October 3, 2019

I have Learned to Live without your Toxic Love.

They say that hindsight is 20/20.

Looking at it all now, I’d say it is more of a bird’s-eye view.

One cannot simply turn around, once out of the fire, and see a damn thing through the smoke and ash of their former life. They must rise above it in order to see.

I’ve learned I am capable of flight, and now I look down on it all and I see why it had to happen.

I see myself dangling over a jagged ravine. Begging and pleading with you to save me. To pull me up and into your arms, where I had the illusion of safety.

I scratched and dug my nails into you, drawing your blood and ripping my nails to the beds in your thick skin. It’s impossible to crack your shell. You could not be moved or persuaded. Though you bled and cried out in pain along with me, your love for me still was not enough to make you pull me back.

You looked down on me full of hate and love, malice and adoration, compassion and spite. You smiled—and then, you let go. I fell fast to the bottom. I had no time to think or prepare before the fiery jolt of pain crashed through me, as I hit rock bottom.

I wanted to die on impact.

I didn’t.

I lived.

Lungs full of breath. Forcing me to breathe.



Each breath reminding me that I had no choice but to survive.

Why don’t you love me?

It was all I could repeat as I stood up on shaky, shattered legs. Screaming in pain as I took each step, but knowing I had to keep going. I chanted it day and night. With each step, I️ asked aloud, Why, why, why?

One morning, halfway up the ravine, I arose and no longer asked the question.

I simply was.

And I could be without you.

I could.

Empty and lost, maybe, but I️ existed in spite of you.

My legs had healed up enough to gain strength. I stood on my own two feet without you. Without your love that I had nearly died to claim from you.

I was free of the grasp I had begged you not to release. Little had I known, the excruciating fall was exactly what I really needed. I was still alone and on the journey back to myself. Not yet out of the ravine, I had already learned why it had to happen.

I needed to hit the rocky bottom of myself.

I needed to scream at the top of my lungs, releasing it all.

I needed to bleed out.

I could never have lived if you had saved me. I would have kept the tainted blood of our toxic love flowing through my veins until it ate me from the inside out.

I would have continued to die inside.

Now, I have made it up above the smoke and ash of what was.

I am healing in countless places. Scarred head to toe. My heart tattered and shredded, but still beating.

I am alive because I don’t need you to sustain me. I don’t need you to love me.

I have learned to save and to love myself.

Thank you for letting go.

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Vicki Lynn Severson  |  Contribution: 130

author: Vicki Lynn Severson

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