My love for you blinded me. I didn’t realize until it was over that you never loved me back, that you were my best friend, but I was never yours. I let myself continue to believe that the drama and chaos was all a part of the process. It was all a part of what I had done to you, because that was the idea you put in my head.
The words still sting.
I tricked you.
I pretended to be somebody else.
I should be able to make my anxiety go away.
The guilt still weighs me down sometimes even though I know it’s insane. I spent so many days peeling parts of myself away to make you happy and comfortable. Anxiety doesn’t just go away, but you can hide it. I didn’t trick you, you just showed up on a good day.
I told you I had it; I guess you didn’t believe me. When I couldn’t control it, and you couldn’t control me, you left and came back. You screamed and yelled. You were withholding, physically and emotionally, forceful and angry, aggressive in all the most ways when I was at my most vulnerable.
I am not guiltless. I acted out. I abhor how I acted, and how I treated you at times, as I tried to be at peace with myself in what I thought was supposed to be the happiest time of my life. In my naivety, you were all I thought I wanted and needed.
The first time I saw you I remember the jolt in my stomach and my mind. I mistook it for an electric shock in my heart. I still believed in determinism. It felt like it was meant to be, and I followed this feeling, I refused to let it go, even through the aggression and fear.
Eventually it stopped, you stopped. You became tender and soft. I became baffled as you asked for communication and affection, but I tried, not understanding why I could no longer open up in ways you seemed to so desperately want.
Now I understand why I couldn’t. You never wanted that, and you never wanted me. I was a placeholder for something you never understood. Your aggression was a blockade, assuring you would never have to fully give yourself to me, and I would never allow myself to fully give in to you.
But you could ask, request, and beg until finally you left, claiming it was my fault. You would claim I wouldn’t communicate, that I was not intimate enough, and that I could not give you what you needed. And you would be right.
Like everything else about us, I found it confusing for a long time how after you left I became more open. I had more energy. Communicating with everybody, I found intimacy to be no problem. Stranger still, they had no problem with me or anything I did. I no longer walked on egg shells and found myself breathing easily and deeply for the first time in years.
I lived. I lived openly and carelessly, however I wanted to, for the first time in recent memory. It felt amazing. And for the first time you were the last person I wanted to tell.
It’s hard for me to blame you. Though I couldn’t realize it while it was happening, I chose to stay, even though I should have as soon as I knew you were telling me you loved me with other women’s names on your lips. There were plenty of red flags I chose to ignore, telling myself it was all in the name of love.
Despite everything, I did love you. Maybe I do love you. I do not love that I now have to sort out the difference between when a person is trying to control me, and compromise with me. Every question feels like an interrogation and every advance an assault. But I could have walked away from these things too.
I didn’t because I was young. You were everything to me. I thought we were different, and every other excuse we tell ourselves when we choose the wrong person, and allow them to cut us over and over again with the same knife and call it love.