Dear Beloved S.,
Once upon a time, a couple of ducks were waiting patiently for their new baby ducks (ducklings) to hatch out of their eggs. Although all of the eggs looked the same, when they hatched, one specific duckling looked very different than all of the others. Yes, the other ducklings weren’t identical, but this duckling was very different. His neck was weirdly longer, his legs were weirdly darker, and even the color of his feathers was weirdly unusual. The mother and father ducks were so surprised, but they did their best to love him just like any other of their ducklings. The other ducklings, however, weren’t so nice to him. They never stopped making fun of him and avoiding him, and they called him “the ugly duckling”. As they grew up, our duckling tried his best to fit in by trying to act and look like like all of the normal ducklings. But despite all of his efforts, he never succeeded. The more he grew up the more obvious the differences became. He didn’t look like the others, didn’t walk or swim like them, and he didn’t sound like them. He always hated himself for being an outcast.
One day the ducks were swimming in their pond when a flock of swans approached. It was the first time for the ducks to see swans ever. They watched them very carefully to see how they would swim and eat. They admired them a lot. When they got closer, the ducklings were shocked. They realized, for the first time, why their odd “ugly duckling” was so odd. They couldn’t believe it at first, but the similarities were undeniable. Their brother was not a duck at all, he was actually a swan! His egg might have been mixed up by mistake and ended up in the ducks’ nest, but he was never a duck. Our ugly duckling was the last to realize what everyone had already found out, but he was the happiest as he was finally relieved to have found his family of swans. He left off with them, and he was never known as an ugly duck any more, rather a lost swan. He lived happily ever after.
This was the story of “the ugly duckling” -written in my own style. It’s very famous in western culture and we hear it a lot as kids. The point of the story, obviously, is to embrace our differences and love who we are regardless of what others think. Also, to accept other people’s differences and love them for who they are exactly how they are.
The ugly duckling’s story is mostly a sad one that makes you feel sorry for the fellow till he finally discovers who he was and finds peace. It has a happy ending. In real life, however, happy endings are very rare. There are multiple ways this doesn’t end up very well in real life: The ducks may have never met the swans and the poor guy would have lived and died in as an outcast; Even if he had found the swans, it might have been too late for he might not be able to recover ever from the years of rejection and maltreatment;
Or worse: he might have been trying so hard to be a duck for years that he ended up being something that’s neither a duck nor a swan: a freak. He would then fail to fit in with the swans as well, and realize that he doesn’t belong anywhere. That he has no home …
Beloved S., when I met you, I expected you not to be very accepting of who I am -just like everyone else. But you surprised me. You were one of a very very few number of people I’ve met who would accept me for who I am and love me just the way I am. You might think that lots of people accept me and love me, but I disagree for 2 main reasons:
1- Very few people know who I really am. The people who seem to accept me only know a part of me that I show them and they accept only that part. Therefore they don’t accept the real me. Whenever they see other parts of me, they back off and that acceptance suddenly seems to vanish, so I stop showing them anything else other than what they would accept.
2- Lots of people claim to accept and love everyone, but it’s nothing but empty statements. Their actions seem to disagree with their claims. Love and acceptance are very easily said, but very difficultly practiced. It requires great courage and effort to really love and accept, with actions, those who are different than us. Because loving and accepting those who are similar to us is nothing other than loving and accepting ourselves in them. Actions can include but are not limited to: listening carefully without judging, trying to be more understanding, and accepting their presence in our lives the way they are.
You are different because of those 2 very reasons. I showed you parts of myself I have never showed anyone before and you know more about me than anyone has ever known, yet you’ve always kept me around and never freaked out. You became home to me when I felt I have no home. For that, I’ll always remain in debt to you for showing me love that no one else has.
Last night I showed you and told you about a part of me that is one of the darkest of all. I appreciate how difficult it was for you to learn that and how shocking it must have been. I don’t regret telling you about it because since the beginning I’ve been committed to be nothing but honest with you. E.g. I told you about my believes faster than I have ever told any Egyptian friend, because I had decided to be truthful regardless of the consequences. And, honestly, every time I revealed more of me, I was expecting you would leave, but you never did and you never disappointed. And then I fell in love for the first time in my life.
Being in love with you means to me that you need to know me even better and learn more and more about me. You need to know who the person that is insanely in love with you is, and how it would taste like to live with him forever. I could never accept to deceive you or pretend to be someone I’m not to try and unrightfully win you, to only have you figure out after it was too late. Love is honest and it’s not selfish. My choice has always been and will always be to rather be open with you and risk being rejected than to trick you into loving someone I’m not. Therefore, I never regret telling you anything.
