I found one the last remaining pictures of you today, perched precariously among documents on my office PC. I did not go looking for you, but you somehow always managed to barge in and take over when I was desperate to secure an escape anyway. It was a bad idea to open it and look at it, even though I only did so for a moment before deleting it and going about my business.
But an annoying thought plagued me afterward. I can’t believe I didn’t see it then! It was written all over your face in a subtle tell-tale sneer: the smugness, the arrogance, the hint of a temper that I would not want to awaken. And there I was, looking at you as though you were human and not the malicious, cruel monster that you turned out to be. How dare you prey on people by putting on airs and lying about who you are! As much as you put me through, I cannot hate you, but do not dare deceive yourself into thinking that there is any love nor any semblance of affection or respect here for you!
Rather than hate you, rather than let it eat a gaping hole in my heart, I pity you, and I forgive you. I forgive you even after the first time you put your hands on me and threw me against the bathroom wall and choked me. I forgive you even though you slammed my head into the door frame several times, each time making my ears bleed. For shoving a handful of bullets in my face. For dragging me off the bed and across the floor by my hair. For denying me sleep for days on end, insulting me, terrorizing me, punching me in the head, kicking me in the side. For dragging me out of the house at 2 a.m. going 90 mph in the darkness with you punching my head as you drove, just so you could take me to a wooded area and threaten my life. For being a lying, cheating, manipulative, sadistic, cruel animal. And for everything else.
No, I do not hate you; I pity you. But I also feel hurt and sorrow for your family, for they are always left with your aftermath, with lifting you out of the hole you dig yourself into, and cleaning up your messes. I feel hurt in my heart for your parents who raised you and made sure you had everything you needed after raising your seven siblings and all you can do to show your appreciation is to spit in their faces and insult their memory because they were not able to provide you with everything you wanted! You and your overbearing, ungrateful, demanding sense of entitlement! I feel devastation for those you have abandoned and shed off onto the floor like dirty laundry because you cannot be a man and take care of your responsibilities!
You cannot lay claim to a woman by demanding it and bullying her into subjection! You cannot earn her love, trust, affection, respect, and admiration by putting your hands on her, terrorizing her, using, lying and manipulating her. How does a human being do this to another person and expect all that you do not deserve! How does a person call himself a man when he bruises a woman up, watches her cry and calls her weak, and the turns around an hour later trying to come up in my face telling me you love me?
Love me? How can you love me when you don’t even know me? And I decided the first time you put your hands on me that all you ever see would not include the things and people dearest in my heart. I locked it all up and hoarded it away from your filthy, destructive hands, and I guarded it with my life!
You tried to move me away from my family, but they are all back in again. You made me leave a job, but I took another one. You sold and destroyed my personal belongings, but I am buying it all new! You tried to beat him out of my heart, but he was safely in shadows out of your reach. Analyze what I really lost versus what you tried to rip away from me, and you will know that this is true: of the shadows and light, the brightest points of light were all you ever knew! What’s in the shadows is manifest to the only person who ever earned his way in. That action is what deserves my love, affection, respect, admiration: earning one’s way in, not trying steal it like a thief.
So what else have I truly lost other than things? Objects? Material possessions? Besides time? Nothing that cannot be replaced. All this despite your best efforts to undermine me and tear it all away and leave me vulnerable to whatever whim hit you at the time. No, it was you who lost everything. And I hope and I pray for you that in time, you will regret the destruction you have left in your wake. I pray for you to wake up and take control of yourself and do good, to see, understand, and accept the transgressions you have committed. I pray that no one else will have to endure what I did with you.
Shed the chaos, the lies, the anger. Do you even know who you are angry with? Go and find peace within yourself. Make peace with your family.
I forgive you. But I won’t forget what you did.