Open Letter Against Bullying

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone.

I grew up in a suburb of Los Angeles and lived in that city from around 1957 to 1968. I was the son of a Jewish mother and Methodist father. My mother was very domineering and my father was emotionally unavailable.

In my neighborhood I was regularly beat up, tortured and endured anti-Semitism. There were many bullies in my neighborhood and worse yet, my friends would align with the bullies when in contact with their group.

The most abusive bullies were two larger older brothers that lived next door. I was bullied by them for many years. I also endured bullying at my elementary and junior high schools with little or no intervention, concern or help from teachers and staff.

At one point I asked my father to teach me how to fight to protect myself. It wasn’t until I became an adult that my father told me he wasn’t able to help me because he was a pacifist. Today I don’t know if he was a pacifist or a coward. Whether at home, the neighborhood or at school, I had no place that was safe.

I suffered a multitude of abuses at the hands of bullies; however my worst experience was an incident with a group of neighborhood bullies that attempted to hang me.

I was playing with my best friend in his front yard when a group of bullies (including a small group of turncoat friends) walked towards and amassed around me. They began calling me names, racial epithets and threatening to hang me. To my horror, they picked me up, carried me above them and started down the sidewalk with me in tow. I was only nine or ten years old and tried to comprehend the gravity of my situation coupled with the fear of dying.

They carried me through an open gate into a back yard a few houses down. There stood a big tree with a noose hanging from a branch. I struggled and yelled for help to no avail. They forced my head through the noose and started to cinch it around my neck. In a split second, they quickly removed my head from the noose, turned me upside down, put my foot through the noose and cinched it tightly around my ankle. They began to swing me back and forth taking punches at me and calling me names. It seemed an eternity as I wondered if they were going actually going to kill me. After some time passed, the father of the house came into the back yard. I was relieved only momentarily as he laughed along with them.

I was finally released, ran home and told my parents about what had happened. My parents and I walked back to the house where the abuse took place and spoke with the parents. The father’s response was “boys will be boys”. We went home.

That bullying continued until we moved to a neighboring county in 1968. Although there were a few bullies on the block and some in school, they paled in comparison.

I wish it all ended when I graduated high school and got a job, but more suffering ensued that was more insidious than I would have ever have imagined. The many years that followed brought more depression, anxiety and some suicide attempts. I struggled with that for years and had difficulty with relationships and faced additional problems. I couldn’t find my place in life, as it seemed an uphill battle that I was sure to lose.

Along the way I became involved with a fellowship of bikers, which became my lifestyle for a time. Although I started drinking alcohol around the age of eight during the early years of abuse (which gave me the feeling of being safe in an unsafe world), I became even more addicted to drugs and alcohol as that dovetailed with my biker lifestyle. In turn, this only helped fuel my anger, resentment and rage. I had acted out my anger violently as a young adult at times, but it had escalated. I feel this was in part my resulting response to being victimized long term.

All the trials I endured led me to find some solutions. After going through various programs and therapy, I am clean and sober over twenty-six years now. As difficult as these experiences were, they wound up being a gift. I have had and will continue to have the unique opportunity to help others who have suffered a similar fate. Just as important is to educate the ones who do the bullying.

Dayle

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

The author with his mom and sister in the old neighborhood where he was bullied.

The author with his mom and sister in the old neighborhood where he was bullied.

Open Letter About Sexuality, Acceptance And Self-Love

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Dear Dis Concerted,

It is difficult for me to write this letter to you, because I am so apprehensive about myself and who I am as a person.  I am so proud and disappointed all at once, because I think you have not given yourself a fair shake in this world.  You used to have such an amazing spirit, and I believe that with the proper encouragement, you can be amazing again.

You tend to be so self-critical, but you have such great gifts to offer the world.  You have a kindness about you, that is truly of your heart. Your inner beauty is striking, because you are so understanding of others and it is in such direct conflict with what you do to yourself. I want you to show yourself the same kindness and compassion you show others, because you deserve it.

Your sexuality should not be such a hindrance in how you live your life, because you have an amazing gift to be able to love a person and give yourself to another, without respect to someone else’s gender – revel in that! Don’t allow yourself to be a second class citizen, because your beauty is wonderful and deserves to be shared with all you meet. And if the person you love, can not accept you for who you are, then you need to put your love into a person who can accept it. You are easier to love, than you give yourself credit.

Speaking of giving yourself credit, I know you are suffering from depression, PTSD, anxiety and are looking for a way out. What I want for you, is for you to love yourself. I want you to give yourself credit for all of your positive qualities! Do not give into the weaknesses, but do not ignore them either.  Capitalize on your strengths, because you are a beautiful soul.

