A letter to those I’ve been intimate with

And I don’t just mean sex, though I will touch on that subject.

When someone says “intimate”; people’s minds tend to wander into the bedroom (or kitchen counter, if that’s your thing). But there’s different levels of intimacy. It can be a friendship, a lover, a spouse, a confidante. It isn’t only about sex. That’s were people get confused. They have the idea in their mind that in order to be “intimate” that you must be physically involved with someone. What a fallacy, my dears. Letting someone into your emotional world and your heart is far more intimate than letting someone into your body. It’s also riskier, and scarier. But if you find the right people to let in; you’re a better person for it.

To those I have allowed into my heart, my soul, my emotions, and my life, this is for you.

To my friends who have gone because of my illness. I’m sorry. I’m not sorry for being sick, and my apology isn’t one that’s coming from guilt. I’m sorry that you didn’t stay long enough to realize that I am a valuable person. I’m sorry that you let your fear, lack of education, and selfishness get in the way of a friendship that would have likely lasted until we ceased to be. I’m sorry that your lack of understanding took from you the benefit of knowing someone like me.

To my friends that have stayed: Thank you. Thank you for putting in the time it takes to genuinely know someone. And not just someone with a chronic illness, but the person behind it. So often, people are taken at face value that we don’t look at their hearts. If we looked at souls instead of faces, the world would be much more beautiful. You took the time to see my soul. Your time is invaluable, and you chose to give it to me. I’m forever grateful for your part in my story.

To my family: One of you stands out more than any other. No matter what my life has brought, you have never faltered on your love and your attention. You have smiled with me on my happiest of days. You have held my umbrella in the rain when I was too tired. You have been the first face I’ve seen when I woke up from surgery, and the last before I was wheeled back. You have always loved me, even when I wasn’t very lovable. You are the true core of my heart; and I am so beyond blessed to have you. To the rest of my family, I wish I’d been worth more to you. But that is your cross, not mine.

To previous partners: Thank you for the time you gave me out of your life. I know that you can never get that time back, and I’m glad to have had a place in your life. For whatever reason, we parted ways. Most of you didn’t know that I was sick, and I want you all to know that I have no ill regard towards any of you.

To one specific past partner: THANK YOU!!!! When I first got my diagnosis, not only did you support me, but you stayed with me to go to the hospital for my first surgery. You were there when I woke up, you kissed my forehead. I remember smiling and telling you thank you for being there. You repaid my affection by letting me know I had bad breath; but you made me laugh. You have always been and will likely always be my favorite “past”. To this day you are kind to me, you support me in my life, and you randomly text me to let me know you’re thinking of me. You met me at a pretty rough spot in my life, and now, nearly 20 years later, you are one of my dearest friends. You have been through so much with me, both good and bad, and you’ve never left my side for a minute. I’m thankful you were there in the beginning, through the middle, and I’m thankful you’re with me still. You are the true meaning of a friend, and I got you, boo :)

To Dawson: You have shown me the purest love out of almost anyone. You have never asked me for anything more than my friendship. You’ve never pulled any jerk moves. From silly games we played, to adventures in the park, to random sleepovers- you have always been my best friend. You’ve carried so much for me when I couldn’t carry it on my own. You’ve literally held my hand through some of my darkest hours. People like you are so rare. You’re the diamonds. And I’m happy to have you in my life.

To my ex-husband: You, sir, are the mask wearer. Knowing what you knew and making the choices you did surrounding me and my illness makes you nothing less than selfish. You did fine for a while, but when it got bad, you were nowhere to be found. You weren’t there when it mattered. But, I digress. Thank you. Thank you for letting me go. It was the greatest gift I’ve ever received. You don’t realize that by trying to ruin me that you gave me myself back; and she’s far more than you deserve.

For those I was “intimate” with, I’m not quite sure what to say. I’m sorry it hurt, I’m sorry I was shy or scared. Thank some of you for being patient and understanding. For a girl who has lived through a chronic illness for 20 years, sex has always been taboo. It hasn’t always been something that I’ve been fond of in my past, for various reasons. And for the most part, I’ve been fortunate in having understanding partners physically.

  • *This is for the gentlemen*

If you’re with a girl who’s ill with a chronic illness; you really need to be patient in the sexy-time area. While we would absolutely love to have the clothes ripped, clawed shoulders and sweaty sex; sometimes we just cannot do that. Your girl is worth more than that prize you see between her legs. And if you cannot see anything other than that, and your soul focus is merely sex- you need to let her go. I can guarantee you that whatever you’re holding in your pants isn’t worth the trouble of sacrificing our health and mental health to obtain. Have some respect, treat your girl with respect, and understand that this is not an obligation, and if she can’t….no means no. Don’t get mad at her. Don’t make her feel like she’s not performing her duties. Don’t guilt her. Run her a bath instead or watch her favorite show with her. Read to her. Leave her alone if that’s what she needs. She is a person, not a toy.

To her: You. I would not be who I am today without you. You are my heart. My compass. My anchor. I love you beyond measure and no distance can change that fact.

And to you: Thank you. My life is better with you in it.

Life with a chronic illness is not something I would wish on anyone. There is little empathy due to a lack of understanding. And it’s not that people don’t have a hard time understanding; it’s that they seldom try to. When you’re at a museum admiring art, which do you notice? The ones that are less appealing because you have to use your own interpretation and spend time on it, or the ones that draw you in because they’re pretty?

Art isn’t suppose to be pretty; it’s suppose to make you feel something. And to feel something you have to look past what you see.

We are art.

Intimacy does not only mean sex. It means I give you a part of myself, my being, my soul, and my heart. If you are not interested in any of those things, then I’m not interested in you.

I don’t care if you think I’m pretty. I don’t care if you’re drawn to me because of my looks. Interpret me. Take the time to read me. You may be surprised at what I have inside me to offer you. If I trust you enough to let you close enough to be intimate with me, know that you have a great value to me. But, please allow me to have the same value.

The fact that we protect ourselves so much as humans is rather depressing. Especially for people like us spoonies that are so use to people leaving that we have 6 walls instead of 4. 4 to allow them to break down, and two to protect us.

If you’re not willing to look past my face, I have no use for you. My goal in life is not to appeal to you from the outside, it’s to make you feel something. And if you’re not willing to offer me the same opportunity, you can save me the time and pop your own fucking balloon.