Good grief did I think I loved you, you fucking maniac

I remember not being able to hide a weird smile when you asked me if I’d given him head.

You said something along the lines of there not being a clearer answer than that. We walked along the canal as you screamed and sobbed about how you wanted to buy a ring for me, that you seriously wanted to make a life with me, but I had thrown it all away. How can you be so stupid Em? You think you’ll ever be happy without me? I know you, Em. I know everything about you, just remember that.

When that failed to get a response, you changed direction. You were always very good at that. Look how much you’ve done for me Em. You’ve looked after me through my illness, you’ve helped me become the person I’ve always wanted to be. I know I’m not perfect, and I’ve hurt you but you’ve hurt me too, but now I’ve lost you. I’ll never forgive myself for losing the most perfect, precious, beautiful person who ever walked the earth. Oh God, what have I done. You have to help me Em.

A week or so prior to this, you had stormed into our mutual friends’ house, falsely accusing everyone in there of having sex with me and finishing up with a hearty ‘you fucking cow’ in my face as you headed back to your car. That was most definitely the end of us. And thank the maker it was, because that shit is not healthy.

It only took me about 4 years of drugs, casual sex and leaving the country to find out who I was again though. (And that person is someone who definitely enjoys drugs, sex and leaving countries. And knitting, just so there’s no confusion here.) I remember everything well, but I’ve gotten over it.

And that smile, I couldn’t help it. After sleepless nights, panic attacks and feeling like I wasn’t good enough for you to not get angry at, watching you break at the thought of another man’s dick in my mouth was an empowering moment. Especially as by that point we were already over, and I couldn’t have given a shit about your feelings.

I guess for most of the time we were together I didn’t love you. I was simply and wholly addicted to you. I lost my self-esteem, my entire sense of self. I’ll never forget the morning I woke up next to you, the moment something clicked in my head and I realized I was free. I had reached my limit and my desire to love you had died. Relief washed over me as I got in my car and drove away.

Experiencing manipulation in relationships is so normal it’s almost boring to discuss. We all make each other do stuff and feel stuff. If you don’t like it you either get out or let it change you into a bitter old husk. Normally, every relationship you have; be it as a parent, friend, teacher or lover, is a power-play. That’s not something to get depressed about, that’s life. It works whether you’re aware of it or not.

The key is, if you’re being manipulated in a way that damages your self-image, or affects your daily life, get the fuck out of there. If someone can treat you like absolute shit one minute and write you a heartbreaking sonnet the next — It will never change. It. Will. Never. Change.

It doesn’t matter if I tell you that they are broken, or you are too trusting or some people are sociopaths or don’t leave yourself open. Nothing fixes this bullshit. People shouldn’t destroy people and people shouldn’t let themselves be destroyed. Get out of there and tell yourself whatever black and white narrative you need to keep away.

These days people berate me for being so hopelessly addicted to cigarettes. Well guys, you should see the addictions I have broken. Because I have been to hell and back already. I know I can survive another round-trip whenever I need to, but can you?