Dear Summer,

I envy that in all of your own troubles and pain and suffering, you managed to hold on to what I had lost so long ago in my own years-long wars. You seemed to earnestly believe that you could fall in love with prince charming and have everything fall into place so perfectly, and you fawned over me more than any person ever should. In that fantasy, you sometimes had trouble making things work in a practical sense, but your struggles appeared to be my strengths. For years upon years when all I wanted to do was die, focusing on practicality and making the day-to-day work was what kept me alive. Ultimately I felt like your emotional strength and devotion met with my practicality and wit, allowing us to grow stronger together, into a proper, functional family. What you felt was weakness in our differences, I perceived as strength in the breadth of our combined skillset.

It’s no secret that cynicism and sarcasm are my strongest and most prevalent defense mechanisms. I’m not so bad, after all, if everything else is awful too. I seldom speak those things as true and honest feelings, though I understand how someone could take them to heart. I doth joke too hard and too negatively, but it keeps me sane, I think. There are three truths to every situation: your truth, my truth, and the actual truth. Neither of us can ever truly know the truth apart from our own without some trust in the other, so I’m afraid I’ll never really understand the causality. Did my cynicism truly drive you away from me? Or were we never meant to last, and my darkened heart proved itself yet again in protecting me from further harm? After years of struggling with a very real addiction to Sarah and her emotional manipulation, I was left broken in so many ways. Not all of those wounds healed completely, and even if they did heal, you might not recognize them for all the calluses. I knew that I would never survive another trip through that level of darkness, and so in order to protect myself and my own family from what I understood as my own ultimate demise, I found strength where I could. I survived tonight because of how jaded my relationship with Sarah made me. And just like that, somehow I’ve credited that wretch for saving my life.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, unless you’re just left paralyzed, in which case everything pretty much just sucks. I would rather the end of our relationship be an inevitability, and credit my dark humor for saving me, than accept the thought that I drove you away with my own misgivings. I couldn’t let you into my heart quickly enough because I was terrified of exactly what happened tonight. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I wholly trusted a “completely innocent” interaction and later learned it to be the complete opposite. It’s literally my greatest fear in a relationship, and you knew this. Finding you having dinner at Umami with that guy brought me right back to ground zero, and I have to say I handled it like a goddamn champ. I didn’t want to revert back to that suspicious, jealous me that I had given up eight years ago, but there we were. Even if it was completely innocent to you, and you just needed a friend, it should absolutely NEVER have been some random guy you know through work that I’ve never even heard of. If it had been a male friend like Alex that you had known for years, I would have 1,000% understood. As it was, I knew that you had already made up your mind that I was old news, and it was obvious because that motherfucker ghosted you AS SOON AS HE SAW MY FACE. Even if you play naive again, he knew exactly what he was getting into, and for that, shame on him.

I never thought I’d be saying, “goodbye,” forever, but I think that is because¬†I am an idiot. They told me actions speak louder than words, so I physically put myself into your home to make it our home, and my own house became a very strange place for me. Regardless of what idiocies came from my mouth, I continually tried to¬†put myself where it really counted. It was hard and overwhelming a lot of the time, but I kept coming back because I thought it was worth the steep learning curve. Ultimately I guess you had bigger fish to fry. At least I was honest from the beginning when I asked if you were looking for Mr. Third-Time’s-a-Charm. I don’t need superficial symbols because I show my devotion with actual honesty, presence, and inclusion in family, and I expect my partner to respect me and mine well enough to verbally decline unwanted advances. It’s a pity you didn’t really want to be a part of mine, because they’re a pretty great family most of the time.

You can’t expect your boiled-over, emotional diatribes to function as productive adult conversations. I was very honest in that I knew I had a lot of growing to do. I knew it was going to be an uphill battle for me, and I thought that I had adequately expressed that to you as well. I suppose I could have done more to initiate the conversations, but who has the time when you’re busy parenting teenagers. Blame whatever you want, but at the end of the day you have to learn how to express what you’re feeling in some kind of meaningful way. You can’t outwardly express that everything is perfect and expect your partner to accept that with eager arms, then get upset over all of the combined little things. You literally went from “I would marry you tomorrow” to “dinner with schmuck” in a week’s time, and so for that reason, I’m out.

I just want someone to scratch my head for a while and tell me I’m not so irrevocably broken that I can’t maintain a real, adult relationship ever again.

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