Dear ex: You really damaged me. You crawled under my skin and into my head and really hurt me, all while claiming you were a feminist. I will never really forgive you, and I’m ok with that.
Dear self: You are so strong. You are also so fragile. Make sure you leave plenty of room for both, or you may end up broken by your own pressure to stay tough.
Dear crush: You are really really cute and I am both excited to spend more time with you and also really nervous. I’m not entirely sure how to have crushes? Please bear with me.
Dear mom: I really wish you would stop running from your problems. Blaming them on me isn’t going to help you heal, but it will cause us to never have a relationship again. You are an alcoholic and a hoarder and you need mental health care. I love you, but I will not let you hurt me.
Dear dad: I am hopeful that you will realize that while you think you’re acting from a place of love with my mother, you are actually hurting her and holding her back by enabling her.
Dear school: When it’s late, and I’m at my computer late at night chugging Coke and typing furiously… I miss you a lot more than I ever expected to. But not enough to sink into the debt.
Dear sibling: I kinda wish we got to know each other better? But I’m a little afraid that you might end up being kinda racist against Palestinians and I think we’d have some super uncomfortable arguments. So, maybe not.
Dear past me: You were right. It doesn’t end. You will probably be panicky for the rest of your life and sometimes it’ll be hard to breathe and you’ll feel like you’re drowning about 1/5 of the time. But you will have people around you to pet your head and whisper in your ear and make sure you keep breathing. You will be ok.
Dear future me: It’s a really good thing you decided to just do all the drugs you wouldn’t touch as a young adult as an elder because I am pretty sure the world you live in has become a terrifying wasteland. You deserve to escape. You worked hard.
Dear future child: Meow meow meow meow meow you’re a cute kitty what fuzzy ears oh your little toebeans
Dear person I hate: I hope the queer community finally tears you apart. I can’t believe you threatened me and mine and I sincerely hope that there comes a time where you need me to protect you against Trump’s America so I can just walk the fuck away. You betrayed me on such a fucked up, deep level and I hope the queer community sees how awful you are and calls you, loudly, to task. You are a self-centered little shit.
Dear person I love: You’re so fucking special and precious to me. I’m so glad we have each other. You make me feel seen and loved and held and it means so much. We’re going to get through the next 4 years, the next 8, the next 16, fighting and fucking and laughing and loving.
Dear ex best friend: I keep trying, but I don’t really think I can ever really trust you again. I’d say that I’m sorry for that, but tbh, when I think back, our friendship was wildly unhealthy and uneven and I think we’re better off without each other. I wish you well!
Dear celebrity crush: all our faves are problematic. You are no exception. Please keep learning and growing, though?
Dear future partner: I know I seem hard sometimes, but it’s a defense mechanism to protect my soft squishy insides. Be gentle with me, even if I seem intimidating. I’m really just a bundle of nerves, crackling.
Dear sweetheart: I adore you. Sometimes I’m scared that I’m too intense about that adoration and that you’ll get startled and run. Sometimes I find it hard to love with my hands open. I know you need freedom and I want to give you that, even though it terrifies me, because I love you and I want to grow beyond my fears. But I’ve fallen hard for you, skinned knees and scraped palms.
People that hate me: You said I was toxic and it really hurt my feelings, pretty intensely. I worried about if I was doing something wrong, had been wrong for months. But you know what? It gave me an opportunity to reflect on my actions, my words, and my motivations. Auditing my behaviour has been a good way to see where I need to grow and where I’m actually doing pretty damn well. Frankly? I do a lot of really solid things for my community on a daily basis, I am regularly learning and stretching and wrapping my head around where I’m wrong, and at the end of the day I don’t need to justify myself to you, or to anyone. Perhaps that’s what you find toxic: the fact that I do not require or request your approval.