A Letter To Valerie: No Regrets

Some of what is said here is true, some of it is likely less so. For the first time in a long while, I’m writing fiction – hopefully this is the start of a new project involving lesbian love letters and immortal magic…but we will see!

Dear Valerie,

It’s been a while. I hope you are going well, and that you are happy. I never meant you harm, and while I am so very sorry for some of the things that happened along the way, to both of us, I still have so much respect and love for you. In all truth, it destroyed me to have to do this. I made three attempts on my own life at various points. Many more days were spent in agony and fear. I actually hid the worst of the pain, even from you, in the beginning. But I have learned that to hold back and deny suffering doesn’t make it go away, it only makes it worse.

There are many things I regret, but actually, I don’t regret that I trusted you when I shouldn’t have. I don’t regret that because it meant that I was able to protect other people, I was hopefully able to help you grow, and I learned so many things. I wrote a poem a while ago that you never got a chance to read, which talked about how I was grateful for the lessons you taught me, but that I did not thank you for teaching me. I think I’m finally at a point where even that isn’t true anymore. I am grateful and thankful for you, and all the things you taught me.

Especially, you taught me that some women only respect strength, and you forced me to stand up for myself and be brave. Of all the things I regret, reporting you isn’t among them. I am so, so glad that everything is out in the open, and that I do not need to be afraid of what you may do in the future to me. So for making me go through that, I owe you one.

The scars are still here, but a wise dottore told me at the start that he thought many of my symptoms were likely an acute trauma response and that we’d have to wait and see if they stuck around after a resolution was made. I’m so glad that he was right. I’m doing so much better now. I still have the odd nightmare, the odd flashback or panic attack. But my days are filled with care from people who know me and support me for who I am. They don’t tell me that I’m a liar or call me a bad person. They just try and help me.

I do see the world differently now. I think I’ve finally realised that I can’t make everyone happy, and I can’t save everyone. I need to pick my people. You were always going to be one of my people though, and even if it almost killed me I’m really glad that I had the chance to know you, to love you and to turn you in and hopefully offer you a pathway to healing and redemption. Thank you very much for all of it, and feel free to send me a letter sometime if you like.

It’s okay,

Rose

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