When I was a girl all I wanted to hear was, “I support you.”
I wanted to be trusted with my ideas.
I wanted to be heard.
Instead, I was silenced.
I was bullied.
He would talk over me.
Then when I would start to crumble he would throw in a last jab,
“Why are you crying?”, he’d sneer.
The patronizing was the final straw.
I stopped trusting.
I stopped crying.
I built a wall around my heart because if I couldn’t trust family, who could I trust?
I couldn’t even trust me.
For years I was bullied along with my sister and mother.
I thought it was normal.
I even dated men who were bullies.
Because I thought that was all I was worth.
Until I met you.
And everything changed.
You were the light I needed.
You were this glimpse of another reality.
One full of joy and kindness.
So I jumped.
I escaped into your belonging.
But unfortunately, with my jump came my pain.
What I thought I escaped, I actually dragged with me.
And now you are seeing it unraveling and the girl who laughed at all your jokes is drowning with the sharks and you can’t throw a life raft.
I’m sorry, babe.
But these sharks are mine and I can’t keep being rescued.
I have to learn how to survive with them on my own.
I have to do the work.
And maybe one day, with enough love, my sharks can turn into dolphins.