Dear John

Have you ever written "The letter" the "Dear John."
The one where you say
"Its not you...its me."
If your are a certain age you may have written one of these - on paper even, rather than emailed or texted it.
Its the letter where you let someone down gently, you swallow the problems - the guilt and the future blame for the breakup of your romance even if you don't believe its your fault - at all - and you write to them about how you need your space, or you've grown apart, or you need other things out of life right now and you know your being selfish - and your sorry.

Well - going no contact with a parent - parents - or family member isn't like that at all - because your whole life has been that letter - the - forgive me for being me and I'd like to ease away from you quietly and without any fuss.
The hard reality is once I'd gotten to the point of writing that letter. I was really very sure it wasn't me - it was them. and yet it wasn't easy. I didn't have distance - or control  - or dispassion and I sure as s**t didn't want to be writing it.
I wanted my family to be like the Norman Rockwell paintings of family life not the mess it actually was.

My letter writing went in stages

There was the first draft - full of vitriol and despair - there were more tear stains than full stops as I committed to paper why I felt the way I did and tried so hard to justify and explain why I felt obliged to take this action  - but mostly it was a long protracted scream on paper. I wish I had been drunk when I wrote it - it might have justified the ugly snot bubble blowing crying that getting those words onto paper induced. It wasn't any kind of coherent - well except for the rant part.

The second draft was more controlled - having re-read the first in a state of cringing embarrassment I thought I'd be more considered - more adult - a well reasoned argument would be the thing - half convinced that If I got the wording just so - then they would finally understand. As if
the act putting the words on the paper (rather than explaining to them in person yet again) would somehow shift the way they thought, or felt, or behaved, sufficiently that they would have that revelation.
They would see that I was a real person, ( shut up Japetto - you don't have to be a boy or a puppet to sing that song) and that there had simply been a fault in their reasoning that had caused them to mistreat me, of course that would change when it was pointed out to them, on paper - and so the second letter was a constructed argument, where I even put possible refutation for the points I made - and pre-forgive their misunderstandings of the past.
It was written in the hope of magic - I realised as I re-read it later -  and horrifyingly left me wide open for further contact with the option to disagree and argue down every point I made.

It too didn't get sent
I realised I wasn't writing a letter like this to abase myself any more. surely the point was the reverse of that.

Third try was short - very short - and once I had taken out the I'm sorrys it became shorter still.
after all,
I wasn't sorry any more,
didn't have that in me,
didn't want to go back.
I really wanted it to be over - not wanting to hurt them - not expecting them to understand - just needing to be whole and I couldn't do that if I maintained a relationship with people who insisted I exist only as something like a well behaved mannequin in their life.
They anchored me to a reality I wasn't allowed to exist in as a real person.
...and so I wrote a short letter, a note really,
wishing them well,
and cutting myself free.

No sorry - no wiggle words - no ambiguity- no personal statements - no reasons.
No more.