Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Unwritten Letters

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.

2 comments:

Grace said...

what a powerful act that was...throwing that book awaya! When I read this, I really felt a 'release', like some chord had been cut of some sort. GOOD ON YOU! Growth? :) Yep...lots of healing, too.

I've written my own such letters myself, since I was a kid...only they simple inhabit the pages of my journal. Funny thing is, I never go back and read a journal after I'm finished with one. In fact, every so often, I throw them all out because I never want to die and leave them behind for someone else to read.

It's not that they aren't filled with lots of 'good' stuff, because they are. But they are filled with everything - all of what makes me, me. All the pain, sorrow, grief, anger....I just don't want to leave it behind for a loved one to find, without me being there to 'explain' LOL

Jade said...

Thanks for stopping by, Grace! I think throwing away the book was extremely symbolic for me. I haven't really kept a proper journal since my teens; every once in a while I'll start barfing my thoughts and feelings into a book but old paranoia rears its head and I hide it so well I forget about it, so the only journals I have are in partially filled notebooks and all tend to start with, "so, I really haven't kept a steady journal"...

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