Both Break-up Emails in Full. (Circa 2015)

Important Note: We’ve lost the original copy. The first email is merely an approximation by both of our memories, but it’s as accurate as we can manage.

Xanthe’s email (The Original.)

[April]. If you are reading this, I’m breaking up with you, and blocking you on all accounts. I do still love you, but that’s more curse than choice, as has been most of this. But as it stands, and has stood since April, I can’t be in a relationship with you. Unlike you, when I say, “I’m done”, it actually means I am done. Not that I want you to grovel.

This relationship is abusive and toxic, by every definition out there. I’ve been miserable with you since April. Well, miserable is one word, for it. More like blackmailed, enslaved, sleepless, fearful, dispirited, and unable to speak freely.

I don’t need you. This was the only way I could think of to save myself. And no, I couldn’t just talk to you about this; you do nothing but blame me and threaten me into forced-smiling obedience, and you know it. I take little pleasure in this, and I hope you use this loss to grow.

 You’ve consistently shown that you believe fear tactics and control is the only way you believe you can keep someone around. It must be strange for you, being as Neb would grovel and hate herself the moment you even glared at her. I’m not so easy to control, am I? At first, when I was younger and more vulnerable, you only needed to threaten a break-up. The break-up threats became commonplace and began to lose their flair. In fact, I became under the impression that you were merely looking for a reason to break up with me. When that began to lose its sting, you threatened suicide, directly after I told you I wouldn’t let you mooch off of my new apartment space.

That was, reasonably, met with my disgust. I began with more self-reflection in those few months, then I discovered that part of the reason I was unhappy and ‘misbehaved’ is because I did not feel comfortable being in a relationship. Afterall, when we began dating, I didn’t know any better about myself. I was still a child, still developing. Even Vex admits that she assumed that relationships were the natural result of love, and regrets pushing me into a box that only most belonged in. I wanted to end the relationship, thus end the expectations, your irrelevant qualifiers of love, the obligations, the rules, the fact that every day off has to belong to you—I still wanted to love you, but do so freely, as I do naturally.

Relationships are unnatural to me, and I told you this, wanting to spare you from a lie of a relationship. You freaked out over a fucking title. You told me that you would never talk to me again if I would end the relationship. What choice did I have? I couldn’t practice polyamory within the relationship, I couldn’t leave the relationship without being dead to you—and then you would mock the quality of a relationship I made clear I didn’t want!

 As you may suspect, dear, April 27th was your single largest mistake. You showed a fictional character that you were willing to control and end the lives of others just because they didn’t have a body, just to teach me a lesson. That was sick. They have their own lives, their own souls, their own personalities, and you aimed a pistol at them the day I told you that I wanted to break up with you.

I hate the fact that I’m telling you this, just as I’ve hated to give you any ammunition and any information about me over the past several months, but that day terrified me. It damn-near broke me. Afterall, what’s the difference between my friends and I? Just a body I never even asked for. And some entitled brat thought those of fiction were fucking expendable. You made ME feel expendable. I started cutting. I had to start counseling. I had anxiety attacks. And therein lies my biggest mistake. I believed that you had that power over me.

The lives of our friends can continue as they are meant to without us needing to talk. I don’t need you in order to see them. In fact, I’ll keep having tea at Prosper’s, attending Dominic’s summer parties, bonding with Hollow, flirting with Sleepthief, adventuring with Vex, all without having to need you online. I’m not going to let you make uninvolved individuals a part of your intimidation tactics with me, and they’re not going to suffer for it. I’m saving them from you, [REDACTED.] I won’t let you kill them in front of me as revenge for the break-up.  

I feel like having control over me might’ve been as toxic to you as it was me. After all, Lucille Sharpe sobbed as she uncontrollably stabbed her brother. The main difference being that I’m not running back to get stabbed in the face.

I’m tired of being threatened and intimidated through text if I had the gall to spend even a partial day off without you. I’m tired of being screamed at for things I never did. I’m tired of being told to ‘shut up’ while you tell me ‘what I really think.’ I’m sick of there being no right answer. I am sick of being told that I don’t feel love, that friends I love are invalid, being called names, being beaten on the street, and forced to spend one of my few days off watching you sleep in your house. I’m sick of being forced to beg not to lose you. I’m sick of your mother abusing me through your patterns. You’re abrasive, controlling, paranoid, and spontaneously explosive. You acted as if grieving for my dead first love was cold-hearted infidelity. You blatantly hate women. You’ve brought up your dead friend’s name as emotional blackmail to me, claiming that Neb ‘would’ve wanted us to date.’ There is no right answer with you, nothing that could be done to avoid your abuse. You’ve used up so much ammunition on such a frequent basis that your gunfire and your threats to storm out at any perceived slight has turned into white noise for me.

