It's not you, it's him.'

You don't have to say a word.
Just please listen.
There was a dinner party with his colleagues.
I talked too much to the man sitting next to me.
He said that I made a fool out of him.
I laughed because it seemed so ridiculous, so I laughed.
And his eyes went dark, and that's the last thing that I remember before waking up the next morning with my eye swollen shut.
I thought it would be the only time.
I'm sure that you did the first time, too.
But he just got smarter after that.
He made sure that no one could see the bruises.
He would apologize and then tell me it was my fault all in one breath, and he was so persuasive.
He told me I was wrong so many times that I believed I was wrong.
He told me I was crazy so many times that I believed that I actually was crazy.'

I really thought I was better than you.
I believed everything he told me about you.
I'm smart.
I'm a scientist.
I'm a feminist.
I never thought that I would end up in something like this.
It happened so slow.
I stopped talking to to co-workers, friends he didn't like.
Then my family didn't understand.
They got worried.
So I just brushed them off and then stopped talking to them, too, and then my circle got smaller and smaller and smaller until all I had left was him.
And then I stopped believing myself, things I had seen and heard, things I knew, because he told me I was crazy and I just believed him.
He knows me so well.
He can zero in on an insecurity and and make a whole argument turn on a dime, and now it's my fault it's my fault again.
I'm always the one that's wrong.
When he started hitting me, it was just barely a surprise.
And he told me it was my fault, and I actually believed him. Why did I believe him?

Because he was good to you in the beginning.
And on the good days.
You're not stupid.
You didn't fall for someone who hurt you.
You fell for someone who made us laugh and feel wanted and loved and seen.
He is brilliant and charming and persuasive, and the good outweighed the bad until it didn't.

It’s not okay. 

It’s not okay to feel the way you feel. 
It’s not okay to make you feel small and belittled, like you mean nothing.
It’s not okay to only be happy when he is happy.
It’s not okay to be constantly on your guard, worrying what will make him snap again.

 It’s NOT okay. 

A person like this do not deserve you and your love because that person does not love you. He is incapable of doing that; incapable of loving you the way you love him. Love doesn’t feel like this. Love doesn’t make you cry. Cry for joy, sure. Not crying in pain and hurt and misery time and time again. 

 I only wish you’d see it.

pearlyn neo