My love I have been through hell.
Sometimes I thought I would never make it.
You broke my heart so many times it became a norm. I became your punching bag yet I never complained. Whenever you felt the need to scream you somehow screamed at me and the scary part was, I let you.
My friends would ask me why I had a black eye. Why I did not pitch for a picnic.
I would tell them I tripped and hit the door. I wouldn’t tell them that you hit me so hard everything went blank for a few minutes.
Or that you hadn’t granted me permission to go out.
I stuck to my story even when they didn’t believe me; I somehow knew they would judge you. Or me for that matter.
I knew that if I told them what happened they would fill my head with doubt or they would feel sorry for me and I needed to believe in us.
When you came home with flowers, to apologize for throwing me off the wall or hitting me because I refused to give you sex, you were loving and charming. It reminded me of the days we used to love each other, of the promises you made to me and somehow I made myself believe that you will remember and we would go back to the way we were.
You kept reminding about how lucky I am to have you in my life. How much I needed you. But you forgot to mention how lucky or even blessed you were to have me in yours, how lucky you were to have been loved so purely.
You forgot to mention that you had never before found the kind of love I gave you.
That my unconditional love shocked you so much that you made sure I never left by breaking every promise you had ever made to me.
By breaking my spirit.
I was never good enough. You made me loathe myself.
I depended on you spiritually, physically and emotionally. Even the clothes I put on my body you had to approve.
You forgot to mention how unlucky you would be if left. So I found the strength within to leave.
I finally found the strength when I looked in the mirror and a stranger looked back. A weak, self-loathing woman. I saw a reflection of someone who let you dictate their life to them. A young lost woman who allowed another human being treat her like she never belonged.
I took the first step and I never looked back. And even though the scars are deep, in time they will heal. I could stay angry at you and hate you for all the things you did but then I know you hated yourself more than I could hate you. I choose to be free of this anger, I choose to forgive you and move on with life.
There is one thing I’d like to say to you. Thank you for showing me how much a person can hate and thank you for the good things you did for me. I have learned a lot from you but most of all I have learned that all along I had a choice and the power to change my situation.
I am letting you go with all that you had to offer.
I thought you broke me but nothing you could do to me that could take my being.
I will love hard. Trust with all I have. I will believe in myself more and grab every opportunity to show my strength with all I have.
I hope you find happiness in your life and the self-hatred dissolves.
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 and also a piece where the woman says At least she didn’t hit me”. There is also a piece by a woman who writes a letter to her ex abuser’s new girlfriend. Also some healing words for after the relationship is done.
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