Maybe the timing wasn’t very well to tell you what I told you, but I need to note that it’s one of the most difficult things a person can reveal about himself. You may not remember, but I’ve always been implying that I would tell you private stuff about me when the right time comes. So I’ve always been planning to tell you, but I was waiting for the right time. Maybe I was waiting for you to learn more about my moral code and my ethics, to trust how much I respect people and their right to ownership of their bodies, so that by the time I tell you this you would have trust that it’s something that I’d never let hurt anyone. Maybe I was waiting till you learn more about how much I love people that I’d never willingly hurt anyone even if it would save my life.
I think the reason I told you yesterday without thinking much about the timing was because I was so upset at myself for hurting you that I wanted to punish myself. Not wise I know, but it was out of pure unselfish love towards you.
I was so shocked because I never thought I would ever hurt you, even if in that way which you later said was fine and not that bad. It was a very bad misunderstanding from me of the situation. It seemed to me that you would enjoy that as much as I would. Yet, I wish you remember how hesitant I was and that I was very gentle at the beginning and didn’t become less gentle except when you seemed to ask for it multiple times. I’m not making any excuses, I’m just trying to explain why I never meant to hurt you, why I never thought you would get hurt, and that the situation didn’t get out of control or anything, just that I genuinely thought it was what you really would love.
S., please I’m asking you for a chance to show you how this doesn’t define who I am. To prove that it is nothing but a small part of me that was shaped by factors I couldn’t control. That what I can control is how hard I work on myself to grow in love and respect to everyone. S., I know how shocking this must have been to you, but it doesn’t change how much I love you and cherish you. I’m asking for a chance for this to be among the things that have been forgiven and forgotten. You know very well that I did lots of bad things to you that you have just told me you no longer remember. This is of course because of your sweet loving heart. The same heart that wanted to make sure I was feeling ok last night even when you were feeling very bad. The same heart that is so worried now that I would hurt myself. The same heart that knows very well that I don’t repeat my mistakes. So please, try to find it in that heart to give me a chance to not repeat this ever again and show you my pure core.
S., I’m the same person who’s madly in love with you. Who would die before he lets anything bad happen to you. I’m the same person who tries to love you with everything he is and has.
And the effect of your love in my life is too big to be affected by such a small difference. The love that changed me entirely like nothing before. The love that makes me for the first time go to hospitals with someone to support her. That makes me for the first time try to bring her anything she sets her eyes on. That makes me for the first time wash dishes for her to keep her comfortable.That makes me for the first time cook for her when she’s tired. That makes me for the first time more concerned about her medicine than she is. That makes me for the first time leave work whenever possible to do or bring something for her. That makes me for the first time not disgusted from things she uses with her mouth. That makes me for the first time hate myself so badly when I hurt her. That makes me for the first time make sure that her vase is never empty from flowers that make her eyes shine. That makes me for the first time dream about her every night. That makes me for the first time totally crazy about her laugh and smile. That makes me for the first time write letters like this. That makes me for the first time want to spend all of my time and life with her. That makes me for the first time see no one except her even in public places. That makes me for the first time try and get the same virus she has to share her pain. That makes me for the first time full with jealousy about her safety and wellbeing. That makes me for the first time think all of the time about how to make her the happiest person in the world.
I know I’m not perfect, and you know very well that no one is. You realized that I was different since you first saw me, but you only realized the extent of my difference when you got to know me more, and the more you know me the more you realize it more. My difference may not be as attractive as it used to seem from the beginning, and I’d argue that nothing is attractive as it seems from a distance. Everything, my difference included, has both the good and bad. Maybe the way I think makes me both the person who doesn’t share your believes, but also the person who never stops trying to be very very good and kind. Maybe my moodiness takes me down sometimes, but also makes me very passionate about love. Maybe my sensitivity makes me weak, but also makes me try to be very gentle with others. Maybe my curiosity makes me disagree with you on many topics, but also makes me the person who can be very helpful when needed. Maybe my childhood deformities and maltreatment make me weird, but they also make me always want to remove suffering from children and people. Maybe my different view of the world scares you sometimes, but it also touches your heart at other times. I hope you can only have the good and not the bad, but I don’t know if that’s possible.
Maybe I’m not an ugly duckling after all. Maybe I’m not even a lost swan. All I am is a weak person who has been through lots of shit and wants to help make this world a better place.
Please don’t let go on me just yet.
I love you more than anything or anyone I’ve ever loved even myself!