The day we met you did me a favor; the last you’d ever grant me. I loved you from then until years past when I should have known better.

Maybe when you stopped using my name and started calling me one of a few derogatory terms instead, I should’ve left.

Maybe when you started making me think of myself as worthless I should’ve left.

Maybe when you started hitting me I should’ve left.

Maybe when you started hurting me I should’ve left.

Maybe when you started making me hurt myself I should’ve left.

But I finally did leave.

And I still think of myself with those words. And I still hurt myself.

 

I ignored you for a long time. I blocked you online and deleted your texts.  I have a new phone now and I don’t live at the same address.

For months, I didn’t talk to people that I genuinely loved because they were too close to you.

When I talk to my grandmother, she still tells me how many times she’s talked to you since the last time I called. The last time I went to visit her, you’d been there a few hours before I got there. I know she tells you that I still see her. I hope that hurts.

Someone asked me if I used the word abuse. I told her that I don’t to protect you. But I do.

 

Some things are still the same.

 

I still feel uncomfortable putting my hair up because you said I looked too much like a man with short hair.

 

I still can’t stand prolonged contact because I’m afraid I’ll do something wrong.

 

I still sleep with a novelty bat in my bed in case someone comes in while I’m asleep to hurt me.

 

I still have nightmares about you.

 

I still feel bad about flirting with women.

 

I still worry that you can hurt me because I can’t remember a time when I was safe from you.

 

 

 

 

Some things have gotten better.

 

I don’t flinch when people hug me anymore, because I know they won’t hit me a few minutes later.

 

I don’t go to bed hungry anymore because I’m afraid I’m gaining too much weight.

 

I don’t feel bad about all of my body anymore, just some parts that I can’t change.

 

It’s been a year since I slept outside.

 

I don’t always wear scarves or bracelets anymore because I don’t feel vulnerable without them.

 

I don’t have to pretend to love anyone that I genuinely hate.

Lyn

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