Monday, 10 May 2021


Upon the surface I know, we all know, that the outwardly facing world is a picture-perfect reflection of the ideal life. My smiles, my laughter, all reflect the amount of love I feel for that person in my life. We hold hands, we giggle, we wander around the world and the onlookers seem to even be mildly jealous. Picture perfect. We’re matched, meant to be and are far, far more.

When I met you, you said all of the words I wished to hear. The trials and tribulations of your life seemingly overcome, resolved, removed and the wishes and kisses soothing my very soul like no other. I fell so very, very hard for you. I couldn’t wait to hold that hand of yours. To hold you. To have and literally throw myself into the situations we managed to find ourselves. We laughed like no other, buzzing and bouncing around like silly fools.

I remember when the phone would beep and the moments my heart would skip. Each message was but the very smile upon my lips. Your words, your curves, all infecting my soul. I should have known. Perfection can sometimes incur a cost. Many people often wear masks to hide so many, many sides, but that’s often to protect themselves. I understand, I also supposedly understood the thoughts upon such survival techniques.

Then, upon one solitary day, something changed. Ambushed. Unknown. Not quite ready for what happened. You changed or, should I say, you changed when your lips touched your secret addiction. You hadn’t faced your demons at all as, instead, you’d simply hid them within a room of dark secrets and cruel debauchery. The very notion that the sweetest, most innocent person you could ever meet, could change into the cruellest, demonising, destructive person, was something I wasn’t prepared for. Under your very skin, lurked someone that I would never, ever, wish to be anywhere near.

The alcohol turned you, switched you into someone that I simply did not know. You would pick, prod, deflect, blame and patronise. Every opinion thrown from my thoughts would be ridiculed. The coward finally rising from within, intending to destroy the unknowing person sat beside you. Eventually, over time, I realised that the very intention of your hidden side was to break me. Subservience is what you desired. To be better, to tower above me, for some godless reason that I never fathomed until later. I came to understand that love was not worth the anxiety of having every single word scrutinised.

I, eventually, was no longer blameless. My own actions faltered as I tried again and again to change the situation. I was wrong, I failed. I started to change and with each new action, I realised that I was the only person that was managing to do just that, change. I was becoming defensive, argumentative and afraid of each new conversation. Manipulation can be a gradual process. Slow, meandering, clever and most certainly, evil.

Upon a day, you stood in front of me, shouting, asking me, telling me, to hurt you. To hit you. That, upon that very second, explained everything to my simple, silly, mortal soul. If upon that very second, I did as requested, my soul would have been lost and the victory won by your possibly unknowingly twisted mind. I would have been chastised, broken, owned and reviled by every single person that you would have told. That was your intention, the breaking of bones would never be the same as owning another.

Upon almost every single level, hurting the person you love, be that pain physical, emotional or even spiritual, should never, ever, enter a person’s mind. Things happen, people grow apart and eventually have affairs, but that’s just the way of a heart that hasn’t yet found what it truly needs or desires. The pain is often not intentional. Abuse is every single meaning of itself. It’s intentional, avoidable and most certainly not to be accepted within any second of our lives. At least I’m now trained to see the expertly hidden signs of such actions. As mentioned, I’m hardly innocent, but at least I’m honest. I’ll never ‘be’ you, even though you could be anyone. I have no pity or answers, only solutions that would never, ever, have been heard.

I’d like to believe that you simply believed that you were right with all of your words but, seeing as the trends upon your life mimicked themselves with each new partner, I’m afraid that my beliefs would never become truth. A person can be crushed. A person can break and fall, with even the smallest of words eventually provoking fear and dread. The child scorned into remaining silent, awaiting the next episode of revulsion and panic. Two people together can achieve so much, but one person upon their own high-minded chariot, can chastise and corrupt even the strongest of characters.

Abuse is not as clear as I thought it was. Abuse is slow, not always physical and most certainly hidden, hidden behind the sweetest smile and most caring words. I’m one of the lucky individuals that has, thankfully, thoughtfully, witnessed and escaped the verbal abuse of another.

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