I love you, and I want you to feel loved by me,

Dis Concerted
Friendship_love_and_truth

We all need to learn to accept ourselves. Thank you for reading this post and I hope you have a lovely day. xx!

An Open Letter Calling For Closure From ‘The Beast’

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone.


Dear Spammy,

If someone ever read this letter and asked me about it, I would deny it. I have
never told anyone about our meeting, to protect you and myself. It is almost
25 years, half of my life and lesser of your years have gone. I feel confident I
can speak about that day I came and saw you. We don’t have to recall the
date or the time – we both know it.

Firstly, I hope you are having a wonderful life with someone that truly loves
you for who you are, a beautiful, smart and wonderful person. I did not know
you personally, nor as well as your sisters. The town thought you had the
stature of the Vogue model and the face of an African queen. You stood taller
than your sisters. Men loved you. They all chased you and your sisters. When
you ended up with the beast, I felt sick in the pit of my stomach for weeks. I
heard it from friends that you moved in with the beast. I had no intention of
ever seeing him again. I loathe him.

Your father, an African, was an educator for many years in my country and
our people had witnessed not only an intellect that helped many of my
country, but he was also known for having a son and several beautiful
daughters, and you were one of these beautiful daughters. You lived in the
capital. Everyone there knew everyone. You and your siblings took my
country as your own and grew up in it with pride.

On that special day, I visited the apartment to ask for my money back from the
‘beast’; you told me he was out. I had not expected to see you. Neither did
you expect me. You were terrified of me. I knew you might have thought I
came to fight you. You backed away from the door after you unlocked the
front door. I was very surprised that you could be so frightened of me. If you
are reading this Spammy, I’m sorry to have scared you on that day, so long
ago. That was not my intention. It was not me you should have been afraid of,
it was he, the beast you lived with.

You had asked me if I wanted a drink and I said, “Yes, a glass of water
please”.

I didn’t need water. I was only being polite and I had hoped this gesture,
accepting the glass of water, would make you feel at ease with me. It was not
every day, an ex-girlfriend shows up at (her ex) boyfriend’s place to have a
conversation with the current girlfriend. No wonder you were scared.

The beast owed me money, and I had asked him several times to repay me,
but he did not. When I had insisted, I needed the money to pay for my
brother’s school fees; he threatened me in harsh words. He knew I needed
this money. He also knew I was afraid of him. I knew the beast would never
repay this money. Already, my four years of employment had been used to
pay much of his debt during my time with him.

I had suffered enough under the hands of the beast and after the four ugly
years, anyone would have thought, I was mad for showing up at his doorstep
again. This was the very doorstep I had run from, only a year before. That
was the climax year – a year of physical violence, mental degradation with
stalking, car-chase, and guns, the scene from an action-packed movie. He
chased me with the gun in the capital and later when I left the city, he followed
me across the country. It was sheer madness.

After I knocked and our shock exchange of silent greetings, I stepped back into the horror house with you. The lounge room we sat in was part of his horror house. I had a feeling of terror and adrenaline running through my head and the old pain returned in my gut. I must admit, when I saw you, it was wrong of me to expect you not to be in one piece. I thought he would have broken you by now. It took a moment before I noticed the damage. His ‘work of art’ is deliberate and invisible to the every day people.

The beast never strikes the face. Black eyes are such common and ordinary
‘paint-brush’ style on domestic violence victims. A true master, does all except
the eye brush works. He was the true artist. It only takes one victim to know
and ‘see’ the damage in the other. That was how I saw you. Beneath that cool
composure you wore, was a broken woman. Your eyes were drawn, your skin
pale and your behavior withdrawn. You lost the composure of the queen. I felt
like hugging you even though your time with him was shorter than what I had
endured. I knew you were at a realization point. If only someone had found
me, at that period of my relationship with the beast. No time for being
melancholy now, it was your moment.

It was strange being able to sit there with you on the same wooden dining
table with four chairs – covered in that ugly striped patterned brown polyester.
It was a hot day outside and we were locked in that moment, in that gloomy
cool interior, speaking in glances and whispers. I spoke. You only spoke once
when you offered the glass of water.

