Don’t Decide You Care.

Don’t decide you care while I’m midway through laughing holding someone else’s hand.

Don’t decide you care when it’s 2 AM and I’m finally sleeping again, but now next to someone new as your name appears on my phone. And I have to hide it because just seeing your name and those feelings I thought I got over, hit me like a wave and makes me feel like I’m emotionally cheating. 

Don’t decide you care when you see me across the room finally drinking because I’m happy instead of drinking to forget you. 

Don’t decide you care because she left and you’re feeling lonely.

Don’t decide you care when someone finally gives you a taste of your own medicine and it’s then you know what I felt like for so long. 

Don’t decide you care midway through shaking his hand and we look at each other and I can see it in your eyes. 

Don’t decide you care when I’ve finally moved on because it took everything in me to get over you. 

Don’t decide you care when you see me smiling in a picture that I wanted so badly to be you at one time. Then you throw me a like and it’s just a reminder of what we never were and what I tried so desperately for us to be. 

Don’t decide you care when I’m finally standing there confidently when all I ever did in the past was try to change myself to appease you. But nothing I ever did was good enough. 

Don’t decide you care just because someone knew my value and worth and didn’t have to fuck with me first to realize it. 

Don’t decide you care when you’re midway through driving and a song comes on the radio that makes you freeze as you think of me. 

Don’t decide you care when I finally muster the courage to say I love you to him and this time I hear it back.

Don’t tell me when you realize what you had was right in front of you that whole time. I don’t want to hear it. 

I don’t want to hear I’m sorry because I’ll forgive you.

I don’t want to hear you made a mistake because I know you did. 

I don’t want to hear I love you because I waited so long for those words, it destroyed me. 

Please don’t decide you care and tell me. Because if you do, I might say it back. 

And if you do, I’ll break my own heart again with someone like you.

And the honest truth is, I got over you once I don’t think I have it in me to do something like that again.

How Much You Hurt Her.

The truth is, she won’t tell you about any of it really because she’s still trying to process it all. 

She’s still hurt even though she’s putting on a brave face.

She’s still mourning the loss of something she thought was different than it turned out to be.

Someone she thought was different.

She’s won’t tell you she’s hurt. 

She won’t tell you the moment the opinion she had of you changed.

But she looked at you, someone so familiar as suddenly a stranger.

And words strung together that broke her, she knew wasn’t love but the opposite.

And she replayed it in her mind holding back tears.

She knew this pain that was just now coming to the surface would consume.

The truth was exactly what she wanted to avoid.

But the truth no matter how ugly it is always comes out, and when it does, the person who gets hurt the most isn’t the one who deserves it. 

She won’t tell you how she’s not sleeping at night, but that she’s tired during the day. 

She won’t tell you how she’s not even hungry and doesn’t know why.

She won’t tell you how she’s trying to channel this into something greater than herself but every time she does, it ends with her confused, hurt, and more broken.

She won’t tell you she still looks at her phone every morning wondering when any of this will make sense.

Or when she’ll stop waking up with this pain that is the only reminder she’s alive. Because she’s going through the motions lifeless.

The truth is, she didn’t just lose you, she lost herself trying to keep you. 

And watching as she fell apart in your absence made her realize how not fine she was

She says she’s fine when you ask her, but you haven’t seen her since.

She’s trying to keep it together. She’s trying to be nice.

And maybe you talked and maybe she answered, but what isn’t being said is this truth.

Because how do you look someone you love in the eyes and tell them you broke me?

How do you look someone you love in the eyes and say I still love you but I hate what you did to me?

How do you look someone you love in the eyes and say despite all of this, I can’t stop thinking about you and I’m struggling to move on?

You don’t say those things because there is nothing anyone can say to follow that or fix it.

This pain is irreversible.

This person she used to look at with eyes of perfection, she now realizes is tainted. Someone she can’t trust. Someone she should question. Because when given the chance to hold her heart in your hands, you dropped it. And she was left to clean up the mess.

But this pain consumes her and the past replays in her mind like a kaleidoscope of mixed colors, and she just keeps wondering why didn’t she see is coming? 

She doesn’t want to blame you. She doesn’t want to be angry. And she’s not angry or spiteful in the least. She’s just hurt.

In fact, she’s pinning all this on herself thinking the pain she feels is completely and totally something she caused.

