First of all, this isn’t an apology.
I’m not sorry for the person I have become.
I’m not sorry that sometimes my voice is like thunder, that my footsteps move the earth, and that sometimes, it’s as though chaos incarnated itself into me, the woman you love. The woman you’ve chosen.
I am not sorry you fell in love with my storm. You fell just as hard for my gentle waves. I got so used to fighting that I don’t know how to lower the gloves and say the fight is over. But it is. I am still pacing in the ring. I am still half-worried that there’s more to come.
Loving a woman with trauma requires two things: patience and forgiveness. Patience because there will be days when you won’t know how to handle me. I do not ask you to put up with my worries, with my temper when it flares. I do not expect you to stay in the line of fire. My words can cut like knives. I only ask that you are patient that it will pass. That when I’m not myself, I am possessed by all the things my body tells me to fear. That when I am difficult to love, I need it most tenderly. Forgiveness, because my body will act on its own accord.
There was once someone who took from me not only my sense of self, but my sense of worth. There was once someone who abused me into thinking I should stay with them because we had gone through a lot together. There was once someone who made me do things I didn’t want to do to make them happy.
He told me it was because I was made for him, like property. I was his to use and play with. But I wasn’t a doll or a wilted flower. I was a fighter. I had the fight in me the whole time. It is why I loved again. But sometimes my love feels more like panic. Sometimes my kisses feel more like bruises. My words are acrid like the stomach acid that rises to my throat when I think of them.
So please, understand that I am a natural disaster. I am learning to touch without burning.
I am learning to love without destroying. I only ask that you stick around for the end of the storm. Seek shelter with me.