Sunday, September 28, 2014

Speak The Truth Even If Your Voice Shakes

The thing that still angers me the most, that still hurts the most, is how he took my anxieties, my fears and my trust especially, and he turned them into weapons. "You are too dependent." He said it so many times and with so much confidence, it had to be true. Didn't it?

He said he cared. He showed he cared, until that moment he realised he didn't have to anymore. I trusted him. I gave him one of the most precious things I have to give. Trust that my well-being meant as much to him as it did me. Trust there was no venom behind his words and actions. Trust at all, because I can count the people who have truly earned it, unquestioning, on one hand; and only one even lives in the same city as me. And I don't mean "Here's $50 pay me back when you can" trust. Or "Please take care of my cat for a week" trust. Or even "I'm drunk, please ensure I get home unharmed and unscathed" trust. This is "My life is literally in your hands" trust. Because it was. To allow someone to support you fully in your mental illness is to hand them your ability to survive.

And he turned it into something vile, a poison to eat away at me from the inside out. A dagger sunk deep into my heart and twisted with a grin. I handed him the keys to my own destruction, and the change was instantaneous, like a venus fly trap snapped shut to capture its prey. Had he literally stabbed me in the back, it would have hurt far less.

The thing is, I never asked anything of him. At least, nothing he hadn't already proved over and over he was willing to give. But it was too late. Once the cage slammed down, there was no acceptable level of expectation. It was a trick, and it always was intended to be. Asking for anything, even the tiniest level of consideration, was always going to be too much. What I wanted, what I needed; it all ceased to exist.

He rode in, your stereotypical knight in shining armour, and gave me far more than I would dare to ask of anyone. But also not too much. If you're too willing, too helpful, the scales tip the other way and motivations come into question. No, he knew the perfect balance. Always more than I expected but never so much I grew suspicious, either. He tested my boundaries, subtle little aggressions which were easily brushed aside by an anxious mind trained to stop believing the worst about everyone and everything. Eating all but one of a snack I shared with him, just to see if I would complain. "Forgetting" to mention to me that the thing we planned together with friends was actually happening, to see if I'd protest at being left out of my own social gathering. So many little pushes here and there, trying to find out when he'd finally go too far. Swallowing down his good intentions, the boundary lines kept contracting further, inward and inward again, until there was nowhere left to go.

And so, I was caught in his web of honeyed lies. And once caught, that I gave him the thing he worked so hard to earn, my trust, became the basis of everything I was doing wrong. I relied on him, and suddenly attempts at contact would go unanswered. Suddenly, the white knight was overwhelmed and nowhere to be found. I pointed out he was hurting me, and I was expecting too much, I was dependant, and too broken for anyone to cope with. I gave him solid boundaries and guidelines to avoid triggering my anxiety, and these were promptly ignored. He wanted me anxious. Anxiety breeds fear, which in turn breeds compliance. Fear of scaring away my one source of support (after he had pushed me away from all others), and the fear that he was right, that I was too broken. The push was an easy one once he had my trust, because they are the constant plague of the mentally ill, that we would lose everyone and everything from something beyond our control.

I handed him the very thing that would be my undoing. Well, nearly. It took him messing with the already-delicate inner workings of my mind, pushing me to the brink of giving it all up, for me to say enough was enough. Finally, the one boundary I was unwilling to give up. That one little voice in my mind that keeps me going when every fibre of my being tells me not to, that thread of strength I rarely realise I have inside that forces me to survive. He was destroying me from the inside out, and I knew it had to stop.

And I was angry. It was a pure rage. To let him get so far, to give up so much to cling to something so deadly, to lose all sense of my worth as a person deserving of the most basic respect. I was so very angry, and I still am. Even that rage has been turned against me, proof that I am the one wrong, the one causing harm. To feel so deeply lessens your worth, and in a world run by power-hungry abusive controllers, we see this to be true. To not feel is a privilege, the domain of those with the ability to crush others under their heel without consequence. Anger is where the rest of us live, and it gives us strength and clarity to finally resist. That's why anger is wrong. That's why its condemned. Anger is power. Anger is revolution.

I am hurting. And I am angry. I am a threat, and as long as I continue to speak truth without fear, I always will be. That my focus has a specific He and Me is irrelevant. There are 'He's and 'Me's all over. Mine is a story told over and over, in so many places, in so many ways. We are angry and unafraid to speak. Tear us down. Call us crazy. Try to destroy us, if you can.

We know you are watching. We know you are afraid. We have the weapons, the truth, the daggers, the power, now, and we will never stop.

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