This is for you, if you keep going back to the one person that’s bad for you.

Written by: Shin Kitane/Thursday, Apr 12, 2018 07:20 AM

You've been here before, haven't you?

Stuck between self-doubt and the comfort of familiarity, between love the way you knew it and the truth that bites to hear.

Between memories of his smile, his voice, his scent--and the painful feeling in your chest of the last words you heard from yet another argument. You negotiate with yourself--maybe he's just upset. Maybe I really was wrong. 

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

You're here again. Stuck between the pleasure of remembering his kisses, and the pain of his fist against your face. Stuck between the promise of returning, and the memory of leaving without a word.

Things always seem to work out in the end anyway--which means you always compromise. You make excuses for his lies, his behavior, and you find yourself back at square one. 

Stuck, stuck, stuck.

Between sobs, you remember the good times. The times he held you when you were sad. The time you felt like you were home, with this person, your person. But things changed--in the span of weeks, months, years--the person you once knew turned into someone who hardly understood you. Maybe, he has demons too. The kind that you can't fight with your wide-eyed curiosity and youthful declarations of love. Maybe he saw your demons and decided you were too much to handle.

You try to reach out. With all your might, you try to make him feel--you understand. You are there. You are real. Feel, please feel. Fight with me. Fight for me.

But there is nothing. There is only silence on the other line--the bitter taste of defeat; of him walking away; of him giving up on you.

And so you try to pick yourself up.

For the first time, you try to really walk away. You block him and his friends on social media. You isolate yourself until all you hear is your own ragged breath and the noise of a Netflix show playing in the background. 

You try to pick up the pieces that you once were when you were whole. “Whole,” in the loosest sense of the word, because you thought wholeness was how it felt when you were together until everything changed. Now you aren’t so sure what the word even means to you, anymore. But you try.

Yes, every memory, every object is tainted with the memory of him, but you throw away those parts, slowly sift them from your being. You keep some--you're not ready to let go of it all, you think. So you keep some photos. Some old clothes. The shirt that smells like his perfume. For old times' sake.

You keep these memories in a box, and finally, finally, you try to look at yourself in the mirror. You don't immediately recognize who you see. All red-nosed and puffy eyed from crying, hair disheveled. You realize what he's done to you and feel a strange sensation. You feel as though rock is growing inside your chest, glowing hot, sending heat all over your body. You realize you're angry.

You resolve, that from now on you'll learn to love yourself. To pick up the pieces that he wrecked and try to put them back together. You start with your body. Your body where he inscribed underhanded comments about his own insecurities on. On days he felt stellar, you were beautiful. On days he felt like shit, you looked horrible. 

You begin to realize that you are in control. That you can step out of the meanings he has heaped on you, the hurtful words he told you about your art. Your passions. Your dreams. Your confidence. Your soul.

In a desperate effort to find yourself and pick yourself up, you launch yourself head-on into everything he ever told you not to do because you weren't good enough. 

You learn another language. 

You get your hair colored an interesting shade of silver. 

You take pole dancing lessons even if you remember how he criticized your thighs as they twist around the pole. 

You soar. You rebel. And in a moment of bliss, you remember that you are magic.

You remember who you are.

You begin to realize that you are not who he says you are. You are not his, you are not anyone's. You do not owe the world anything, even him. Oh, especially him.

You do not owe anyone your pain. 

You realize that you are capable. That you are strong. That it's possible to walk alone and not feel lonely, incomplete, shattered. That it's possible to fall in love with yourself. As you cook yourself a nice meal, finish a workout, create a piece of art--you realize you are happy. For the first time in a long time, you remember that you really don't need anyone. You get to want someone, yes, but you don't need them.

The phone dings--an unknown number has sent you a message. He introduces himself, asking you how you've been. I really miss you. You read the words with an interesting mix of excitement and fear. Let's have coffee again sometime, yes? He asks.

And you've been here before, you think. You've said yes, mindlessly, a hundred times over.

But why does today feel different? You realize, as you slowly type No, thanks--you realize it's because you finally got tired. Because you finally realized--you are worth so much more than he ever made you feel.

You walk out towards the open window and feel the warm sun on your face, a lightness in your chest—the kind that comes with letting go. You see the box in the corner, the one where you kept his old things in. You take it out of your room, reminding yourself to take out the trash in the evening.

And in a moment of bliss, you remember that you are magic.





Note: Abuse and hurt are not exclusively assigned to males as abusers and females as receivers of hurt. If re-posted or printed, feel free to interchange pronouns and genders to suit your experience. 




About Shin Kitane
Shin Kitane writes to remember and believes that words have the power to heal, inspire, and move others. She dreams of a world where men and women are treated equally, where race, gender, and religion are not measures of one's worth in society. She is also a book-hoarder and a firm believer in re-watching Mean Girls and Harry Potter multiple times a year. Follow her misadventures @shinkitane on social media.
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