I believed he would save me.
In all my twisted and dark and sadness, I believed something as insane as that. At this point in time, I did not know how to save myself. I did not understand how badly I needed saving. I did not understand it was as simple as filing for divorce, walking out the door, and never looking back. My monster was my entire world and the rules he made were the rules I lived by. So simple was complicated. Black was white. Up was down. Walking out was as impossible as spreading wings and flying. I was trapped in a cage of my monster’s making and knew he held all the keys. But in the brokenness of my mind that he’d shattered, I could not see that the door was wide open.
I was spiraling quickly into desperation. Desperate to be seen. To be heard. To feel anything at all. To feel anything that wasn’t rage and hurt. To exist again.
And so desperation took the form of a human. A young man. Eighteen. And a senior at the high school I taught in.
And he saw me.
“Your eyes are dead.”
HOW DID HE KNOW!?
“You used to be so full of life…”
“…and now there is nothing left.”
Why could no one else see this? I had felt it for so long. This breakdown of myself. The loss of me. All the things that made me who I am being chipped away little by little. Giving up piece after piece of myself to make life with my monster work. Some pieces I’d reluctantly hand over. Others he would tear from me. My eyes deadening. My hair going limp and falling out in chunks. Sleep something I constantly craved. Migrating pain. Years of the abuse cycle taking hold of my home, my mind, and my body. Constant demands with little reprieve. Isolation. Fear. Loneliness. All this boiled down into a bag of skin and bones that felt nothing but rage.
And he saw me.