Updated: Aug 4, 2022
I had decided I'd end my life after losing everything of value to me. Neither my wife nor my family were important enough to change my mind. I started to write this letter as I was preparing to check out for good. My plan was to not leave it behind as a testament of my life to my loved ones. It was in no way meant to assign shame or guilt to anyone, nor an exoneration of guilt on my end, either. Rather, I felt the unimportance of my life pleading to just write it and leave it in my cloud drive. I'd figured that if it was meant to be read it would have been. Cleaning my drive recently, I came across an untitled document that is this letter. I can't remember when I started it, how many times I sat to write it or how much time elapsed between the first and the last time I added something to it. It was never finished.
Suffice to say that life changed, for the better. My intent in sharing this letter is another attempt to rid myself of a demon that to this day continues to haunt me. It is not edited, except for a few redacted words. It is presented for what it was when it was written, a stream-of-consciousness that in the end went nowhere. It was directed to my wife.
I’m glad that you found this letter. You well know that it has never been my style to tell you that this existed before I died, so you could read some of my thoughts that I never really shared with anyone out of fear, out of humility and out of shame. Notice how the two impactin
g negatives sandwich the positive, that of humility. There is an order to that, because that is exactly how my lie came to be, on the sum of all of its parts.
This is no redacted thought. Rather, is is more a stream of consciousness that has come about through several days, not just in one sitting. My life deserved better than one sitting, I’ve always felt, but in prodding a bit deeper into that thought, I always came to this conclusion: what sitting? How many sittings would have been enough to satisfy my thirst for what I thought I deserved in life? And besides, those sittings had to be for sure about quality time, not quantity time, so one sitting would have really sufficed if everything that I wanted to say would have come out then and there, like now, for example. I know, I’m getting off of the subject and my writing is already getting dense, but so what? You came across this per chance, so it is all an added bonus. In fact, who knows how and why is it that you might be reading this at the precise moment where you find yourself in? Like our beliefs always affirmed, there’s always a reason for everything, isn’t there? Even for death!
There were a lot of times in my life with you that were filled with anguish of an extreme nature. I wish I would have had the ability to deal with those moments in a more expedient way. I realized that I let many of the things that happened to me simply happen, but that is not the point of me writing this few sentences on this topic. I just really wanted to let you know that those moments of anguish, of sheer terror of life consumed most of my life. I always fought against that overwhelming feeling as best as I could. It worked in some areas of my life, but in some others it did not. That anguish gave me so much stress! I’m surprised I lived as long as I did, because the amount of anxiety, daily anxiety that the anguish brought to me was enough to keep my heart pounding really fast a lot of the time! If I died of a heart attack, now you know why: my heart was overworked for way too many years, pumping way too many times for its own good.
Having met you gave my life an understanding of definition. You came at a point in my life where all things were clicking just right, even though the actual clicking might not have been 100% to my liking. I had a decent job, not too many worries (like you liked to say to me), and money in the bank. And I have to say that the money aspect has brought so much of that stress in my life. It was almost as if my inability to deal with finances was the result of my finances getting more and more complicated as the years passed. Please understand that you were not the source of any of this stress. You need to understand that whatever it is that you’d like to think as to why I’m dead, or why I had so much stress in my life, was not brought about by you. Always remember that: NOTHING RELATED TO MY STRESS WAS EVER BROUGHT ABOUT BY YOU. Please understand that basic reality. My inability to deal with life, that inexplicable torment that I felt from the day that I came in touch with the monster that I had been in my life and that had I fought to keep under control for the rest of it was the main reason that stress was so prevalent in it. No, I never had any thoughts of harming my dear daughter, but I now realize that the most horrific moment of my life was a Godsend, because He taught me, by putting later in my life the same sort of people whom I had damaged earlier, how to learn to live within me, so I will forever be grateful to God for that.
But it is that monster image that I was never able to get rid of. Whenever I heard people we knew and folks in the news describe what monumental damage is done by actions similar to mine, I cringed in repulsion, shame, despair, anguish and condemnation, even after understanding that it was all now under full control of my reality up to the day I died. But dealing with the knowledge of that monumental damage was of a difficulty impossible to describe. Though God did forgive me, I was never able to forgive myself. I allowed myself to put it in the back of my mind, so that I wouldn’t have to let it consciously bother me, but it was always there, subconsciously, eating at me. You and (redacted) became a constant reminder of what I had done: you, because I saw in an unfiltered way the spiritual wrecking damage I had incurred in others. And (name redacted), because the day that I wanted to harm him, when I felt so much hatred for him for what he had done to you, was the same day that it had finally dawned on me how much alike we both were. But my mind kept me in the hell that I’ve always feared, a never ending suffering that has to this day defined my whole life. Looking back at that very moment of consciousness, I had finally understood how people truly hated me and how much I hated myself, and there was nothing that God could do about that hatred, because I refused to forgive myself. There were few things in my life that I was never able to let go of. This was the one. I’m sorry that it affected us so much in so many aspects of our relationship. I am truly sorry. Though I felt His forgiveness, I chose to forever consciously castigate myself.
In closing that subject, I am also grateful that you stayed with me, even after knowing al there was to be known about me. It taught me what love was. Perhaps as you read this I’ll be who-knows-where, learning how to truly apply all that ability to love that you taught me by just being you, accepting by almost an unconditional degree, willing to continue on with life. I am grateful for having received so much love from you. It never went unnoticed. It never did.
