An Open Letter To Platonic Guy Friends

An Open Letter To Platonic Guy Friends

Thank you for letting me be one of the guys.

Dear friends,

First of all, I have a generic thank you to give you that I would say to anyone who is my friend and who has stuck by my side. I appreciate your friendship and your support, and I know that I am not always the easiest to stay friends with. I am needy, I quadruple text, and I sometimes need reassurance that you actually care. So thank you for sticking by me, for being around when I need you and for loving me.

But I have a lot more to say to you, my platonic male friends. First of all, thank you for teaching me guy things and for letting me be "one of the bros" sometimes. You've talked sports with me and you haven't let me win because I'm a girl - so thank you extra for that. You've answered my awkward, honest questions about being a guy, and you've helped me when I've had drama with past crushes and boyfriends because you can see the situation from a male point of view. And you've taken my periodic girlishness with humor, and you've laughed even when you had no idea what I was talking about.

Even more, thank you for respecting our friendship. Thank you for accepting that it is a friendship (or for ensuring that I accept that it is just a friendship) and for being happy with that and for not pressuring me for anything else. Thank you for letting me sleep on your shoulder sometimes, and thank you for giving me hugs when my day has not been the best at all, and thank you for allowing these things as just part of our friendship - I notice and greatly appreciate it.

Thank you for going on adventures with me, introducing me to different music and driving all over the state of Georgia with me just because. Thank you for taking me to movies that I never would have seen on my own and for forcing me into hobbies that I actually really do like. Thank you for debating topics with me that I don't know about (sometimes, I don't know everything - this is an official admission!) and for teaching me things about it then.

Thank you for defending me against people who have hurt me or would hurt me, for ensuring I understand how important my own independence is and for giving me the most honest advice in everything in my life. Thank you for being another brother (one that is simultaneously more and less annoying than the ones I have) and for including me in your stories and your life but without nearly all the drama.

I appreciate you for being my friend, but for being a special kind of friend - a friend I can be completely myself with because you can understand, support and respect me. Thank you for everything!



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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.


When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

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Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

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Batter Up

Because someone needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat a woman.


I have this memory from when I was younger,

I must have been six, maybe seven? An age

When you can remember, but not quite

Understand. I remember the landline

Ringing sometime in the middle

Of the night in my grandmother's small,

But adequate house. I had been sleeping,

Tucked under a shield of satin covers,

My grandmother next to me, blanketless,

And stiff, on the very edge of the queen mattress

Like she was anticipating some sort of disaster.

It wasn't the phone that pulled me from my sleep,

It was my grandmother's instant jerk, her eyes

Flipping open quicker than a light switch,

The mattress springing back up, adjusting

To the new lightness as she fled the room. My waking

Was soft like a song. Slow and humane.

My eyes adjusting to the dark, my ears absorbing the ringing,

My mind reminding itself that I was at my grandmother's house.

Then, the ringing stopped;

Abrupt, like a disarmed fire alarm.

It was just a drill, I thought.

But, then I heard the mumbling

From behind the door, panicked mumbling.

Rapid, like gunfire. My grandmother's Rs

Rolling down the hallway and under the door crack.

She only spoke Spanish when she was angry.

The call ended, my grandmother returned to the room,

Wrapped me in a blanket, and carried me into the night.

She buckled me into the backseat of her Toyota and said,

We were going to Auntie Mandy's house because someone

Needed to teach her rotten boyfriend a lesson about how to treat

A woman.

When we arrived at the house, we found the front door

Wide open, the house lights spilling out onto the porch.

A truck, I had seen once before, was parked a foot away

From the front door, aggressive. The truck had trampled

Over the dandelions and daisies, which lay wounded

In the front yard. A scene that begged for investigation.

My grandmother told me to stay put in my seat.

I watched as she walked to the back of the car, her normally pretty

Face turned straight, looked masculine. I watched as she pulled

Something wooden out of her trunk, then in her feline walk,

Approached the house. She turned to me, and I saw the

Baseball bat, immense in her female hands.

I slouched in my seat, the window above my head.

I never saw her go into the house.

I don't remember how long I sat,

Until the red and blue lights came.

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