If We were Still Us… 

You got what you wanted from me, and now you’re running from the past – from your actions, from your lies. But the past has a funny way of catching up to us. It will break you the way you broke me.

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I chose you. That’s on me. But I didn’t know falling in love with you would mean falling out of love with myself. I didn’t know choosing you would mean I would stop choosing me – and before I knew it, my mood and happiness became entirely dependent on you.

I wanted this to work more than anything. I loved you with every fiber of my being. Everyone told me to be careful, I didn’t listen. I fell in love. One moment we were looking at each other and before I knew what was happening it happened all at once. I crashed into you fully and never looked back.

You fell for me, too. You can’t fake those touches, those kisses that make your heart melt, that intense eye contact that sends chills up your spine, all the senses coming to life, walls coming down. But some part of me knew you weren’t ready. 

When you realized that I wasn’t easy – as in, I wouldn’t just go with the flow – that I would confront and challenge you, that’s when you stopped choosing me. When I stopped being convenient, that’s when you stopped loving me. You don’t know how to love.

Your abuse manifested in a lot of ways. I started to question myself. My confident, feisty nature, full of fire, slowly gave way to an insecurity. A rage-fueled invective, manifesting as a reaction to your  toxic behavior. I was so insecure and angry because you made me that way. You broke the person who loved you the most in this world.  

But I know our relationship changed you. Like an emotional vampire, you sucked my love dry. I actually loved all your wrongness, all those parts of you that you hate. I wiped your tears, I kissed your edges, I loved all your roughness. Those parts of yourself that you only show to me, I adored them – my love warmed them, your imperfections, it changed you. But it couldn’t change the core of you. I loved your imperfections but you didn’t love mine.

You broke me a little more each day. Stab wounds to the heart. I didn’t deserve any of this. I didn’t deserve your compulsive need to put me down and control me. I didn’t deserve the lies. The manipulation. I took you back so many times because I believe in people, and simply, I loved you too much.

At first I was so angry at you. I hated you for what you did, and what you did to usI hated you for ruining what we had, what we were building, what we could have build. I hated you for breaking my heart.

But then I was in pain because you weren’t there. I was angry that life had other plans and took you away from me. I was angry that you weren’t there to hold me, to tell me I was the best when I needed to hear it most.

You were my anchor and my thrill. And when I lost you, I didn’t just lose us, I lost myself, too.

If we were still us, I’d still feel like my old self. My heart would still be unguarded. I wouldn’t be so scared of love –  because even though I hate to admit it, I am. When I would start to feel safe with someone, I wouldn’t question it. Because when love breaks into a million pieces, bringing out the darkest parts of people, you put up a shield. It’s a strong shield, preparing you for the worst. When you’ve seen what happens when fireworks combust, causing burns and confusion, you make a subconscious promise to yourself to never experience that again.

If we were still us, I’d still feel like a little kid. I’d still wake believing love conquers all. I wouldn’t be as jaded or as cynical about love, about life. I wouldn’t get close to people and have to fight the urge to not trust them. No matter how much I love someone, I’m incredibly uncomfortable letting them see my most vulnerable parts. I do it for protection.

If we were still us, I’d still have you, my best girl, the person to stay up all night talking about anything and everything with. The person who I can be my weirdest self with. The person who looks at me and makes me feel alive.

If we were still us, I’d had one more person that makes life worth it. I’d have someone I can wake up in the morning with, hair all big and messy, no makeup, morning breath and baggy t-shirt on, and still feel like my most beautiful self. Because the truth is, no matter how much you hurt me, there was a time when you made me feel like my best self on steroids. There was a time when you lifted me so high, that I forgot about troubles, or pain, or fear.

There was a time when you knew me and believed in me more than I believed and knew myself. When I was lost and confused, when I didn’t know what to do next, when I kept doubting myself, it was you who reminded me of my strength and my greatness.

But if we were still us, eventually I would break. Because even though I loved you with all my heart, and you loved me, it wasn’t enough. Your demons always seemed to catch up with us. And it always left me drowning trying to save you.

If we were still us, I would have never had a broken heart, and so new light would have never gotten in. I would have never been so angry, desperate and out of control, so I would never have transformed my life.

If we were still us, I wouldn’t have realized my worth. I would have been with someone who only appreciates me when it’s good for them. I wouldn’t have realized how strong I am, how capable I am to get everything in this world that I deserve. When we broke up, I was so lost and scared, but it forced me to rise up, to conquer everything without youand that has created a new level of living.

If we were still us, I wouldn’t realize that I was settling for someone who doesn’t deserve me.

If we were still us, I wouldn’t have realized that a true love would never put me through and make me feel the same things you did.

Because if you hadn’t done all the things you did, I would have never realized my worth. I would have never realized that I should finally stop settling for anything less than I deserve. I would never realize that  true love would never, ever, make me feel the same things you did.

But I don’t regret any of it. You didn’t choose me because I was too damaged, too difficult – it’s because you were broken. And there’s nothing I could have done differently except to say bye, and give my love to someone who is worthy of it. 

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