Hi,

My questions about emailing were more about continuing this dialogue at all, not just through email. Know that some of the neutral tone I've inhabited in my past emails is absent in this one, as I am hurting and struggling to find language that expresses a truth that isn't sanded down. I had no intention of disappearing, I suppose in my silence I was implicitly agreeing to take a break while also feeling overwhelmed by having sent a generous check-in email. I reflected on the generosity I've been continuously extending to you, even when you've offered me so little recognition or empathy for anything I'm feeling. My generosity is reflective of my values, but I can see how affected I've been by hearing so many times how hard it is for you to reflect on having hurt me. You've put me in a position where, in order to keep a conversation going, I have to compartmentalize, submit to your feelings, and to care-take for you. It leaves no space for me, when the other person cannot tolerate their distress and makes their feelings my responsibility. Please reflect on how you've transferred your learned experiences of experiencing shame and pain onto me and our relationship. There is no place for my anger, nor any raw feelings. I, my patience, and heart, feel taken advantage of, wrung out, and used. You've witnessed my fragility and fatigue, asked me to give more generosity and more patience, but offered nothing to me. I do not feel understood or cared for, and have no desire to continue wringing out my trauma or sharing the gifts of my values with you. What I can offer in terms of 'helping you apologize to me' (which is what you're asking me to do), I already have, in these emails, the intimate parts of my life I've invited you to witness and live in with me, and throughout our entire relationship. I don't want to be asked (however tacitly) to take care of you when I'm the one asking for attentive support and help, and I resent being in a position where I need to prove that I deserve an apology.

Trying to put together a list of examples as per your ask made it even clearer how you lashing out at me, implicitly or explicitly denying my reality, transferring your trauma onto me, repeatedly undermining our shared attachment and then being unable to apologize or acknowledge it at all is a familiar sequence that I've experienced many times with you. A list of "hurtful things that happened" is not something I ever want to send to anyone, nor was it something I wanted to write out or revisit in that way. I healed from many of those scenarios alone and recall adjusting my expectations of you accordingly each time so we could safely remain in orbit. How these conversations are going asks me to do the same. Your inability to independently respect me and our relationship hurts. That you would send me an email repeatedly saying how painful it is for you and then end it with "your feelings don't cause me pain," absolutely hurts, and I find it deeply offensive. Please don't send me empty words, it's so hurtful. It is literally so painful to write this email because I no longer trust this process of repair and that realization brings me even farther away from you, a person I love.

If I were to understand your request for examples/scenarios in good faith, I would understand it as an extremely passive, perhaps unknowing, admission that your dissociation is more severe than you have words for, know, or can admit to, and that you truly cannot remember and functionally did not experience with me the many escalated and scary conflicts arguments that have happened between us. If there is a legitimately amnesiac quality to dissociation for you (I know several people who experience this), it would make sense, based on how disoriented and confused I feel about our shared relationship memories. If this is not true and you simply just don't have the skills to discern harmfulness, there's really no reality we share at all. I trust myself and know what I've experienced with you, and have spoken all that has needed speaking throughout our relationship. I have plenty of writing to ground me with what my experiences are. I've written no invisible contracts with you, and aside from that, the things that hurt me are pretty basic and shouldn't have to be specified. Regardless of how your dissociation functions, I don't think we should talk any further until you're able to move through that on and in your own time, do some accountability work, and figure out how to engage with my hurt without treating me like a neutral third-party someone. I am not just someone, I am not your therapist, I am not a dumping ground for other people's trauma. I am a real and unique and special person with my own trauma and circumstances, who has mindfully and specifically shared many intimate and romantic experiences with you and entrusted you with my openness.

I am a fan of your healing and I've meant everything I've sent to you in my previous emails as far as love, care, and value. Your wounds and pain are apparent to me and I’m incredibly sorry the people who hurt you cannot give you the apologies you need. That pain of yours is impacting me, and how I've felt as we've moved through this dialogue is not something I want to continue feeling. I would rather keep what joy and sweet memories we've had intact, continue to regard what items and objects of yours I have in view with love and kindness and adoration and be comforted by them, than try to force a process that isn't working right now, devastate my faith, and shatter my personal attachment to those pieces of my heart. Nothing is happening for me in this conversation except hurt, and there is no need to stretch out hurt. I do not wish that for me or for you. I know that pausing this will make it more possible for me to revisit this conversation or be approached by you in the future. Please understand that I aim to open up space for other things to flow with my request for a pause, and that I love you very much. I have no agenda for outcomes in our relationship, and since my greatest wish for you is that you feel safe and healed and supported, I will respect whatever brings you there. You are precious to me and I wish so terribly I could go to you. Alongside my pain I do continue to send my love, its tender dimensions, and care.

Clara