the caged bird sings.

written, designed, and edited by Bee Butler

When Rose-Colored Glasses Hid Red Flags.

Bee ButlerComment

Note: This letter was written on February 13, 2016. That's more than two years ago, and you can clearly see that the end had come and gone and I was drowning, desperately trying to push myself to the surface. 

Most of you know my ex. I'm not using his name because I don't want to drag him through the mud, but I get seriously harsh in this open letter because I was so sick and tired of so many things. There were good times, and there were times so horrible that I had mini-relapses and self harm issues again. It was a mess.


Two years ago, and boom, I was right. Back in Texas with Mommy just like you always said I would be. I guess you DO know everything. If you read this, please remember where it's coming from. I loved you more than I had ever loved anyone in my life, and you broke my heart. Please take these lessons so you don't do the same to anyone else.

LAST NOTE: This was originally titled, "If God Really Loves Me, You'll Never Read This", but God loved me enough to get me back home to start over and truly get well. It's just too bad that I'm actually having to post this. I always prayed that I wouldn't have to, that we would stay together, but no. Not anymore. I don't owe you any more apologies and I have every right to tell the truth about what happened, so here we go.



Since February 3rd of last year, you've had a grudge against me that you haven't been able to drop. Honestly, if I was in your shoes, I don't know what I would've done. I think the biggest thing is that I was a broken mess in a treatment center who had spent the better part of two months shining up the decent parts of me to keep around the man who was crazy enough to follow me out of a bar I never should've been in and somehow get him to love me.

I am everything you dislike. I'm loud, I'm a pushy, overbearing Democrat whose liberalism borders on socialist, trying my hardest from behind the keyboard to elect someone you think is a nutjob. I clash with your friends and some of them have been pretty damn vocal about you getting rid of me. I'm not as driven or hard-working as you would like me to be, and honestly, I wish I was better about that, too. I continued to kick a dead horse for years because I felt like the only worthwhile thing I'd ever done was sing in Hollywood, and it went from being something you valued in me (my voice) to something you hated so much that you basically spat it in my face (bringing up the shows). You're gung-ho for guns and I not only hate them, I fear them and myself around them. I'm a coward and you like to face things head on. You've cut back, increased, ceased, cut back, and then just said fuck it with your drinking because whenever I do all you can remember is February and September in Texas. All night I've been sitting here debating grabbing some wine while I watch movies, but I know that even though you've been an absolute shithead tonight (staying out so late you won't even be home for Valentine's Day) you'd immediately turn the whole thing around and blame me if you saw a wine glass or smelled any alcohol on my breath. Your lack of communication, transparency, shadiness (oh how the tables have turned, no?) would all suddenly be because I'm a worthless alcoholic that you can't bear to be around.

This is getting nasty and that wasn't my intention. I'm trying to phrase this all in a way that gets my point and frustration across without losing your focus because you're so pissed you just want to throw my stuff out on the curb. 

I've been dreading this stupid holiday for months, because you blew off our anniversary so spectacularly that I cried into my pillow for weeks and asked my mom to buy me a plane ticket. She refused to, rightly asserting that I would change my mind, and then asked me to stop talking to her about it. I won't let myself believe that you're going to do something good for this big day because I cannot take another disappointment. I want some goddamn flowers. They're five. fucking. dollars. at Walmart. Ten at Home Depot. You walk past them every single time you go there to buy tools you don't absolutely need (but yell at me for buying makeup brushes). I know you make infinitely more money than I could ever hope for and I'm stupid for wasting what meager penance I get for straightening things up at "Jew Mart", but I'm only making that meager money so that I can fight out and finish college, so that I can get a job that means something to me. Hopefully I'll make enough money from that to buy every damn thing I want and more, but to hear you talk, I'll never graduate. I've fucked up in schooling and had to press pause too many times because I've been sick, both physically and in the head, but I'm doing it. I've yelled at you about not understanding because you dropped out, but you turn it around and say you had no need for it and I just don't get it. Fuck.

