I have a problem.
When I fall, I fall too hard.
All those songs about walking through fire and jumping in front of grenades are not necessarily exaggerated. I would be more than willing to sacrifice my time, my health, even myself if the person I care about needs me. I could never stand seeing you suffer, because when you suffered, I did too. A slight frown or uncharacteristic silence would send me into a frenzy, thinking, “What is wrong?” and “What can I do to make you smile again?” What I didn’t realize was by doing those things I gave you permission to walk all over me.
As time passed, you became so comfortable, because you knew no matter what, I would never leave your side. My willingness to put you first made you think that my permanent post would always be on number two, right below you. While I was making you my priority, you were making me your landing spot. You were not afraid to fall because you knew when you did, you would not hit the ground. You would not feel the gravel scrape your skin because I was the one who came in contact with those, all the while trying to lift you back up.
But what happened when I was the one who hit rock bottom? What happened when I was the one who needed you to catch me?
As I closed my eyes with the faith that you would do the same I’d do for you, I had to open my eyes to disappointment. Because you weren’t there. You were already too far up, at the top, where I put you. What happens when people are at the top is that they don’t bother looking down. You were trying your hardest to wipe your memory of ever being in the bottom, and you didn’t want to go back, even to save the person that you claimed you care about.
Disappointment felt like dumping a bucket full of ice on yourself. It’s shocking, and it opens up all your senses to things that you didn’t seem to perceive before. I screamed for help, thinking maybe you just didn’t know I fell, maybe you didn’t notice. But the truth is, you did.
You knew. You just have always thought that it’s my job, my responsibility to pick you up, and not the other way round. You told me to pick myself up, that it’s not that hard and I wouldn’t even need help with it. You forgot that without me, you wouldn’t even make it out in the first place. You’d tell me that I was being too sensitive, that I was making a big deal out of small stuff. And in the end, when I’ve exhausted my supply of tears, when I’ve given up on trying to make you see my way, I chose to retreat into silence.
I swallowed the pain with new determination.
I drilled my own belief into my head that I am not as useless as you made it out to be, that I have all it takes to get out and climb my way to the top. So I started climbing. It was neither easy nor pleasant, but it was necessary. Along the way, I shed some personality like a snake changing skin.
And finally, finally, I emerged at the top, and once again, we’re on the same level, we can see eye to eye again. What I saw was a lesson, and what you saw is wonder. You tried to reach out as if nothing happened. In my heart, I wanted nothing more than to forgive you. But memory is a powerful thing. It does not let me forget about the pain you caused me. You wanted only the best of me while I accepted everything about you. I lost myself trying to be worthy of you, and it proved to be futile. In your eyes, I would never be good enough. I was merely an enabler to boost your ego and make you feel like you’re worth something.
I knew that falling back into your embrace would set me way back, and I’ve come too far to let that happen. But I didn’t regret you.
You’ve left a scar in me but I’d like to show you gratitude. You let out a strength in me I didn’t know I had. I will not despise you or wish the worst for you. You were once the center of my universe, and that’s bound to leave a mark. Now I’ll send you on your way with all the best for your future. Oh, and one last thing, thank you for not being there for me.