I haven’t written much here in quite some time.
Life has been less-than-ideal for quite some time, too, and I’ve been struggling with severe depression on top of no longer having a therapist (has it really been two whole months now?) and dealing with several other majorly shitty things…
I mean, I don’t know if much of anyone reads this besides the few folks who see me in person on a semi-regular basis, and they see a lot more of my posts on Facebook anyway; I seem to do more blog posts on there than I do on my actual blog. I don’t know.
Anyway, I got a letter in my email early this morning. It was from someone I never expected to hear from again. It has been over 3 years since I last saw or spoke to him, and those were far less than pleasant interactions. I referenced him here before as a toxic person, as an “Equal-Opportunity Hater.“ What he wrote makes me reconsider those labels…
He spoke of regrets.
He wrote of recognizing stupid mistakes, about missing an old friend, about knowing what he did was wrong and feeling sorry for it.
And he wondered about starting again. He acknowledged that things couldn’t be what they were, that he wasn’t sure he wanted that anyway. He left a couple options for contacting him, and closed with only one request: that I let him know that I got the letter, whether I ever wanted anything to do with him again or not.
What do you do when a ghost writes you a letter? That’s what it felt like I was considering after I read his message. I thought about the time I reached out to someone from my past, trying to get in touch with the family from whom I took my last name as a token of gratitude. It’s scary. It’s really damned scary to reach out to the past, to not know how you’ll be received, if at all. It was frightening enough for me that when I made the attempt, I took someone along with me for moral support.
Unlike DE-B who I also talked about in the post I linked above, EOH — now renamed to Role-Playing Junkie or RPJ for short — seems to get what went wrong… or at least that things did go wrong. She wrote to me trying to minimize and excuse, trying to explain again why I shouldn’t be offended, why I was still to blame, listing all the things I did wrong. Not a great way to say, “Hey, maybe we can be friends!” He wrote to me trying his best to say, “Look, I fucked up, and I know it. Can we maybe try this again, differently, better?”
I replied to him tonight. I did what I could to let him know honestly how I feel about things; I attempted to express my understanding of what he wrote, and to convey my empathy for how difficult a task it must have been to reach out. He mentioned a specific incident that he particularly remembered, and how much that weighed on him — and I referenced the same incident and its weight on me. I gave some details that I’m not sure he had known, and I quoted back to him some of his own words from a short time before which had been particularly hurtful — the bit mentioned in my other post about stuffing myself under a subway train.
I let him know that I’m open to seeing where things go, but that I had one minimum request from him, too: that he use my name in interacting with me. That’s been a really difficult thing for him. He first met me back when we were both geeky dudes at the junior college, and I can’t imagine it was easy for him to handle watching me change. At this point, though, he’s the only person besides my parents who has never used my name, including all of the group of friends and acquaintances who I knew though him, including the rest of his immediate family. And I can’t begin a friendship or rekindle an old one with someone who is unable or unwilling to talk to me instead of somebody that he used to know.
We’ll see what happens. I’ve left my contact info with him, and done what I can to let him know I’m interested in making an attempt… wish me luck, I guess?