper last time we met. I know I was in a state of exhaustion having driven all day and back in the rain and I was ranting a bit of political rubbish when I didn’t have the energy to talk sense really.

It hasn’t been a normal reciprocal friendship in some respects that I’m used to and this puzzled and confused me a lot as I felt when we were together it was very much a mutual enjoyment of each other. I thought you also valued me but you hardly ever contacted me. I remember working up the courage one day in the car park to ask you why you don’t invite me out very often for a walk and you said it was because you don’t see why anyone would want to be with you. This shocked me a lot when I have so often sought out your company. It made me realise I haven’t really understood what it has been like for you. That level of worthlessness is not something I can imagine hardly.

You have been so honest with me and I have been with you too, so I just thought trust would grow. But I know our previous life childhood experiences have interfered with that. During the times we have been able to be close I have not experienced such closeness before. I understand that I have a tendency of pulling away and you’ve explained about your ‘picadillos’ appearing when getting closer to people and I see how this arouses distrust in us both….and this seemed to set up and destructive cycle of increasing mistrust. A self fulfilling prophecy.

At times you have been so honest about your mental health and at other times there’s been a denial of what was previously revealed and admitted to honestly, and going from one to the other and back was difficult. I never felt we were able to deal with that because it seemed at times everything is on the table for examination and possible resolution and the next time it came up you denied it depending on how you feel. I imagine its just the difference between feeling swamped by it and having the strength at other times to look at it. I tried not to judge you for this as I sort of understood but it made getting help and going forward difficult. Im really glad you are getting therapy now and hope that its helping.

I accepted pragmatically a platonic friendship with you, in order to preserve a friendship  and having experienced that anything closer was too triggering and disharmonious. But it wasn’t really what I wanted, I always wanted to be closer to you. I found this very frustrating at times as sometimes felt a desire for more physical closeness which couldn’t take its natural course. There were times like sitting in the field that a cuddle would have been so welcome. I got used to it though and still enjoyed our walks and trips. Loved the classic car trip.

I haven’t been in a very joyful state and it has been a very low year for me, with Tobie and Kalinka gone, the legal entanglement with that client and money worries overshadowing my mood and squashing my optimism. The normal support systems that kept stress under control stopped working. I think I understand a bit better what feeling anxious and depressed is like now.

I got into a state where I felt I couldn’t cope and had to go and ask for help and get some more support, so found a good therapist who is helping and a new (quite bossy female) life coach to motivate me. Went to the GP who gave me antidepressants for the anxiety.  I haven’t taken those yet as I thought Id try some other things first and Im afraid that you sometimes feel worse before feeling better on anti depressants. I don’t rule out taking them though as a blast resort.

Instead I made some other changes which have helped lot. Im doing my usual no booze dry January and joined some evening meet up groups where authentic open communication is the norm and this has helped hugely to just be around a bunch of strangers who all are able to be open and vulnerable. Went to a talk a Finns place y a guy who was suicidal but is in recovery with the help of support and courage. I just need to be around people who talk honestly and openly about their feelings these days.

Your absence is noticed and I miss our daily walks. I can say with all honesty that there is nobody whose company I enjoy more and feel more at ease in as yours”.

Should I send it?

I probably will not and let it go. I just had to write the most truthful version I can right now. I don’t interpret my dreams and Im not sure I believe dreams mean anything. But I do still have feelings for this guy. I don’t know how healthy that is though.

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