I came across an old book today while unpacking my desk items. It's called Unwritten Letters, one of those finish-the-sentence types only it's an entire letter with just the first sentence started. You know, "Dear ex-boyfriend, I really hate the way you ran off with the captain of the football team". The idea is you write out the problems or regrets or frustrations in a letter format to whomever you feel did you wrong but since you're never giving it you can be completely honest. Perhaps that part doesn't need to be explained...
I have had it for years, purchased in my late teens when I first realized that my hatred and bitterness were making my life unhappy; I embarked on a mission to fix myself and purchased books to learn how to deal with some of the deeper anger that therapy didn't help me process. Unwritten Letters was one of those books and I filled up many of the "letters".
Every time in the past that I have opened the book to re-read those letters I get somewhat overwhelmed; reading what I wrote so many years ago -- and I haven't written in it in years -- takes me right back to those moments, feeling all that old pain, remembering the bitterness and even some of the rare happiness I wrote about back then. I usually enjoy re-reading my old letters, enjoy thinking about how differently I view things now, how I have grown and changed. Something that has never changed, though, is how fast I sink right back into the old emotions. All the old negativity usually pours over me, bringing me to tears more often than not.
Today, I opened the book and read some of those letters I wrote and I didn't feel anything about it. Not sadness, not anger at the person I was addressing, not joy or bitterness or rage. In some cases I didn't even recognize the words or emotions being described. I wanted to smash that book into the window, to throw it as hard as I could down to the ground to make it die on the sidewalk. I didn't know where that particular disgust came from, but I was so bloody sick of that book I threw it out (properly, in the dustbin, and not out the window).
I wonder if this is true growth; I don't need that book now, have grown beyond writing silly letters I will never give to silly people who don't remember me nor care that they broke my heart. It feels like growth, like progress, but in a red, angry way that is very much unlike the quiet, peaceful way my own growth feels like normally.