I'm trying so very hard to be civil. I'm just so angry at you, at me, at this, at us, at whatever the fuck we are right now. Our hearts aren't in this. It feels like you checked out a long time ago.  We used to talk. We used to have fun.[sexual content redacted].

I wish you still took meds. I wish I hadn't changed so many of mine. I think I honestly just like the idea of you being somewhat even-keeled instead of so explosive or blah. I miss being happy. I miss feeling loved. I think I miss what I thought we were, and not what we really were. I'm sure I'm hyping up my memories and I'm just sentimental about the grander version of the truth, but it hurts just the same.

(I just checked my phone to see where you were, and what do you know? Still in Irvine at the same place you were nearly two hours ago when I asked you why you hadn't let me know you'd be gone all night. Greek's tired my ass. You're not going to get home until after midnight and I'm just not doing this. I'm about to go get your stupid present that you probably won't even like, slap a note on it, and throw it in front of the door so you'll have to kick past it when you get home. Maybe you'd get it then. I doubt it, but goddamn, maybe)

That's another thing. I've always been really spiritual. It kept my head on straight sometimes and kept me from blowing it off the rest of the time. You, on the other hand... I can't put my finger on it. I really can't. You used to want me to do devotionals with you, and now you get visibly angry if I've got a Bible out. I want that to be a part of my life. I can't give that up for you. I already have, though. Far more than I can excuse. Your mom and sister have explained to me that Catholicism is very different in terms of outward displays of worship and sovereignty, but I still don't get it.

That, too. Fuck. You act like you're being crucified every single time I mention that I've spoken to anyone and your name has come up. Good or bad, you look like you want to deck me, because how dare anyone speak your name without you present? Are you fucking kidding me? That is so childish and pathetic I can barely stand to talk about it. You cannot stop people from discussing you. Especially your family with a person you once expressed to them that you loved. People talk about people in their lives. Often it's a good thing, because it strengthens the bond between them and the person asking questions. Your mom and sister reached out to me on multiple occasions and asked me questions about us and about you. I really wanted their advice, because they've known you infinitely longer than I have. And instead of being grateful that I was trying to do something good for us, you shit your pants over it.

Again, that was hateful. Not my intention. I need to calm down. I'm just so mad at you right now. Why can't you just come home? Do you hate me that much? Tyler and Greek can go fuck themselves right now. Neither one of them likes or approves of me and they've both said and done things that would appear to be attempts at convincing you to leave or cheat, and I hate them so much for that. They're both shitty human beings and I think deep down you know that. They're both blowhard dicks with overinflated egos. If you said that, it would just be you being honest. Because I said it, I'm not being fair and I'm horrible for talking down about your friends (even though you do the same to mine all the time) and I'm disrespecting you.

That. Disrespect? Disrespect is continuing to blow smoke in my face even though I have quite literally begged you to stop. Whether or not you think it is funny has no bearing. You don't get to choose what offends or bothers me. If I tell you it does, then it does. If you had even a modicum of respect for me, you would stop. But you don't. You have never had any respect for me. Part of me can't blame you, but the piece of me that wishes you could just be a decent person sometimes cannot fathom why you so blatantly ignore my requests for things like that. Open the door for me once in awhile without acting like it's a chore or inconvenient. In case you weren't aware (although you most certainly are because I have told you and it could easily be googled), when you ride in a car, the female sits up front. It's from the same class of rules as the whole "napkin in your lap" thing that you swear is gospel. Why should I follow your rules when you don't follow mine? I hate being tickled. I can't breathe and it makes me claustrophobic and PTSD-ish and anxious and it actually physically hurts (again, if I say it hurts me, it is not at your discretion to disagree, because that is not something you can or ever will be able to judge. You have no idea what I feel like), and yet you continue to do it, often as a punishment. That's just fucked up. Seriously. 

The horrific balance of power in this relationship sits firmly on your side. I mentioned yesterday that I would be homeless if we broke up and you laughed in a way that seemed mocking. Yeah, we get it. You have everything and I have nothing. You could put me back on a plane to my mommy and I would be royally fucked and you would be just fine. I would lose everything I care about out here where I've fought so hard to be, and your life would be virtually the same, if not better.

