You hurt me so bad. I don’t know if you don’t realize it, or you simply don’t care, or…. did I do something to you that I don’t realize? You bled me dry and then threw me away…..and I’m not over it. We’ve never really talked about the situation, even though I’ve wanted to and needed to. I think that’s why this still hurts so bad, and why I’m not ‘over it’.
I don’t think you realize the extent of my emotional investment in working for you. I don’t think you understand just how much I cared and how much I actually still care, though I’ve tried to make it apparent. You have to understand that I get sick of giving to only be pushed away or ignored. I deserve better than that.
I didn’t give up 6 months of my life to help you because I wanted something selfish in return. I didn’t want money, glory, authority, gigs, respect…. I did want a sense of feeling loved and appreciated…..I’m not going to say that those feelings were completely absent, because they weren’t….however, they were not prevalent. You can’t expect a plant to thrive if you deprive it of water and sunlight. You have to check on it, take care of it….you can’t water it once and assume it has enough water to get through 6 months. It will fade rapidly. That’s exactly what you did to me.
What hurts more is that, after the fact, I still reach out to you….and you don’t exactly welcome me with open arms. You aren’t exactly warm to me, you blow me off….is it because you have no “use” for me anymore? You got what you needed out of me, and now you’re done? Is that how you treat everyone? You care for them (or pretend to at least) and welcome them into your life until you’ve sucked everything you need out of them, then you throw them away?
That’s not how I treat people. I did what I did for/with you for the sole reason that I loved you dearly and couldn’t bear to see you struggle. Your diagnosis and the weeks of uncertainty leading up to it absolutely broke my heart. I couldn’t watch it and not do anything and everything I could…or at least try to do something. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. There were warning signs that I ignored simply because I didn’t want to see the obvious. I felt so much for you, and my compassion certainly diffused the reality of the situation. In the beginning, I looked at everything through rose-tinted glasses. I was your champion….I cringed at the thought of you feeling alone, abandoned, I didn’t want you to give up hope on your health, your sanity, or your business. I wanted to fix everything but I couldn’t. I put myself in your shoes. Looking at things from your perspective made me want to fight for you even more. I know you’ve been through so much….and I know more about all of it than you think I know. I’m a smart girl. I can read between the lines.
Red flags went up immediately, some I learned of on my own, some were disclosed by you, some by others in the situation. I didn’t care. I pressed onward, digging myself deeper and deeper into this gaping hole of lies, legal issues, personal issues….. your issues became my issues. Did I let that happen? To an extent, but it was rather inevitable.
I know you liked to say that I took things too personally, but are you starting to understand why? You do understand that the only reason I started working for you at all was for the personal reason that I cared about you and wanted to help you, correct? As soon as I left, I had gig offers, a studio full of students….it didn’t take long. I could’ve had that as soon as I graduated, but instead, I wanted to work for you and try to help you. It was a choice I made and I’m not trying to guilt you…I’m just trying to drive home the point that all of my involvement with Tutuma was NOT because it was a job. If it was just a job, I would’ve been expecting to at least make enough to live on. I felt guilty paying myself at all knowing that I was basically doing your job, that you never got to pay yourself for doing what I was doing, and that you had some tremendous issues with money because of it (not eating, having to get help from your family, getting your phone and heat turned off….) I hated that and it broke my heart to think about it…but the position ate up all of my time, and I had no other option. If I could’ve done it without pay, trust me, I would have. That would not have made the work any easier, but perhaps it would have made it easier for me to say “NO” or to leave. It would’ve also alleviated the guilt I feel now for paying myself anything to do your job knowing that you never got to do that for yourself.
I need to be perfectly, perfectly honest. You want to know the other reason behind why I did what I did and why I’m still hung up on it? I was in love with you. I was in-fucking-love with you, S. It started as a little crush I had on this lady that owned the club I interned at. It grew into ‘I have a little crush on my boss’. That became, “Oh shit, I’m in love with this woman who’s very ill and no one qualified to run a business will step up and do anything and she doesn’t want it to close, so I guess I’ll do it just because I care about her so much”. And that has finally manifested into “I have a “new” life…but I can’t get this woman who treated me like absolute garbage out of my thoughts”.