With a court injunction and my family’s help, I got rid of him. I felt safer in the
months that followed my court injunction until that day, when rocks got into my
head. I was determined to get my money back. I never intended to ever set
foot in that apartment again, but there I was starring at your large beautiful
sad eyes, hiding in the depth of your smooth, ebony skin. You did not even
wear your brightly colored eye shadows you wore to parties. Your proud full
lips were naked without lipstick and trembled as you held your head down in
resignation each time I spoke. You held back tears, but the sprinkles of light
showed me your sadness when the light caught the water your eyes gave
away. I felt that your sense of being had been removed. I saw that your
confidence was lacking, your beautiful model stature had crumpled into a
waste bag. And he would have made you believe all his lies. He would have
made sure you believed, there was no way out. When you had stood, you
stooped and wore your tall slim figure and young age like an old lady re-
composed, retracted and wrinkled by years of tragedy and sadness.

I didn’t know what had made me, but I had asked you if the beast had been
beating you too. You looked absolutely mortified and this only confirmed to
me, he had been beating you. You did not have to answer me. We both knew
the truth. You were not the young woman I knew before. You had lost yourself
completely. Only a woman can notice these delicate auras in another woman.

I could see what the beast had left, his ‘work of art’. Although you were
clothed, I could see where his hands and legs would have been. I could see
where his words would have struck. He had stripped you of your dignity, your
integrity and your self-worth, just like the rest of us, all the women he had
been with. By the time he had finished with us, we were all a collection, a
body of his ‘artwork’.

Spammy, I remember, I had leaned towards you and you pulled back and
stared at me.

“You must leave him”, I told you. I had to say it, even though, it just seemed
weird that I had to come there, risking my life to warn you, help you and save
you. That was not the reason I went there to begin with. I don’t know what he
would have done, catching me with you. You had no reason to believe me.

I saw the shocked look in your eyes. Your eyes seemed to tell me, how could
I suggest such a thing? Perhaps at that moment – you thought it was
impossible to escape. I had once thought that too but I was wrong.

“You have to leave, or he will kill you. He will never stop”, I spoke again.
You looked at me without a word, but then your eyes and your manner
softened. There was an understanding growing slowly between us, in those
few short seconds. That was enough. I knew my job had been completed and
I had served my purpose, although I did not get my money. I stood up and
walked away.

Hours after I left you Spammy, I prayed the storms would not remove or
drown or damage the seeds I had planted with you. It was up to you, to care
for the seeds and do the rest.

Days later I heard you had escaped. It was a small town after all and
everyone knew everyone. I also heard your family had flown you out of the
country to safety and the beast was looking for you.

Fuck the beast, I had said with warmth spreading in my heart. I said a prayer
to thank God.

And so, dear Spammy I may never write you again but I want to wish that you
be blessed each day and time shall ease each memory of terror, sadness and
loss in your heart and body. One day you will, and can, become your beautiful
self again.

Anonymous

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

Open Letter About Taming the Black Dog

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. George has become a dear friend of mine over the last few months, and I am so excited to share his letter. 


3 Feb. 2015

Dear Spam,

Thanks for your comment the other night. Social media is new to me but in the context of my current situation it’s been a useful diversion as well as informative and amusing. Infuriating, of course, and scary–so many extreme views, prejudices, venom, spite and no shortage of mental and spiritual un-equilibrium. Some of it is red rag stuff too. I try to resist dipping into my own deep reservoir of venom, abuse and foul language on these occasions, and resist flippancy and facetiousness around issues and subjects others find personal and sensitive (although if anyone else does it I’ll go for their throat).

But Twitter also appeals because it exercises my second favourite organ–my brain bounces and sparks and chases ideas off in all directions and this, according to my PhD supervisor, is one of the things he loves about me (I wonder, and am mildly concerned, about what the other things are). I’ve got mongoose-like reflexes during what we Brits call ‘banter’ (a thoroughly demeaned and misappropriated concept now), which involves quick-draw wit and a rapier-like tongue (third favourite organ). This is usually defined as me being ‘on form’. However, I’m also deeply conscious that when I’m at my keenest, quickest, switched on and buzzing, that I’m due a visit from the black dog.

Many people are aware that Churchill was often attended by bouts of deep depression, and that he called it his ‘black dog’; as befits a writer and orator of his stature he nailed the nature of the condition with probably its most telling lay term. For me it involves a lethargy; thought processes falling to maintenance level and, depending on the setting and situation, low levels of focus, communication and social function. I can be irritable, and need time and space. A term has come into my mind: ‘silent running’; I’ll take a back seat in things (although having to up my game in some circumstances isn’t beyond me–I wouldn’t stand by while the hen house burned down).

