Featuring Writing #3- A Photo

I loved you.

When we first met, I did my best to come across as being effortlessly cool, something I knew I was not. My hands were clammy and my stomach hurt. I don’t know how, but I managed.

You were way out of my league, older and experienced. I was fresh out of an abusive relationship, still trying to stitch my seams into something that made sense. I was hurting and you tried to ease the pain. You did your best.

I remember when I confessed to you what my ex-boyfriend had done to me. It took everything in me to utter those words without my voice cracking. It did anyway. I burst into tears, almost inconsolable. I was embarrassed by my past. You weren’t.

Content is the only way to describe how I felt when these photos were taken. I never experienced such comfort before you. Like nothing could hurt me, the world around us didn’t matter– we were untouchable. We had each other and that was enough. And for a while, it was.

The problems didn’t rise above surface until much later. The demons always find a way, poking their existence in and out throughout my life. But this was different. The demons had come and made it clear they were here to stay. There wasn’t enough Venlafaxine or Xanax in the world to soothe the incessant panic, the plaguing compulsions.

I was different.

The saddest part about it all is nothing specific happened. Nothing set me off, no trigger. It’s just who I became. I turned into my old self again, slightly self-destructive, a real-life mess.

I loved you.

The problem is, I loved you so much that I forgot to love myself. Who was I? What did I want?
I spent so much time thinking about our future and what we wanted that I forgot to make time for me. I lost track of my progress. I slept a lot. I started overeating. I didn’t want to do anything, nor go anywhere. I didn’t want to exist. I didn’t want to live the mundane life I knew I created for myself. Most of all, though, I didn’t want to entangle you in the shit show starring me. It wasn’t fair to you. I dug my hole, now it was time to rest in it.

How do you tell someone you love and spent so much of your life with that you can’t be with them anymore? How do you break a heart knowing they gave it to you already half broken? How do you live with that guilt?

I don’t know. You just do.

Sometimes you can love someone with every fiber of your being, but sometimes love’s just not enough. Sometimes the time isn’t right. Sometimes it’s not meant to be… and sometimes it is. Sometimes it takes a long time to determine what we want. Sometimes we’ll never know.

I loved you.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sorry. For being the way I am, for dragging you into my world knowing it was already in flames. I’m sorry you fell in love with a beautiful mess. I’ve said “sorry” in my head so many times it doesn’t even sound like a real word anymore. When I try to say it out loud it feels like shards of glass are stuck in my throat. I’m sorry I can’t say sorry enough.

I don’t know what fate has in store for me. I don’t know if you’re involved. I don’t know if we’ll ever speak or see each other again, but if we do I hope it’s for something wonderful. I don’t know why things had to be this way, but I trust my heart more than I trust my mind.

I loved you.
I am sorry.
I still love you.
I can’t be with you.

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