By Nyar Afrika
Trigger Warning: physical abuse*
Dear beautiful stranger,
It’s weird that I am reaching out to you,
a person I should be hating so much that I can’t bear to mention their name on my lips yet,
here I am:
Reaching. Out. To. You.
My ex was amazing… Or rather is. She always said the right words at the right time. She came to me at a time when I was struggling with self acceptance and l couldn’t believe in myself or even my worth, but she saw me.
People often overlooked me and choose to focus on what thought think is actually me. She saw the real me.
And I was elated!
I couldn’t help but think that this was the one true love that was made for me, but it would be a long time before I realized that she could make herself look like anything just to get the upper hand.
But still I mean, you must have imagined my joy when I finally found someone who saw past my pain and hurt. Someone who loved me for who I was.
So this ex of mine…
I pray she reveals her true self to you. The real person behind that ever present smile and “calm” demeanor. I know she has already blinded you with her sweet words and random acts of ‘love’ but still I am on my knees, praying…
I pray you see the light before it’s too late. With her, it is all about who is holding all the cards. Don’t give her the chance to hold everything that you hold dear against you.
I pray that you will finally be able to understand how important you are and start loving yourself more.
I am ashamed of myself and I hope you don’t end up like me.
You see, her gift of being able to see the real you is also what gives her that immense power. It is something that was always impossible to fight; the only option was to realize I was powerless against it and run.
She will know what to say, when to say it, what to touch and you will melt in her hands. All the while, she will be making you her slave.
She will be beating you to a pulp during the day while having you moan endlessly during the night.
You will be trapped.
Don’t be like me who lost an unborn child because she kicked my heavily pregnant tummy but still I refused to leave.
We all wanted a child and I has to go through the pains of getting one but she dashes our hopes with one irresponsible act.
Yet I refused to leave.
It was a red warning sign and a huge wake up call for me but still, I refused to leave.
Don’t be stupid like I was.
She was killing me but I allowed myself to be blinded by what I thought was love. I clung to the hope that maybe, maybe, me loving her would change her and I was wrong.
She is broken and no one can ever fix her; she is the only one who can fix herself and she has never seemed to try doing that.
I remember the many nights I lay awake in bed after a huge argument over nothing, romanticizing how I was going to ‘fix’ her. Somehow, she would find a way of taking anything that was her fault and turn the tables on me. Making a point was impossible. Getting her to hear me was a pipe dream but still, I held on to…
I used smiled to myself in the darkness while thinking, ‘I am the girl who will change her.’ But I was wrong. See the problem with me is I am always wrong. Even when it comes to serious issues that present themselves in black and white, I always end up being wrong.
You must think by now that maybe this happened to me because I am me and that you are different. Maybe she was meant for you but the real question is: will she see that, will she be able to look past her own cravings for power? Beyond that insatiable need to subject, to enslave? Will she be able to do that?
It was a joke at first. The dominatrix.
And then she became something different, easily offended, quick to give fake apologies and even quicker to use that tongue for more than sweet believable lies.
It was like sitting under a tree with a beehive, the only one for miles around. One so high I couldn’t reach it but occasionally something beautiful would fall out, a honeycomb with precious sweet honey that induced a transcendental feeling. But mostly I would have to fend off bees that stung me while I waited for the days that honey would fall. Days that were few and far between.
Chances of getting the whole beehive were somewhere between nil and no existent.
I am glad I saw it before the bees killed me.
I am glad I had the chance to warn you before it’s too late.
Feel free to go ahead and hate me for bursting your bubble.
This piece forms part of the #QueeringTheCloak series which is part of a larger project exploring sexual, emotional and physical violence in queer women spaces on the continent. The project seeks to essentially ‘pull back the cloak’ on shame and silence around this violence.
For all the articles and pieces on #QueeringTheCloak click here.
Also an article on 11 Signs You Are being Gaslight in a relationship and another 10 things the author learned from someone using gaslighting as an abuse tactic. For more on supporting people here is a piece on supporting someone in abusive relationship. Also some healing words for after the relationship is done. There is also this piece that gives some advice 6 ways to support a survivor of woman on woman sexual violence. There is also this piece entitled ‘At Least She Did Not Hit Me’.
© NYAR AFRIKA 2017.