Counting: A Non-Fiction Piece on Ruru Reads

You can find the non-fiction piece referred to in this post here on Ruru Reads.

Non-fiction has always been terrifying to me. Writing already makes me feel so bare and vulnerable. Having this piece out there means so much to me, I can hardly explain it. With that said, it’s important to acknowledge that others might be affected by this piece in some way or have opinions. Feel free to email me about this if you must, but please do not discredit how it felt to me. Your truth might not match mine, but it is still my truth and experience.

To my ex-boyfriend who inspired the piece:

Know that I am not holding this grudge against you. We were young. I know I hurt you and, if you read this, then you know that you hurt me. The problem about our relationship was that we weren’t suited for each other. We also didn’t understand the complexity of each other and what we were together. I hope you’ve grown as a person, that you understand what you made me realize was wrong and that you showed me what I could or couldn’t bear. You taught me so much about myself and what I want in a relationship. You taught me to think about others’ happiness in addition to my own.

But bad things happened during our relationship, things that didn’t happen because of you or because of our relationship. It was not a good time for me. My mind was dark and my heart was broken and my life didn’t seem worth it. I wasn’t capable of handling a relationship while navigating my sadness and trying to adapt to my changing life after serious mental health challenges. Maybe, at another point of time, we could have tried to make it work. I don’t regret that it ended and I’m sure you’re much happier now with someone else, just as I am. I’m sorry I hurt you. I know you didn’t mean to hurt me, or to inspire such anger and resentment. We didn’t understand what we were doing or what was wrong. We were never meant to be.

To my high school classmates who didn’t understand why that relationship ended after so many were rooting for us:

The fear of disappointing you all stopped me from ending it sooner. The fact that so many people loved and cheered for this relationship made me feel like I was the villain, that I hurt this by who loved me so fiercely. The truth is that I didn’t feel loved, I felt like a piece to collect. This piece might shock you to know how I truly felt and you still might not understand what was so upsetting or what was wrong with what happened. I hope that you’ll eventually understand. I was a highly-visible minority and I felt the implications of that every single day. When it was highlighted even more, it hurt. I wanted to be more.

To other POC who faced similar circumstances:

I know it hurts. I wish we didn’t have to endure it. I wish it wasn’t so dehumanizing and belitting and painful. I wish we could be loved as individuals, that we didn’t have to realize that the person we loved treated our race and/or ethnicity as a commodity. It’s not a selling point on a person. It’s an identity, but not the only one that matters. I deserved to feel loved as a whole, not for pieces of me. We deserve that. Even if it’s not what they intended or they don’t realize what they’re doing, intent doesn’t erase the effect.