Open letter to Heather Gallagher aka CameraGirlSF, Urban Priestess of Burning Man
These are the messages I sent you in July-November
2016. I know you "don't have time and are not interested".
You could still read them - simply because I am asking you.
It will only take a few minutes, so please read on.
- July 2016
One year ago today was when we met. Happy anniversary! John
Well, is it happy? It has been a year of pain and pleasure. But, I still deeply care for you and love you, which is all that matters...
So yes, happy anniversary! XOX John
Please call me if you are still awake? X
[a few happy pics]
Just in case you don't quite remember who John is... :-)) X
Yes, silence can be more powerful and eloquent than words, but it can be and often is misinterpreted. It can be difficult to understand.
You know me, I need to understand... Please don't be silent. X
OK. Silence it is. I guess you are probably on your way to the airport now.
You taught me that my feelings and emotions are all in my own mind and should be under my full control. So my interpretation of the silence is that you have been too busy and/or tired getting ready to set off to Aruba to risk a potentially upsetting or emotionally taxing phone call or exchange of messages, and I must not read anything more into it. I hope I got this right.
If I am wrong, however, and I did upset or offend you back in July, please tell me, so that I can apologise and try to make amends. Hurting or offending you is something I would never ever want to do. Please do not let a careless word turn into an avalanche.
I actually did want to make sure this time, that any calls or messages would be neither upsetting nor taxing, but cheerful and happy, and brief if that is all you had time for. In fact, just a smiley in reply to my message on Sunday would have been enough to make me happy. Please, please, please write/call when you feel you can.
Good luck in the afternoon! 😗
Happy, upbeat and full of positive energy, that is how I felt ten days ago on the day of our anniversary.
I have had time to think since July and I have come a long way since then.
All I wanted now was to share my happiness and positivity with you and to reciprocate at least a small fraction of the love I have received from you over the past year. Maybe next time I feel like this you will let me do it.
Maybe ... and also I would still very much like you to call me or write to me if you want to do the same. John
Passive aggressive. Ghosting is the most cruel way to say no or to insult; the actual insults are left to the imagination. What have I done to deserve it? How long do you want to carry on with the silence? If you need time out, say so, and I will respect it. If you never ever want to talk to me or see me again, with immense pain, but I will respect that as well. Whatever the reason, an explanation, and perhaps some dialogue, would help me understand and find peace. John
What I wrote in my previous message is still true:
“Happy, upbeat and full of positive energy, that is how I felt ten days ago on the day of our anniversary. I have had time to think since July and I have come a long way since then. All I wanted now was to share my happiness and positivity with you and to reciprocate at least a small fraction of the love I have received from you over the past year. Maybe next time I feel like this you will let me do it. Maybe ... and also I would still very much like you to call me or write to me if you want to do the same.”
Your silence is killing me. XXX
The final monologue. Andrea told me not to send it, but I think I should, even though you probably will not even read this.
First a footnote re ghosting: "Try to be thankful that the relationship didn't go any further. That's because people who disappear without a trace are probably afraid of confrontation, are insecure, and have a lot of trouble articulating their feelings. In other words, you dodged a bullet, my friend. Know that if you were in a relationship and there was a problem, she would probably handle it in the same way." (Sussman)
A relationship, should it be romantic or 'just' a friendship, does not last because it is destined to by divine intervention. It lasts because two people decide to hold onto each other, fight for each other and work hard to make the relationship functional. I have tried hard, maybe too hard. Over the past year I put all my emotional energy and a great deal of time and effort into trying to make this work, while hurting those I love and risking everything I have. All in vain, it seems. I am now left with nothing.
I always hoped that if our relationship was ever to end, although I never really thought this would come to pass, we can part company as good friends who may be able to connect again in the future. You and Andrea have taken even this away from me. Still, I cannot hate you. I wish I could. It would make things so much easier. On the other hand, without hate at least there is the possibility for you to say "I am sorry, can we fix this?" if we ever cross paths again.
WhatsApp message I sent you this morning:
If you have to force it, leave it.
Perfect pony tails.
Let that shit go.
(@bjnherrin on IG)
I don't know if this was a coincidence or a message. In any case, I agree. There is, however, a fine line between working on something and forcing it.
For our relationship, letting go was exactly what I tried to do in July. That shit is gone.
For our friendship, if I let go of that too, there will be nothing left. I thought friendship was still possible. I am not trying to force anything, but a little work may be required to leave the baggage of everything else behind. This is what I was trying to do four weeks ago. This is all I am still trying to do now.
Also, letting things go is sometimes not possible without having closure. Silence and uncertainty deny closure.
If not even friendship is possible any more, I would like to know why. Then I will be able to let go. Hopefully let go in a way such that if we do happen to meet again we will still be able to give each other a hug. So please talk to me.
Since I don't know if you read my WhatsApp messages or delete them without reading, I thought I would also try and send an email copy.
I will be in SF, and would like to see you and talk to you.
Don't worry, I emphatically do not want any drama. Ideally, I would like to have a friendly chat and hopefully get answers to questions that have been bugging me for the past few months. However, if you don't think you can do this, we could simply do a bit of small talk instead, or we could also just spend some time together in silence.
In case you decide to call me before I turn up at your doorstep, my numbers are:
+xx xxxx xxxxxx
+xx xxxx xxxxxx
+x xxx xxx xxxx (I have managed to get the NY number re-activated)
You may call at any time, both at home and on my mobile.
It would have been good to discuss whether I should go for a week or just a few hours, or not go at all. Anyways, my flights are now booked:
Arrive SFO Thursday, 8th December 17:10
Depart SFO Saturday, 10th December 11:20
It would still be nice to know if you will be around, if you can make time to see me, whether I can stay at your place (on the couch) or have to book accommodation, if I need to rent a car, etc.
I look forward to seeing you (you know, I live in hope),
Thank you for your email - most helpful; and I am saying this without any sarcasm - it is helpful.
You ask me to leave you in peace. I promise straight away that I will respect your wish, if that is really what you want.
One thing *I* would like to ask you though, and I really hope you will grant me this. I would like to have a final exchange of messages, or preferably a phone call, so that I can explain what emotions I have been through since July, where I arrived by September, and where I am now. Only so that you too would understand me. At the moment you still do not. Your email was clear and I think, I at least now understand you. As I said in one of my last notes, this would not involve any drama, definitely not on my part. I am past that stage.
I am asking this so that we can part not with a bad taste in the mouth, but remembering the good times and leaving the door open to connect again maybe in a few years, or whenever. I know I am still open for this, and I really hope you too are.
I sincerely apologise for any upset my 'badgering' has caused over the past few weeks. All I was trying to do was to get through to you, and I am really sorry that you misinterpreted what I have been doing, be it the flowers or the notes.
P.S. Red roses... Purely because they did not have any white ones.
Having read the above I hope you agree that I did not do anything disrespectful or dishonourable,
and maybe, just maybe, you realise how wrong you and your counsel were.
If only you had read my messages instead of simply ignoring me, you probably would also have realised this at the time.
All that does not really matter now. Except...
Whether we like it or not, you will always remember me and I will always remember you.
The question now is how we will remember each other. You may not care much about what memories you have of me,
and I don't give a toss about what people, including you, think of me.
However, I do care about how I remember you.
This is not how I want to remember you.
24 November 2016