You’ll Never Know What You’ve Done To Me

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Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho / Unsplash

When I get nervous, I put a blanket between my chin and neck so any empty space is enveloped by soft, warm fabric. I don’t do this because I’m trying to be cute; I do this because I remember all the times your fingers would close around my chin and you’d thrust my head upwards so I’d be forced meet your gaze. I can still feel your fingers…

When I feel like someone is mad at me, I immediately put my hands between my thighs and squeeze my legs together. I don’t do this because I don’t know what to do with my hands; I do this because I remember when you used to get mad, and grab my hands, and squeeze them so tight I thought each small bone would break. Piece, by piece, by piece…

When I cry, I run into my bathroom, slam the door and curl into a ball on the linoleum tile. I push my fluffy rug into the corner of the room and just sit with my knees up against the wall. I don’t do this for a dramatic exit; I do this because your basement’s half bathroom with the exact same tile became my sanctuary – the only place I felt safe when you got mad…

When I get angry, I yell. I feel the overwhelming urge to personally attack, to watch as my victim suffers. I don’t do this because I’m a mean person; I do this because when you’d yell at me, all I could do was be louder than you. I needed to hurt you so you would stop hurting me. I can still hear the ringing in my ears…

When I get insecure, I fall apart. I sob, unable to breathe, forcing my face deeper and deeper into my pillow until my vision is a blurry pool of off-white. I try to take a deep breath. I smell my shampoo and maybe remnants of my boyfriend’s cologne. I don’t cry that much to be dramatic; I cry because I feel defeated, defenseless and lost. You broke me, and you never saw it…

There’s a million more paragraphs I could write about a million more things you’ve done, dozens of nervous ticks you instilled, songs I can’t listen to and places I can’t visit without breaking down. I could keep writing, but I won’t.

You’ll never know what you’ve done to me. You’ll never see the tears roll down my face as I cry and battle the feelings of worthlessness. You’ll never hear the stutter that developed in my voice from having to hold my words in for so long. You’ll never understand how a relationship that ended four years ago still affects me so deeply.

You’ll never feel how deep the scars you left run. TC mark

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