My original muse.
I used to love you.
Sometimes I wonder, how did I love you?
I looked at you like you were the answer to all of my prayers.
Like you were the miracle I had been waiting for all of my life.
The way to finally erase my pain.
And you did do that for me.
Until the day that you didn’t.
The surface will never tell you what truly lies inside. The most beautiful things can hide the ugliest truths. Their hope is that you never look too closely. But with you, I couldn’t just wait on the edge. I couldn’t just dip my toes into the water.
I had to become one with it.
I had to jump in, and when I did, you pulled me under.
And that is when I lost myself.
You did your best to warn me. You made sure to tell me that you “weren’t actually that nice of a person.” But do we ever listen the first time someone tries to tell us who they really are? No. We always want to paint a better picture than what is actually sitting right there in front of us. But over time, we realize that you can only cover up so much before everything begins to crack.
The undoing of us was nothing that happened in the blink of an eye. No, it was a gradual process, a slow burn that ate away at what little love we had between us until there was nothing left for me to hold on to except the hope that maybe one day, this would all get better.
It never truly got better. I should have ended it when you came to visit me and insulted my home. I should have ended it when you disrespected my family. I should have ended it when you left me alone on my 21st birthday, even though I only came back into town because you wanted me to. I should have ended it more times than I can even count, but I kept avoiding it. I kept clinging to that hope that someday, things would be better. It’s good to have hope, but sometimes, you have to know when to say enough is enough. You have to realize your own self-worth. You have to truly believe that you deserve better.
One day a stranger told me that you didn’t love me. Deep down, I knew that he was right. But you were the first person who ever wanted to be with me so seriously, and I couldn’t help but fear that it was either enduring with you or living the rest of my life alone. I chose to endure for so long. And some days, I really don’t know how I did it.
I still can’t get your voice out of my head. I still replay all of the terrible things you said to me over and over and over again.
You told me my body was disgusting.
You told me I was a burden.
A lying slut.
You told me you loved me.
I never knew any of those other words were synonymous with love until I met you.
I remember thinking while we were together that true love doesn’t actually exist. I remember trying to convince myself that our relationship was normal. That how we were was how it was supposed to be. You decided we were going to be together forever. And I decided I was okay with that.
I don’t think I was ever actually okay with that. But I didn’t want you to leave me. I didn’t want to be alone.
So I clung to you, even in the worst moments. I clung to you each time you belittled me, even when you were so drunk you were completely incoherent. I clung to you when you showed up on my doorstep and every time you kept coming back. I kept holding on until I finally realized that this was no way to live a life. No one should fill your life with so much anxiety that you cannot get through the day without crying. No one should make you walk on eggshells just to get through the day unscathed. No one should make you feel like you would rather be dead than have to be with them. The day I realized that I would rather be alone forever than feel the way you made me feel for the rest of my life was the day I knew I was finally free from you.
I stopped answering your attempts to reach out. I built myself up stronger and stronger until I finally started to recognize the person looking back at me in the mirror. I rebuilt myself from below rock bottom, and I can finally say that I know what it is like to be whole all on my own.
See, I never should have been looking for you to complete me. I never should have tried to make sense of a life I never even wanted. I am not a trophy on your shelf that you only admire when you are feeling lonely. I am a fiercely independent soul who feels more deeply than she probably should, but who has learned to find the beauty in her breakdowns. I am not afraid of who I am anymore. I am not afraid to be alone anymore. I am complete, without you or anyone else beside me.
I am whole.