An Open Letter To Myself: I’m Sorry

I’m sorry I neglected you for the past three years. I’m sorry I ignored what you felt in your entire body because of what you felt in your heart.

I’m sorry I kept making excuses for him. I’m sorry I didn’t allow you to let other people in—your friends and family—because you were so ashamed of what was happening to you, because you hated the idea of them knowing how weak you could be, that you could allow a man to lie, manipulate and bully you. I’m sorry I locked you away and isolated you, I’m sorry I claimed the shame he should feel as yours. I’m sorry I let you go to sleep with images of red-stained wrists and trains rushing beneath you. I’m sorry I let you fall into the trap of your nightmares, hoping you wouldn’t wake up.

I’m sorry I made you post fake selfies on social media, I’m sorry I made your smile become forced. I’m sorry I made one of your most beautiful qualities a lie. I’m sorry I made you put on a show for the world because I so desperately wanted us to be something unattainable. I’m sorry I kept you hanging on to the idea of him. I’m sorry I tortured you with ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’. I’m sorry I disappointed you when he didn’t show up and I told you ‘he just might’. I’m sorry for the way your heart crumpled like an old balloon. I’m sorry I told you he was capable of so much more than he ever was.

I’m sorry I made you think you didn’t deserve more.

I’m sorry I allowed you to have panic attacks on the bathroom floor. I’m sorry I made you run showers so you could sob in secret. I’m sorry I let you fall apart over coffee with friends when he left blue patterns on your ivory skin. I’m sorry I let him plant seeds of self-doubt and self-hatred in your heart, and I’m sorry I let them grow so wild and so ugly, they took away all of the beautiful things about you. I’m sorry I let him steal the very essence of who you are. I’m sorry I let him make you believe that everyone else around you saw you with the same contempt that he did.

I’m sorry I let him convince you that you were damaged and broken and hard to love. I’m sorry I let him make you think what you needed and wanted from a boyfriend was impossible.

I’m sorry it took me as long as it did to see the light, to fight back, to find your strength. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you every day just how incredible you are, that you are capable of having everything you want in this life. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that I love you every morning and reassure you every evening that things would get better.

I’m sorry I didn’t whisper to you in the middle of the night when your thoughts were choking you that if you took yourself out of this world, it would be an infinite disservice, because your voice wouldn’t be heard, and your voice is the most powerful thing you have.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you that the only love you should ever go crazy over keeping is the love you have for yourself. I’m sorry I didn’t make you fight for that instead of for him. I’m sorry I forgot who my priority is.

I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all of this sooner, sweet girl, because it’s true.

It’s all true.

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