About your pain.
|Remembering that day still stings. Your stomach cramps and you feel the need to shake your head. You remember the exact place you were at, what you were doing, what you had for breakfast, or better yet were going to have for breakfast, just before you heard the news. Losing someone you never thought you'd lose felt like they might as well have cut your throat open, tossing your limp body on the cold floor, leaving you gasping for air. You felt betrayed, angry, like a fool that was just a toy in their wicked game.
Years roll by and your skin grows thicker by the day. That morning lingers in the back of your mind, sometimes fighting its way to the surface, calling you names, making you feel small.
"You little, pathetic excuse of a person. Remember how you let them use you? How you opened the door, invited them in? They all laughed at you. They're still laughing."
Finding someone worth trusting is damn near impossible for you. Finding someone who would make you feel again ... even harder. You do your best not to keep a record on how many people have done you wrong. You wish you could stop searching for someone to save you.
Today you heard a nasty rumor. Only a few days before you two were having a laugh, patted each other on the back, like the good pals you are. Now they spread lies, twist your words. That sickening feeling creeps back to your dry and sore throat. "Why did I think they'd have my back? I'm a fool. Someone they will keep stepping on."
You stop letting people touch you. At nights your skin screams to feel the warmth of another being, but you won't let them in. Anything to feel strong again. Anything not to feel like a stepped-on idiot. "Never again will they use me. Let the loneliness take me over and gnaw holes in my screaming body. I may drain, but I will do it by my own hand."
The less you need them, the more they knock on your door. "Let them come, I'll greet them with a smile." But your smile is just as fake as theirs, never reaching your dreadful eyes. Laugh at their jokes, pat them on the back, close the door. Let the gnawing go on.
That morning you wake up to a new feeling. Your breath is even, peaceful, and the silence around you cuddles your ears. Like a reflex you reach for your phone, to post something witty, anything to get a notification on how someone still notices your existence. In the mid-air, your hand freezes and lands back by your side, not willing to move. You lie there, horrified of your own thoughts. And then they come, rolling in. No phone, no shelter, no escape ... just your brutal memories of feeling dumb and betrayed. Tears burn their path down your cheeks, but this time, you let them stream free. Let them come. All the nasty words, betrayal, fights and judgement. And then, as a blackening, rotten cherry on the top, that morning, just before you were about to dig your teeth into a French Toast Bagel, your first loss. It all attacks you like an eighteen-wheeler, rushing over the speed limit on an empty highway. Instead of dodging, you let it hit you. Your body shakes with waves of pain. Excruciating force takes you over, trembling and tossing, making every inch of your body feel like it's resting on a mattress of broken glass.
And then the waves slow down. The glass shards are still there but they now feel dull, like an annoying tickle on the bottom of your feet, simply impossible to scratch. Your breath deepens, and you can feel every muscle in your body, ready for a fight, ready to run across the awakening city. Strong. No longer drained.
One day, you meet a new person, you let them touch you. Not to let them take advantage of you. Not to make you feel like a trampled fool. But because you don't need their touch to feel whole. You don't have a need for them to save you. All the strength and courage you need in your life is already here. Inside.