Have you ever typed out a really long, important text to someone but found yourself unable to press ‘send’? I do this all the time. I find myself with something to say and end up saying nothing because I realize it will not be accepted. Or maybe it will not be understood. Or maybe it will stir up an argument. I could have a million different reasons.
I have written so many letters in my life. I have so many letters that have never been sent. My home as a child was turbulent and dramatic. There was almost always arguing and yelling. There was almost always drinking. There was almost always tension. It was unbearable at the best of times. Of course, in those moments, I did not know what all was going on. I simply saw the negativity in whatever form it was presented for the time.
I wrote my dad a letter when I was a teenager. I included lyrics to a song. I included an informative article about alcohol. I wrote my thoughts to him and asked my questions. I put it in an envelope and addressed it to him. Then I placed it in my shoe-box that was covered in duct tape and effectively labeled “Stay out!”. I still possess that box. That box still contains that letter.
I typed up an email to my mom last year. I asked a million questions. I stated a million thoughts. I expressed my complex feelings of our relationship. I finished typing that email and sent it to myself. I moved that email to a private folder and there it remains.
I wrote a letter to my ex-husband detailing the shortcomings I saw from him. I wrote out my feelings on his parenting. I expressed my disappointment in his choices. I described how much better my life is. I expressed my concerns for our children. I placed it in an envelope and addressed it. It sits in my filing cabinet in a folder labeled ‘Corey’. It sits right next to all the drawings and letters from our daughters to him. Unsent.
Why? What is the point of expressing myself in these letters if I send them to no-one?
I feel better. I released those thoughts and feelings from my mind. They are no longer stuck in my head. It is not exactly closure but I feel better for it. It is therapeutic. It does help. At the very least it helps me to organize and process any issues I may have with someone. I typically hold myself back. I bite my tongue. I realized long ago that most people are not ready for my type of honesty. I have a hard time sugar coating my truths. This causes me to think hard about what I share and what I hold back.
Letters to nobody are the perfect way for me to express myself without conflict. Maybe one day I will send them. Until then, I am content with the release I feel after writing these unsent letters.
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