This Is Not Absolution.

“I’m crazy and intense.
Nothing I do or say
Makes [any] sense.
If you stick around me,
You’ll be incensed.
But I swear I don’t only have objectively “bad” intents.
I know I’m a bit on the fence,
And I don’t know if I’m worth the expense,
To you,
But following through
Motivates me…”

Looking back, I think it’s such a shame,
How I always assumed the blame
Until it became
The foundation of my identity;
Until I resented me.

I was a product of my environment;
Groomed and manipulated to believe I was The Tyrant,
But to play that character, you were a requirement.
I needed you capitalizing on my susceptibility-
Preying on my vulnerability-
To evoke such righteous wickedness.
I needed you constantly tearing me down,
And then turning around,
To make your actions and behavior my fault
As a default;
A me-fault.

I realize
That was a terrible pun,
And I apologize,
But I cannot promise that I’m done;
Because enjoying my quirks is much too fun,
And I won’t hold that back anymore for anyone.

I used to see myself as the ‘Bad Guy;”
Used to think it would be better to just lay down and die.
I used to genuinely believe
That I was incapable to perceive
What was or was not real,
What I should or should not feel,
And/or what did or did not exist.
Your will was futile to resist,
Because anything else would be invalidated and dismissed.

Falling in love with you was the beginning of the end.
It started the timer for over 5 years I would spend,
Allowing you to wound me in ways that I don’t know if they will ever completely mend.
You made it a game to see just how far I would bend;
Slowly and subtly increasing my need to defend
Myself from the same person to whom I would depend.

You made me swallow
More than just your perspective.
You expected me to blindly, enthusiastically follow
Your every directive.
You only validated, supported, considered, and/or tried to understand
The parts of me that made you feel more like a man.
The only times you offered to hold my hand
Was when it somehow benefitted your plan-
Or if it bolstered your fragile ego-
But life did not go how we planned.
I could no longer build my home on a foundation of ever-shifting sand;
I left;
And you had to let me go;
Not because my love for you did not expand
To the width, depth, and breadth
That could rival generations,
But because I could finally see through your machinations;
Because I finally started to really understand your expectations;
Because I realized you loved controlling me,
And consoling me,
To show me
How lowly
I was to you;
How little you would value
All that I did, because to you
I was just another conquest to pursue.
I was less than a person to you.
I was rewarded with kindness if I submitted my servitude,
Slowly stripped my sense of self until I came unglued.

I was so blinded by my love for you,
That I actually believed you.
You pulled the wool over my eyes
By taking advantage of how I would adore you.
I never conceived you
Would fabricate so many lies.
You were the love of my life, my god, my favorite person, my world before you
Escalated the abuse until I finally perceived you-
Much to my surprise-
Were into baiting me,
Manipulating me,
Shaming me,
And blaming me,
Because you knew it would evoke a rise
Out of me.
You would trigger me into a rage,
Knew just which buttons to push to keep me in a cage,
So you could be
The victim, the good guy, the forgiving and faithful husband.

But all that bullshit was banned
When it stopped working;
Then you were King
No more.
I pulled back the curtain and tore
It, to discover you were an Oz:
Emphasizing my flaws,
Capitalizing on illusion,
Perpetuating confusion,
So you could choose when
I came to your desired conclusion.

It took a blatant enough shove
To realize there would never be enough love
To transcend our incompatibilities;
And our inabilities
To alter our behavior.
No longer am I the sacrifice on the alter,
And you the savior-
Though, you might feel the roles should be reversed,
Because I was The Light of your life first.

It was hard on both of us to separate;
And it still doesn’t feel great
To think of filling out the divorce papers,
But with time, the pain slowly tapers.
The anguish has not yet escaped me,
But it doesn’t matter how much you inflicted painful afflictions;
Raped me,
Cut me down,
Let me drown,
Belittled me,
Riddled me
With insecurities
Over my impurities
And imperfections;
It doesn’t matter how many of your reflections
Were constructed to be corrections,
Instead of empathetic connections;
I still love you.

You were my first;
In so many ways.
I am willing to remain cursed
For the rest of my days
With this deep ache,
Because I’ve learned so much from this heartbreak-
Especially how to love and value who I truly am;
That my needs and boundaries are valid;
And yours are, too.
Our marriage has become the sacrificial lamb
Revitalizing the vibrance we had worn pallid.
Unsheathing from my back, the K-BAR you
Flipped around as if it wasn’t a knife,
Cutting free from the bondage of our bonds
Delivering us both new life.

We had gone too far to reconcile.
I still remember how I felt walking down the aisle
And I’ll
Never forget;
Never completely regret
Those agonizing and blissful years,
The innumerable tears;
Because we are now both facing our demons and fears.

You never considered seeing a therapist-
Or seeking any guidance from a professional-
Before the incident,
But now you’re following through on the work they request,
Despite the pain probably being exceptional,
And I think it is helping you to be more emotionally intelligent and resilient.
I hope this growth is permanent,
And think it would be brilliant
If you kept at it,
I say, emphatic.

We catalyzed one another.
If someone had to break me,
I wouldn’t choose any other
Person to take me,
Distress then caress,
Improve then regress.
While we are now best for each other being apart,
I will always carry you in my heart.
Even though when I was your wife
There were multiple times I feared for my life,
I hope you remember how it felt when we kiss;
I hope you remember the anniversaries we miss;
But most of all,
I hope you find happiness.

Written by

Writer of poetry, dark fiction, and social commentary; Reading and writing about the human experience.

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