God, do you even realize how wrong that is? That you not only KNOW you could ruin my life at the drop of a hat, but you gloat about it and dangle it over my head when you're angry?

You know what? This started out as a way to tell you all the things that are bothering me, but I don't believe that you can change anymore. You might have been able to at one point, but you're almost 30. Your life revolves around you, you, you, all of the time, no matter who gets hurt in the process. You are incredibly selfish and act like all I do is inconvenience you in every way, when in reality I do your laundry, set out your clothes EVERY TIME YOU GET DRESSED, turn on your shower, do what I'm told (even when I protest), go where you ask and never get to choose, and I keep things pretty peaceful with your parents, who at this point pity me enough that it's palpable when I walk in the room. Your mom and dad have both asked me if I'm okay lately and I've lied and said yes, but they're not stupid.

I'm sure that if you're still reading, you believe that I deserve this. I loved you so much and I made some huge mistakes, and you said you forgave me and would forget, but honestly, I don't think you ever did either. It's like I'm dating you with the ghost of my past as a buffer between us. This isn't a relationship anymore. It's a huge mess. I'm not who you want. I never was, really. And you aren't who I thought you were in the beginning. Every day that passes has brought out something else that you or I push under the rug and pretend to be okay with, but this isn't working. At all. I don't want this to be over, because I cannot live with that. I've often told you that I would die if we broke up. I've told my mom the only way I'm going back to Texas is in a body bag. I've even told you I felt suicidal, but I cannot do that over this. I've got a long list of reasons why I should end my life, but this can't be one of them. I can't imagine my life if this stops, but I know there would be one. Somehow.

I don't ever want to see that day, though. I want us to be okay. I want to fix things. I want to be happy. I want you to try. I WANT YOU TO TRY. I've shouted that at you and instead of doing it, you've thrown it back in my face and told me I needed to "be good". I am not a two year old and you are not my parent. I know you hate it when I say that, but even you know that it's very true and any outsider could see that you often treat me like you are.

I feel like crying.
Last night when we watched that movie I told you I was crying because I just wanted what they had. That was mostly true, but the biggest reason I cried was because I don't believe I will ever have that with you, and if I stay, that means I will never have that at all. My mom is so happy. I just want someone who loves me. Someone who WANTS to buy me flowers. Someone I don't have to beg to hold me. Someone who outwardly tries to make me feel good. Someone who can give without receiving. You are not that man. You could be, but right now, you're not.

I'm crying while I write this, because that sentence is the worst thing I've ever said. Another failed relationship in the books. Losing Zach was horrible, but this is so much more unbearable. If you'd let me talk to you about things like that sometimes, you would understand me so much better. You don't listen anymore. 

I've lost the ability to tell how much of this is my fault. I know I need to take blame. I know I need to say sorry. I have. I will. I'm sorry, Ross. I am. This isn't what I wanted, for you or for me. I only ever wanted to love you. I don't know if I can if you don't try to change. No, I KNOW that I can't if you DON'T change. You don't get to get away with "trying" anymore.

It's 10:47, and I still haven't had a drop of alcohol, because I don't need it. I can get through this shitty night on my own. It would seem you've finally left the mall in Irvine (or whatever that was), but you're in San Clemente, at Tyler's complex, 40 minutes away. You might actually make it back before midnight. I don't care anymore. My level of complacency has skyrocketed over the last five minutes. I just can't care. I can't exert all this angry energy because I know it won't do anything. I'll never have the guts or the chutzpah to break up with you, so when you dump me I'll just slink away and act like it was all your idea, when in reality, I've been trying to convince myself to make it happen for months.

I don't want this to be over, but I want this part to be over.

Listen to this song, then come talk to me. 
I don't want to hear anything from you until you listen to it. I've been playing it on repeat the entire time I've been writing, and it hurts so much.

Just, fuck.

It wasn't supposed to be this way.
I don't hate you. Don't want to fight you. You know I'll always love you, but right now, I just don't like you.

Which to Bury, Us Or The Hatchet? 
by Relient K