In retrospect I’ve had it for years. The trick has been becoming psychologically aware. Accepting it and developing coping strategies go hand in hand and sadly not everyone can do that, or, most crucially, have the level of support needed from people around them that provides the time and space I referred to above. Sometimes you’re assured of this because if people see you’re quiet and distant they get unsure of what to do or say and keep their distance (being six foot two and 18 stone and looking unapproachable usually ensures this). However if you’re living with someone whose understanding and perceptiveness is on the amoebic level you can end up in a shit-swamp.

There are two things that can happen. The obvious is that many of the coping mechanisms either purposefully or subconsciously developed are misunderstood. Lethargy is laziness; uncommunicative is a sulk; lack of focus is lack of interest. You know what happens when you take the skin off your finger or burn your wrist on the oven? You’re forever catching it on the lining of a pocket or getting it under the hot water tap. Having raw psychic wounds rubbed abrasively is just as painful. Layer over that low self-esteem and low confidence and things can get really iffy.

From my own perspective I’m a bit more resilient and have been lucky in being intelligent and–most importantly–very, very intuitive. Even if I can’t identify or define a feeling, instinct, doubt, enthusiasm or similar subconscious nagging I recognise immediately its validity and importance. Latterly I can also recognise its relevance and develop and act on it. However, in the context just described above–I’m talking about my first marriage–the oppressive atmosphere in which we lived completely shut down any intuitive functioning.

It was startling the way that, during antecedent periods of separation and finally after the definitive break from my ex, intuition would switch back on. That’s no lazy metaphor–it was just like flicking a light switch. Actually switching on a radar set would be a better way to put it. The last ten years have been the most significant in this respect. Force of circumstance has honed my intuition and psychological self-awareness, in the context of having helped my daughter raise her son until he was six (that is, our son, in everything but the biological sense); and being lucky enough to work with adults with autism within a team of fierce, brave but deeply compassionate people. This, with the fulfilment of long-held personal academic ambitions, have provided pillars for personal contentment that continues to grow.

The black dog may be sniffing around but I don’t fear his bite so much now. Even significant setbacks are something to be rationalised now. I left my job–referred to above–after getting hurt bad. In seven years–mostly in the last four–I accumulated a list of bad knocks. In the job scratches, abrasions and bites were common, but some of us got worse; I’ve had torn ligaments in my foot, a partial rotator cuff tear in my shoulder, corneal scratch, ops on knee and wrist, severe nerve damage in both wrists and C-spine and herniated tissue in my C-spine also.

There were days when work was one rolling restraint of an individual in profound distress determined to self-harm or take a piece of their peers or staff (my personal ‘record’ is 27 aggressive encroachments/assaults in one day. I never normally counted them; someone did it on my behalf). As you can imagine the level of stress was enormous. Some colleagues couldn’t handle it; the big fish in the pool–there were a few of us–picked up this excusable and unintended slack. However, personally, I had fewer issues around stress than most.

Intuitively, and rationally, I could reconcile the negative nature of the work. In simplest terms, any aggression was nothing personal; with all other means of communication closed off, frustration at not having needs understood, left to cope or non-cope, expression through self-harm or by hitting out at others was often the only recourse. To me it was just like playing rugby, taking one for the team, as it were. Events could develop and move quickly; if physical contact resulted it got the adrenaline pumping; and to be seen to be decisive, quick, unafraid and competent inspired respect and confidence amongst people whose own qualities and virtues made that respect all the more valuable.

Were I to look too closely at my life, in a holistic sense, I could probably convince myself it’s been a bit of a flop. I’m more than halfway through my life and I can’t say in all honesty it’s been well spent; I’m only getting the fruits of my efforts now. I’m about to attempt the fulfilment of my academic ambitions; professionally I’m in limbo but I know my skill sets and talents and how to use them. My daughters and grandkids are bright, beautiful, and full of promise and potential, my partner is my best friend and full of the deepest love. Small children, autistic people, cats and dogs–even black ones–like me.

Can’t all be bad, can it?

George

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

Open Letter From an Honest Mother Who Needs A Glass of Wine

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone.


Dear Spam,

I thought I would take this opportunity to write a letter for my health. I am in need of venting while I have locked myself inside of my room, hiding from my children. Don’t get me wrong I love my children, just mostly while they are sleeping.

They are so peaceful when they are asleep.  Laying still and breathing slowly, dreaming of the wonderful activities they will partake in during the following day no doubt. The adorable way they will scream at me from the other end of the house that they can’t find their other pink sock. Or, maybe the way they will demand I give them the red straw cup that their sister already has, because they wanted it first. I just know they are already planning the insults they will sling at the dinner I cooked especially for them, unknowing it was their favorite yesterday and not today. Or, maybe practicing the icy stares they will give me when I request they clean up their toys. How I adore them while they are sleeping.