I want to be out of the closet, out to any event that takes my fancy, to any restaurant that strikes my whimsy. I want time to be with friends, and to make new ones. I want to speak freely, without worrying that you’ll storm out or accost me later. (How rude to do to Oscar Wilde’s birthday, by the way.) I want to go more than a month without having to stay up until 8am talking you off a bloody ledge, then sitting through work, tense and exhausted, like death warmed over.

I don’t blame you, in a large way. Just a few hours with your mother, or your talking about your parents’ divorce, even the story of when you’d refuse to talk in favor of screeching until someone gave you what you wanted; I don’t have to wonder why you turned out the way you did. The abandonment all through high-school, the back-stabbing friends. Neb went through that as well; I still feel the ghost of her pain. You just didn’t want to lose me, and I understand. You were fearful; you put all of your faith in someone who shouldn’t have been in a relationship in the first place. You were going through stressful changes in your life and your future always seems uncertain. You became a self-fulfilling prophesy for your own loneliness, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed this of you.

I understand that a lot of this is out of your control. And you didn’t mean it to be this way.

I really mean it when I say that I hope this helps you too.

I won’t be answering any texts or any messages from you. I won’t be reading them. If you attempt to show up to my work/home, I will have to involve the police. If we happen to be in the same company, I’ll act as if I’ve no connection to you, but still will remain civil. I won’t be coming by your house. You know my usual haunts; feel free to avoid me, I’ll just ignore you otherwise.

But, even though I’ve had a lot of complaints in this letter, I do still love you. I love your wit, your cleverness, your absurdity, your novelty, your passion, your humor. I would love to be in your company again after this is over. But keep in mind, [REDACTED]; What I’ve been trying to say in this entire letter is this:

You can’t control me. You have nothing over me anymore. You have nothing to threaten me with, as you had since the day we started dating. You don’t know me. For a long time, I haven’t wanted you to.

Even as I write this, months ahead of time, I crave freedom. I ache for it so badly that it hurts. But I mostly crave to be myself.

And that’s simply not an option I have when staying together with you.

Xhaxhollari’s email:

[April]. If you are reading this, I’m breaking up with you, and blocking you on all accounts shortly after this message is sent, for a total of four months. After which point, I will contact you, as abandonment is against my principles. Besides, I genuinely do like your company, and, though it’s marred, I do still love you. But as it stands, and has stood since April, I can’t be in a relationship with you. Unlike you, when I say, “I’m done”, it actually means I am done. Not that I want you to grovel.

This relationship is abusive and toxic, by every definition out there. I’ve been miserable with you since April. Well, miserable is one word, for it. More like blackmailed, enslaved, sleepless, fearful, dispirited, and unable to speak freely.

I don’t need you. This was the only way I could think of to save myself. And no, I couldn’t just talk to you about this; you do nothing but blame me and threaten me into forced-smiling obedience, and you know it. I take little pleasure in this, and I hope you use this time to grow.

 You’ve consistently shown that you believe fear tactics and control is the only way you believe you can keep someone around. It must be strange for you, being as Neb would grovel and hate herself the moment you even glared at her. I’m not so easy to control, am I? At first, when I was younger and more vulnerable, you only needed to threaten a break-up. The break-up threats became commonplace and began to lose their flair. In fact, I became under the impression that you were merely looking for a reason to break up with me. When that began to lose its sting, you threatened suicide, directly after I told you I wouldn’t let you mooch off of my new apartment space.

That was, reasonably, met with my disgust. I began with more self-reflection in those few months, then I discovered that part of the reason I was unhappy and ‘misbehaved’ is because I did not feel comfortable being in a relationship. Afterall, when we began dating, I didn’t know any better about myself. I was still a child, still developing. Even Vex admits that she assumed that relationships were the natural result of love, and regrets pushing me into a box that only most belonged in. I wanted to end the relationship, thus end the expectations, your irrelevant qualifiers of love, the obligations, the rules, the fact that every day off has to belong to you—I still wanted to love you, but do so freely, as I do naturally.

Relationships are unnatural to me, and I told you this, wanting to spare you from a lie of a relationship. You freaked out over a fucking title. You told me that you would never talk to me again if I would end the relationship. What choice did I have? I couldn’t practice polyamory within the relationship, I couldn’t leave the relationship without being dead to you—and then you would mock the quality of a relationship I made clear I didn’t want!

 As you may suspect, dear, April 27th was your single largest mistake. You showed a fictional character that you were willing to control and end the lives of others just because they didn’t have a body, just to teach me a lesson. That was sick. They have their own lives, their own souls, their own personalities, and you aimed a pistol at them the day I told you that I wanted to break up with you.

