by Shania Pence
Recently, I got to spend a day with my mom going shopping and having a “Mother-Daughter Day.” Due to my school and work schedule, this has not been possible for months. But I was not with her. I was attached to my phone. Every notification pulled me away more. I hoped every single one was from my boyfriend, who is currently 1800 miles away and who I rarely get to talk to. Half of these notifications were not him, but once I saw them, I felt obligated to respond.
The next chance my family got to eat dinner together (which has not happened in months either), my mom made a comment about how the entire time we were out shopping and in the car, I was on my phone. I could tell she was upset.
Dear Those I’ve Ignored,
I know it is painful to feel like I am not there. I know how much I have grown attached to the stupid little device I constantly check. I know you feel like I would much rather be somewhere else, and as much as I hate to admit it, that is true. I get to see you in person. I cannot see him.
I understand that many of you are beginning to hate me and the fact that “I am not present,” but know that a major part of my happiness is gone. And I have settled for his texts and phone calls that seem to go by in seconds when really it has been an hour. I value these because they are rare. Time differences and schedules that do not allow for easy communication make him a top priority when those moments arise that we do have a chance to talk.
As much as I hate how attached I’ve gotten to my phone, it has become the only way I can instantly communicate with him. I cannot stop by and say hi whenever I have a bad day (there have been plenty of those).
I’m sorry I ignore you. I’m sorry I do not seem like I care about you. I’m sorry that this is hard for me, and I do not want to leave my room. I just have a hard time communicating how I feel about the distance and showing you how difficult it actually is.
I don’t think you understand that he is a major part of how I stay sane and get up in the morning. I know he is wanting me to succeed and wants to see me happy, but I still struggle. I struggle to get up and go to school. I struggle to get up and drive by his house every Tuesday and Thursday morning on my way to class. I struggle to sit in the office where we got to know each other almost every day. I struggle to focus in class or to do homework. I struggle to not break down and cry. I wince when people ask how he is doing.
I have caught myself on multiple occasions looking at plane tickets or wishing I can drive until I reach where he is when I’m driving home. I remind myself that I am needed here, yet I wonder, what good am I if my mind isn’t even present? That part of me is somewhere else.
I wake up to nightmares of being tortured or of one of us being killed, and we can’t do anything to stop it. I wake up to dreams of watching movies on the couch and falling asleep in his arms. No matter if it’s a nightmare or a dream I don’t want to wake up from, I miss him even more.
I start the day missing him. Every day begins with wanting to tell him what my unconscious mind was thinking, but I can’t. I can’t just call him up when I have a nightmare that he’s dead. I can’t just drive over to where he is to make sure he is alright. I value his time and what he is doing too much to pull him away from where he needs to be.
Please be patient. Please be understanding. Please be kind. I am a walking water spicket about to break. I can burst into tears at any moment and I need you to not call me a baby or useless.
A girl in a long distance relationship
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