to my fiance:

i put a lot of thought into all of this you're seeing now, not because i want to cover my ass but because i love you and above all i want you to feel better. i want you to be excited for us to be together at home again, and i want you to have something to look at to know that i love you while i work on my own self, my behavior, and our relationship. the love we share together is truly the most important thing to my life and without it i have no idea where my life or future would go. i don't know how i would recover if i lost you or if i truly allowed resentment and arguments to erode our bond and our trust in each other. i am completely confident that if i lost you i would never meet someone that brings as much good to my life. you are worth more than the affection or attention of a hundred men, and none of it would make me feel as good as one day with you. i have faith in you, because you do your best, and i made a vow to trust in your love for me, but just like me, you need to be shown love and respect to be at ease, and above that, those are things you deserve on a human level. no one should be more focused on giving you that than me, though, because i made a promise to you that i would put you first and commit myself to you fully. it's no secret to either of us that i've succeeded in that in some aspects but failed majorly in others, especially recently, but i promised you things would change and i have grown a lot in understanding you over the past two months -- my understanding of you, your thought processes, and your needs. while this understanding is important, i know what i do with it is more important, and i want to start with this.

i'm so lonely without you. i hate when we don't talk because i know you're just as miserable as i am if not more. i don't fully understand how you feel right now because your emotions are not mine, but i do know you feel rejected, disrespected, and alone, along with many others. having felt these things before, i hate that you're feeling them right now, and especially that i had any hand in putting you through them. i know this isn't all about me, but it is in part about my feelings (as well as, largely, my actions) and one of those feelings is a feeling of emptiness without you even just when it comes to messaging. i think often about how i don't know what i would do if we were together longer ago and i had to spend ages on a train to leave you at home, multiple weeks of travel one way. i don't know how i would rely on only letters to communicate, knowing those letters would take so incredibly long to get there and back, and that i wouldn't be able to see you, touch you, or hear your voice. the few times we've gone more than a day without speaking are bad enough. everything in the world reminds me of you and i always want to tell you about it. even outside of that, all of our conversation is valuable to me and, like i always say, i feel like the perspective you offer on anything always shows me a new angle. you say you're not good with words but you have an incredible way of talking about things that you believe genuinely and with passion. it's engrossing and hypnotic to listen to. you also have a lot of insight on things i don't, whether that be life experiences, my behavior, or your own private thoughts and feelings, and i don't know where i would be without that insight. it has grown me as a person and taught me self-acceptance and given me a greater sense of responsibility than i had when we first met, and both of those things have been very important to my healing process.

i've said this before, but i'll say it again now. you do a wonderful job. nobody is perfect -- fuck, i know i've dropped the ball on you more than a few times -- but what's important is the effort and learning from your mistakes (which i see you do all the time) as well as celebrating the things you do get right, because there are a lot. distance is horrible for many reasons and we both have issues and i have behavioral problems that i will be fully accountable for now and forever but ultimately when we are together it will be easier. we have some problems. but every relationship out there does. it's a part of being in a human body with a human mind and human emotions. i can't blame you for hating that conflict because i hate it too. it's awful, it isn't fun for either of us, and it steals time away that we could spend being happy together instead. i do think it's healthy in some doses because i stand by my belief that our fights teach us a lot about each other and how we think and how we get when we're angry but the benefits stop when we're only "learning" our way into holes where we grow resentful of each other and project our own insecurities on the other person. i know i do this without meaning to, and i think everyone does every once in a while, but that doesn't mean it's constructive or right.

every word i've said here is nothing but the truth and is all straight from my heart, but the most important thing is that i'm sorry. i have reasons for my thoughts, feelings, and behavior, as do you, but no matter what those are i still accept fully that i have wounded you emotionally and made you feel incredibly alone and there is no verbal apology that can really encompass the scope of what you feel right now. i think in part that you're upset about things that stretch back longer than this particular conflict, and that's okay. those feelings have every right to exist. what isn't okay is what caused them, and that circles back in part to why i did this in the first place. i can't do much more than this until i come home, but there's no reason for you to wait with no feeling or evidence that i care enough to dedicate my time and energy to you for that long. i thought about it for a while in the car and at the store before i got to where i'm staying now and decided on three things. one was that i would make you this website to give you something visual that you could access more than once and soak in because i know that visuals are easy for you to process and that they feel good for you. it was going to be a bit more simple at first, but it evolved over time into what you see now because it made me feel good to express to you how i feel in this form -- it reminds me of what we used to do for each other when we were first ldr, among other reasons -- and because i wanted to give you a richer experience even if it meant that it would take longer to complete. initially the simplicity of it was appealing because i thought maybe getting it to you faster would mean that you would get to feel better faster, but as i sat with it more, i decided that since what you really wanted was something that was detailed and immersive even if it meant that you had to wait a little longer for it. it also doesn't fit the motive; i wanted to do something that would express my love for you, and my love for you is not simple or something i go through without thought.

