You never laid a hand on me. You never even threatened to. You never even once made me feel like you might. There were no hurtful words. There was barely a voice raised. But somehow you still made me ache from the inside out. The pain was sickening and it rotted me to the core. I still cringe when I think of it. The lump in my throat thickens, my voice cracks just trying to speak of it.
I know abuse. I know the pain of broken bones and bloodstained shirts. That was a different monster. But you were still a monster. A monster in disguise, a monster wrapped in layers of masked personalities.
Just because you never hit me does not mean that what you did was benign and wholesome. The hurt you caused was more than skin deep.
Without a word you could make me feel like I was completely alone in this world. You had the ability to turn me into a shell of a person in seconds. You knew exactly how to turn my insecurities into demons that would haunt me throughout the night. How you managed to do that, I’ll never quite know. But you were a professional.
You could be in the same room as me, we could spend the whole day together, and by the end I would want to crawl out of my skin. I had never felt so unsure and unsatisfied with the person I had become around you. The way you picked at my every move, criticized every decision I made, it ate me alive. My head was always spinning just trying to think of what I could do to gain your approval.
It never mattered though, I would never be what you wanted.
Instead of moving along, finding someone else to fit your fantasy, you tried to twist me into being your prize. You needed someone to meet your standards, your unreal expectations. You never knew how much it hurt to never be what you wanted. I could read it on your face every time you walked into the room.
That look you used to give me, the way your shoulders shrugged, it all screamed disappointment.
There came a point when I could no longer remember what your smile looked like. It had been so long since you had even tried to be happy in my presence. If it wasn’t for the fact that you nowhere else to go, I think you would have avoided me altogether. All I asked for in this time was an explanation, something to know what was going on. But you kept me in the dark, you kept me digging at my self-doubt more than I already was.
It wasn’t until I opened my eyes to what was happening, that I realized I had let you drag me down that rabbit hole. It may not have been intentional, but I know there was a point that you knew what you were doing. But you waited until it was convenient for you to make your grand exit from my life. It left me even more broken than before but you never had the decency to look back. To even check in to make sure I was okay.
The hurt lasted longer than I’d like to admit. You were gone for months before I had restored my sense of self, before I could look in the mirror and smile back at the girl I saw.
You stripped me to my bones, with nothing to build upon. It took so long to just to feel like I could stand on my own. Those days were long, but they are no more.
And it was at that moment, when I could finally be happy on my own, that I knew I would never let someone like you back into my life.
From then on I would keep my distance from the kind of people who only know how to take and not how to give. I would no longer be someone’s stepping stone, someone’s second choice until they find something better.
Moving on had been so hard because it took so long to hate you. And you just can’t move on from someone you don’t hate. I spent so long making excuses for you, making excuses for my own naivety. I told everyone that you hadn’t really done anything wrong. I lied because I just couldn’t accept the fact that you had intentionally hurt me.
I was trying to forgive someone who didn’t deserve to be forgiven.
But just because you had known how to hurt me, just because you knew exactly how to poke at my bruises, does not mean that I will let you determine my future. My future is only for those that appreciate the love I have. I only want to be with someone that sees the light in my eyes and isn’t intimidated by it. Someone that wants to ignite that passion they can feel burning in my soul. Someone that loves as deeply as I love.