Like there was a sign she misread or something she’s making up. And it’s you she owes an apology to.

She won’t tell you how much you hurt her because she feels guilty about it.

She’s trying to be brave.

She’s trying to be strong.

But more than anything she’s just trying to heal. 


“Only The Good Die Young” Is Bullshit.

That’s what they tell you to make you feel better. That’s what they tell you to lessen the blow. That’s what they tell you so you find some sort of peace in the chaos of living when you’re met with death.

“Are you sitting down?” I heard on the phone. The next few words were met with shock and denial. The words had to be as hard to say as they were to hear.

Dead. 

No

She’s not supposed to die. There were so many things she still had left to do. There were so many things I still needed to tell her. There were so many moments she was still supposed to be a part of. 

You aren’t supposed to see your friend in a casket. You aren’t supposed to live with that image engraved in your mind never to be forgotten. The tears that felt like tidal waves on my face consumed me. 

I wasn’t supposed to feel that. 

I stood there alone and stepped outside as someone came up to me with a pamphlet. “Death is the circle of life.” Fuck off I wanted to say to this person I didn’t even know.

I wasn’t supposed to be here. None of us were. Yet, here we were brought together by a tragedy.

No. 

If it’s a part of some greater plan to completely break so many people’s heart and shake up our lives forever, that’s no plan I want to be a part of. 

I struggled to find words in the coming months of how to clearly articulate and understand this. But death comes without sympathy or kindness. Death comes bearing no remorse. Death comes in an attempt to mess everything we’ve come to know up. There is no logic to it. Death comes with acceptance and a lack of understanding. A lack of knowing why her of all people in the world? 

Am I allowed to be mad about this? Am I allowed to be hurt? Am I allowed to still cry because everyone’s lives seem to be moving on but you were supposed to be here for it? 

It’s the invitation I”ll never get to send to my wedding with your name on it. 

It’s the phone call I wish I could make, I know won’t be answered. 

I’ll look around as milestones continue and know someone is missing. 

With your death came places I no longer enjoy and memories I cling to for dear life because it’s all I have left. 

Pictures I wish there were more of, conversations where I listened and spoke more. Moments where I truly enjoyed your presence. But I didn’t know. 

It was naive of me to think we were invincible.

If I could buy back time for a moment or two, I’d pay whatever the cost.

If I could see you just one more day and have one more conversation, would you accept your fate? Would you agree this is bullshit too? Cause it is. 

I paint pretty words that give people hope and comfort, but there are moments it just hits me where I realize how unfair this world is. There are moments I don’t have words to describe how fucked up it is that you aren’t here with us. There are moments where anger consumes me, tears drown me, and questions run ramped like a wildfire I can’t control.

There were things you still had to do. So why weren’t you given the chance to do it? 

Wrong place. Wrong time. Wrong circumstance. But all I keep thinking is wrong person. Because it wasn’t supposed to be you.

I thought we’d have time. I thought we’d have one more day. One more week. One more month. One more year. 

What I wouldn’t give for one more memory to hold onto when I’m crying alone in the dark. 

One more hug where I don’t let you go. 

Because you weren’t supposed to leave, Not in the middle of a memory. Not when you had so much left to do. 


Why A Normal Relationship Is So Hard After a Toxic One.

Toxic relationships are difficult because a lot of time, they don’t start out that way. They start off healthy and good and make you very happy. And the gradual shift isn’t so much caused by the other person, but sometimes two people together just stop being good for each other. And it’s hard to step away from that. 

When you’ve grown with someone then suddenly they become toxic to you, it’s hard to accept “I’d be better off without this person,” when in reality so much of who you’ve become is because of them.

When someone becomes a habit it’s hard to just cut them out of your life.

Anyone who has ever been in a toxic relationship can look back at the person and they aren’t going to say they were these monsters who were horrible. There is a deep rooted love there that a lot of people struggle to understand. There is history. There is loyalty. There is these two people, despite how bad they were for each other, always finding their way back. So as much as they were fighting, they also fought for each other.

But eventually the emotional toll it takes on you leads you to an ending you desperately need. And walking away isn’t the hard part. It’s everything after that which becomes difficult because you are comparing everyone and everything to this relationship that had so many levels and it was so much complexity.

So when you start dating again and seeing people, it’s hard because immediately you miss them. Immediately you want to go back to them like you had so many times before but you know you walked away for a reason.

