It’s the sentence that he screams at me. It’s the sentence that tears me apart every time I hear it. I’ve learned so many tools and practiced so many things to become stronger and better, but this one sentence feels like a dagger in my heart. He says it. I think he knows how I feel. But, could he? How could he? But I swear he does. The ice-blue in his eyes is cold. His hands are clenched in fists. I feel his breathing even though he’s ten feet away.
He is furious. I’m trying to stay calm. That’s something I’ve learned. Don’t fight fire with gasoline. Instead, I sit here calm. I sit here, taking it. Whoever thinks this is better can’t possibly have been prepared for this. I’m broken. No matter how hard I try, nothing is enough. I’m trying to wrap my head around being inadequate.
“Why are you like this?”
I just asked him for space. I set a boundary and said I wasn’t discussing that. Why is this okay? And, for those who say it’s not, why is this happening to me? Why has this always been my life with him? Why am I not ever worthy?
“Why are you like this?
I can see the fury. Can he see mine? Can he feel how difficult it is to control myself? The rage I feel. The things I’m thinking. I can’t get in trouble for thinking things, right? Ugh, maybe I can. Maybe I am a terrible person just waiting to burst at the seams. Just waiting to pounce. But how do I know when the last straw is? How do I know when enough is enough. I sit here. I’m taking it in. How long can I take it in? My chest tightens. Tears are fighting to leap from my eyes, and I’m lost in thought.
I remember the other times. The times I was so broken I couldn’t move. The times that the tears escaped my eyes as if they were terrified of me, rather than the other way around. I remember the times I was locked in the bathroom. Questioning my life. Questioning my moral compass. But, if I’m capable of thinking such horrendous things, then maybe I don’t have a moral compass at all.
Could I survive jail? Could I survive out there without him? How can one ever know unless they take the leap and try? Okay, but is that what I want? How can my life unravel this quickly? My heart is racing. I check my watch – 132 BPM. Hello, panic attack.
I’m lost. Lost in everything in my head. I’ve completely detached from him now. I’m going to jail. For what? I’m not entirely sure. But that’s got to be what’s happening, right?
I’m jolted back. And my eyes glass over again. The question cuts me like a brand new razor on skin. The cut barely hurts, but the burn is what gets you after you’ve already cut. When he asks me that, it feels like I’m not good enough the way I am. It feels like he knows how much of a failure I am too. It feels like I’m exposed. I question this every single day. Why am I like this? Why do I think the way I think? Why does my brain work the way it works? Why can’t I just be normal?
And just when I feel at my worst. Tears are following each other one by one down my cheeks. My heart is racing, and I’m broke. He keeps talking. There’s even more, to take in. I have no time to brace myself. It hits me like a ton of bricks. “You’re different on Monday, on Tuesday, and now today? Why are you like this?”