Nineteen: Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad

Dear Anonymous,

I know that you will read this and realise it is for you. Your name is not on this letter as I wanted to respect you and allow you your privacy, even though sometimes you forget to respect me and do not allow me the privacy I need. You just want to be my friend, and I know that. But there is such a thing as trying too hard, and stepping over the line.

You are convinced that you know how I feel when you constantly pester me, but the truth is your annoyance and desperation of wanting to be my friend, creates certain emotions and feelings inside me that I do not want or require.

There are days where you push so hard that it hurts and overwhelms me. It breaks me down and it takes me days, sometimes weeks to build myself back up again. You make me hate myself for not being available to talk every hour of the day, and for treating you harshly. You put me in awkward situations by asking me questions about your abilities and your flaws. I know that deep down you know the answers because you often answer them yourself. I have no right to judge you, and tell you what you struggle with personally. That is for you, and you alone to discover and change. I cannot change you. You require so much from me, a lot more than I am prepared to give.

People are quick to say oh he just wants to be your friend, or don’t be so mean, he does not understand. But it is them that do not understand. I think they would feel the same if it was them being pestered.

But this has to stop. And it has to stop now.

You do not have to ask if I am okay every five minutes, and you do not have to talk to me twenty-four hours of the day, seven days a week. You do not need to know who I am out with on a night out, or what I am drinking, or how many men I have spoken to. I do not have to answer to you; you are not my parent. I do not require your permission to enjoy myself and I certainly do not require advice on who to be friends with. I am old enough to decide that for myself.

The hardest thing for me in this situation is trying to be myself when there is someone constantly trying to change me, someone who demands so much of my time and attention that it is difficult to be a friend, a sister and even a daughter. Nobody should have that hold over me, or indeed anybody else. I was not created to feel this way.

This is not a letter to get at you, to make you feel small or insignificant; this is me making a stand. This is me speaking out, asking to be respected. This is me wanting to believe that this will get better and that once again I can be the person my friends and family need me to be.

From Caroline.

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