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Mental Health

Not Your Queen: An Open Letter for Those Who Think They Can Author My Life

I don’t have a great history with relationships. I never have. From the elementary school “boyfriend” who told me he’d dump me if I beat him in a game of red rover to my most recent unspoken relationship.


Chances are, if we talk regularly, this isn’t about you. You can continue to read if you’d like or safely retreat back to where you didn’t know how angry I am at so many people.


But if you clicked on this thinking it’s about you, I suggest you keep reading. It might give you an idea as to why I’ve chosen to block and ignore you. I picked that title for a reason.


An old acquaintance of mine contacted me last year through some mutual friends. I knew him for a year during middle school. I hadn’t talked to him for seven years after that.


But he showed up lavishing praise and worship towards me within seconds of me responding. I was on guard. I didn’t want someone to call me beautiful, sweet, nice or kind. 


Yes, you. You mentioned how kind-hearted I was. How I’d never done anything to belittle you. How I’d been your first love. How you still thought about how I was doing. You insisted that you knew me, that I was the exact same as you’d left me, sitting high on a paper mache throne in your childhood, just “waiting” for you to come back to me.


I hadn’t changed, not in any way that mattered.


Yes, I was beautiful and wholesome and sweet and kind.


Seven years hadn’t changed me. I’d simply waited like a broken doll with my paper crown and waited.


You were wrong.


Sure, I started out on the same path after you’d left. I went to the same school, had the same lunch code. Same cell phone, same childhood room, same house, same life. Just standing still.


That doesn’t last long. I started high school. We moved from my childhood home. I met new people. I met new dragons and demons. While I’m sure you would have loved to save me from them, I did it by myself. I fell off the paper throne, I tore up the paper crown, I left the doll house. 


Whatever god-damn metaphor you want to use.


I became my own person, my own author to my own damn story. It was messy; it still is. I’ve messed it up so badly I didn’t know if I’d be able to dig my way out of the muck.


But I did it. Me.


And I changed. I insisted to you that I had changed. I was my own woman.


And you absolutely refused to accept that.


You texted me “hey.” Every single day. If I didn’t look at the message, you’d send it again. If I read it and didn’t respond, you’d apologize.


“Sorry to bother you, I’ll leave you alone.”


You knew exactly what that would do. I had changed in most ways, but not enough to outplay that maneuver. Not yet.


You kept up the compliments, the pet names. I told you time and time again, from the time that you first messaged me to the end, that I wasn’t interested. I wasn’t going to date. I didn’t want you to pursue me.


You ignored that. Because I was beautiful, and kind, and selfless, and dear, and sweet, and…


Naive. Impressionable. Attainable. Your last-ditch effort. Your last resort.


I’m not your lifeboat, not the song guiding you through the fog to shore. 


There is no place in the world that you are my knight in shining armor. The king who has returned to slay the dragon and save the damsel in distress. The cabin you built to weather through storms and trials.


I’m not your Beautiful. I’m not your Sweet. I’m not your Dear.


I’m not your queen, and I don’t think I ever really was.


Enough about you.


Another man.


You insist that I’m just like this one character from this show.


I’ve got a tough outer shell that only you can see past. I’m a sweet person, really, if you get to know me. You’re totally my type; we’re destined to be together. 


You know me because you know her. You see every little thing in her head, and you love her for it.

Well guess what? I’m not her. You don’t know me. And you never tried to know me because you were busy making comparisons to her. You watched me live, close by, and decided you knew me.


You act on assumptions that I want what she wants. You think that I want you to help me.


Even that badass witch needs help from you, huh.


You decided I was your own little shot at a self-insert fanfiction. You got to be everything she needed.


And any time I deviated from your little script, you threw a temper tantrum. You hoped it would make me understand how much you love me, how much we need each other. And then I became the bad guy, breathing fire on your plans, your outbursts, anything you decided I needed.


Your script wasn’t very good, was it?


I won’t even go into detail about the last one of you. I’m sure it’ll be an ongoing issue, despite me getting our classmates and professors and RAs involved. I might not be able to summon a dragon to keep you away from me, but campus security, a restraining order, and members of the Winona Police Department will work just as well if you keep pushing.


So, gentlemen, what is the take-away here?


Just in case you managed to rationalize it away, I’ll give you a summary.


I am not who you insist I am. I will not put up with what you think I should. I will not change my mind and come back to you with mascara streaking down my face, hair wind-blown like the manic pixie dream girl you’ve decided I am.


I do sometimes wonder if I’m the problem here. I seem to only get people like you. Maybe it’s something I’m doing wrong. Maybe I should come back… because I was wrong, you are what I need, and I need to let everything else go.


But then I remember, I’m not a paper doll. I’m not your sensitive confidante. I’m not the love interest in this story.


I’m the god-damn dragon. I’m the warrior who pulls herself back into the battle. I’m the author penning this story. I’m the main character in my own life.


I’m not your queen.


I’m the queen.


Meg Chaffee is a junior at Winona State University studying History and Political Science. She hopes to teach high school social studies, because she wouldn’t be able to deal with her students eating smart glue during craft activities just because it has the word “smart” on it. She wrote a story on Watt-pad (during middle school, in an account she can no longer access) that received far too many votes for several awards, and no, she will not give you the name. In her free time she enjoys reading, writing, and watching The Good Place repeatedly on Netflix.
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