the second is that i wanted to write you a letter. writing is something i'm good at that uses a form of communication that is esay for me and feels good for me, and i want to show you love my way as well as yours. i also can remember last year when i came back here and had to leave home for the first time one of the things that kept you feeling secure in my feelings for you was those letters i would write you in that special channel. i would probably do things like this more if i was in a better place mentally, which is just another reason for me to look inward and try to dissect my issues and resolve them for the sake of the relationship and for myself. i've been writing this since last night, and it only makes me miss you more, but i know more than anything you need to feel loved and even if i were to send you this letter on its own it wouldn't really be enough to show you that.

the third is that i wanted to draw you something. i tried to think for a while on what exactly to draw and decided i wanted to draw the fursona you designed for me with your secondlife avatar. i wanted the art to be about love and i also wanted to visually represent you in a way that would make you happy (plus it was really fun to draw him because i love the way he looks -- the fact that i got to stare at him the whole time i worked didn't hurt either). i know that you know i'm not particularly comfortable with drawing because i'm really insecure about my art, but i also have heard you for months when you've said the sentiment behind any gift you get from anyone, especially me, means far more than the quality of it. i had more fun than i expected! in addition to that, i think spending a couple hours on a drawing for you despite my insecurities surrounding visual art is a good start to getting into the habit of overcoming my other insecurities, especially in the context of our relationship. our relationship is ruled in many ways by how secure or insecure i feel at any given time about any given thing, and that has an impact on both of us. i am insecure about my appearance, my worth, my use to you, my place in the world, my intelligence, and in turn i'm also insecure about where i stand in your world. i don't know what you think of me when you're in the safety and privacy of your own heart and your mind. the only things i get to know from those places are the things you choose to share with me, and that relies in many ways on my own behavior. my own behavior makes me insecure, the insecurity makes me needy, the neediness makes me act out, and the acting out drives you to be distant because i hurt your feelings or trigger your own insecurity. you feel responsible for my well-being, and when you aren't able to meet vague (or impossible) needs you get upset with yourself and upset with the relationship, which i am extemely sensitive to, and that starts the cycle over. it spirals deeper every single time, but it really wouldn't need to begin in the first place if i could better regulate my emotions. in reflecting on it, i feel that we both need to continue doing what we're doing to provide for the other person, but we also both need to put that much focus (if not more) into bettering ourselves emotionally. i can't care for you well if i'm not well myself, and the same is true from your position. i also need to remember there's only so much we can do for each other and that i need to slow down my emotions and be appreciative of what you do give me, because there's a lot to that, and you need to remember the same because you need to respect yourself and also know your limits and be assertive of them. i will continue with therapy (hopefully we can still have some sessions together) and if all goes well you can start your own therapy within the next few months. things will be okay as long as we keep working together and put effort into ourselves at the same time.

once again, i'm really sorry i made you feel this way. i'm sorry you had to spend so much time feeling isolated and lonely. you deserve to feel loved, accepted, comforted, and you deserve a partner by your side who makes you feel all of that. i do not judge you, i have tremendous love for you, i accept everything about you, but i have done a poor job of showing you that recently in more ways than one. you are valid in your feelings and you deserve better than this. i have not given up on my three vows to you -- to do my best to learn and adhere to your needs, to trust in your love for me, and above all to never leave you behind -- but i know it's very hard to see that. conflict makes it really hard, but it's difficult even just by virtue of the fact that i am away from you now and that no matter where i am my thoughts and feelings can't be known to you unless i vocalize them. the same goes for my needs, but my actions are a major part of this as well because it can't all be about language or words. i'll be home in less than a week and we can spend christmas and the new year together with everything i'm bringing back. it'll be wonderful. i promise things will get easier. i don't know how you've managed to be as patient with me as you are, but i can't tell you how much it means to me, especially knowing how few other people would afford me that same patience. you treat me like family and protect me and that's what i want most. i want us to continue being a family.

i love you, and no matter what happens i won't give up on you. i hope you like the site, and i hope this letter makes you feel a little bit better. i miss you and i hope we can talk again soon. i'll be home before you know it. i can't wait.

with all the love in the world,
- your family