Monday, July 21, 2014
i used to be afraid to be myself.
when the person that you believe you love resents the parts of you that are 100% you, and you aren't strong enough to see that they are the damaged one, you lose those parts. you hide them away, afraid that letting those parts loose will send the person you believe you love into a whirlwind of hate and anger, with only you (and the dog) in their path.
he knew he couldn't touch me. i'm not sure that he wouldn't have if he didn't know that that was the one thing i never would've let fly. there were times he was so drunk/high and angry, i could see the veins pulsing in his arms, his fists clenched as he walked away from me, spewing hate. i shrank into myself. he took it out on the dog. i could never stop him, no matter how much i tried to reason with him. i wish i had been stronger.
but he could cut me with his tongue. he knew how to get inside my head, which buttons to push. i second-guessed myself always. often thought i took a wrong turn somewhere. i wasn't successful enough, smart enough, pretty enough. he took those cues and drilled them into my head.
"your degree is worthless, what are you even doing with it?" "you didn't have to go to a big, fancy, expensive school for that." i worked hard to get into that school and for that degree (though not as hard as i should've) and i still didn't have a clue what i wanted to do, but i was proud of my journey. and i always worked, i never wanted to be solely dependent on him.
"you want too much, you think you're better than where you came from." "you always forget where you came from." i came from middle class parents, who worked hard for everything they ever had, everything they ever gave me. they wanted more for me, why shouldn't i?
"i don't know if i can have a family with someone who doesn't believe in god." why did you marry me then?
do you know how hard it is to be in love with someone who won't tell you you're beautiful? won't even say that you're pretty. we want our significant other to want us, it's a natural part of a relationship. instead, if i got dressed up, he'd put me down.
though no one ever really asks, the question lingers; why? why did i stay for so long? why did i let him talk to me that way? and the answer, the one i try to avoid speaking out loud at all costs, is that i believed i loved him. i believed i could change him. i believed he loved me. i trusted him. and then it was a matter of not failing at yet another thing (as i saw it) when i realized none of those things were true anymore.
i gained weight. i've always been an athlete, but the years i was with him i became sedentary. trying so hard to be pleasing and available. yet another thing he complained about. i was too clingy. but if i tried to do something on my own, that became a problem too. i remember towards the end he would have a fit about me going out with my sister. MY SISTER. i couldn't win.
i was never going to win. not shutting myself out. not locking away the parts of myself that were so me. the independent, intelligent, outgoing (well, outgoing for an introvert), inquisitive, adventurous, and athletic artist that i know myself to be. i lost that girl. i let her down. i hid her for at least three years, because i didn't want to start a fight.
i should've been fighting for myself.
actually, no. i shouldn't have had to fight at all.