The purge

I was always a writer. I started scribbling in diaries before I could write. Now those old letters seem strangely reminiscent of hieroglyphics found in a dark cave. It doesn’t make sense to me anymore. It is not even me anymore.

I wrote my first book in grade school. I wrote for hours and hours a fictional story about a girls orphanage. It was a childhood dream of mine to give lonely little girls a home. I wrote a story about their struggles and how I saved them. Then my middle school self thought that it was stupid and threw it out. Then I began to write my story.

Almost 5 years ago, I became friends with my ex-boyfriend Brad on Facebook. I asked him for my old pictures back. He sent me a big stack of my pictures to my home address. These were childhood pictures too old to be on digital print. He wanted one thing in return, his diary back. When I was going out with Brad he was in the military and kept a diary while he was on a Navy ship.

I searched through my stack of old journals. I found the diary and started to read it. I was hoping to find a riveting piece of historical non-fiction. But instead found a romantic novel obsessing about me. It contained page after page of personal biography about my life, my family, and my struggles. There was no way I was going to give that back, so I threw it out. We were both happily married to other people. I thought it would be forgotten, but I thought wrong.

It was also at that time that I threw out all of my high school notes written back and forth between friends. My childhood wasn’t the happiest part of my life. I was afraid that my children (my oldest at the time was 13) would find them. I didn’t want them to see me. I didn’t want them to be like the teen me.

Those were hard days. It seemed like I was always searching for that glimmer of hope. I spent a long time in the dark grasping for light before I got out. Now it lingers behind me in another dimension like an abyss or black hole. I feel if I go back it will trap me and I will never be able to leave again. This weekend I felt a lot of sorrow where there should’ve been nostalgia. My demons were restless. 

So I purged away the old high school notes and Brad’s diary forever. Unfortunately, at the same time, I think I accidently threw out all of the letters that my mom sent me when she was in the hospital with my brother Matt. I feel very sad about that. But I don’t feel bad about Brad’s diary. Thankfully I kept all of my diaries.

There was a time (after I was dating a guy named Mac) when the words I wrote were powerful enough to almost destroy me. Mac found my diaries. Unbeknownst to me, he read them and tore out a few pages. He later tried to blackmail me with my own words. He threatened to send pages of my diary to my family members unless I took him back. It was terrifying, but I didn’t go back. Eventually he mailed the missing pages back to me. I certainly didn’t want something like that to happen again. I thought that Brad would move on with his life and forget all about it.

Then something happened, Brad’s wife passed away. Brad started contacting my mom asking if I was happy in my marriage because he still has feelings for me. It freaked my mom out and she warned me. A couple of months after that, I expressed sadness over the unexpected death of my neighbor. Brad sent me a message saying that he would be a shoulder to lean on.  

Then a month ago, Brad sent me a message asking for the diary back. I told him that I threw it out. I sent him a nice message saying how I hope that someday he will be happy again and how that has nothing to do with me. His future is not in the past. We haven’t dated since the early 1990’s when I was still in high school. 

Then this weekend my dad said that he received a long email from Brad stating that he was upset and hurt that I threw out the diary. He still has feelings for me. My dad said that his message was a little “off”. WTH?? I haven’t even seen him for over 20 years. Twenty years!! Two decades!! Why the hell is he bugging my parents about a stupid diary he wrote about me in 1992?? 

This is so insane that I can’t even believe that I am writing about this. Why does this craziness happen to me? Seriously, I wasn’t that great of a girlfriend. I am not even the same girl that I used to be. 

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