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A Few Words To My Abuser

What I failed to realize was that nothing I did was ever going to be good enough for you.

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To my abuser:

Today is August 20, 2022. It is exactly one year from the last time you put your hands on me. The statute of limitations has officially passed. I did everything I could for months to fix our relationship even after I left you in Vermont despite your countless cruel transgressions. Then I spent months agonizing over why I didn’t call the police on either of the nights you physically hurt me. Why wasn’t I stronger? Why did I continually let you get away with verbally accosting me, manipulating and hurting me sexually, torturing me emotionally, and physically abusing me? Why didn’t I drive away from Vermont on your birthday, September 1st, and never look back? I’ve spent months trying to decide whether pressing charges will help me find inner peace and closure.

The truth is my love for you became an addiction. You tested my tolerance for mistreatment to the limit. Like an addict I took more and more seeking that high. I was willing to accept any treatment as long as I still had hope of getting back to those ‘good times’. I hesitate to call them ‘good times’. I am not sure we had any truly good times. Even during our best times my mind was fraught with trying to please you- wear the right clothes, do the right things, act the right way. What else can I do for you, sir? What I failed to realize was that nothing I did was ever going to be good enough for you. No matter what or how much I did, it was never going to be good enough. You will never be enough for someone who does not love you.

I believe in some twisted way which is beyond my comprehension you enjoyed watching me struggle while dangling our relationship and future just out of my grasp. How high will I jump to attain it? You once told me that I liked to be treated this way, that I asked for it. You slept peacefully at night knowing you were destroying another human being. You know those monsters under our beds that kept all of us up at night as children? Well, YOU are that monster incarnate.

In the words of my dear friend, Matthew: ‘Sometimes we realize we were reading for the wrong role”. was reading for the wrong role. I was reading for an unattainable role since the moment I met you. I was reading for the role of girlfriend in a happy mutually respectful loving relationship but the role I was auditioning for was your slave and kicking dog. I see this now. It’s cliché, I know, but hindsight really is 20/20, isn’t it?

I do not and will not ever respect you nor care for you again. It is unlikely I will forget the ways in which you treated me. Your merciless words and actions are imprinted in my mind repeating daily on a loop. You do not deserve to get away with the things you did but it is not my job to serve justice or protect the next girl (or boy if you ever come out of your closet). So, I choose not to prosecute you. I choose not to undo the healing I have obtained thus far. I choose not to look at you across a court room and to listen to whatever lies you will tell about me. I choose me. I choose to walk forward with grace.

You see- grace costs you nothing. This is something you will never understand or grasp. It costs nothing to be kind and gracious towards another human being. It costs nothing to treat others with human decency and dignity. In that vein I choose to be graceful whether you deserve it or not.

At your core you are a damaged, sick, and twisted man. You will continue to loath yourself and take it out on those to dare to love you. You will get whatever is coming to you without my lifting a finger.

One day I will look back at you and the time we had together as a distant memory. Maybe I will remember this as a time of learning- learning to respect myself and to only accept those who treat me with mutual love and kindness. Who knows?

What I do know now in this moment is that I choose to walk away from you gracefully.

-Erin

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