Almost 3 months ago Cait wrote this post about her 15-year dance with S and how it finally needed to come to a complete end. Thankfully, time and contemplation have helped a lot with that in the past 12 weeks. Those things helped me, too, and the other day I finally found myself in the right space to write S a letter. It could have been from the standpoint of Cait alone but I felt that would have been rather intense for Cait to write and for S to read. It could have been from the standpoint of Mica, S’s name for us now that she and I know that Cait and I are separate and yet not so separate, but I felt that wasn’t quite right either. In the end I knew the best way to write was strictly from me, Michelle, although Cait contributed to the letter in thought.
I’m sorry it’s taken so long to write this letter. Part of it has been busy life and part of it needing some space—I think we both needed that.
It’s a complicated relationship we have, you and me/ us. The fact that Cait was in front for so long and there was a romantic relationship twice when she was in front makes it so tough for you and me/us. The multiplicity and how it affects things is something I have to live with on a daily basis, of course, but I feel bad that it’s affected you in such painful ways. Obviously I can’t apologize for being multiple but I’m sorry for how crazy things have gotten at times. Especially since September things just haven’t been the greatest for you and me/us. I know it’s been painful for you and it’s been painful for Cait and me.
Cait will always love you and miss you in a way and that’s how things got out of hand at the beginning of March. To be honest, I think there were things both you and I/us could have done differently that day. Cait and I both knew better than for her to go see you just for her sake. Not that I don’t want to see you, of course, don’t ever think that! But Cait wanted to see you, even hoped something, anything could come of seeing you that day. That wasn’t fair to you at all. It became less fair when she took off my wedding ring and even less fair when she decided to go hang out with you at your house. She, Gloria and I owe you an apology for that and I hope you’ll accept it.
I’m not sure how much you were smoking on average around the time we saw each other that day and it really doesn’t even matter. I think it’s possible that you may have been apprehensive about what was happening or might happen that day and you were possibly smoking more than you might have otherwise. Even that doesn’t matter. What does matter to me is that you were smoking a cigarette every 10 to 15 minutes about 5 feet away from me in a fairly small room in an apartment that was already full of smoke. It only took a handful of cigarettes before I started feeling so sick. Even as I took phenergan and stayed put on your bed, I knew it was the toxins that were making me ill. (See how much Cait wanted to hang out with you?) And even as I felt sicker, you kept smoking and also wanted me to come back into the apartment after I’d been outside for awhile.
Because you smoke and are in the smoke all the time, I’m not sure you realize how awful the smoke can be. And spraying air freshener or lighting incense does nothing to get rid of the smoke; it only briefly covers up the present odor. Cigarette smoke does make some people sick, sometimes quite ill. Being around cigarette smoke has always made me feel sick to some degree. In March we got to see how bad it can get. I didn’t want you or Jackie to be offended when I didn’t come back into the apartment that day and I didn’t eat her sandwich but there was no way that could have happened. As it was, it took over 5 hours at Mom & Dad’s before I was at all able for Mom to take me home, about half of that time spent motionless on the couch so I wouldn’t continually throw up. I had bouts of nausea for over a month. Now imagine how much I worry about you, inhaling and being immersed in those toxins constantly.
I hope you can understand how I believe we both could have made different choices that day. That said, you’re my friend. I care about you very much! I want things to be okay between us, we just have to figure out how to make that work. I know on my end there will be some occasional dancing around emotions that Cait has. But I also know I don’t want to completely lose you as a friend. We’ve been through so much in the past 24 years. Soooo much! As I’ve thought about things these past 11+ weeks, I’ve realized that I’m not entirely sure how we will keep making a friendship work, because of our past. It’s so damn complicated. Throwing K into the mix makes it even more complicated because to me she’s a daughter and she’s a definite link to times when Cait was in front and in a relationship with you. It’s just all very complicated and I’m not always sure how to make it work. All I know is that I love you to pieces and I want to work around all this STUFF.
Again, I’m sorry it took so long to write this, but I think it came when the time was right. I hope you’re doing better after being in the hospital. I felt like I had partly to do with that when I found out you were there. But I also honestly feel we needed some time apart. If anything, I had to make sure you didn’t get hurt again by me speaking to you in anger or frustration or by Cait saying things she couldn’t back up since she’s part of my system and has to live with me/us and not just by her own will. No matter what, you are very much loved! We want the best for you. If that includes me/us, fantastic. (Just remember you get the package deal, haha!)
I sent the letter a couple days ago so we’ll see how it turns out. Sometimes I worry there’s nothing left to keep a friendship going with S. I really hope that’s not the case.