It's been nine months and 20 days since you told me it was over.
I didn't believe it when it happened at first, but when it settled I didn't move for three days.
I like to think it was my own version of a chrysalis, how my bones were rearranging and my wings were being molded to form against the words you told me.
"I think we should see other people," you said as you pulled up your zipper. You had already been doing so, it was just one of the hidden traps in your web of lies. I was just a caterpillar that had climbed too close, that had trusted an eight legged beast who fed off of others for survival. You said I wouldn't survive without you.
The thing about being in love with your abuser, is that you try to convince yourself that you're the problem. When the abuser, too, pounds it into your head that you are the problem, that those nights spent crying and bruises on your skin — the bruises on your heart — are your own fault... You're forced to believe. They make you think you're the one in the wrong when you try to stand up for yourself, and they will take and take until you cannot recognize the face in the mirror.
You took everything from me. You emptied me out like the carving of a jack-o'-lantern, carving a smile into my face so no one could see the pain, and setting my insides on fire so people would think it was a likeness to happiness. You made me do everything, and I called it love. Though I didn't forget how you'd forget my birthday. How on our anniversaries you would make me pay for dinner and your gifts. I will never forget on our two year anniversary, how I got us a nice dinner. Everything was great. I wanted to watch a movie. You decided to take something that did not belong to you, and the tears that fell were like nails in my coffin.
You left. You told me I wasn't giving you enough. You said so many things and you tried to make it my fault. Always my fault.
You got with the one you'd been cheating on me with.
Those few good memories I had with you... they are tainted by the harsh words and lies and darkness that you consisted of.
Now it's been nine months and 20 days. I'm still healing from what you've done to me. But, even though you're still in every thought I have... I'm OK. I know that my love was real, and you were not worthy of it.
I'm growing as a person.
And I will never go back to who I was with you.
It's been nine months and 20 days,
and I am a much stronger survivor than you are.