When we were together, I was terrified to open my mind, to tell you how I felt. I kept everything hidden under my tongue, bottled up. The lid on the jar so tight, unable to be opened. For seven months I did this. For seven months, I hid how I felt, what I wanted to say, and who I was deep inside. I didn’t have enough fire in my soul, enough strength in my throat, enough bravery in my heart. And the sad thing is, as soon as I loosened my grasp, as soon as I watched you fall through my fingertips, I found everything I needed to tell you how I felt. Everything—the strength, bravery, fire—it all seemed to rise from the vines inside my heart and wrap around my soul.
And this, this is everything I was too afraid to say to you.
I gave you everything. I gave you my money, my time, my shoulders to cry on, my support. Anything you needed, I made sure to place into your greedy hands. I listened to every word you spoke, sending arrows into my heart. I let you bulldoze over my problems with your own. I put everything behind you, placing you first in the race.
I let you rant and complain, tell me all of your problems and try to help you fix them. But through everything, all I wanted to do was scream at you. To scream that every problem you had, you created from the ashes of your forest fires. You set everything beautiful in your life ablaze, then found someone else to point a finger at. The fights with your parents all happened because you decided to disobey them, then got upset when the consequences showed up. You made issues out of thin air, a magic that was your specialty.
You never listened to what I told you. At the beginning, I decided to open my book to you, to tell you my problems, to list in great detail what made me so broken. And you just told me everything was fine and that I shouldn’t be so hurt by those things. You told me that if I was broken, you would fix me, and make me perfect again.
You made me feel like something was wrong with me because I had issues. Issues stemming from all over the place. And instead of loving me like a significant other is supposed to do, you tried to change me, try to make me into a perfect doll. You tried to repair everything destroyed inside me, but all you did was plant a small seed of resentment in my heart that grew every day.
When we first got together, you told me you were always the one who was left. That you were cheated on, lied to, manipulated. And for a little, I decided to take your word for it. You seemed like such a nice guy, treating me with respect, listening when I told you no, always one to try to hug all my broken parts back together. But soon, I found out you weren’t the one cheated on—you were the backstabbing, greedy, attention-seeking man. You were never happy with one girl—you needed as many of them attached to your arms as you could get. You treated us as if we were just prizes to be won, not humans with feelings or hearts. You kissed other girls, flirted with them, asked them out, hid them from me. You never once meant it when you told me I was the only one for you.
And when I found out there was another girl, you turned it against your parents. Blaming them, saying they told you to kiss other girls. Saying you didn’t know it was cheating because you were told it was okay. But you knew, from the very start, we were exclusive.
You hurt me in ways no one else has. And you constantly made excuses for it, blaming others, never taking responsibility for your mistakes. Making me feel like I was just a crazy girlfriend and telling me I was blowing everything out of proportion.
You broke me, then told everyone I broke you. And that I was the bad guy, the villain who needed a death sentence.
Once upon a time, I thought I loved you. I thought you were a good man, trying to help me. But in the end, I knew I never loved you. I just didn’t want to be alone.
And you never loved me either. You just wanted a pawn to play with, until you found something better. And all I can say now is I have all of this pent-up anger inside, ready to explode, that I have to conceal, so I don’t hurt those I love. I am a volcano ready to erupt, to unleash all the destruction inside my head upon the world. You gave me anger and hatred. And no matter how much I try to forgive you or forget everything you did, I still have the scars on my heart. I still have all of the toxins in my mind that you left. All the weeds and dead flowers. Things I cannot remove but have to set aside, into the back of a cage, and hope one day I will be able to clean out the attic of my heart and free myself from you.
I was never strong enough before to tell you, but God knows I’m strong enough now. You don’t deserve me. You don’t deserve a girl who would break her back trying to give you everything you desire. You don’t deserve a girl who is kind to you even when all she wants to do is yell. You do not deserve me or my love. You never did and you never will. I deserve so much better than you, and I deserve a man who loves me, only me, and tells me so.
I used to want to thank you for giving me the fire inside my soul, but then I remember the ocean never gave me the ability to swim, I gave it to myself. And from the pain, I’ve created my fire; I’ve created my strength; I’ve created my will to do anything and to fight for what I know I deserve.
I will not thank you for hurting me. I will not thank you for anything you did for me. Because in the end, everything you said you did for me, you really only did for yourself.
by Kaitlynn Schrock