• Mark Mittlesteadt

It's Not You; It's Me

I've been thinking about this for a long time and so what I have to say to you, while it might hurt, in the long run I know it's the right thing to do. We need to break up.

I'm sorry. It's not you, it's me. I know everyone seems to use that line to soften the blow, but I mean that sincerely because, well; it's true. For the first time in my life I'm being totally honest and it's true. I know that in the past I've never really dealt with truth very well, and over the course of our relationship I've lied to you. I've lied so many times and all it did was hurt you. But I couldn't see it because well, I just wasn't good at dealing with the truth. It's just how I was raised. Lying is what I do best and only now have I realized it. For that I apologize. None of us can really act any other way than how we were taught to be, and how I've treated you over the years is appalling. I didn't know it then, but I do now and it's better for both of us if I just pack my things and leave. I'm so sorry. You have no idea how bad I feel about it, but in time you'll see it's really for the best.

When we were younger we were best friends and we needed each other. Of course, I needed you more than you needed me, though neither of us knew it at the time. We grew up together and we've been through so much over our life together. I've been there through the good times and the bad. However, you leaned on me far too much in the bad times. But that's understandable, because no matter what or who you were dealing with, I was always there for you, comforting you and offering a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to the complaints, giving you sympathy. In all honesty, the last thing you needed was for me to throw you a pity party, but there I was buying the decorations, ordering the cake and sending out the invitations. I didn't know any other way to deal with it, so why not throw you a party? Who doesn't love parties? I thought it would make you feel better, but it really didn't. It only made things worse for you. I was wrong, hard as it is for me to admit.

You know how every time you made choices about jobs or careers, how you so desperately wanted to live out your dreams and follow your passion? I told you that you weren't being practical or logical and I encouraged you to play it safe, to not take those risks. I knew you weren't happy remaining stuck where you were, but at least we were comfortable and secure together. I should have encouraged you to follow your heart, but I'm being honest now...I was just afraid. I've always lived in fear and worried far too much, always wondering that taking a chance might not work out. I held you back, and I'm sorry.

All those concerns and worries about money were also my fault. My worrying about being able to pay the bills, making rent and urging you to look for jobs with good pay, benefits and such, just to save it all so we could retire together, instead of enjoying life together, held you back from becoming all you could be and attaining far more wealth than you did. Honestly, looking back at it, my ideas about money were all wrong. I was just too consumed with lack. A lack of having enough, a lack of security and in my own myopic view of the world, I wanted us to be rich but in the end it was my own fear that if you became successful and wealthy, you'd change and leave me. Again, just my own fear and insecurity.

Every time you hurt yourself, got sick or were in pain or suffering in some way, I was there for you. Again, it wasn't you, it was me who was quick to blame others, or the Universe for it happening. I babied you and took care of you and for some reason it wasn't you I was thinking of, it was me being selfish because I felt needed. I knew as soon as you recovered you wouldn't need me and I loved being needed by you. If it weren't for me you would have gotten healthier so much sooner. I just didn't know any better, but in hindsight I was selfish, and I loved the attention as much as you did. I'm sorry about that too.

Over our life together, I've been petty, selfish and jealous about every relationship you've ever had with others and so I did everything I could to undermine and sabotage those relationships. I made up stories, gossiped and convinced you that those people were no good for you. I justified, rationalized and gave you every reason to break it off with them. I pulled the rug out from under you with every single one, especially your closest and most intimate relationships, for no reason other than jealousy. I believed that if you got too close to others, you'd leave me for them. It was just my own fear and insecurities. I not only put ideas in your head that made you hurt them, those ideas really hurt you. And hurting you made me feel better because it was my anger towards you for paying attention to them instead of me. It was my way of getting back at you. I knew if you stopped being with them you would pay more attention to me. All those failed relationships were my fault, not yours. I hope you can forgive me.

With every attempt you made to grow as a person I fought you. While I know it was important to you, I also knew that if you kept seeking a better version of yourself you'd outgrow me and you'd leave me. I couldn't let that happen. Your soul searching caused me to jump in every time and confuse you, knowing any idea you had that would have made you happier with your own life, would only make you one day wake up and realize that the real problem was me. Like the narcissist I am, I was deceptive and lied to you, convincing you that all you needed to be happy was some new thing to occupy your time and distract you from working on yourself. For most of our life together it worked, even while I could see we were growing apart. You have such unlimited potential and I hate that I'm incapable of growth.

We've spent our whole life together at odds with our beliefs. Deep down I always knew you were right, but I was so entrenched in my own beliefs that I just couldn't change. I never could accept anything less than you adhering to what I believed. Oh my, the fights we've had over our beliefs! We were raised to believe in fear and guilt. Mostly a fear of the unknown and I made you feel guilty for not being afraid with me. But it's just how I was raised (and weren't we all?) so you can't really blame me for that. While you wanted to explore, I had to remain safe and comforted in my own limited views and it was just my own fear that I held you back. Even while I thought you were wrong and I had to prove I was right, deep down inside I envied your courage to be willing to change your beliefs. Ultimately you won that battle and I just can't fight with you any longer. Not only did your beliefs about life change so radically from my own, you've stopped believing in me entirely. It's only now that I get it.

We need to break up. I wish you well, even though I now know I have no clue what "being well" even means. I'll miss the long, daily ongoing conversations we've had. I hope we can at least remain friends. I wish I would have shown you more love, but I really didn't know or understand what love was. No one ever taught me that. Perhaps you can. You're wonderful, so just know that even though we must go our separate ways, it's not you. It's me.

With love,

Your Ego.

It's all about Love

26 views0 comments