Unfortunately, right now they are awake.  I just picked up my daughter from school and no more then two minutes in the door and she is already arguing with her brother. I guess I should be relieved their aggression is aimed at each other instead of me, at least until her brother screams so loud I think my ears are bleeding. I seriously wonder if all the windows are going to shatter in our house one day.

I do my best to keep my cool at this moment. I have read so many parenting books and taken so many child development classes, I think I should know how to handle this situation. I guess the first rule of parenting is even when you know everything, you still know nothing. I get down to the level of my kids and calmly ask them what is wrong and point out we should use nice words instead of yelling. In response to this, I most always get screaming back in my face about how she took something and that he hit her, or at least I think that is what they are saying. It can be hard to hear their jumbled yelling over the draining of my patience. There are days when I feel like dropping them off at the fire station, in another state. About at this point I am usually like a boiling tea kettle, my whistling started as a boiling under the surface, talking through my teeth while I am trying to contain my urge to scream for them both to just shut up. Until I finally can’t take it any more and end up yelling, then we all three are yelling and it is usually followed up by tears, sometimes from the kids.

No one warns you when you want to have babies about how much you will miss the silence. I don’t even miss having a clean house, clothes, car or even hair. What I miss is being able to have five minutes without the broken record starting up; Mommy look at this, Mommy watch me, Mommy get me this, Mommy throw this away, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. This is the toughest part because you can not tell a three, four, or even nine-year-old to go away and be quiet when all they want is to hold a conversation with you, so instead you have to pay attention. Doesn’t matter if your dinner is burning or even if you are actually holding a conversation with another real live adult, they need your attention, with eye contact and verbal confirmation to appease them for another minute, if you’re lucky you will get a full minute.

I know I sound like I hate being a mother, it is actually the opposite. I love being a mommy, these little people I created, who are so perfect could not make me any happier, again, mostly when sleeping. They give me so much joy and a reason to live. However, they also give me a reason to drink…

Sincerely,

The honest mother who needs a glass of wine…

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

Open Letter To A Newborn With Love From Mama

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone.


Dear Baby,

My body is no longer my own. My eyes dart open fiercely fighting the dark of night to find the steady rise and fall of your chest. My ears stir endlessly at every coo you make. My hands fumble with snaps under the cover of 2 am. And my arms, they hold you dear to my chest. My chest is where you nestle and pull on the strings of my heart wrapping them tightly in your tiny palms. And as I hold your little body I soak in every second – cherish them for the perfect beauty they are and you are.

It’s the middle of the night and I’ve picked you up all tense and balled up, your tiny fist wailing about and it’s me that unravels it all. My voice whether singing lullabies or reading the phone book, it’s my voice that lulls you back to calm. It’s the rhythm of my breathing that settles you in. Every beat of my heart that slowly unties the knots in your tiny body. My arms about your precious little belly that untangle your sobs. And suddenly you’ve melted into me. You are a puddle. A sleepy, dreamy sweet puddle. Sound asleep on my chest. And I sigh. This power I hold is overwhelming. This ability to be your calm center.  To relax you and bring you back to steady. To be your mother. Oh baby girl, I hope I can always be the one to bring you back to steady.

I hope my arms are always the ones you run to when you need to be settled. When your heart is twisted in pain, wrenched and aching I hope it’s my arms that unravel and soothe you. When your stomach is in knots and you’re wringing your hands with no idea what to do, oh sweet baby girl, I hope it’s the steady rise and fall of my chest that unties those knots and guides you through.

I drink in this incredibly brief, impossibly fast flash of our lives where I get to cuddle you.  I get to hold you against my chest and warm the chill of your cries.  I get to be your safe spot and you burrow into me so deep I think you might actually be touching my heart.  I know this time is but the blink of an eye and I don’t want to miss any of it. Sleep is what I used to want most at 2 am. But now?  Now what I want most is to hold you tight.  To feel your jagged cries become the even deep breaths of sound sleep. To know that just by holding you I am loving you.

Baby girl I hope you always know, my love for you runs deep in these arms of mine. You are welcome to dive in anytime.

All my love,

Mama

This letter was originally published on the author’s blog: http://myblueberrybaby.com/ as well as on BabyCenter.com.

babylove

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

Waiting for a Rainbow: Open Letter to A Younger Self

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone.


Giovane Georgina,

I saw your reflection in the mirror after shutting yourself in your room again. Your eyes were red and full of tears. I know what you are going to say to me but you don’t need to explain; I know what you’re going through.

