To The One Who Emotionally Abused Me

Emily Elizabeth
Emily Elizabeth

Of all the blowout fights we had, in the end, we parted ways with so much left unsaid. All we talked about then was why the now had to change, not how the then had led to such an unpleasant now.

So here we are, many nows later, and here are the things I wish I had said to you. Because I deserve to have a chance to speak my mind after everything that happened.

First, the things that hurt me, that made me squirm with anxiety, those things were not ridiculous, and you had no right to tell me they were. No one should ever be told that their problems are stupid, no matter how trivial they may seem from the outside, because for that person, that issue means something to them. If you really cared about me, you should have respected my feelings (as a decent human being, you should respect everyone’s feelings).

And if you really cared about me, you should never have tried to control me.

The worst feeling in the world, is feeling trapped in your life, feeling like a hostage to emotions that keep crushing you. Love like that feels like the tightness in your throat when you know you’re about to cry—it’s suffocating. Who were you to say what was best for me? Who were you to decide whether or not it was appropriate to ignore me because you “didn’t need to entertain that behavior.”” That behavior, that bouncing up and down in front of your blank stare, that screaming, that begging you to stop the things that tortured me—that behavior you “didn’t need to entertain,” that was your fault for ever trying to control me.

Even more than trying to control what I did and said around you, it hurt that the things you said crawled inside my ear and set up camp in my mind. I didn’t even have to be around you to feel worthless, to feel like I was always too something (or too much the other thing five minutes later).

It hurt to second guess myself, to always wonder if anyone at all liked me for me, or if they were just patronizing me. It hurt to live with the constant anxiety that maybe I would say the wrong thing without even realizing it, make the wrong plans, see the wrong people, and that you would walk out of my life without even mentioning it. Without even saying goodbye. And it hurt even more because I am my own person and I lived my own life besides, and so you just kept tossing me aside and then coming back to pick up the pieces when you were ready—walking in and out of my life as though it was a revolving door.

That’s not how life works. That is not sustainable, that is not healthy.

And now that it’s over, I’d mostly just like to explain to you why I’m angry. Hate you? I don’t hate you. Hate takes effort, and I’ve given you far more than enough of my time and energy. But every now and again, the frustration over the way you treated me comes to the surface. Every time I overthink every action of an interaction because old habits die hard. Every time I feel that familiar tightness of anxiety constricting my throat as it comes time to say goodbye and I fear there may not be another hello. Every time I’ve found myself crying as I fight to sit still through an anxiety attack that shakes my whole being all because of a text that went unanswered, because of a moment where I hazarded vulnerability and expected to be crushed, because of an experience that I’ve been conditioned to associate with heartbreak.

I’ve had to overwrite every situation in which I’ve been hardwired to feel anxiety.

Because of your game, I’ve had to relearn how to live my life.

I could have told you these things in person, but I didn’t want to bother pouring that much more energy into you, into us. I could have written a personal letter and tucked it in the mailbox for you to read or tear up.

But I didn’t. this. Because this isn’t about you.

Because of these things you did, I realize that this is everything that love isn’t, and that’s something I want to share with the world. TC mark

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