An open letter to rejection

Dear Rejection,

You fuckhead.  I love you.  You’ve made me feel broken for a long time.  Like I didn’t count.  Like I wasn’t good enough.  You’ve made me recede into myself and hide from the world for fear of seeing you again.  I hate you.  But I love you.  I never want to see you again.  I want to stab you in the eye socket until the knife point gets to your brain and it all squeezes out in a bloody finality.  I love you.  If I saw you right now, I wouldn’t run.  I’d grab you by the hair and smash your head into the brick wall that you made me build around my heart.  I’d laugh as you bled out and then I’d bend down and hold your hand as you stared up into the light, realizing that you were wrong all along.

But I love you.  You made me look at my life.  You made me think.  You made me feel.  And it’s only because of you that I’ll ever do anything of any value.

I want to take you for a hike in the mountains and when you’re not looking, push you off a cliff and watch as your desperate eyes stare up at me for the last time, right before your body explodes like a bloody water baloon.

It’s not revenge.  It’s just how I feel.  You are the teacher that I hate more than any other.  Your lesson is the double-edged sword bringing wisdom and self-loathing.  You made me abandon myself.  But what a gift–because I’m finally starting to realize the self you made me hate was never the real me.

You came like a thief in the night and took away everything.  But it turns out that everything was nothing.  You broke me open and forced me to look at the falsity of my life and my story, and the pain sent me scuttling toward truth.  For that, I can never repay you.

But still.  If you were knocking on my door in the middle of a frigid winter night, broken and battered–like I have felt–I would open the door without a smile, pour a bowl of ice water over your head, and close it again.  And I’d lock the deadbolt after.

You made me feel like my life was an apology, a frozen verb of perpetual error.  I lived like I needed redemption for some unknowable mistake.  I believed your story and made it my own.  A pulsing, terminal wound.  A black ooze in the center of my chest.

Fuck you you for the lost years, for the missed opportunities, for the confused motives that my life was about material gain and a finish line.  Fuck you for convincing me that I had to earn love.  Specifically, my own.

I owe you my whole life, my real life, and for that I would repay you with everything that you have given to me.  I would burn you true with the blowtorch of unworthiness and give you tissues soaked in battery acid to dry your tears.

You are my fuel.  The looks of contempt, the off-handed comments, the pretending-that-we-don’t-know-each-other-in-the-grocery-store, it all made me dig deeper.  Am I really this story?  Am I just a product of gossip and fearful thoughts?  No.  No I’m not.

Without you, I would have never discovered it.  If my story was a little nicer, I’d be an accountant and although I’d have a big TV and maybe a boat, I wouldn’t have me.

Rejection, you are the brutal result of reflection without compassion.  You mean well…wait, no you don’t.  You don’t care.  Fuck you.

I want to terrorize you and keep you up at night and make you shrink from yourself for the pain etched on my heart.  But I can’t.  I won’t.  Not because I’m above it, but because it will never work.  It will only seal you deeper into my soul.  So I’ll love you.  You have no heart so I will give you mine.  And when I feel you writhing inside, trying to trick me into believing your nonsense, to reject the person standing in front of me, the human being who only wants love, I will refuse you.  And I will accept them.  Despite your protests, I will accept them.

Rejection, you are an unexpected agent of evolution.  You can keep us trapped only so long, for the sparks of dissatisfaction you create will eventually ignite into a fire of purification that burns so bright even your stoney NO will submit to the flames.

You are the antithesis of love.  And look what you have done.  You have only created more of what you attempt to smother.  Your icy recoil eventually becomes my exuberant release and so I guess we’re partners, together ’til that final, perfect surrender some call the end and what I call the beginning.

Rejection.  You push so hard, so insistently upon our peace that we are going off the cliff, past the edge of the known, into the land of truth where you can never touch us.  Your stories of incapacity have no power here.  Here, where I can laugh at you, and where you may learn to laugh yourself.  Thank you Rejection, may you continue to bully yourself into the oblivion you truly deserve.









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