Your words are like scissors, slicing under the surface of my skin. I close my eyes and take a deep breath as you speak, willing myself to remember who I am, who I’ve taught myself to be. I inhale my reminders: I am strong. I am powerful. I will get through this. I am not what you say. I exhale away your negativity, let your curses slip off my shoulders like rain.
I won’t let you speak to me like this.
You hold your hands by your sides now. You know better than to raise them against me. But it’s not just your hands that can hurt. I know what you’re capable of. But this time I won’t let you walk away victorious. This time, I will walk away with my head held high, with my mind and heart and body unscathed.
I won’t let you change the way I see myself.
As words leave your lips like vomit, I picture myself a thousand miles away from you. I picture myself unbound and free. I picture myself as I am—in my skin, confident and proud. And I let you speak until your voice is hoarse. I let you cry yourself in circles. I let you demand, and push, and prod, and poke, not entertaining a single second. I know better than to believe your voice as truth.
I won’t allow myself to be brought down to your level. Instead of losing myself, I will rise above.
Your words and actions have torn down the walls of protection I’ve built. At first, I was happy to be unguarded. I was secure; I was safe. But soon I realized that some people will come into my life with good intentions, and some will come to only take what I can give. You ended up being the latter; I was wrapped up in your charm. I thought you spoke with kindness, with love. But you were everything but. You took my walls down and made a mockery of me. You made me vulnerable then laughed in my face. You allowed me to trust that you would always be by my side, and I believed you.
I won’t let you destroy me.
You’ve taken my heart and threw it aside. You saw my gentle spirit and showed me bitterness. You held my trust in the palm of your hand and broke it, every time. Your voice, your decisions have hurt me to the core. I have every reason to close off, to hide, to never let someone in the way I let you. But I won’t. I won’t let your mistreatment of me keep me from finding real love. I won’t let who you are define the love I receive.
I won’t let you convince me that this abuse is what I deserve.
From every bruise on my heart, I will find healing. From every undeserving word, I will learn how to speak to myself with kindness, with love. From every broken promise, I will learn to trust someone who is faithful. From the ashes of my former self, I will spark new flames.
I will burn brighter without you.