I think sometimes you forget that I’m here, you forget that I’m not an extension of you. You forget that I have my own mind, heart and soul.

Sometimes I think you don’t realize how much your words hurt me. I know you hear them as they fall out of your mouth and you feel justified in saying those things, but they still echo in my mind long after you’ve laid them to rest.

The truth is, sometimes I feel lonely because I’m so caught up in trying to make you feel something that I forget how to feel anything, and I find myself lost in trying to meet all of your needs.

Sometimes I feel desperately empty and all that remains are tears, but you get upset when I cry because I’m not allowed to be weak. You’re afraid of your flaws so you seek perfection through me.

You’ve been taught you’ll never be good enough and you’ve lived in that hell your whole damn life. Every accomplishment was undermined with criticism and you learned to thrive there.

I, too, have lived a version of that hell and I’m trying my hardest to save you. I’m starting to believe that maybe you like that place, it gives you some sort of twisted motivation. I notice you’re happiest when I’m serving you.

Those same words that tore you down, they give you strength every time you use them against me. You feel power and control. Each time you bring me to my knees you feel your sense of stability growing.

I’m drowning.

One day I’ll find my strength, as I have before. And when I’m brave enough to get up off the ground, you’ll realize that foundation you’re standing on is no longer there.

But you’ll move on and find someone else to use. You’ll tell people I’m crazy and you’ll hide the truth, or maybe you just can’t see it.

That’s what hurts the most, knowing you can’t even see me down here, not really. You’ve never been good enough for you, and you’ll always blame me.

You tell me I’ll always be alone, because everyone will see what I am, and I believe you most of the time. Maybe I am all those things you say, but maybe I’m not.

You see, there’s a difference in the way we look at each other. Despite how ugly you’ve been to me, I see so much beauty in the person you are. And regardless of how much beauty I carry, you don’t know how to see past my mistakes.

All I’ve ever been is a mistake to you.

I’m afraid that one day someone will pass by and they’ll see me here, sad and alone. And instead of walking away, they’ll extend their hand to me and teach me how to stand on my own again. I’m afraid because I don’t want you to feel alone and weak without me, the way I feel now.

I know I can’t save you. I wish I could help you see how you’re only hurting yourself by doing this to me. I want to love you for always, but I need my own stability.

I’m sorry they hurt you and I’m angry they molded you to be like them. You never had a choice, you couldn’t see there was another reality or a better way to love. You were always better than that, though, and you know that.

You’ll keep on projecting those things you hate about yourself onto me. When you finally learn to open your eyes, I’ll be gone and there will be no one else to blame. I’ll apologize for letting go, but those will be the last words you’ll hear from me.

I can’t love you this way.