Trigger warning: Domestic abuse
To my abuser,
You can’t hurt me anymore. I am rebuilding myself in your absence, and I am finally happy without you.
You took bits of my soul, piece by piece, until I was nothing. When I was with you, I was constantly wrapping gauze around my heart. You continually beat me with your words, so I could never heal or be prepared for your next barrage. I bled out, and you reveled in it.
Despite everything, I loved you with every inch of my body. I wrote you loving cards and taped them all across your room into a tapestry. You couldn’t even see the original paint job. There was so much love on your walls. Yet on our anniversary, you violently shoved me at our favorite restaurant and berated me for not moving out of your way fast enough. You screamed at me for being a “fucking whore” and a “stupid bitch” after I quietly asked you to not call me a “shitty narcissistic girlfriend.” You made snarky comments about my hair and bluntly told me that I looked fat in my new jeans — the same jeans that I was excited to wear for our special date. You scared me when you would raise your voice and hit the walls in the room. I always apologized for making you so upset, even though most of our disagreements revolved around how much your abusive words hurt me.
No matter how cruel you were, I chose to stay with you. I loved you too much to leave. It was my choice to wait in line and ride your emotional roller coaster in the front seat. I knew the high points and the dips so well that I had already begun bracing myself before the ride even started. One could call me nervous. The final plummet on the ride was terrifying for me and I could never open my eyes. The roller coaster always ended the same way, and I would leave feeling discombobulated. Even though my head was spinning, I craved more and raced back in line to ride your roller coaster again.
Your excuse for speaking to me in such a derogatory way was that your words “weren’t critical, but honest.” You were helping me become my best self with your constructive words. If anything, I should thank you. That’s what you said, and I believed it. I doubted myself. I considered myself unstable, weak, immature, dumb, socially inept, and too sensitive because you had convinced me of it. I had unknowingly betrayed myself, and all my friends around me could see. It was so clear to them that I should leave you, but I couldn’t. I had so much love for you in my heart. Who was going to be there for you? Who was going to give you hugs and kiss you all over? Who was going to love you in such a deep way?
I always put you first. I should have been asking myself, Why did I love you more than me?
It’s because I thought that I deserved your twisted, warped version of love.
And I know I don’t.
Instead, I choose to love myself.