Let’s talk about fear, because anguish fueled it, –or maybe it was the other way around; heck, maybe it was an endless loop where the two fueled each other– and it froze me later in my years. I understood that I was capable of doing things that many people were fearful of. Perhaps the ignorance associated with the risks involved in doing those things had a lot to do with the reason I did them in the first place. But, as I became older, I also became aware of the risks involved in those things that I had once done, so that by the time a second chance came, I was not willing to open that door on which opportunity was pounding. Instead of assessing the possibilities for success, I was assessing the consequences of failing to succeed, so that in the end, it became safer to sit and drift aimlessly, because life became an exercise of consequence limitation. And in doing that, I lumped together the consequences of success along with those of failure. And it cost me dearly. It cost me my self respect, my audacity and my impetus. For this I am sorry, I became a man reduced, certainly not the one that you married thinking about the future. It hurt me to think that I had disappointed you as a man, not because of whatever expected life pressures you might have put on me, but because I knew that I was disappointing you simply because I had disappointed myself.
I am sorry for having to have you live the life that you lived while together. I understand how important a part of your life I was, and how everything else was just not measurable in terms of personal fulfillment (I’m excluding Jesus and His effect on your life), but I do know for sure that this is not what you had bargained for when you decided to spend the rest of your life with me. For this I am sorry. I wish I could have been a better provider, a more inspiring leader and a worthy recipient of your admiration. Like we said during one of our conversations (redacted), “me and a million dollars really sound good, doesn’t it?” Then again, it will always sound good, no matter who the subject might be in that expression.
I learned late in life that I knew nothing. Absolutely nothing. Realizing it took some deep hole-digging, as I caved in to my own expectations, my own limitations and my own complexes. But being in there, in the darkest place that I’ve ever been and feeling all the decades of self flagging coming down on me with a monsoon of unresolved issues was sufficient to open my eyes and see through that hole. But it was a vision of newness, not one of amends. I thought about how my life needed to start anew, but I couldn’t bring myself to actually doing it because I had become used to being a coward. There I was, pontificating how my father had succumbed to cowardice during his hour of reckoning, all the while feeling a shiver travel through me, like the cold feeling of the anesthesia running through my veins, paralyzing me and judging me all over again, re-learning once again that, this time, my fear was borne out of the limitations that lack of knowledge imposes on any human being, Granted, that ignorance is often times the ingredient that fuels the search for a resolution, for without the knowledge of how things could turn out, a huge element of doubt is not even considered as part of the success equation. But that is another story, more related to that (redacted) story that I wrote not too long ago and that I could see weighed heavily on you every time that I chose to share it with you. Which brings me to this point of complaint that I have about you: because of your emotional sensitivity to my state of mind, the things that I wrote that were negative (in the sense that the writing itself is of a dreaded nature, not of a happy place but totally the opposite) were often times ignored, in order to either not have to live in that moment at the moment that it was happening or simply because you were not interested, I don’t know. It really doesn’t matter why, all I am trying to establish here is that I really had a hard time with your feedback about the personal (redacted) stuff that I wrote about.
But I have also realized that as time goes by, a newness of spirit has been awakened. Perhaps in a way I have been quite skeptical about religion per se. Though now churches try to distant themselves from the religiosity that they themselves created and now see as a liability for future growth, I could never shake off the fact that they were still quite full of it, that their talk and their walk were quite different from each other. Still. I felt that I had found in God the relief to that never-ending anguish and fear that dominated my life. I realized that there was indeed an unconditional aspect of love that I had never cared to feel. Of course, by now you know that I my extreme judgements and oral castigations to all who did me wrong created the resentment that lived within me for way too many years, but I never understood why I was that way, and the understanding of unconditional love helped me tremendously to rid myself –or at least attempt to rid myself– of all that hubris, resentment and pretension that accompanied me throughout my life, and which to a much lesser degree continued to walk with me to its end. But, in the end, I understood that I had been loved unconditionally all along by a being that we called God in this Earth, that image of connection, of alignment to something completely incomprehensible but which, at the same time, made full sense in my heart, where I felt the presence –most of the time, anyways– of a beautiful something that held my connection to something elsewhere. How random: God, an image of connection, of alignment to something completely incomprehensible but which, at the same time, made full sense in my heart, where I felt the presence –most of the time, anyways– of a beautiful something that held my connection to something elsewhere. Phew! Faith defined, I suppose.
I want to talk about anger. I could not deal with yours, unfortunately. I could not understand how anger could blind you of your rational thinking. And i stopped trying to figure it out. I was comforted by the fact that God’s love was within you, that at some point in you days after the moment of anger had past, you would let Him reign over once again, and move you to acknowledge how damaging it truly had been. I had anger, too, of course. Mine was borne out of resentment toward life in general. For some reason I always thought that by a certain stage of my life, I would be living a better life. And though it was all my doing (my lack of character to step in and force solutions that you could not see for whatever reasons that are unimportant in the context of this writing), I never understood until perhaps a bit too late that the consequences of my transgressions were of totally independent nature to that unconditional love. I do now, as I type this, and my thinking has truly evolved. I am supremely grateful for that step. I have truly been on a learning curve about dealing with my anger, about not letting it get the best of me, of blinding me to the point of absurdity. That is something else I take away from (redacted) Hope4Life, the ability to look at myself without victimizing or castigating my existence. What a liberating teaching that was, even if often times I was unable to let the learning flow into my soul. Hate me all you want, but this one emotion –anger– made it incredibly difficult for me in our relationship as two adults.