When I met you, my life was a mess. One giant mess. I know now that the problem was that I was an easy mark, someone that manipulative people could identify would easily give them what they wanted.
So I was never alone but surrounded by people who were demanding more and more of me. And I gave it, even though I didn’t necessarily want to.
Because I felt beholden to them. Because I felt like I was lucky to have anyone around at all. I’d been told by a few key figures early on (including my mother) that I was a small doses person. Not the kind of person folks wanted to spend any length of time with. But someone who was good for the short, occasional visit. The kind of person whose personality quickly overstayed my welcome.
This meant I’d probably be alone. I’d accepted this. I expected solitude, as much as I hated it. And yet, I did find people who wanted to spend time with me. When it happened, it didn’t matter as much that the feeling wasn’t mutual. That they hurt my feelings or didn’t give much kindness in return. I felt fortunate to have anyone at all, and so I did my best to keep those people in my life, no matter what sacrifices it took.
This was problematic enough when I was monogamous. After a partner convinced me to open up our relationship, and I took on other partners, I quickly found the problem multiplying. Spinning out of control.
It was hellish when it happened. But I think I also have non-monogamy to thank for making the problem so obvious.
Thank You for Giving Me a Chance
It was in the midst of this mess that I met you. I swirled into your life in a cloud of insanity. You watched as I escaped a proto-abusive relationship with a couple only to shortly end a third relationship that had turned abusive as well.
My life was in tatters. Everything was messed up. My finances, my living situation. I was having trouble sleeping.
Nothing was working.
It would have been very sensible for you to look at me — to look at all of this — and conclude that the common denominator was me. That I was hopelessly dysfunctional. That there was no hope for me.
But instead, you saw my situation and concluded I was a trustworthy, kindhearted person who just didn’t know how to properly recognize and defend against manipulative people. You thought I needed to go to therapy to figure out those skills. (Which I did, at your suggestion.)
And you gave me a chance. You brought me into your life and trusted me. No one had ever trusted me like that.
But you made the snap decision that I was trustworthy. And that I would be worth it. Ten years later, you still trust me.
Anyway, I just wanted to say — thank you for giving me a chance. And I’m glad I didn’t let you down.