• Jermaine Thomas, II

An Open Letter To You & Me

Updated: May 3

To you:

“Umph”

You said everything you needed to say. When you’ve known someone for ~21 years, you understand an amazing amount about them. You understand their silence, you understand their words, you understand their choices, motives.. and I could go on but you get the point.


I understood what lies beneath the, “umph”. Censure reeks through this “word”, that’s really not even a word, but a sound. I don’t think you understand how much that sound hurt me. To know that even after all this time... you haven’t changed. It hurts to know that I’ll never really be able to get what I need from a person in the position such as yours. It hurts that my happiness is causing such a rift between us.


Watching “The Photograph” really forced me to notice parallels in the film to my own life. Is this how you were treated by someone in your past? Did anyone teach you what true unconditional love really means? Do I know what true unconditional love really means? No matter what the root is, I have come to realize it’s not my fault nor my responsibility to repair it. 


I hope that one day, we will both understand what the definition of unconditional love is and how it applies to one another. But right now, that day seems so far away. It really kills me, because I thought we were closer to it than we are. However, when you’re far away from someone, words speak louder than actions. And that word. That word said everything you needed.


To me:

You deserve it. You deserve happiness, you deserve to love and be loved, you deserve to live freely. Why? Because you are a human being. And human beings are worthy of love and belonging. “WORTHY.” is what the tattoo says above your left knee, for times like this. Times where you feel denied, unaccepted, and completely depleted of value. Look at the tattoo. Understand the tattoo.


In other words, don’t blame yourself.  Don’t blame the way you were born. Don’t blame the things that make you feel whole & complete. Instead, take the lesson. Play with it, mold it, understand it deeply. That way, you won’t have to repeat the labor again in the future.


You are capable of love. A true agape love that surpasses the love that is being given to you. Being in tune with your emotions is your superpower. It doesn’t make you less of a man, it doesn’t make you less of a human being. It makes you, you. There is no one out there who contains your characteristics in the same form that you do. You are special and unique. 


Love yourself. Trust yourself. And when someone attempts to dim your light because it makes them uncomfortable, give them an “umph” and go about your day. You refuse to be demonized for demanding respect for your space, your person, your identity, and your experience. Remember, life is for the people that love you because of, and not in spite of.


Much to their chagrin, I love you.


Photo: CNN.com


Originally Published: February 16th, 2020

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