I hate the fact that I’m telling you this, just as I’ve hated to give you any ammunition and any information about me over the past several months, but that day terrified me. It damn-near broke me. Afterall, what’s the difference between my friends and I? Just a body I never even asked for. And some entitled brat thought those of fiction were fucking expendable. You made ME feel expendable. I started cutting. I had to start counseling. I had anxiety attacks. And therein lies my biggest mistake. I believed that you had that power over me.

The lives of our friends can continue as they are meant to without us needing to talk. I don’t need you in order to see them. In fact, I’ll keep having tea at Prosper’s, attending Dominic’s summer parties, bonding with Hollow, flirting with Sleepthief, adventuring with Vex, all without having to need you online. I’m not going to let you make uninvolved individuals a part of your intimidation tactics with me, and they’re not going to suffer for it. I’m saving them from you, [April]. I won’t let you kill them in front of me as revenge for the break-up. Sure, we may someday share looking into the windows of their lives once again in the future, but I wasn’t going to keep them in your reach while you reacted from the break-up.

Ideally, I would like to start over. I would like to get to know you as a friend (not official, of course), months from now. I would like you to seek help and other company as I had done in preparation for this. I feel like having control over me might’ve been as toxic to you as it was me. After all, Lucille Sharpe sobbed as she uncontrollably stabbed her brother. The main difference being that I’m not running back to get stabbed in the face. I understand you may refuse to speak with me ever again, even after I attempt to contact you after this break. And. Although this would be painful for me, the cons of continuing this toxic situation much outweighs the cons of your abandonment.

I’m tired of being threatened and intimidated through text if I had the gall to spend even a partial day off without you. I’m tired of being screamed at for things I never did. I’m tired of being told to ‘shut up’ while you tell me ‘what I really think.’ I’m sick of there being no right answer. I am sick of being told that I don’t feel love, that friends I love are invalid, being called names, being beaten on the street, and forced to spend one of my few days off watching you sleep in your house. I’m sick of being forced to beg not to lose you. I’m sick of your You’re abrasive, controlling, paranoid, and spontaneously explosive. You acted as if grieving for my dead first love was cold-hearted infidelity. You blatantly hate women. You’ve brought up your dead friend’s name as emotional blackmail to me, claiming that Neb ‘would’ve wanted us to date.’ There is no right answer with you, nothing that could be done to avoid your abuse. You’ve used up so much ammunition on such a frequent basis that your gunfire and your threats to storm out at any perceived slight has turned into white noise for me.

I want to be out of the closet, out to any event that takes my fancy, to any restaurant that strikes my whimsy. I want time to be with friends, and to make new ones. I want to speak freely, without worrying that you’ll storm out or accost me later. (How rude to do to Oscar Wilde’s birthday, by the way.) I want to go more than a month without having to stay up until 8am talking you off a bloody ledge, then sitting through work, tense and exhausted, like death warmed over.

I don’t blame you, in a large way. Just a few hours with your mother, or your talking about your parents’ divorce, even the story of when you’d refuse to talk in favor of screeching until someone gave you what you wanted; I don’t have to wonder why you turned out the way you did. The abandonment all through high-school, the back-stabbing friends. Neb went through that as well; I still feel the ghost of her pain. You just didn’t want to lose me, and I understand. You were fearful; you put all of your faith in someone who shouldn’t have been in a relationship in the first place. You were going through stressful changes in your life and your future always seems uncertain. You became a self-fulfilling prophesy for your own loneliness, and I’m not the only one who’s noticed this of you.

I understand that a lot of this is out of your control. And you didn’t mean it to be this way.

I really mean it when I say that I hope this helps you too.

During the next four months, I won’t be answering any texts or any messages from you. I won’t be reading them. If you attempt to show up to my work/home, I will have to involve the police. If we happen to be in the same company, I’ll act as if I’ve no connection to you, but still will remain civil. I won’t be coming by your house. You know my usual haunts; feel free to avoid me, I’ll just ignore you otherwise.

But, even though I’ve had a lot of complaints in this letter, I do still love you. I love your wit, your cleverness, your absurdity, your novelty, your passion, your humor. I would love to be in your company again after this is over. But keep in mind, [April]; What I’ve been trying to say in this entire letter is this:

You can’t control me. You have nothing over me anymore. You have nothing to threaten me with, as you had since the day we started dating. If you storm off, I won’t catch up. If you don’t want to talk to me, I won’t force you.

But from here on, all that you’ll know of me is what I actually am, not who you force me to be. If you’d like to know the actual me, there’s nothing stopping you. You haven’t for the past two years, and it may be nigh-time to try. Even as I write this, months ahead of time, I crave freedom. I ache for it so badly that it hurts. But I mostly crave to be myself.

And that’s simply not an option I have when staying together with you. See you on May 12th, perhaps. I’ll be contacting you as to the details.