I thought you and your girlfriend were so much better than me. You seemed super-competent, great at being social, and got so much done. You both seemed like real grownups.
Yes, you and your girlfriend were a power couple. Both so vibrant and good at life.
At the time, I felt like a fuckup. It was more than ten years ago–I still mostly hated myself. I thought you were caring and so good at what you did.
Then you and your girlfriend were breaking up, and it was a shitshow. Wow, this was not competent, caring, or even a usual amount of breakup conflict. I was amazed at how she violated your boundaries, and how poorly the whole process was handled.
It was unjust when you lost your job and had to leave town. The night you were asked to leave, I heard you yelling with rage in your house, and I was scared. But I had total faith that people could comprehend your skills and good heart, and you would be in a better position soon.
“You’re a gift,” you told me a few months ago. You see me as a sweet woman, non-threatening, full of forgiveness and love. Once you even told me that when you do something wrong, you think of me and how I would view the situation. The thought experiment comforts you.
I didn’t know how to react to that. Shame and guilt are usually bullshit, and they don’t help in most situations. So…I guess I’m glad to represent that everyone is unconditionally ok.
A few months later, another white man I don’t know very well told me that I’m a gift. I was like–what the fuck? Am I a gift? What does that even mean?
I don’t think I’m a gift. I’m gold, priceless, worth more than anything. I’m an earth goddess, too powerful for you to even comprehend, let alone hold.
If I’m a gift, who is giving me? Is God giving me to you and other white men?
I don’t think Mother God is giving me to anyone. I’m libre but not not gratis–I’m actually very expensive. And I’m only going to be close to people who meet me halfway.
I’m made of love. But no one can just take and take me. I’m not like an endless supply of napkins that keep popping up from the napkin dispenser, or a trinket Santa left in a stocking at Christmastime.
I used to give too much, thinking I was worthless. Now I say no and mean it.
Now I understand that you were never better than me, and your girlfriend wasn’t either. You seemed very abled. But my disabilities don’t make me less worthy.
Old trauma made it impossible for me to see you clearly or see myself.
Now I know that I shine with my own brilliance that no one can take away. I don’t exist to please you or anyone. But I wanted to please you, in your backyard in the late afternoon light.
I wish you could be a safe person for me to adore. But it feels refreshing to be realistic and step back from fantasy. May I always dwell in the reality of people who know me and know how to love me, skillfully, every day.