I’m not an easy person to love. I know that. I have good qualities, I have strengths, just like anyone else. But I also have my demons, and I know that more often than not they overshadow the good inside me.
Self-esteem is a major issue for me. I’ve analyzed why that is for a long time. Ive been blessed with so much, talent and opportunity, no one in my position should ever feel worthless. I keep coming back to a couple things, though Im sure theres a lot more.
My parents are very religious. Growing up, whenever I got straight A’s, whenever I did good in sports, my parents would say “God is good” or “Thank you Jesus”. I was young and grappling with my own spiritual beliefs, but I remember thinking to myself so many times, God didn’t get straight A’s on my report card, Jesus didn’t win that game. I did. It was like my parents were telling me I couldn’t be proud of myself, like that was a sin, because God was the one responsible for all my success. Indeed, my father’s favorite saying, anytime I got a little cocky, was “Pride comes before the fall.” I can look at my life, and I really have accomplished a good deal. I just wish I could one time feel proud of myself.
The other thing I think of, as really affecting who I am today, is the way I interacted with my peers, especially other guys. In truth, the way I still do. This will go against all the humility my parents forced on me, but in truth I know I am exceptionally intelligent. I took an IQ test when I was young, and my parents would never tell me my exact score, but Ive figured out over the years I’m right on the genius line, plus or minus a few points. Rarely throughout my life have I ever met a person I could regard as an intellectual equal (You are one of the few…no Im not just saying that, and yes, this is in fact a letter to you). But growing up, being smart was never cool. It always been hard enough for me to relate to other people, for other people to understand me. I never felt accepted by any group, I am the perpetual outsider. I’ve never bragged about how smart I am. Because Ive learned that intelligence is either the first or second characteristic that people are most sensitive about (the other being looks – you cant really change either, you just have to live with what youre born with). I developed this secret inward feeling, maybe its narcissism, of being superior to most people. But I never wanted to make anyone feel inferior around me. So throughout my life, I’ve let people put me down a lot. Maybe they were subconsciously threatened by my intelligence, maybe that’s just how boys are. But to me it always seemed the right thing to do, let others feel good about themselves at your expense, because you know youre still better. And in no area have I been put down more than in my manhood. I feel like my whole life theres been this constant underpinning to all my male relationships, even with my very best friends throughout the years, like “you may be smarter, but Im stronger/faster/better at sports/better with girls/have a nicer car/just all-around more of a man.” I never wanted to admit it, because I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought I was being a good friend, but all that has really piled up over the years and it really hurts. Maybe that’s why I don’t really have any guy friends anymore. Maybe that’s why I tend to get along better with women, why I prefer talking to them than guys, but that’s another story I guess.
So I got on a bit of a ramble there, but what I was getting at was my self-esteem issues. Theres some mental health stuff in there too I think, Ive never seen a doctor about it, but Im pretty sure Im not all there in the head. It seems to me kinda like the chicken and the egg. I don’t know if I have self-esteem issues because of depression, or depression because of self-esteem issues. But theyre both there.
You know that already. That’s why I said before that I know Im difficult to love. I had had one serious relationship before I met you. It was my first real girlfriend, and man, I made every mistake in the book. I was a terrible boyfriend. We lived together for 2+ years. And I don’t blame her at all for leaving me. But what hurt me the most was that, when I asked her why, it wasn’t because she had met someone else, or because I wasn’t there for her emotionally, or because her friends hated me, or because I took her for granted, or even because I cheated on her very early on in our relationship. The only thing she said was “Because you’ve been depressed for so long, and I don’t think that’s ever going to change.”
Before her, I had realized that throughout my life, I had always been attracted to two types of girls: smart girls and ‘damaged’ girls. Smart girls made sense, I cant stand ignorant bitches. Damaged girls, I always thought it was that I thought I had so much love to give, that I could heal the most broken heart. I really believed that for a long time. After my ex left me, I realized the truth. It was because Im the broken one. Im the one who needs to be saved. I think subconsciously I just felt that the only type of girl who would ever understand me and stick by my side was one who was a little bit broken herself. The idea of two broken people, coming together and healing each other’s deepest wounds with unconditional love, its so beautiful to me.
I know that’s a lot to ask from you. I know you have your own wounds that need tending. Maybe it seems like I could never really be there for you the way you needed because Im too messed up myself. But I’ve seen the pain you carry inside. Ive seen it in your eyes. I don’t know what happened, probably a lot that just piled up throughout your life. It only makes me love you even more. I want to be there for you, I want to pick you up when youre down. I want to support you in everything you do in life. I want to tell you every day that you are the smartest and most beautiful woman on this planet, and I want you to know that I really mean it. But I need you to be there for me too. I need you to understand that I cant heal myself. I need your help.
Anyways, that’s what I’ve come to, why we’re not together. The other thing I’ve thought about is sex. Maybe you thought I wouldn’t be willing to wait til you were ready. Maybe your experience with men is that that’s all theyre interested in. You are truly exquisite, and I can only imagine how many hundreds or maybe thousands of times you have been propositioned throughout your life. Don’t get me wrong, I want you soooooooo badly. But its been years, without any physical intimacy, and Im still here, so if this was a concern for you, I hope in hindsight you can see that my primary interest has always been just being with you, spending my life with you. The mind blowing sex we would have would just be a bonus 🙂