subject line: the truth I never told you.

 
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida

last night, i started to go through my things and i found pieces of you that you left behind.
without much hesitation, i tossed them and didn’t look back.
and at first, it felt okay.
like waking up unburdened by the demand of the day or the time or even just the alarm.
but in the back of my mind, i knew it wasn’t the small trinkets you collected and gifted that i needed to face.
i knew that if i was truly going to grab hold of proper excavation for the sake of a new year,
i needed to open the box.

the one i tucked away at the bottom of my closet the night you left for the last time.
the one with two years worth of letters and pictures and old movie stubs and concert bracelets and paper roses.
i sat in the middle of my room where my bed used to be when you laid on it and held me on the days it felt either too much or simply not enough.
and i read your words.
i read your brokenness and your open wounds and your fears.
i ingested your passion for me once more,
and i wanted to cry.

but the tears that threatened to show face weren’t for you.
it wasn’t that i missed you or that i wished you were kissing my hand instead of her lips.
no, it was the fear of never waking up next to someone i love ever again.
the wonder of whether or not words this heavy will ever be born for my eyes.
the question of safety finding a home in my body.

because you woke me up to a whirlwind of unexpectations.
you spun me into your perfect cobweb of everything you were afraid to lose.
i lost myself in you.
did you know that?
i forgot everything that made my throat sing and instead, i spent two years in anxiety because no matter how deluded i gave myself permission to be,
i was terrified of living a life you didn’t exist in.
my worst bout of anxiety ensued from the moment you put your hands on my hips to the day you walked away.
because the reality is you liked my body more than my heart for you.
after all, we did start with a one night stand.
and then one night became three
and three became 3am phone calls
and 3am became days in your truck.
i said to choose me and you said okay.

and i know i told you that i loved you and i swear i meant every second of it.
but there’s something you should know:
my worst self came alive when you were inside me.
i had a mental breakdown that brought my mother to her knees in prayer and her eyes to floods.
i left cuts on an arm i swore i’d never hide ever again.
i drowned in inebriation just to stop the shakes.
i distanced myself from everyone who ever chose me because i wanted to make room for you.
but what an incredible facade i kept up with you.
i couldn’t bare to tell you how being “us” felt more like standing in the dark and hoping to God someone would light a match.

all because i liked the way you looked at me.

so you see,
i’m not tossing this box because it hurts too much.
i’m tossing it because i deserve the room your absence has given me.
the space to find how completely worthy of peace i am.
that i don’t have to rearrange my body just to make someone else fit—-they just will.
but only if they’re meant to.
only if loving them feels more like freedom than bondage.
stillness rather than trembling desperation.

I am thankful that i loved you.
just not as deeply as i am loving myself.