To the One Who Loves a Wildfire

I am not an easy person to love.

Because I am a wildfire.

Blackened and razed earth follows wherever I go. I am really not a good person to be with.

I’ve warned you for years that I’m a bad person. You always rebutted that I’m a good person. After much growing and reflection, I’ve settled on a kinder, more objective definition of myself; that I’m a person trying to be good but makes a lot of bad decisions.

I’m a complicated person to love.

My chaotic childhood, the traumas, and the compounded loneliness and isolation during the most formative period of my early development, all came together in this disastrous recipe to create the most broken, dysfunctional, and maladjusted human. And you, my polar opposite, who came from a completely different world – stability, love, and support – that is foreign to me, decided to give me refuge in your vast, vast heart.

When I met you nine years ago, almost a decade ago, you told me that your name means “heart as big as the ocean”. You’ve exceeded the aspirations of your name. I don’t think there’s anyone out there in this big, damn, scary world, who is as warm, gentle, understanding, kind, and patient as you.

I don’t think that it was just a happy accident that, despite the markedly different roads we traveled, our paths crossed when we were eighteen. I don’t believe in preordained outcomes and I certainly don’t believe in fate, but it’s not just a fortuitous circumstance that the person that I need the most willingly walked into my life.

With you, my healing began. With you, my new life began.

With you, I shed my old fears. With you, I have found a home. And a family. And healthy, wholesome love.

But why did you choose me?

While you are what I needed most, you are certainly not what I deserve.

Because I don’t deserve you and you deserve better.

I am not an easy person to love.

You found me at the hospital after I tried to kill myself. You’ve witnessed my numerous psychotic episodes and meltdowns. Too many times you’ve found me sequestered in my apartment, after ignoring your frantic messages and calls all day, broken, incoherently drunk, and physically hurt. You’ve mended me each time, tenderly and reassuringly, wiping my tears, taking away my liquor, and tucking me into bed. Each time, the sun rose again and everything went back to normal.

But my dear, I wish you hadn’t done those things.

I wish you had left me and found someone else.

I am fire and you are water and while you are the best person to contain my inferno, I am not the best person to nourish your flow.

I am a wildfire.

We’ve reached many breaking points in our relationship and each time, you reinvigorated your resolve to stay. For all these years, I wondered why you stuck with me, why you chose to be by my side, and why you love me.

Is it the laughs we shared? The adventures we’ve had? The quiet and intimate moments when my body just folded into yours and we just lay there, warm, happy, and in love? The pain we shared? My parents’ divorce. Your mother’s cancer. My beloved rabbit, who is buried in your yard. Those countless times when you held me, resolute and infinite, while I just cried and cried.

How do I say goodbye?

You saved me. You gave my life more meaning than anyone ever has.

With you, I actually lived.

Because if I haven’t met you, I’m sure I would have left this existence already.

Without you to keep me stable and grounded all these years, I never would have changed, I never would have the job I have now, I never would have reached stability and emotional equilibrium, and I never would have met the wonderful friends who enrich my life every day.

You saved me.

All these years I worked on myself, hoping to become the person you deserve to be with.

But how long do you have to wait?

I did not save you.

In fact, I broke you.

Because of me, you’ve experienced anxiety for the first time and many times. That first time when anxiety fell upon you, you described it as a feeling of doom – like a hollow pit in your stomach – and yes, I explained, that is anxiety. It killed me to explain this new sensation to you, one that you’ve never experienced before. One that thundered throughout my entire life. One that you’ve never experienced prior to meeting me. I’m slowly unraveling you and if this goes on, maybe there will be nothing left of you.

I cannot keep doing this to you anymore.

I know that this is our shared journey. That you have – despite my fervent assertions that you just don’t know any better and that you are afraid of change – decided, chosen, and elected to stay, to walk this journey with me and to love me, of your own volition. That maybe, perhaps, there’s something about me that makes you happy too. Somehow.

But I know there are many other women out there who can give you a better journey. One that isn’t scorched black by wildfires.

I have to let you go this time. This time, for real.

I think you know this too. We feel it. This feeling is palpable when you hold me and I can taste the loss and desperation in your hands when they stroke my face. The final goodbye.

I don’t want to lose you. But this is necessary.

Because I love you.

I’m sorry.

Please don’t forgive me.

I don’t deserve your kindness.

I don’t deserve your love.

Please be happy.