The heart of a woman is a mysterious place. Far into the deepest recesses our love lies in wait of the one who can awaken us to the warmth of companionship, intimacy, and trust. We are emotional creatures who can withhold some from all and yet with reckless abandon, give all to one, baring our faults as honestly as our strengths. You cannot measure the value of the gift of our love, or of the moment we realize a fire has been kindled for you and we are so overjoyed we want to share that light with the world.
This is not what happened to me, to us, rather. I cannot say what really did happen with unbiased lips, because the baggage of destruction now weighs me down. You were brilliantly afire yet cold and distracted all at once, but you feigned it well. And I fell for it all, like a rock that skips across the water and then drifts to the bottom and becomes embedded in the sediment.
You lured me into a false sense of security, goading me to reveal pains and regrets as though they belonged to you, too. As though they were your pain, too. And once you built enough trust, you ripped it out from under me and trapped me in the quicksand. You used my vulnerability against me and took every opportunity you could to break me down by incessantly throwing it in my face. Every single time you could, you warped it and twisted around in a big tangled mess, and you used it as “solid, irrefutable” proof, evidence, documentation, verification that I am not good enough and you needed to change me.
I have to give it to you; you almost caught me, but not quite. What’s that song? Almost doesn’t count. Not even close. For your mistake is this: I am a thinking woman. I am intelligent. It must be an intimidating thing for you, because the only replies you could come up with in response to me was that I am mouthy “like a black girl” and I “must have got that from somebody else.” Because how could someone as intellectually inferior to you (as I am) come up with anything on her own?! You tried to take this, too, away from me, but the thing about women like me is that we don’t give this up without a fight. Your mistake, further, was that you took my intelligence and my strength for disrespect and belligerence because I wasn’t willing to go to the dark, grimy places you expected me to follow. Places where true women are not to be found. Women with class, decency, dignity, respect, tact, morals, and women with a thinking mind. You misjudged it, and you tried to beat it out of me like you did with everything else.
I fought almost to the death to hold onto this part of me, and I realized that I didn’t have to fight anymore! I could not fight against an army incessantly brutalizing me, and you might as well have been an army flexing its might the way you wielded your physical prowess as though you are superior. It takes a delusional man to lord his strength over someone smaller and physically weaker than he. You only did this because you weren’t man enough to take on someone your own size. You must feel inferior to do this! And with everything I am, instead of hating you, I pity you. I pity you because you somehow think this all makes you a man. That it raises you above your flaws and imperfections so you can feel perfect. Superior. Godlike and all-powerful. Yes, I pity you, for you will be lonely. You keep doing this, and you will be lonely.
I may not be perfect, and I may not be the most intelligent woman, much less person, on the face of this earth. But I woke up and finally saw that I was just perpetuating old habits from my childhood. Chasing you around trying to win your approval like it could ever mean anything! Until I felt like a mangled heap of garbage inside, and I almost believed that what you were doing to me I deserved. I almost believed that if I could somehow become everything you wanted, the same way all your female friends were to you, that you would stop. That you would stop the punching and kicking and slapping and screaming and insults and threats and belligerence and anger and control and oppression and domination. And the more I tried, the worse you became, and I woke up, and I realized, that it wasn’t me you felt was inferior… It was yourself, and you somehow thought that by doing these things to me this would change.
You somehow thought that doing these things to me wouldn’t change how I felt about you. If I loved you enough, I cared enough, I would just stay and take my beatings like a good dog, following you around with my tail tucked between my legs. You somehow thought that I would come to believe that you doing these things to me was love. That you were doing them out of desperation to try to get me to change something that was very, very broken in me, and that I would appreciate it. Even agree with you and justify it so you could be free of the consequences.
You made this fatal mistake, Kevin. You see, despite my upbringing and dysfunctional childhood and the abuse that four of us endured at the hands of three parents, despite my lack of confidence and the need to chase the approval of those closest to me, despite my depression, and everything that happened in my life at the hands of others… I held on to my intelligence and reasoning… and the memory of love. Because I woke up. Because I knew that this is not the way that love is supposed to be. I knew it in my head, I knew it in my heart, and I knew it in my gut, and when I told you the week before you did those things to me that there was no more forgiveness left for you, I had decided it was time to leave.
You knew, too, that this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, or you wouldn’t have been so nightmarishly jealous of Kerwyn. Yes, I was better to him in more ways than you can ever dare to imagine, because he knows how it is supposed to be. And I didn’t have to fight him, defend myself against him, change myself, tolerate any terror, torture, or suffering, because he knew how it was supposed to be. And despite all my talents to previously avoid it, Kerwyn saw into me, past the walls, through the facade, and into the core of who I am. And he accepted me, supported me, encouraged me, and treated me with nothing less than dignity, respect, kindness, love, and compassion.
Despite you going around and telling everyone how I disappeared on you and left you for someone else, I left because of me. I left you for myself. Because I knew I deserved better. Because I wanted the pain, suffering, and abuse to end. Because the mess, the chaos, the disaster that was Kevin and I was not how it was supposed to be.