An Open Letter to the Girl Who Thought He Never Would

For the record, before we get into any of this, I'm going to tell you that I'm sorry. I don't know and you don't know me, but I'm sorry that it had to come to this. I'm sorry that you're on Google, wishing up reasons to leave or how to do it and I'm sorry that everything is a rollercoaster of emotions right now.

You have to know that it won't always be. You have to know that you're going to be okay and that things are going to be okay. But what isn't okay is what he did to you.

And I guess that's where all of this starts.

Maybe when you met him you were in a really good place and you knew exactly what you wanted and he fit the bill. But then, maybe when you met him it was the complete opposite - you were a mess and figuring out how to put yourself back together and that's how you found him. Either way, he was the epitome of a knight in shining armor. To you, anyway.

He said all the right things and made you feel safe. He took all the doubts and fears that you had about anything and everything at all and ripped them away from you, instead filling your head with possibilities and dreams and hopes. You didn't know it then, but they were all empty. And it's okay to not have known.

He was charming and charismatic and he was everything you thought you ever wanted. Maybe he played guitar or sang for a band you'd never heard of. Maybe he was successful and had his life figured out and that was what attracted you. Maybe he was trying to figure things out and you were, too, so you saw the relationship as a work in progress and a chance to grow into who you were supposed to be together. Maybe he had a job and a car and offered stability and maybe it was none of those things. Maybe it was just the way he made your heart flutter when he told you how beautiful you were. Maybe it was the way he made you believe him. Maybe it was the way his kisses left you breathless. Maybe it was the way that he looked at you and promised to take it all away. Maybe it was the way that he cared because no one else had before.

Whatever it was, you realized soon that you were in love. And if you weren't in love, you were in love with the idea of him.

The closer you two became, the more sides of him you would start to see. And the more sides that you saw of him, the more you began to cling tighter to the version you remembered in the beginning. He wasn't completely changing in front of you yet; it was a gradual thing now that you think about it.

At first, you remember rolling your eyes and waving off comments people would make. They weren't right. They never were. This would just be another instance where they were trying to control your life and they only thought they knew best. Kind of funny how everyone else sees it before you, isn't it?

It starts with your family. They just don't like the way he is with you. They don't think he's good enough and you just chalk it up to being exactly that - you're their little girl and no one will ever be good enough. But he's different. He's really the one. So without realizing it, you start to pull away from them. You start putting in a conscious effort to avoid the subject and hope that everyone will try to get along.

Eventually, your friends start to notice. They pick up small differences in behavior when he's around and when they speak up, it sets you off. You're angry at them for suggesting he's changing you because he isn't - except he is. It's subliminal and it's slight, but he is. You start putting a wall up and push further away and he pulls you in accordingly.

Now, it's not so subtle. He's suggesting you stay away from certain people until it shifts to a threat. If he hasn't made you pick yet, it's coming. And if you try to pick them, there's a plethora of guilt about to be thrown your way. He's been here for you more than they have. He's the only one you should love. He's the only one, essentially, that you should pay attention to.

You haven't caught the signs, but they're there. Every neon, flashing sign has been placed for you to see but you've ignored every single one. Manipulation is the first sign. And you learn that he's the master of it. You become accustomed to his behavior so you think nothing of it until you're talking with him. Something you said didn't sit well with him and he explodes. Again, it's swept under the rug. He just says things he doesn't mean when he's angry. We all do.

Imagine the shock you feel when he hits you the first time.

You've seen the shows, the Lifetime movies. You remember being the person to scream at the girl on TV, even the mother. How could they let someone that "loved" them do that? You never thought you'd be that girl. You spent most of your life helping or defending people in similar situations, so you'd know if you were in it. You keep repeating the mantra that it's just something he does when he gets mad. Denial. You're in a burning room and you've given him the matches.

The second time is almost like slow motion. You realize what's coming before the hand ever touches you and you still let it happen. Sure, this time you yell and try to fight back - or maybe you don't. Either way, it doesn't change what happened. Once he's calmed down, he starts crying. Or he starts apologizing and promising on everything that it'll never happen again. He's an expert at sorry and keeping a very thin line blurry.

It does happen again. As much as you wished it wouldn't have, it did. And it's the same pattern as before. He'll never do it again, you get upset, he gets angry and the cycle repeats.

You start having battles within yourself. Part of you believes it isn't abuse because how could it be? He loves you and he would never do something like that. The other part of you is fully aware of what it is, but this part doesn't win most of the time. It's just something he does when he's angry. You were the one that messed up, not him. He was never in the wrong. You must have said something or done something.

You remember the first time that you say no. It's loud and clear, even though your voice is quivering. This only makes him angrier, and he still gets what he wants. You remember the feeling all too well. You're trapped inside yourself while he's taking what he believes is his. But isn't it? You're in a relationship so he has the right. Right?

Wrong.

Of course, just like the first time he hit you, this won't be the last time he assaults you.

It takes a while before reality hits you in the face and sends you in a downward spiral. You feel empty, lost. Who do you go to? Who do you tell? The family that would only have been right? The friends that he's exiled you from? You feel alone. You feel exactly how he's meant for you to.

When things end, you'll find yourself even more torn than before. Maybe he'll change. Maybe he'll get the help he needs. Maybe it wouldn't happen again if you just went back. You trick yourself into believing the happiness you felt initially outweighs all the memories that are burned into you now.

When you close your eyes, you see him. You feel him. You feel his hands around your throat or his palm across your cheek. You hear the angry, bitter words. You feel him kiss you. You see the way he looked at you when he told you he loved you. You see the way he cried and the way he begged you to forgive him. You see the different versions of him and you wonder if you're making the right decision. When you dream, you relive nightmares. You fight with yourself, over and over. The anxiety is amplified and you realize without him, you don't know who you are anymore.

He'll get off on telling you he needs you or that you were nothing to him. You are nothing to him now, but how could that be when he was everything to you? He loved you so much and he hates you more than he's ever hated anyone before. He'll never do it again if you just come back. He never wants anything to do with you. You are nothing.

But you aren't. You are so much more than he gives you credit for. You're not nothing. You are important and loved and strong. You walked away from a bad situation and you are strong enough to get through this. You'll learn it's a work in progress, but everything will go back to normal.

You will find yourself. You will get better. You won't need him. You won't miss him. You will mend relationships and you will learn to trust again. You are more than enough for someone else, even if that isn't right now. You are enough for yourself.

You will fight this. And you will get through this.

With love,
The Girl That Left
February 28th, 2017 at 11:03pm