Letters Never Sent


Busy morning…psychiatrists actually calling back! Haven’t had a chance to get around to writing this…anyway…

Have you ever written a letter to someone and never sent it? I believe I have but possibly only once. It was under my therapist’s suggestion so I tried to write one to my mother. It didn’t make much sense–probably like this post. It was just spewing a lot of anger and venting but it lacked any sort of cohesive thought or flow–again, probably like this post.

I was thinking about this whole idea last night. I’m not sure why but maybe it was triggered by talking to “crazy psychiatrist” yesterday and the mere mention of non-biological father. We are not on speaking terms right now. It bothers PA, it hurts her, it angers her.

Then there are the “absentee friends” that she has blogged about. People that she simply can not rely upon. Two of which she is still awating calls from since she has been discharged! Hello! I was on the funny farm for two weeks! Now I’m home…would you care to speak to me please? And yes, these people know of mental illness. One has Unipolar Depression and ADD and the other, a rather transient form of Unipolar Depression, Cancer and she has tried to kill herself when the depression has been at its worst. So yes, they understand. And they have even visited me in hospital (well, during her first admission.) This bothers PA too. It hurts her but it does not anger her. Rather, it really confuses her.

So somehow she managed to get on this track about communication and not being able to communicate with people and voila! The whole idea of writing a letter to someone and never sending it. I suppose there could be many reasons why you would do this. Again, my example above as a type of journaling exercise. Perhaps you are upset, afraid, angry or are feeling that the letter will be too emotionally loaded so you really don’t want to send it due to the repercussions, perhaps you actually can’t reach the person in a physical sense (i.e. you don’t know where they are or do not have their address?), perhaps you can’t reach them in an emotional sense (i.e. you’ve had a falling out or again, they are not speaking to you), perhaps they are no longer alive. There might be more reasons but that’s about all I can come up with at the moment.

I think it’s very different to sit down and compose a letter. Like right now as I write this post. I can take the time to choose my words carefully, go back and edit, re-edit, if I don’t like something, I can easily change it. Not so easily done with a conversation. Once the words are out of your mouth it can be very hard to take them back. Sure, you can backpedal a bit or you can apologize but again, once the other person hears those words, they’ll stick. Mark “my words.”

So yes, I think I have a problem with this. I think I have a feeling that if I can’t actually speak (or even write) to the person then it’s just not worth it. If my words can’t actually reach them and make their intended impact then why bother. They are already in my head as thoughts; I don’t find or feel it therapeutic to actually put them down on paper. Maybe that’s another reason why I’ve never found journaling very helpful.

Perhaps I am wrong, however. PA is never afraid of admitting when she is wrong, absolutely not! Maybe she should get out some paper and a pen (black ink, remember *grin*) and start some letter writing to the people that aren’t talking to her–and maybe even the people that are–in her life.


  1. Hi PA

    Oof, this on struck a chord. I have a particularly useless friend, who, if I ring her will happily chat for hours, and if I go to her house, will be lovely and hospitable. But in terms of reciprocation, zilch. Over the course of this year, this has been increasingly pissing me off. I did stop caling her to see if she would call me, and two months passed. So what do I do? Tell her exactly how I feel, which I know will upset her (and she is pregnant and sensitive), or roll with it and accept that I will always make the running, which grates on me. The jury is out.

    I’ve come across the letter writing idea before, but like you, I don’t see the point unless I mail it. Hmmmm.

    I shall cross all available appendages on June 11th.

    B

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  2. Hi Beattie, thanks for the comment. Yes, I too don’t know what to do with the entire situation in my life as well. I understand (as I have blogged about it before) that I know that people are busy and I don’t expect constant attention–that is unrealistic–nonetheless, PA takes her friendships very seriously! And really…the extended absences really puzzle me when again, I, just as you, am always making the effort.

    And yes…time always passes before I call yet again.

    I’m such a mouse…I would never say to my friends that I know in real life how much this irks me. Actually, “irk” isn’t the correct word. Hurts me is probably better. Or maybe disappoints me. I fear losing them even though it already feels like there isn’t much there to begin with! I’m so afraid of pissing people off. I did just recently say something to someone online that I know and I’ve probably ticked them off quite a bit! I just feel I can’t win. To speak up about my feelings or to not?

    I feel like a terminal idiot. Oh well…

    I just had a peek at your blog and I am confused by your reference to June 11. You needn’t tell me what that means if you are not comfortable…I’m just curious…again, the terminal idiot doesn’t understand.

    Take care,
    PA

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  3. That was me wishing you luck for your appt!

    As to the above, I too feel disappointed. Maybe I place more importance on my friendships that some of my friends (I do have other friends who are good, and the relationship is well balanced).
    With the particular friend I’ve mentioned. I am NOT going to be the first to call. If and when she does call me (probaly when some crisis occurs and my shoulder is required for sobbing on) , and invariably says ‘I haven’t spoken to you for ages’ I shall be big and brave and say ‘thats because I haven’t rung you’. I will. I will I will I will.

    B

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  4. Oh Beattie, I told you I am the terminal idiot! I didn’t realize that was you wishing me luck! Duh.

    Well, you are better than me. You are all, “I will. I will. I will. I will.” I am all, “I forgive. I forgive. I forgive. I forgive.”

    I was thinking just last night after I read your response that I should ring up these two friends of mine and ask them just what the hell they have been doing and if they actually received my phone calls…(not in those words of course…no balls PA would never say that!) I don’t know. I am still torn and tired of making the overtures. All I ever hear from them is that, “Oh I am/have been so busy…” Well, yes, as stated above, I understand that but at the very least you/they could have returned my calls?

    *sigh*

    Tangent: Wow, what’s up with all the caterpillars (or is that an “inchworm?”) Yes, PA is outside right now. One cute little caterpillar was just crawling up her leg! A tiny little fuzzy one haha. I put him down so he could explore his natural habitat (i.e. not my leg!) Not to mention all of these other things are falling from the sky! Well a tree nearby. Poor MacBook! It’s going to need a professional cleaning soon. PA does take care of her things but can’t resist sitting outside with kitty and futzing around on the computer.

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  5. Amy

    I relate to so much of what you’re saying her and too much to list one by one!! I think the main issue I have is the confusing thing of having the people thnat WILL talk to you, treat you like crap and yet…there are people who treat you just as much like crap because they avoid or don’t talk to you at all!! I don’t know which is worse, if it’s some version of tough love or just stupidity, or just out-and-out rude and uncaring. I truly feel for you.

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  6. Hi, Amy, I find your comment very interesting. Have you been through a lot of situations where people have in fact treated you “like crap?” You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to or are uncomfortable.

    I don’t necessarily feel like I’m being treated like crap. I mean, I like these people very much and I really do care for them. The exchanges that I have had with them have always been very meaningful. That is why it becomes all the more puzzling to me.

    I don’t understand what the “motivation” is if you will or perhaps there simply is no motivation at all. But one thing or philosophy that I have always maintained is that “You Make Time For What Is Important.”

    Maybe I am just different. Well I know I am haha. But perhaps I have some different ideas and concepts about human relationships? I am very devoted to those that I care for and if you need or want PA–she’s there, no matter what. And if she can’t be, she’ll let you know and provide an honest explanation.

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  1. 1 Patient Anonymous: Just Another Head Case Pain And Anguish «

    […] I blogged about Writing Letters To People Who Will Never Read Them As Some Sort Of Therapeutic Exercise so today PA actually did this. She started it while she was waiting to ride the “Happy […]

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