Let me first say that this letter isn’t about him. It’s not about what he did to us and this is in no way an opportunity to shit on either one of y’all. In fact, it’s been years since he and I have had any contact and I’m truly happy with that. Because you roll in similar circles, I have seen some of the things you are involved with. I know that if it hadn’t been for the drama, I’m sure we would’ve been cool as fuck.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
For clarity though, we know he was an asshole. At least I know he was and I am assuming you know it now as well. He was conniving and manipulative and he pitted us against each other so he wouldn’t have to acknowledge and own up to that fact that he was hurting us so deeply. Just so you know, I was never with him when he was with you. At least, to my knowledge, I wasn’t. But knowing his ass, maybe I was.
Why don’t we just acknowledge that the entire situation was a clusterfuck? He played us like a fucking orchestra. And we sang for him. What a shame. Dos sirenas singing for a sailor struck with a fucked up case of wanderlust.
Sometimes, I imagine us bumping into each other on the train or in the street, after all of these years, after all of the drama has dissipated, both of us in different places in our lives. I guess some shit would probably go down since I am very certain there is still bad blood for you. But honestly, I wouldn’t know how to react. I can tell you that for a long time after he left my life for good, the thought of it would render me speechless because I would have no idea how to address you if I ever did actually bump into you.
Maybe I wouldn’t even bother, just let you ice grill me and believe what you needed for you. Or maybe I would smile. Maybe I would say your name out loud so you’d turn to me or maybe you’d be the first to speak. Maybe I wouldn’t say a word, just let the moment pass, watch you walk by me. Shit, maybe you wouldn’t even know it was me. Nah, let’s stop fronting, you’d know it was me the same way I would know it was you.
I don’t know the intricacies of what you shared with him and I won’t say I care to know. I don’t. I do know that he led us both to believe that he loved only us, and I am sure to a certain degree and at certain points, he did really care for us.
I won’t say love though. I know he didn’t really love me.
It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact that with him, the word “love” was a way to ensure we (among others) stuck around. I remember he said he had a problem with ending things with people, that he didn’t know how, that goodbyes were always so difficult for him. I told him to just do it and that way he could no longer be held emotionally responsible for the fuckery.
Obviously, he didn’t take my advice.
I hope you know that, too, A. I hope you know that you deserved more than he gave you. That you deserved more than the drama. That you deserved more than the lies and the tears and the manipulations. That you deserved real and honest communication. That you deserved sincere and genuine love.
We both did, mama.
But enough about that. Here is what I want to say to you: I have let him go already but now? Now, I must let you go.
In my time with him, I was constantly compared to you. I was not as special, as beautiful, as smart, as amazing as you. I told myself that every time he made me cry, every time he made me feel like I had done something that caused him to ignore me, treat me like dirt. I told myself that he would never love me because of you. You were the other side of the fence, the greener grass, the better woman. You were the better option.
He told me once he and I couldn’t compete with what he had shared with you. I’m sure that might make you smile, make you feel like you’ve won something. He watched me cry for hours after he said it. And then we fucked because the sad woman in me still loved him enough to think I could make him love me back with my body. That I could erase his doubts about me with my thighs, my breasts, my mouth, my pussy.
He said he loved me that day, too. Just not enough.
Here’s the thing though. You, who you were, stopped being you, a long time ago. It’s not you, A. You, as the idea of the other woman, the better option, became the personification of all of my insecurities. You became the symbol of those scars. Even in future relationships, there was an A there, the phantom woman that could scoop my love out right from under me. There was an A in every relationship I had, a specter of a woman that had everything that I lacked and that they wanted. To me, there was always someone better. There was always the threat of being abandoned by love because of an A that flaunted her perfections in front of my cracked mirror flaws to remind me and remind him that I wasn’t enough and never could be.
I stopped believing in my own special uniqueness, my own beauty. I stopped believing that what I had to offer was enough. I believed that I was lacking something, believed that it was my fault and that I should have done this or I should have been this just to make him, or any man, stay with me. I told myself I wasn’t beautiful, that I wasn’t a good woman. I shamed myself. Often.
So, you see, when I say I have to let you go, A, I really have to let go of what you represent. I have to let go of the idea that I am not and can never be enough for someone. I have to let go of the feeling that you exist and honor myself by embracing the imperfect me, the regular ass me.
I have to let you go because you’re in the way. You’re in the way of who I need to be and what I need to do, ma.
I have to start believing that I am enough and have enough and that I am really and truly a sublime being with oceans of love to give someone. I have to believe that my oceans are enough. I know you’ll sometimes come back in glimmers of self-doubt. But I am saging you out, sis. I am taking some metaphorical palo santo and smoking you the fuck out of my psyche as best I can. I have to start loving myself better and know that I am worthy of love. And you can’t be around for that.
I’m working on it.
Angelique Imani Rodriguez