I’ve seen it all; you were diagnosed with Autism as a toddler, being bullied at school, being emotionally hurt for the first time, have been told that “you can’t” do things; the list goes on. However, the deepest regret I have for you is when you told me that you’re not “good enough” to be loved.

There are no words to express how deeply sorry I am. I haven’t been kind to you; I look back and see a woman, in chains, imprisoned by the things she has experienced. I imagine this person was you. If only I had the courage to comfort you and be by your side earlier. A lovely girl like you doesn’t deserve all of this. Sometimes, I wished I would go back in time into the waiting room in the hospital and change your diagnosis.

I know time travel is impossible. However, I know it is possible to help you change your life. Long ago, you said everyone deserves a second chance. Well, I’m giving this opportunity to you. What’s the thing you want right now?

  1. Do you want to graduate Uni and get your Performing Arts Degree?
  1. Do you want to start living an independent life?
  1. Do you want to explore the world and travel to faraway places? (Like, oh what’s your favourite place to go? Africa?)
  1. Do you want to fulfil your dream/dreams and inspire others to do the same?
  1. Do you want to wait, then go over the rainbow?

I believe you can fulfil all of them.

The world is a cruel place and you will face bad days, but nothing will stop you for being who you are. Open you heart, little one and keep on dreaming. Who knows what will happen? You’ll be shining like a star in ten years’ time; I guarantee it. You will live a full life, have fun and inspire yourself every day.

And don’t worry about love. What that boy has said to you is gibberish. Don’t give up; in time, you’ll find the true meaning of love. It’ll take time but you are bound to find it, even it means looking in your bedroom cupboard. But, you are not alone; your guardian angels will look after you and guide you to your own happily ever after because dreams do come true.

Don’t stop believing and keep smiling – a smile can make someone’s day.

With amare,

Georgina Latimer, Age 20 and ¼

https://actingmylife.wordpress.com/


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

Love Letters to Spam #27 (Writing on Deadline)

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My Dearest Spammy,

I go through phrases where I blog and do social media stuff, but then I need to take a break so I can quiet myself down enough to write fiction. It’s weird how social media can be kinda loud but good books are nearly silent, you need to lean in to hear their message.

I honestly have a hard time going between blogging and writing fiction. Strangely enough, writing fiction feels more personal. I’m at this weird point with my manuscript where the characters in it feel like real people to me. It’s completely bizarre and I’ve experienced anything like it…my characters are leading not me. Anyway, I usually don’t really feel vulnerable when I’m blogging but I do writing fiction.

I am trying to do a better job of multi-tasking blogging/writing fiction by trying to have more play sessions with my toddler. I know that sounds weird being that I’m a stay-at-home mom but even if we’re together 24/7 I know that I still can fall into routines and play less. I think it’s important to learn from my kids. They are such an abundance of joy to me and I value the way they remain in the moment.

I certainly don’t have everything figured out with my writing yet but what I do know is that I’ve learned a few things about how to make myself meet a self-imposed writing deadline. For me, Writer’s Block isn’t something real. I hate deadlines. So, I try to help myself overcome my fear by gently padding the deadline even if it’s one I create for myself.

What I’m trying to say is that deadlines, and writing in general, produces anxiety at least for me so I try to keep myself in a good mindset. If I want to write 25,000 words in three months, then I set up a schedule to write them in five weeks. In other words, I set myself up for success by doing everything in my power to come in before deadline. This way, when my daughters ask for a Mommy/daughter slumber party and I don’t meet my more ambitious goal of say 4,000 words in a weekend, I don’t feel like a failure in the realm of writing or motherhood.

I don’t believe Writer’s Block is real. If you treat a writing project like any other commitment, then you make it work. What’s been helpful was realizing my biggest obstacle doesn’t have to be myself. So, go set yourself two different deadlines and then do everything you can to meet them.

I hope that helps, Spammy. I guess you can spam me with novel-writing software or something but I’m good on the time management front at least for this week….;-)

Enjoy your week, hope it’s Spam-o-rific!

xx,

Victoria

 

The main difference between an experiencedand an inexperienced writer is the ability to work on a bad day. ~Norman Mailer

Open Letter Against Co-Dependent Love

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone. The author of the following post is a blogger I really like and am honored to share his post. Enjoy!


In my lifetime, I have loved twice, once with reckless abandon.

Today, when I love, it is because I choose to and it is with absolute commitment. In fact, that would suffice perfectly well as a definition of love for me. I have struggled my life through to “feel” love and so am at ease with defining love as an action. Though, I still wonder what it would be like to feel it, I can say confidently “I love you” with conviction and genuine desire without having to fake it. It was not always so.

