I’m curled up next to you. Your shoulder is pressed into my back. The bed is uncomfortable, lumpy. My eyes crack open as the bed shifts. Your hands run along my side. Your lips are at my neck. You want me. I’m tired. Exhausted. But I give in. I say okay. You hold me tightly, the bed creaking in the silence. My face presses into the bed. Tears fall from my face. I’m tired. I’m tired. I’m tired. You moan. I sigh. You cradle my face in your hands, your own worried. Was I hurt? Was I okay? Did he do something wrong? I shake my head no. I curl up. The pillow is wet under my cheek as I slip into oblivion.
I used to consider you part of what made me strong. Now, you’ve become my greatest weakness. While my best friend held me in her arms, rocking me in place as I cried and screamed as if my heart was being ripped from my chest, she said something. “He is a bad addiction.” And you were. You are.
As I write this, I still cling to the idea of you. Of us. My heart isn’t ready to let go. Not completely at least. But I know I have to. I need to.
I’ve had nightmares the past year. They used to be of losing you in some accident, something terrible taking you away from me, something that I couldn’t control. Slowly, they changed. I started dreaming of you with her. You choosing her over me. Over us. I would wake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat, completely panicked. There I was, terrified that you were slipping from my grasp. You were gradually pulling away from me. You were finding joy with someone else. You no longer hid your disappoint when I denied you my body.
I tried to do everything, anything that I could to keep you. I sat at work wondering if you two were having lunch, while I stared down at my microwave meal. I asked how your day was, knowing well you had spent part of it with her. I quietly took it, as you started inviting her to more and more things. I tried to surprise you with sex, even if my mind wasn’t fully into it.
My insecurities grew. My depression, my anxiety got worse. I told you. I let you into the darkest crevices of my mind. I tried to get you to understand. I was terrified of losing you.
I tried. I failed. I failed to make you realize how important you were. How much I appreciated you. How much I loved you.
And that has been something that I’ve struggled with these past few months. I have been trying to stay as strong as I can. I keep holding myself together although I have gone backwards. I keep pushing forward even though my bank account is almost nonexistent. I keep smiling through the pain, the shame, the guilt that eats away at my insides.
I’ve been having nightmares the last few weeks. You keep hurting me, over and over again. And I keep forgiving you. I’ve started to panic again in the evenings, although I was doing so well. I cried, hard, for the first time in a while last night. I cried because I missed you. My brain kept yelling at me “No, stop it! Do not shed another tear over him. Do not let him win.”
Do not define him as your strength.
Although I tell myself these things, my body, my mind, my heart fight. They fight because you were like oxygen to me. Take that away, and I’m breathless. Take away something that makes me feel, and I will crave it every single minute.