This one is for you. To read, over and over, when the darkness gets a little too much and you’re not sure which way is up. Maybe, sometimes, these words will be your up. Your reminder of two things: 1) oh my goodness, sweet child, you mean so very much, to so many. And 2) FUCK THEM.
They left you.
They left you, but first, before they did that, they requested, and then demanded, and then took, certain things from you. Belittled you, twisted your words, your actions. Kept you small. That’s the most infuriating bit of all – the smallness they pushed on you. The way they used the adoration you held in your heart against you, so that in the end even your love shriveled up and died, and that became further proof for you both that you can’t ever get anything right.
You couldn’t get loving them right because it was always, from the start, wrong. They were wrong. Ten out of ten for banging that square peg into a round hole, though – you willed and willed for it to be a fit, because they charmed you. We all watched it happen. Bore witness to the snake slithering their way into your life. We even kind of bought it, for a while. But about the moment we figured out it was all pretend was around the moment you willing fell head-over-heels. The monster lay in wait, and we could’ve stopped that.
(You would only have hated us if we did.)
And now, here you are, struggling to get through the day. Wounded and lashing out because of it. This isn’t you. I know this isn’t you. You’re like an animal in a trap of its own making – furious, confused, willing the pain to stop. And I am just so very sorry.
I see how you’re refusing help right now, because when they went they took your self-belief with them. You think you’re not worth the time and effort and energy of others, those of us who want to hold up a mirror close to your nose so that you might see who and what you really are. Instead, you’re trapped as a reflection of what they made you, and it’s crippling you.
It makes me so goddamn mad.
You’re lying, now, about how they reach out. I see how you check your phone that way – I know you’re still getting messages, texts, signs of hope that they’ll come back. Small, small, small – that’s what they’re doing. Making you feel dependent on them, like you can’t do this – do life – without them.
I’m here to tell you that you can.
Remember who you were before. When you laughed freely and hoped wildly and greeted your days with arms wide open because that’s how you felt about everything. You used to show up, be in the moment, full and present and ready. You can be that person again. You can be the one to tell the jokes, to dish out the hugs, to be the comfort. You had empathy, interest in the lives of others. You gave. You have so much to give! Your warmth and your smile and your advice and you. You, you, you. I want so much for you to come back to that. To be brave enough to find those parts of yourself and show them to us so we might remind you of how fantastic they are.
You’re sexy and desired and talkative and opinionated and wild and free.
Free of the box they put you in, mislabeled as love.
That wasn’t love.
What comes next, glorious one, that is love.
Without them, love is everything you have.
You’re free to grow again.