My first love was an abject failure.

It failed to deliver.

It failed to endure.

It failed miserably.

She was the first woman I was ever completely and utterly enraptured with. I have no idea why, it was purely instinctive and I gave myself over to it entirely. I embraced the headiness that accompanies deep, inexplicable affection, spending countless hours dwelling on my muse though she knew it not. The waking hours spent hoping, the sleeping hours dreaming, of her, of us. She was the most beautiful human being on the planet. She was like the sun to me, life-giving. She embodied all that a young man could desire in a woman. From the moment I laid eyes on her I was smitten. I was hers alone to own.

I was in love.

I wasn’t what you’d describe as shy but neither was I a particularly self-assured young man, lacking somewhat in the area of confidence. When I was in her presence, though, I was completely the opposite. I was full of confidence. The contrast was intoxicating…positively addictive, in fact. I knew I had to make her mine. I set about making my intentions known and through sheer determination won her affections over a 3 year period…I may actually have invented stalking.

I felt like I was a person of significance when I was with her, someone who mattered. Someone who had something going for him.

Someone.

That was alien to me. I felt I was a great disappointment to my parents. I felt inadequate around my friends. I struggled in the company of strangers. I always felt I had to prove myself yet perpetually failed. I felt I was a failure as a son, a brother, a friend, a man…I felt I was a complete failure as a person. The only time I didn’t was when I was with her.

My natural reasoning went like so. I did not feel loved. I looked in the mirror and saw something unlovely. I deduced that I didn’t feel love because no one would love someone who was so unlovely. I accepted the only possible conclusion…I was unlovable.

But not with her.

She was lovely.

She was popular. She was beautiful, alluring, powerful, and desired by many…she could have anyone she wanted yet she was with me. I figured if someone so lovely could love me then maybe I was lovable after all..

You can almost smell the desperation in that last statement, can’t you?

And that’s exactly what it was. Desperate. Though I had no idea at the time, I had become the poster boy for co-dependency.

On the outside I had learned to appear confident and self-assured but it was an elaborate front driven by a need to assuage the feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt I’d battled forever. Those feelings were completely eradicated in her presence and I abandoned myself to it without thought for the possibilities. I had no opinions, only her opinions. I couldn’t make a decision, they were hers to make. I had no identity without her. I was happy as long as she was happy. I was unhappy if she was unhappy. I was absolutely distraught if she was unhappy with me and I would turn myself inside out to “make her happy” again.

There was no me, only her.

I was but a mere extension.

An accessory.

I was lost.

We were together 5 years and it never once crossed my mind that we might end. I intrinsically felt if we ended, I ended. Well, we ended, 8 weeks before the planned wedding day, coming as a complete shock. Devastated doesn’t really cover how I felt. All I knew was, when she left she took me with her. And if she didn’t want me then I figured the abyss probably would.

I spent the next 2 years suicidal, surviving two attempts. I embraced risk taking behaviour with the same desperation I’d brought to our relationship. I abandoned reason for insanity, chose today over tomorrow, swapped hope for oblivion.

I’d never ridden better before nor ridden better since.

The harsh and unpalatable truth that I came face to face with was…I hated myself.

This came as much a surprise as her departure, and yet somehow seemed so very familiar. Surprise because I’d never really tried to evaluate the origin of my desperation for her so it never felt like a condition that needed to be dealt with. Familiar because, in truth, I couldn’t recall a time when I hadn’t felt like this…ever.

The demise of “us” almost killed me and yet today I will say it was categorically the best thing she ever did for me! Without her to prop up my pathetic, desperate ego I had to discover who I really was, where I started and ended, what it really meant to love and be loved. No longer could I abide the life sucking parasite that I must’ve been on that poor girl’s soul. What happened was, through it all I ended up falling in love with me…and only then, another…truly this time.

In my lifetime I have loved thrice, once with reckless abandon, once with deep conviction.

Once is enough.

RedDOG


 

Open Letter Apologizing To A Former Crush

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This is a stranger’s letter.

This letter was sent to me (and Spammy) anonymously via the Open Letters Campaign. The author decides whether to remain anonymous, and can write an open letter to anyone. 


 Dear Scott,

You remember me, for my aggressive proclamations of romance while at the same time, being a “cool person.” That’s how you described me to a friend, who you asked to pretend to be your girlfriend so as to quell my crush. You made it worse, and within me curdled anger, frustration, envy as I saw you hold hands with a girl so mean, the one who walked around in a bra during first period theatre. It made no sense. Your Myspace page said “Modest is Hottest,” after all.

