An Open Letter on Behalf of Myself

by rheeb

I was not created to listen to your problems.  I am not meant to take on your burdens.  I am not your assistant, nor am I your therapist.  I am not your cook, your spouse, your best friend.  I am not some “thing” to throw your shit on.  I am not your mother.  I am not your maid.  I am not your caretaker.

Your opinions of me are empty, because you do not know me.  You don’t know what I think.  You don’t know what I like and dislike, and even if you did know those things, you don’t care enough to really understand.  I do not want your unsolicited advice.  I do not care how you feel in terms of me.  I do not give one fuck if my being the way that I am offends you in any way.  I am not here for you.  I do not belong to you.  I am not a possession.  I am not your mirror.

I have spent most of my days, sadly, berating myself because of you all.  I have learned how to hurt myself with skill.  I can call myself names a million times harsher than anything you can imagine.

I am a wordsmith.

I can hate myself more than you could possibly hate me if you were given centuries.


I wake up most days dreading the thought of having to eat anything.  Every aspect of food is horror to me.  I have been trained to believe that my body is worthless and disgusting.  I have been trained to believe that I am not worthy of love because of it.  So I bend over backwards to make your lives easier.  I do a shitload of unnecessary things–things you are more than capable of doing–just so I can find some value in your eyes.  I listen to you ramble on and on about your problems–in many cases, problems that directly affect me–and I’m there for you.  I hate that.  Fuck you.

I am never going to have Zoe Saldana’s body.  I will never naturally be three inches taller.  I will never ever be 115 pounds.  I will never have a dancer’s body.  I am short.  I am round.  And why does that make me unworthy?  Why does that make me ugly and unlovable?  Why does that say I am useless, a plaything, a nothing?  Does it mean that the words I write have no value?  Does it mean that the tears I cry are nothing?  Does it mean that all of my dreams are stupid and never going to happen–because I’m short and round?

And maybe, in some way, that is why I lavish my love on short round girls, with paunchy bellies, stretch-marked skin.  With soft chins and dimpled skin.  Short too, enough for me to kiss without using my toes.  Short and round rocks my world.  And I see so much value in them…so much love.  Oh, how they deserve to be loved!  How their bodies deserve to be caressed!  But I don’t see that in me.  I see darkness and horror.  I see “potential,” hoping against all hope that one day, I will be thin so that I will be worthy–so that I will be worthy enough to finally be human.

I see now why people jump off of bridges.  Why not just throw yourself into the sea if you have no value?  Why not just eliminate the problem?  For me, all of my life, I have believed my body, my home in this world, to be a problem.  The problem worth eliminating by any means necessary.  Do you know how hard it is to be a walking talking problem?  To have your “problem” out there for the world to see?  To always be given suggestions to eliminate your “problem”…to eliminate you.  To be berated for you…to be hated for you…to be ashamed of you.

I realize that I have not been kind to myself by being overly kind to all of you.  Like I said in the beginning of this letter, I am not here for you.  I am not less worthy than you are.  You do not matter more than me because you have a smaller body.  I do not “owe” you anything because of who I am.  I don’t need to pay penance to you!  I don’t need to beg you for life.  I don’t need to grasp to your ankles, screaming for mercy–the mercy to be human and to be loved.  Fuck all of you.  Fuck you all.

I imagine myself alone and at peace.  Away from you bloodsucking, self-centered leeches who demand that I be at your beck and call.  I am not for you!

So now, I am going on a walk with myself to figure out why I have been unkind to me by being kind to all of you.  I think I’ll have a wonderful conversation for once.

Fuck you all,