It’s day four since he left and you’re still an emotional mess. You still can’t think about eating, a shower still seems like the highest mountain to climb, and everywhere you look he’s there. It’s like you can still hear his voice all around the apartment, and see him everywhere you look. You haven’t even managed to clean the dishes in the kitchen because every time you enter the kitchen it feels like a different country. That was his spot. That was where he would cook us dinner, that was where you found him every time you came home from work. That was where he would tell you he loved you countless of times.
Today you had small successes; you finally showered since the day he last touched you, since you ridiculously dreaded touching water. You thought that along with dirt, his love would wash away from you forever. To think of it, it feels a lot lonelier after that shower. You finally ate your regular morning yogurt, since after he choked you even swallowing would hurt your bones. You put the clothes you fled with the night he hurt you back in the closet. But sadly you found more of his around. You are finally thinking of something else other than him and all the things that were left broken since he’s been gone. You are thinking of how to pick yourself back up.
It’s day four since he’s been gone and you still get a chill down your spine every time you remember he’s never coming back through that door. Your heart still sinks at the thought of who he really is and what he did to you. Your mind is still trying to remember him as the person who said he loved you more than anything and held you every night to show you that you weren’t alone in the world anymore. And you feel so stupid, so foolish and embarrassed because you realize that even through what he did to you, you’ve missed him this whole time. You miss the best friend he became, you miss the stupid jokes he would make, you miss having someone by your side who yelled to the world and back how much he cared. That was the first time someone did that. You truly believed him. And I think that’s what hurts the most, to close your eyes and see the rage and resentment he bottled up against you when he had his hands wrapped around your throat. Everything is so different, that the voice in your head doesn’t sound the same. Your body feels so empty and your chest hasn’t stopped burning since he released you off his grip for the last time.
It feels so surreal. You keep thinking about everything you stood for and cared about, and all those times you tried to educate someone of how harmful and common domestic abuse was, yet you never thought it would happen to you. And the person you keep remembering that he once was, seems like never even existed, it seems like your mind made up all those good things because your head can’t even fathom the hope of any romatic good happening again. Along with all the incredible sadness you feel, it is still so infuriatingly painful to think of the way he has acted since everything happened. He only apologized once, and he has already moved on. He didn’t dare to look at you when he came to pick up his clothes on Tuesday, he didn’t even dare say the words “I’m sorry.” On top of it all, you can feel the blame that everyone else around him is placing on you, you can feel the judgement and the name calling, and you can feel how everyone is excusing his behavior as if you weren’t worth anything.
The greatest success of today has been that you’ve started to tell yourself twice “it’s going to get better.” You said it in the quietest voice and in unmemorable times, but you said it. You have to keep saying it every time you enter the apartment, every time you touch your furniture, every time you lay in your bed and don’t feel him there. Your sense of touch will return. The chills down your back will eventually stop. And your fear of never getting better will have to ceize. I promise you, we are going to start to think forward, because we can’t let him cost you more.