To My Toxic Half, I’m Going To Say Goodbye And Not Look Back This Time


Goodbye. It seemed like a foreign word to people like us. The people who always found a way back to each other.

I wanted us to make it. I wanted to believe everything you said. I didn’t want it all to be a lie. I’m stubborn. I didn’t want them to be right about you. The truth is, I really thought I saw something in you. It was something good enough that made me stay longer than I should have.

And in my heart, I still think you’ll be that person, one day. But I also knew even at my best, I wasn’t going to be the one to change you. I couldn’t. It had to come from you. Because all the love and best intentions weren’t going to cut it.

I couldn’t keep trying. I couldn’t keep giving my best and getting your worst. I couldn’t keep pretending like it wasn’t emotionally destroying me, being your metaphorical punching bag, every time something went wrong in your life. I couldn’t keep getting blamed for something that wasn’t my fault. The cost of trying to turn you into the man I knew you would be, came with self-destruction and hurting myself to get there.

I couldn’t keep waiting for respect. I couldn’t keep loving you for both of us.

I couldn’t keep up with some game, where all you did was change the rules. And no matter how long I played, I wasn’t going to learn it or ever come out winning. For so long, I wanted to win and that’s why I stuck it out. But I soon realized, the right person didn’t have to be won over.

I was chewed up and spit out and tested, time and time again.

It was every ending and beginning, on repeat.

And then you made me think it was love. I believed in love before you. I hoped for it. I had faith in it. You tarnished my definition and turned love dark in my eyes.

I associated love with screaming and fighting and giving just so you’d have something to take.

‘I love you’ rolled off my tongue but for the first time, it tasted bitter. Your love or lack of love become normal. I accepted it. I accepted you at your worst and thought I was entitled to you at your best.

I didn’t ever think falling in love would mean falling to my knees so many times and being kicked while I was down.

You kept me walking on eggshells. I was always walking on eggshells with you, terrified of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. You used fear as a tactic to control me.

And you liked your power. You liked knowing you had control. You liked someone loving you while you were still learning to love yourself.

It was wording things in such a coy manner, you’d ruin my day and you knew exactly how to do it. But then you’d say something sweet and kind. It was a game of emotionally fucking with me.

It was the inconvenience of waking up at 2 am but still taking that call. It was cringing and a rapid heartbeat because I wasn’t sure which version of you I’d get on the other end.

But what was inconvenient for me, was trying to understand you. What was inconvenient, was laying in bed next to someone and feeling so alone, wondering what I was doing here in this sad excuse of a semi-relationship and why couldn’t I walk away?

One-day things were perfect and we were almost normal, the next you claimed you hated me. One day we were just friends and the next you’d laugh after a hookup, saying we weren’t ever going to be friends. The mind games messed with me so much I couldn’t even remember what a normal relationship was like. And when one came my way, you’d either mess it up with a cynical text or I’d unknowingly mess it up myself.

It was like you didn’t want me completely but you didn’t want me to be with anyone else either.

You weren’t supposed to become my relationship norm and I hate myself for letting that happen.

I hated myself for becoming so numb.

I looked at you with the love I should have given myself.

It was so difficult giving up on you and walking away.

I had this cold realization that you might have loved me in your own weird way but it would never be what I needed. Your love was just something I wanted so badly.

I didn’t want love to be defined by pain.

I want you to know I forgive you. But more than that I’ve learned to forgive myself for accepting such things and letting it go on longer than it should have.

I’ll learn to love myself the way you couldn’t. I’ll learn to treat myself the way you weren’t able to. I’ll learn to love again in a way that it doesn’t hurt next time.

You were the relationship I unknowingly got sucked into like some vortex, I couldn’t escape from but it was through enduring it, I found the strength within myself to walk away and never look back.
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About the author

Kirsten Corley

Writer living in Hoboken, NJ with my 2 dogs.

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