I’ve been meaning to write to you for a long time now, to explain how I feel, to divert your attention to me. For years now we have been partners to life’s journey, for better and for worse. Lately, so it feels to me, something hasn’t been going right. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one putting an effort into this relationship. It frustrates me, it weakens me, but you ignore it, you postpone this conversation that we need to have, you avoid me.
Everything I say in this letter I have tried to tell you in the past in countless ways, but I must not have said it clearly enough, or perhaps you weren’t listening. So please, take some time off, read this letter, and I can only hope that when you finish reading it, you’ll go back to being my wonderful, special beloved.
Our first years together were wonderful. You loved me, I loved you, we were happy. Then things started changing, slowly and gradually. I think the crunch came during that mountain trip we took together, when I felt trust between us had really reached rock bottom. You and I have always hated smoking. We hated the smell, the taste, the suffocation. But during that trip, while flirting with the guide, you thought you were making a big impression and lit a cigarette. I coughed, I spluttered, I nearly choked – but you carried on regardless. I was then that I’d realised you hadn’t been listening to me for a long time.
It carried on at Uni. You know I am all for studying and advancing yourself in life. I’ve tried to help you as best I could. I helped you study your material; breathed in deep with you before each and every exam; came up with creative ideas on your behalf. I even accepted plain sandwiches for lunch instead of real food. But sitting in front of the computer every night till 3am? You know I like you in bed at these hours.
Then you started working hard. Hard? Barely did we have the chance to grab a cup of coffee together in the morning, and you were out of the door, running to change the world. And us? What about the change that we need?! I swallow all your anger, frustration, negative emotions. And what do I get in return?
We wanted kids, so you fell pregnant. As always, I helped you as best I could (and I think I did a great job, by the way). But you carried on eating at ridiculous hours, you continued running around like crazy, you forgot all about me. I started communicating to you that I was finding it hard. You called it ‘psychosomatic’ and ignored me. After the birth, the baby became the centre of your world; I understand that, but you forgot all about me. No trips, no rest, no sleep, no laughing, no home-made food. Just work, nerves, stress. And I dropped hints; I swear I did. Thick ones. But you just carried on regardless.
I tell you I want to go to bed – you want to watch TV.
I tell you I’d like us to go for a walk on the beach – you’re surfing the ‘net.
I need a decent massage – you schedule another meeting.
I’m desperate for some good, simple soup – you give me biscuits.
My head is exploding – you ignore me. At most you tell me to take some paracetamol, you don’t even bother asking why it hurts.
I am exhausted – you tell me we must attend this office function.
And when we finally did something together – took out a gym membership – you demanded that we go every day and work out silly.
I don’t deserve this. And nor do you. I can’t go on like this.
My darling, I am begging you.
We’ve got a few more good years to spend together.
I want to be happy, to make you happy, to laugh, to love, to make love, to be healthy, to enjoy life.
I need you for that. And together we need to make a change.
Maybe you think it’s all lost, that I’ve grown too old, that the extra kilos will never disappear, that the knee pains will persist forever, that the chronic tiredness will never go. That’s not true.
Just give me the chance, I’ll show you how I go back to being young and happy.
And when I’m young and happy, you’ll be the happiest of them all.
I love you to the depths of my soul,
© Sharon Kamhi, Senior Shiatsu Therapist, Israel, 2007 (adapted from the original version)