Bridges

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Do you know what if feels like?

I do.

To be in a mentally abusive relationship.

What?

Yes, mentally abusive.

He was depressed, he was suicidal.

He didn’t try to hurt me.

And when he asked,

I was doing fine.

I was strong.

I was the only reason he was alive.

Yeah, he told me that.

But I was strong.

Not strong enough to see what he was doing to me.

Because I loved him.

And he loved me.

I was fine.

He was in the hospital;

I told everyone he was sick.

Well, he was.

And soon I would be too.

But until then,

I was happy.

Sort of.

I thought I was.

But I was wearing down.

I was becoming a shell:

empty to hold his issues,

protective to keep us both alive.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I couldn’t be.

I couldn’t do to others what he did to me.

So I stood on that bridge

even when he wasn’t there,

just in case.

That’s really what wore me down–

balancing there was exhausting.

At any moment

I could have fallen.

But as soon as I left,

he would be on the bridge instead.

And he would fall for sure.

I couldn’t leave.

After all, I was the reason he was alive.

So I stayed,

and prayed he would ask me to leave

before I fell off,

head first,

into the dark waters below.

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