She looked at me with insecurity in her eyes, as if pleading for sympathy.
Much as I tried to muster up a shred of compassion, she had used up the last ounce left in me. Used it up on some medial triviality that was, if anything, inconsequential to the matter at hand.
For years, I had done my best to understand the root of the issue. For years, I had given a part of myself to her — my ears, heart, time, energy. I had been sympathetic towards experiences far out of my scope. My arms were always open for embrace, my head was always open to another perspective, but my soul was guarding my heart from digesting more than I could stomach.
Then it happened.
One day, I opened my eyes and realized that she was a living, breathing reminder of everything I had already overcome. She had the demeanor of a human, but the behaviour of what used to be my undefeated demons.
I was at the end of my tether, a tether I didn’t even know existed — perhaps very few people had ever dared reach it. Even fewer lacked the cognizance to know where my line lay.
But she, I suppose, fell into that category of “one of the fewer”.
I confronted her, of course, regarding the levels of disrespect radiating like Venus’ sulfuric acid — she didn’t “mean to”, she just couldn’t “help it”. Apparently it was my fault for letting her speak in that manner, for not defending myself.
Well my apologies for choosing to rise above the need to be unnecessarily defensive.
I took her advice, nonetheless, to prove a point. I “defended myself” by not taking blame for other people’s transgressions. This was, incidentally, viewed as “interrupting” and “not letting the other person finish speaking.” (Rambling, honestly).
Well my apologies for having self-respect and guiding a conversation instead of enabling validation.
How did I even let it go on so long?
I’ve been there before.
I’ve been in her shoes before. Those juvenile, self-centered, self-indulged, narcissistic, insecure, egotistic, defensive, over-analytical, paranoid, anxious shoes.
I’ve worn something like that.
Many moons ago, but in those shoes I’ve tread those paths — climbed the mountains and rolled down cliffs, drowned in lakes and washed up on shore, broken my bones and worn them casts.
But I am not there now. Nor do I want to go back to any of it.
So when I say that I am out of sympathy, it is not selfish or uncaring. It is not callous or heartless.
It is that I will no longer allow anyone to twist something beautiful into their distorted versions of reality. I cannot fill the voids she won’t admit exist, and will not validate insecurities that are hers — not mine — to fight.
My darling, if you ever read this, I’m sorry that I’d ever let you mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m walking away because of the strength I’ve mustered up after recovering from this battle. I can’t let you interpret my words to your advantage simply to justify the mistakes of mine you continuously repeat instead of move past. I cannot keep being the buoy you cling to when you get stranded at sea, repeatedly. It’s time for you to pull your own weight — I’ve left you with enough care packages and tools to sift through, but it’s up to you to figure out how to use them.
You’re on your own, darling, but in a way that you need right now.
I’ll see you on the other side.
Hope you make it out alive.
Signed with the kind of love you’ve yet to understand,