they’ll never hurt you like i do

damn it all, i am just sad
everything’s staying as fucked up
because all that i used to have
burned out in jar like a lightning bug

– the polar bear club

i’m not sure i can pin-point exactly when i fell in love with m. i don’t know if it happened when i was watching him boil pots of water on the stove and carry each of them up one by one to draw us a bath after our long winter walks back to his mother’s house. i’m not sure if it happened while watching him pick out his clothes and dress himself every morning. i can’t remember if it happened while watching him light every candle in his bedroom and put on our song before he laid down to kiss every inch of me. i do remember though, that after a few weeks of dating, he bought me a card with a picture that said “you are my sunshine” on it- inside he thanked me for being me, for absolutely no reason at all. he did that a lot- bought me cards for no reason, drew me pictures while he was at work, and took me on dates. i can’t quite put my finger on when it was that i fell out of love with him, either. i’m not sure if it was watching him cry alone on the sidewalk as he told me he’d cheated on me for the first time. i can’t remember if it happened every time i saw the plaster from our walls crumble next to me as he put his fist through it over, and over as i cowered in the corner, crying and begging him to stop. it may have happened moments before everything went black as he pushed onto my throat, with his thumbs. it may have happened after stepping out of a hot shower and catching a glimpse of my reflexion in the mirror for the first time in days- black bruises on my collar bones, eyes red and swollen, face drained of any real emotion. i do remember though, when i stopped giving a shit, when i stopped having nightmares, when i stopped giving into him.

there are many memories i have of m stored in the back of my brain- but there are so many more things i can’t dig out. so many things have been partially erased, as if to save me the pain of remembering. it’s frustrating: trying to put the pieces back together in order to remember clearly enough to forget. how do you forget something you’re missing pieces of? how do you put those demons to rest if you’re forgetting the worst parts?

i’m not sure what my mind has decided to keep from me- and as frustrated i get, these past few days just proved to me how grateful i am to have that ability; the ability to block certain details and memories from my brain enough to try and move forward. these past few nights before finally drifting to sleep, i remember the smell of a stranger’s clothes- and the twisted knot in the pit of my stomach when i woke up to that scent, and realized he’d been in my home. i remember how gnarly the whiskey tasted as i pounded it back, shot after shot. i remember the confident smirk plastered on his face as i danced. i remember, i remember, i remember…

i don’t know what the fuck i remember.

these past six months have been more blury than any memory i have. maybe leaving andy was harder on me than i’d lead on. not because i miss him (which i do sometimes, for the record), but because andy sheltered me. not in an over-protective, jealous boyfriend way… but because he protected me from myself. the people who know me best have told me repeatedly that i have a destructive personality; i don’t just do bad things and live with the consequences… i get lost in my emotions and my mistakes, and completely destroy everything in my path. andy had so much good in him it over-flowed, and filled me with that positive need to be better. he pointed me in the right direction without even knowing he was doing it. and when i moved out of our home and needed to build myself from the ground up again, i got lost. i left the best part of me in that house, i left the best parts of me with andy- and that’s finally clear now.

my mother remembers things for me, sometimes. when i decided to find another place on my own after moving out of me and andy’s house, she remembered what happened to me the last time i lived alone. she remembered visiting and finding weeks’ worth of dishes piled on the counter, the cat box over-flowing in the kitchen, the bottles of empty liquor scattered in the apartment, the clothes all over the floor in my bedroom… she remembers how easily i disconnected from life. i mourned such loss, alone.

i’m trying so hard to dig myself out before i get there again. i’m trying not to beat myself up for what i can’t remember. i’m trying to be a better version of myself, but so much of those memories have been erased.

memory is funny like that.

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7 thoughts on “they’ll never hurt you like i do

  1. the same thing happened to me with an (sort of) abusive relationship i had… i forgot most of it…. lately i´ve been trying to recall, but it’s not easy at all…
    i’ve blacked out a lot of things that happened after the relationship ended as well… my worst times… and when i remember, when i’m reminded of this things i get really scared….

    life is sucky like that sometimes

  2. I can’t relate to you here, or in any of your stories with M, but you have such a way of telling your stories its as if I’m in your head, feeling & thinking the things you’re feeling & thinking. In other words; you’re an amazing writer, and I love you!!!

    {& not just because you think I’m funnier than a 2 dollar hooker…umm, not as funny the first time around?}

    You will get through this. xoxoxo

  3. Jess is right- you have a beautiful way with words. Use it to the fullest. You don’t have to post everything you write- but write as often as you feel. it could be a real outlet for you, and a way of making sense of somethings. when you go back and read something on paper, you gain a little objectivity. And it just might help some of those memories come loose.

  4. Pingback: 2010 – a (super long) recap « elle

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