TW: abusive relationships
The arms that once felt like home began to feel haunted. Whose hands were those wrapped around my hair? Touching my waist? They could have been anyone’s. How could they have ever belonged to you?
The beautiful hazel eyes that I used to gaze into lost all of their color. I could no longer look at them and see the love of my life looking back; they were empty. Your once loving gaze turned to ice; I couldn’t recognize you anymore.
The face that used to light up whenever I walked into the room began to look at me with a level of disgust I never fathomed could come from someone I loved so much. You began to wear your disappointment so often that it became like a second skin; nothing I did was ever right anymore.
Our entire relationship became one big apology. I was always sorry for something, even when I wasn’t quite sure what I was actually apologizing for. If I wanted you to talk to me, I had to be on my best behavior. I could not say no to the things that you wanted. I could not fight back when you tormented me. I could never do anything to defend myself if I wanted to stay on your good side.
The less I existed, the better off we were. Don’t text too much. Never ask for a phone call. Eat when you’re told to, but don’t eat too much or eat the wrong thing. Watch the t.v. shows he wants to watch and pretend to enjoy them even when you don’t. Drink whenever he tells you to, even though you don’t like drinking. Even though you’ve barely eaten and you really shouldn’t be drinking. Take melatonin when he tells you to, and make sure you don’t flinch when he jokes about now being able to rape you all night. Don’t ask questions when he tells you that you’re going to the movies, but he can’t afford to pay for you; even though his family is wealthy, and you’re working at an internship where you are paid $5 a day for eight hours of work. Don’t say you are cold because he will not give you his jacket. Don’t try to hold his hand or cuddle with him because you have already done that enough. Too much, really. Remember, that is not what he is looking for. Do not react when you are uncomfortable; this is no longer your body. It belongs to him. Don’t choke, don’t gag, don’t react at all because you know that no matter what, you don’t get to say no. He makes the rules, and you learn how to cope. You learn how to make yourself small enough to live life undetected. You learn how to never talk about him so that even some of your closest friends do not know that you are dating. You learn that it is either him or your friends because if you ever want a future with him, they cannot be a part of it. Remember that he is always smarter than you, even when the numbers don’t add up; even when the facts don’t support it. It is a fact. He makes the facts, and you must sit back and force yourself to memorize them. You must remember that love means obedience. Love means doing what he wants, even when it is the furthest thing from what you want because it makes him happy. And if he is happy, then you can be, too. You can finally breathe. Remember that you are the problem in the relationship. You are the burden. You are the buzzkill who ruins all of his fun. You are the one with trust issues. Honestly, just always remember that everything is always your fault. If he gets so drunk that he becomes incoherent, that is on you for daring to call him out of the blue. If he gets mad and accuses you of cheating, that is your fault because you know better than to close your bedroom door loudly enough for him to hear it on the phone. If he tells you that he will never make the mistake of talking to you again, you are wrong for assuming that you two are over. You are wrong for moving on and dating someone else. Do not forget that he can date someone else and still try to come after you, but you are not allowed to be single and find someone new; you are a lying slut, and he is a lonely, misunderstood man. You are nothing. He is everything.