When I first loved you, I allowed you to be who you wanted to be. I didn’t expect apologies whenever you made mistakes. I didn’t set rules to our relationship. I allowed your playful tongue to be used on me, even if it was offensive. I allowed you to throw me away when I was of no use. I allowed you to push my boundaries. I allowed you to leave me on read. I allowed you to make decisions that hindered my own. I never refused any of your behaviour. I wanted you to be happy, and I thought by granting you freedom, your happiness would soon become my happiness.
But instead of feeling happy, I tore myself apart.
Night after night I would sit alone crying. Crying over a heart unintentionally broken by you. Crying over your carelessness. Crying over your judgements. Crying over what you would perceive as spilt milk.
The thing is, you never knew anything. You never knew how many of your harsh words hit home, how many of your jokes actually crushed me. I already had so many weights pulling me down and I didn’t need another. But still, you kept on piling. While you were sighing in relief I was sinking into the depths of the ocean. While you were basking on the sandbanks I was flailing among the waves, struggling to breathe. While your heart was full my heart was shattered into irreparable fragments. Your happiness soon became my sorrow.
I wished for us but now, I think it can only be you and I.
Just because we have years of friendship between us, it doesn’t mean you can toy around with me. I doesn’t grant you special privileges. It doesn’t mean I’ll forgive you any easier than someone whom I merely acquainted with. It doesn’t mean you’re utter perfection in my eyes. I’m not exclusive and my fragility is still the same as it was on our first days. I still get hurt. I still lack confidence. I still have trouble loving myself. I always put you first and showered you in love until I had none left for myself. And what did you do? You took it for granted and threw me under a bus.
It’s taken me far too long to realise that I need to be selfish in order to survive. I’m sick and tired of walking down paths that turn out to be dead-ends. I’m sick of hiding my emotions in order to grant you happiness. I need to take control of the heart I neglected all these years. The heart that I neglected in order to please you.
So the next time we meet, don’t be shocked at the change. Don’t be shocked when I lash out or insult you. Don’t be surprised that I’m challenging your beliefs. Don’t be surprised when I insist on negotiating. I’m still the same person you met all those years ago. You just thought I’d changed.
I still love you, whether it be platonic or romantic, but please know that I’m doing this in order to survive.
Art by @zipcy (Instagram)