I veered on agnosticism, but still, at the outset your friends were the crowd I yearned to be a part of. Floral skirts, opaque yellow tights, polka dot cardigans, worn over every top, each formal dress. Also, in this conservative town, virginity’s still quite in. So I asked for a Book of Mormon.

I know it was obvious to you, but it wasn’t so glaring to the others at the local ward that I had ulterior motives. It seemed I genuinely wanted to learn, practice the faith, lead a new life. Now, the life prior wasn’t so different, other than the fact that I dared not curse, even say “crap” when stubbing my toe on the coffee table. I think I was hoping for an affiliation that would make my quirks socially acceptable. You know, dressing so modestly in ninety degree heat, saying no to coffee and Coke, studying and laboring over these essays so I could emerge the valedictorian. A number of things that contribute to Utah’s high youth suicide rate.

But just as I questioned the faith of my birth, I dissected this the best I could. Compared your Book to the Bible, watched documentaries and assessed each point of apologists versus ex members. I couldn’t do it. But did. However insincerely, and feverishly as you approached the age when you could formally date.

Because of a dispute with the friend you talked to, I stopped attending services. Said “Screw you” to early morning seminaries, choosing to fiddle with Tetris instead of sitting at Fireside. While the crush still lived, it didn’t tread with the passion of before. A lust forbidden, now that I think of all the times I imagined us laid out beneath a tree, grazing each other’s fingertips.

I sent you an email in 2007 apologizing for my conduct. But you never replied. Your last words to me were “That won’t work” when I tried to draw a picture with chalk on my driveway.

I know you must have heard of me, six years after. My family and I were in caught a dispute of Springer-esque proportions, and they knew one of the partners of our town’s law office was none other than your father. But your father did not represent them, reminding me of times when you and I frequently spoke. Hotmail and Earthlink.

“No one should have to go through this.” In 2005 I spent Christmas break in a teen shelter amidst fights at home. My dad wanted me institutionalized, and my mother wanted me out of school. You told me I was a strong, smart girl and I would make it through. I’d like to think this was more than just a stock response of nicety. I asked you about your brother, how he did in high school, where he got the funds to go to faraway Harvard. You told me about debate team. I joined it and developed a passion. Not a lust for winning rounds, but a passion for refining the craft of speaking with reason.

In middle school I often cried silently in public, almost always because of my mornings at home before boarding the bus. I never told you much, about the household cleaning products I collected in case things got to “that point.” I did tell you about the one-way tickets my mother would order to send me off. To live and work as my Auntie’s housekeeper, continuing my schooling no further. To my mother, schools were bad, and my good grades were warnings of my ability to rebel in just a few months. That was all you needed to know. We played games and sat together, your arm around me although I think your girlfriend wouldn’t have liked that. We were all thirteen. But the both of you stood steady.

I wrote you a letter in May of 2005, telling you how I felt. Thanking you but adding “I know you have a girlfriend, so I’ll keep this to myself.” You smiled and thanked me for the letter, hugged me, and kept it. I know that you kept it for at least several months. Our talks shortly after didn’t seem as awkward as I feared they’d be.

But people drift apart, and while you focused on football and reading historical fiction, I was driven to build the most beautiful college application ever. I was also driven to win your heart, through laborious measures lacking sincerity. I was friendly with you, talked with you, listened to your musings only because of the hope that you would pine for me too. And if you didn’t, I told myself I’d cast you off as nothing. My behavior was improper, but my crime was maintaining an exhausting facade, a childhood friendship, for nothing but ulterior motives.

My junior year of high school, I finally broke. Took three months to finish the school year via homebound correspondence. I figured you knew what happened when you had no choice but to sit with me on that bus in November of 2007. You looked at me blankly. I asked you if you got my apology. You didn’t answer.

For a long time, I spoke of you as the one committing wrong. The one who fell for skanky girls while firmly stating otherwise. But really, I wasted your time. Used you as a well for emotional support. Lived a lie, stole someone’s coat, and continued to wear it, although it was obvious to all that it didn’t fit in the end.

I’d like to think you’ve forgiven me, but if all is forgotten, that’s okay too. I just want to thank you for getting me through when I didn’t think I could. And I’m sorry for not doing this nine years before.

I’m sorry that I used you. The wick for my flickering fantasies.

With sincerity,

Thank you for taking the time to read this open letter. Please consider writing an open letter to Spammy. For more on the origin of my Love Letters to Spam blog, see here. Or, learn how to submit your open letter!

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