It Didn’t Start With You

Writing Challenge: September 11, 2018

Prompt: write something inspired by the sentence: “It didn’t start with you.”

 

It didn’t start with you.

I loved you like an obsession. I believed that my devotion, my determination would pull us through. No matter how you hurt me, betrayed me, abused me- I forgave, I forgot, I held on. You helped to destroy my trust in love, but it didn’t start with you.

It didn’t start with you.

I loved you blindly, fully. I had never felt like that before- everything was new and wonderful. We were both so young and clueless: our first relationship, our first love. We plunged forward recklessly. You gave me my first heartbreak, but it didn’t start with you.

It didn’t start with you.

I hated you with a venom that made my nerves race. Every time you came near my family my heart pounded, my hands shook, and my breathing became shallow. You abused my mother, my baby brothers, and ignored my existence.  You showed me why I should be afraid, but it didn’t start with you.

It didn’t start with you.

I loved you, but never knew you. You paid child-support faithfully, called almost monthly, visited yearly. You were a father when it was convenient and believed that fulfilling your financial obligations was enough. You showed me what neglect was, but it didn’t start with you.

It didn’t start with you.

I believed in you in my youth, only to realize you were never there. I was told to rely on you, and turn to you, but found only emptiness. I was told if I couldn’t feel you that I was to blame. I was told that you were always there. You were just an imaginary friend, incapable of caring for anyone. You taught me to believe in nothing, but it didn’t start with you.

It started with me.

It started when I began to internalize the unintentional lessons of my youth. It started when I began to repress my feelings, my hopes, dreams, and fears. It started when I began to accept abuse, mistreatment, neglect, and apathy. I created the mess I became.

And I can start over again.

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