I don’t know how to say this to you. I know I can’t actually say it, mostly because I can’t talk to you when you’re angry, so we’ll have to settle for this because it needs to be said. First, let me say one thing and let me make it very clear. I know you care; I know you love me more than anything. That is something I know as much as I know the sky is blue. However, you make me feel like I don’t matter at all. I say this in reference to Jay. It is not that I don’t like him. That is not what this is about. It’s about you constantly putting him before me. Don’t get angry, don’t get defensive. Just take it for what it is: the truth.
You’ll want some examples. Every single time we go out to eat. Every. Single. Time. Granted, if I speak I am listened to. I may have to start my sentence a couple times, but I’m listened to. That has to be my initiation, though. You won’t engage me in conversation. He may but only out of politeness. You get lost in him and the flirting and the footsie and I feel like I could walk out of the room, something I contemplate every time we go out, and you wouldn’t notice. My graduation dinner at Gus’s, for example. I had just graduated from high school and I still felt like that, at my graduation dinner. Does that seem fair to you? I don’t say that to make you feel like this is your fault. With anything I say here, I am not saying this is your fault. I am not blaming you. I’m just making you aware of how I’ve been feeling for a very long time. The time we went to the Café Connection? I was so angry that night. It was my idea to go out. I can’t remember what the two of you wanted to do but I know I was the only one that initially wanted to go out and then you put me on this huge guilt trip for wanting to go to my restaurant of choice. Do you know how that made me feel? Like shit. You constantly make me feel like shit with him. It’s why I stay in the computer room while the two of you are in the living room. I don’t want to be around that, the two of you ignoring me, all wrapped up in each other. That’s miserable. I don’t think you’ve noticed, but the only time I’m really with the two of you, is when we’re eating. All other times, I avoid it the best I can.
It’s not just the ignoring. You make me feel like he’s more important, like his needs and wants are ranked above mine. If I’m watching TV and he doesn’t like it, you want me to change it every single time. I hate that. Oh, the time I wanted to go to Walmart for dorm stuff but you said no. That pissed me off so much. I was angry when you didn’t want to take me, but I just plain hurt when you took a half hour (when the original intent of the trip was to buy a toothbrush) and then I get a call asking if I want Taco Bell. You wouldn’t let me spend ten minutes shopping for college because you were tired but then you went to Taco Bell. Maybe you can’t understand why but that really hurt me. Finally, we get to tonight. Nina’s, where I decided that I really needed to say this to you. The buying the table thing did make me angry, but it has nothing to do with this. That anger combined with the mood I always get in when we go out to eat resulted in the horrifying “rudeness” you spoke of. When I “yelled” at Jay for his rudeness, I did that because he was being rude and because I’m comfortable enough with him to not care about social niceties or however you thought I should have been acting. If I was treating to dinner and I was rude to the waitress, you wouldn’t hesitate for a second to call me out on it. To me, this is the same thing. I’m sorry if you don’t feel the same.
There’s one more thing I’d like to touch on. No, make that two. The texting and the smoking. I hate both of these things with a passion. It is so rude to text while you’re talking to someone. That goes for anyone in any situation, and I’m pretty sure you know that. But when it comes to Jay, you don’t care. I could be in the middle of a sentence but if you get a text (or if he walks in the room), I’m gone. Whatever I was saying, forget about it because it doesn’t matter anymore. So even when he’s not with us, which, actually, is never anymore, he’s still taking up all your attention. The texting while driving needs to stop too. It’s not even just with Jay; you do it just about whenever you get a text. It’s illegal and dangerous and you put everyone’s safety at stake every single time you do it. I frequently sit in the car wishing we’d get in an accident, wishing you’d get pulled over just so maybe, you might learn your lesson. How messed up is that, that I have to wish for something like that to happen so you get the message? You certainly wouldn’t get it if I were saying it.
You’re a nurse. You know how stupid smoking is, but in case you’ve forgotten at all or just need a little reminder: smoking is incredibly stupid and it will kill you. You told me you were only going to smoke for a week and that was nearly a year ago. It’s disgusting and I want to vomit every time I smell you when you come inside from the garage. It’s an eyesore. There are butts all over the driveway and the garage—and the garage smells so horrible I hold my breath to go in there. I was ashamed to have anyone go in there for my party. You know how awful it is for your health. Worse than awful. I’d go ahead and say that it is the worst possible thing you could ever do for your health. I’m ashamed that it’s taken me this long to say something.
Especially with Grandpa. His lung cancer was metastatic and I think that means it wasn’t caused by smoking or secondhand smoke, but that’s not my point. We’ve seen what cancer does to a person and to their family. Don’t make me go through that again. Please, please, please. Quit immediately, and feel free to consider that my Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day, etc. present for years to come. I’d take it happily. If you have already quit without me being aware and me getting on my soapbox here is unnecessary, I apologize but I do still wish you’d ask Jay not to smoke anywhere but the garage. I don’t like being around that. When we’re out in public it’s different but when he’s standing on the deck and the garage is right there, I find it a little inconsiderate to not go in the garage.
I feel I need to say one more thing. This is the thing I am most hesitant to say, but I want to get it all out. So here it goes (I wish I type in a whisper.) I hate that he’s here all the time. Hate it. I like him, but I hate that. You asked me if I minded if he stayed over a few nights a week, and I don’t mind this. But he didn’t stay over a few nights a week. He moved in and you never asked me if that was okay. I feel suffocated. The ignored feeling I used to have only occasionally when he was here only occasionally is now all the time and it’s too much. Also, I don’t really want him to come on vacation. I’m leaving. Not for good, not forever, but I am. I want one last good week.
I don’t know what I expect from this. I don’t know if I want things to change or if I just want to get through the next month or so until I leave. I was going to just suffer in silence until I left because I’m pretty sure a lot of this letter will hurt you. I decided to write it because it would hurt you more if I left with resentment and anger, which is what we were headed towards. You just went upstairs to bed, angry. You didn’t say “I love you”. This is what has prevented me from saying anything before. You are completely oblivious to all of this. I’m sitting here hurt and on the verge of tears and you’re furious and unaware. Crying now. I’ve hated keeping this in and I hate getting it out, but I think it’s necessary. I’m so sorry if it hurts you. That is not what I want.