The Letters

I have moved a lot in the last few years and for the first time in a long time I have the time and the courage to open boxes that have long been sealed, forgotten, in storage.

I found a box of letters and poems (oh my god, I was horrible) and writing from 35 years ago.  And picture.

Charlie Debbie

That’s me. And Debbie. Decades ago. Brother and sister. Now, we live together, decades later. Brother and sister.

The letters were carefully sorted into banded bundles by author. I had completely forgotten some of these people, and, too, forgotten how obsessive a letter writer I was before email happened and long distance calling disappeared.

Do you remember carbon copies? I made carbons of many of the letters I wrote. Or, COPIED THEM BY HAND!

There are bundles from three men with whom I was obsessed, and one man who was obsessed with me and I am as HORRIFIED by those letters as I am by the poems.

I may never Tweet or write again. Who wants more horrifying shit like that left as record? Of my life.

Also, the letters are FILLED with people’s secrets. I had forgotten how may people confessed to me. Confided in me.

I had also forgotten how certain I was of all I would be.

And, oh dear, never was.

So, I am going to continue being quiet a while. I killed a few social media accounts. I am feeling at loose ends. My chest is tight. I am, well, I am fine. But, I don’t want to talk anymore. I don’t want any more “never was” or “never will be”or bundles of letters or memories of people where the feelings didn’t match and I didn’t know enough to let go. Or, get out.

I. Have. Never. Learned.


3 thoughts on “The Letters

  1. Perspective is everything, and it shifts. From day to day it can change. This is just today’s perspective. I hope that you can find more compassion for your tender heart—then, and now.

    We all want to be loved, and sometimes when we lack adequate self-love, we reach a little too far for the love of others. This is a human story. We’ve all done it, and long after we’re gone, people will still be doing it.

    I look back on my own life and see how many times I chased love in all of the wrong people and places. I see how much I lost—how much time and energy that chase has cost me, and how that cost has set me back in the pursuit of my goals.

    But I know I have to forgive myself, as you must also forgive yourself. We all begin our adult lives with different degrees of brokenness—some a lot, some very little. People and circumstances helped us to acquire that damage. Not our fault. And until we learn how to heal the wounds —not a small or simple task—we will do things to ourselves and others that we will later regret. We will blindly thrash and grasp, stumbling through life in a desperate search for love and healing that can only come from within.

    I love the honesty of this post, Charlie. I love the picture of the sweet, vulnerable young man at the top. Please try to remember that there are *reasons* that you did things that you may regret now. There are reasons that you still struggle. No one is more—or less—deserving of compassion, than you. We all deserve forgiveness, in the end. Everything we do comes out of our frightened, broken humanity. Even the worst of us is fighting the same fight that we all fight—to feel well and safe in a world that can be hostile, unforgiving, and lonely.

    Keep up the good fight, Charlie. Try to remember, even in your darkest hours: you *are* loved.

  2. I don’t know who Michelle is BUT I thank her for her words to you and to all of us who need to read them. As always Charlie, I love you. And I miss you.

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