It’s not that I haven’t tried to get you off my mind. It’s hard when it’s your *first* crush, and I’m serious. You, S, were my first crush. Weird, yes. I fell so hard for you, or I should say, for the woman you used to be. When you became, I felt ashamed of still crushing on you (because in whatever weird way my mind works, I felt that having a romantic attraction to someone with a serious illness was somehow ‘taking advantage’ of them. You taught me what taking advantage of someone REALLY is!) In the months that have passed, there hasn’t been a day when I haven’t been reminded of you….. Silly things, like seeing sausage in a grocery store, listening to Sting, ceviche cravings, various inappropriate jokes, hearing a song I know you like. When checking my email, sometimes I’ll see that you’re on Google Chat and I want to either say ‘Hi!’ or tell you to go fuck yourself so badly, but I don’t have the balls to do either. I’m afraid to even talk to you. I’m so upset by what you did to me, but at the same time, I’d let you do it again if it meant I got to see you everyday. I miss hugging you and laughing with you.
The crush was never something I ever planned on acting upon. I made a pact with myself that I would never, ever act upon any romantic feelings, but that I would channel them by being the best possible friend I could be to you, and I did. Having you in my life as a friend, “big sister”, and boss was much more important to me than trying to somehow get you to fall for me, or to tell you how I had initially felt about you. I turned what began as attraction into pure, platonic, sisterly love, and that’s how it remains now and will be until I’m finally able to forget about you entirely…..except that I don’t want to forget about you.
Its apparent that you don’t feel the same way about me, and I’m learning to come to terms with that. I often hope that you’ll have a change of heart, an awakening, an ‘a-ha!’ moment in which you come to me and apologize and we talk, cry……and things go back to the way they should’ve been all along. I just want to care about you, S. I saw so much light in you, so much inner beauty….when you first became ill and you started telling me about your life and the life of your business….I saw this giving, loving, glowing spirit….I wish I could’ve bottled it up and kept it, because I haven’t seen it since. I guess it’s what I’m hoping will come back. She was so endearing and sweet, funny, intelligent, and just so beautiful in every way. That’s the S I still love and don’t want to forget about.That’s the lady I wanted so badly to help and care about and whose life I would do anything to be a part of. That’s the lady that holds the prestigious title of being my first crush. Where did she go? I think she’s still in there somewhere……and it goes to show that no matter what, I will always (to a certain extent) look at things through rose-tinted glasses. Was that all a facade? It was so pure, so genuine….I don’t think you’re that good an actress or manipulator to be able to make something like that up.
I want to shake you. I want to tell you, “How could you do something like this to someone who loves you so dearly and innocently? What kind of monster are you? How do you live with yourself?” Maybe you are thinking these things. You had mentioned it once, but I’m not sure how serious you were. You told me you didn’t know what you’d do with yourself if something like what happened to you happened to me…..and while that would surely be awful, did you ever think about what you did to me emotionally? Did you ever take a step back and think about it? You can put up a front of being tough and unaffected by emotional things, but on the inside, I know you’re not like that at all. How would you feel if someone used you and then just threw you away, when all you ever wanted was to be their friend, care for them, and help them?……How do I know that that’s never happened to you? I have a sneaking suspicion that it indeed has, and while that explains why you treated me like you did, it doesn’t excuse it.
I keep going back and forth on blaming you for certain things. I don’t want to blame you for anything for reasons mentioned above, but at the end of the day, regardless of illness, manipulation or anything else, you are responsible for your words and actions. Just because I think you’ve been used as a puppet does not mean you shouldn’t be held responsible for what you did, and what you continue to do. Just because you’re ill does not give you license to walk all over me. I have to stop making excuses for you, because there are no excuses. You let your “business partners” walk all over me, alienate me, constantly criticize me, say terrible things about me behind my back and sometimes to my face, hold me to these absolutely ludicrous expectations, make decisions that directly and negatively affected me and/or the club without giving me any sort of ‘heads up’…. I want to blame you for not standing up for me, but I honestly did myself no favors by not standing up for myself. I guess I expected too much from you, just like you did from me……except that all I expected from you is for you to be a decent human being, and apparently even -that- was too much to ask.
“I gave you all I had and you tossed it in the trash, you tossed it in the trash, you did. To give me all your love is all I ever asked…”
I will always cherish the fun, silly, inspiring memories we shared together, miss your hugs and your laugh, and want the best for you. I hope you figure it out S, I really do. I hope you get your life back on track, get your health and energy back, and most importantly, find that sweet, wonderful being buried beneath your now cold and removed exterior and let her shine. She’s absolutely beautiful and a joy to be around. Let the world see her again.
I’m always going to love you, think about you, and hopefully eventually, be able to see you from time to time, even if it’s brief, to give you a hug and exchange a few sarcastic, snide remarks. I will always miss my jefa…and I’ll always wish the new you wanted me in her life.