It’s the text you gotta ignore. 

It’s snap you want to send, but don’t.

It’s the unfollow that leads you to tears.

It’s the silence that screams I loved you more than anyone in my life.

Then you meet someone. And suddenly you’re feeling something again you’ve long forgotten. But with these feelings comes fear. You’re cautious because you don’t want to get hurt again. You tip-toe around their every move waiting for a red flag that will give you an excuse to take off. You question them, even when they give you no reason to.

It’s only after a toxic relationship do you realize the negative effects it’s left you with. 

You don’t trust anyone, including yourself.

When you don’t even trust yourself enough to make the right choices, how can you put faith in anyone else?

You don’t. And at first they think you’re playing hard to get or are just difficult to read, but you’re doing everything in your power to avoid the pain you’ve endured in the past.

And the pain you’re still getting over.

They take one step towards you and you take three back. And you aren’t playing some coy game you are looking out for you and only you.

You question everything they say.

This person has no reason for you to doubt them, yet you do. Does that compliment come expecting something? Is this kind gesture I didn’t ask for going to be used as blackmail later? He says it’s only me and they are just a friend but how many times have you heard that before?

You want to believe the best in people, but the last person you put your complete faith in destroyed you. 

Slowly they work to build your trust, but it’s something that takes time.

You pull away when they get too close.

What might feel like a milestone to them as your relationship develops and you get closer, but with every layer they pull back it makes you want to run the other way?

You fear someone getting too close. You fear someone knowing you that deeply. You fear someone seeing you as vulnerable.

But your real fear is someone knowing you that well and being able to use it against you.

You pick fights.

The foundation of toxic relationships are built on fighting and making up and running in these circles. It’s ending just to begin again and people walking away just to come back. It’s unkind words you get used to and you forgive, but you never actually forget.

But in this normal new relationship, suddenly you see how arguments are handled maturely. You realize you aren’t always the one who is wrong and needs to apologize. You find this person who meets you halfway and wants to solve the issue without having to make you cry to do so.

That first fight you have with this new person, it almost feels like a wave of relief that it didn’t end everything and suddenly you’re looking at them a little differently. A little more confidently and it scares you but in a good way.

You apologize a lot.

The one thing that is constant in toxic relationship is this narcissist belief that the blame is always on the other person. And when you deal with it enough, psychologically it does fuck with you.

Sometimes you apologize even when it’s not your fault because you just want the fight to end. You do end up believing you are to blame for everything. When the person tells you it is your fault, you’re cautious with every word and every move you make.

If you didn’t trigger them this wouldn’t have happened.

This new person has to unteach you what you’ve come to learn and show you, it’s not your fault.

They teach you to stop being sorry.

You try too hard.

Toxic relationships taught you, this love you deserve you’ll never get in full. It was based on these blurry lines that were constantly redrawn. It was based on rules that would change at any given moment.

Toxic relationships teach you, you’ll never be enough so you have to keep trying.

Toxic relationships include these people who are so unhappy with themselves, they need someone to love them in ways they aren’t able to love themselves.

They use you as a metaphorical punching bag and you take every blow because you think it’s love.

You watch yourself fall apart in their arms.

Everyone thinks it’s a weak person that endures toxic relationships, but I think the opposite. I think it takes a really strong person to deal with the blows and stand there taking them and not giving up on someone even if this someone doesn’t deserve your loyalty.

It takes an even stronger person to walk away.

Then it takes the strongest person to learn to love again when they fear love and relationships.

But this new person breaks through everything and suddenly you trust them enough to let it all go.

You’ve been holding onto these things for so long and you haven’t flinched or broke down.

When pain becomes normal it no longer hurts as much.

You tell this new person everything and they don’t look at you as damaged or broken. They look at you even more beautiful for getting through it.

To love someone after they’ve been in a toxic relationship, takes a very rare person. Because you have to be cautious. It might not have been physical abuse but emotional abuse sometimes hurts just as much. It takes someone who is willing to run their fingers over this person’s invisible scars and teach them they didn’t deserve that.

You learn to love again.

You slowly watch yourself fall but what is different about it is, there isn’t any confusion. It isn’t some one sided love story where your love is the only one present. It isn’t falling with fear, but rather confidence because the person is right there with you.

Not only does a normal relationship teach you how to love another person again, but it teaches you about a love you’ve forgotten and that is how to love yourself again.