Your love was like looking in a mirror: My soul reflected back to me. Only, I didn’t realize it. That is why it hurt so badly when you didn’t look back. I never chased myself, so why would you? Loving you was work.
When you disregarded my feelings it was just me overlooking myself. I always put others first so why wouldn’t you. You loved me like I loved myself: Not at all.
When you looked at me, I was seeing myself reflected in your eyes. I made it okay for you to devalue and belittle me. I wasn’t worth it in my own eyes, so why would you think differently?
I was merely a damsel for you to fuck and throw to the wayside. I didn’t respect me. Why would you?
I was living in a false mindset that if I led with sexuality everything else would fall into place. No wonder love was so gut wrenching.
Now I am raw and real. Loving myself.
Take it or leave it because I’ve got me and I am loving me.
I don’t need you to validate me. I don’t need you to complete me. I don’t need you to be the glue that holds me together.
If you want to disrespect me, ignore me, devalue me, then brace yourself. I’m not taking that shit anymore. I don’t do it to myself anymore so you surely won’t be allowed.
I am my own true love. I am everything I need all bundled into one fucking awesome package.
It all makes sense now that I’ve been awakened. I will be the one to heal myself. You can do whatever you like but it won’t be by my side.
I yearned to have you back in my life. Sobbed my eyes out hoping you would think of me and miss me. Ask me back. I begged you to talk to me so we could work it out.
Thank God you didn’t call me or text me. Thank God you told me to “move on.”
At first I moved on in the way I always told my girlfriends to: “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” I spread my legs and gave myself away to even more men who saw me for the reflection I was projecting: worthless, something to be used.
I drank myself into a stupor. Stopped eating and cried endlessly, longing for your validation.
I even thought about running my car off the side of the mountain. What was the point in living? I couldn’t see beyond the fog of my despair.
Then a sliver of light shined through my darkest of days. It pierced into my heart and soul and slowly started a fire.
Now an untamable flame burns deep inside.
It cannot be smoldered. I see me.
I see me in all my nakedness. I see me in my raw power. I love every scar on my flesh. I love every stretch mark on my thighs. I love every freckle on my body. I love me.
I won’t be tossed aside as a forgotten lover. I won’t tolerate disrespect. I won’t be ignored. I won’t react with hatred or even cause a scene. But when I disappear from your life, you will know why. If you don’t love me the way I love me, I don’t have time for you.
I love me today, tomorrow and always. I am awesomely me.
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Rachel Johnson is a former journalist who has always found healing through words. She resides in North Carolina where she is rediscovering herself and opening up to love, joy and abundance.