A Letter to My Ghost (ii)

Dear Abby,

I’ve been dreaming about you more often nowadays. On a session with my therapist last week, I asked her about my dreams. “Does it have anything to do with the state of the relationship?” I asked. “I’m not a specialist in analyzing dreams but this is for a general outlook. The dream focuses on you and what you’re feeling. The figure in your dream doesn’t really matter. It’s not about them.”

Interesting, right? So I asked her again, “So some months ago, after a long time, I dreamed about my ex-boyfriend. It had been so long since I last dreamed about him. He was standing on a vast sunflower field, his back was facing me. Then he walked away, I tried to stop him but my feet were glued. Then he disappeared. Does that mean… I don’t know… memories about him are gonna be finally erased from my head? I was so scared about that, I woke up crying. Sobbing real hard. He meant so much.” My therapist looked at me sympathetically, “So you dreamed about your ex-boyfriend, but it wasn’t about you and him or your relationship. The figure is actually the manifestation of the feelings you were having at that time. What feelings do you associate with your ex-boyfriend?” My mind wandered but not too long, “To me he’s the embodiment of warmth, fresh warm waffle — like comfort food you know, he’s the embodiment of peace and contentedness.” My therapist smiled at me, “So those were the feelings that you experienced at that moment. It’s about you.”

Dear Abby,

Do you know how relieved I was when she said that? You can still live in my head.

Dear Abby,

My mother finally knew that I’ve been going to both psychologist and psychiatrist regularly. She cried. She apologized with her eyes wet, but why did nothing change in me? I wasn’t healed. I was still in pain. There was no burden lifted from my shoulders. I felt… nothing. I thought with her knowing what her actions caused me, everything would feel lighter. Maybe it’s time for me to accept that healing actually means managing the pain, instead of not having it.

Dear Abby,

I recently talked with my mutual on Twitter. She was making a passion project for her zine and she asked me about love — in general. It’s been four years but I still think of you. I didn’t even think about myself.

Dear Abby,

You know, when I saw her list of questions I thought to myself, ah, this should be easy come on! I was once in a relationship for 12 years, these questions are nothing! Initially, I was THAT cocky. After answering the questions, I cried. A lot. She had only three questions but it took me an hour to answer it.

Dear Abby,

Let’s play. Let’s think carefully and answer her questions. So, to you, what is love? Now that I’m thinking, this is so unfair, both of us will never know each other’s answers! Ugh. Anyway, here’s my answer:
To me, love is that fleeting moment that makes you think everything is somehow possible for some time. If I was hungry, I think of love as the smell of freshly cooked pancakes. If I was down, I think of love as the smell of the rain. Sometimes it’s as real as the gravity, as vivid as metal. Often, love came out from the arrival gate, face tired but still rocking his plain white t-shirt and dark denim. Often, love didn’t want to hold hands in public because of his partner’s sweaty palms. Often, love drove while staring at his partner, just because. Often, love cried from nightmares and he’d ask for his partner to comfort him.

I couldn’t continue. I stopped typing, re-evaluated my breath pace and move on to the next question.

Dear Abby,

Question no.2 shall we? To you, what are the good things in loving somebody? I don’t want to lie, this question made me tear up suddenly but I came up with the shortest answer I could possibly make.

Loving somebody made me realize that most of the loneliest nights only exist in my head.

Dear Abby,

Here comes the last question. Any downside in loving somebody? For this question, I thought long and hard. I could’ve just said to her that I’d like to skip this question but I didn’t. I guess I too, wanted to know the answer. I ended telling her this…

I think the downside of loving somebody is if you haven’t figured out who you are, the relationship could drain you, it could spread you thin and you might lose everything… even yourself.

I fell in love with someone nice and kind when I was still very young. I had not found out who I was. I was not THAT aware of who I was, who I could become, and who I would become. But like I said, love is like a fleeting moment. I guess I got caught in a moment and turned out… being in love just means that I felt comfortable with him, that’s why I liked him and the moments we had together. 10 years later, we became full-grown adults who complaint a lot about the world, who carry a lot of baggages of our own, and there was finally a moment when we outgrew the precious bond that we had.

Realizing that we outgrew the relationship was a long and painful nightmare. We fooled ourselves. We really thought we’d grow side by side turned out we grew inward, our hands stabbed each other in the back. Finally realizing that we changed, that the younger versions of us were obsolete broke us. So I think it’s important to always make sure that you have resolved your own mess before committing to a relationship.

Dear Abby,

Let’s meet again in dreams, but this time, let’s face each other. We’re better than this, don’t you think?

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