I don’t particularly like him anymore, but I like being around him because when I’m with him I’m not me anymore. As much as I don’t like him, I think I like me even less. Or, it’s not that bleak, it’s more that I don’t like being the version of me that everyone always expects me to be 24/7. I’m sick of her, and the only time I don’t have to be her is when I’m alone or when I’m with him. I get to be this other, this nobody. I get to disappear into the background of his life, which is a relief, even if it hurts and even if I hate doing it. But I do it because I get to be a version of me that no one sees, and I don’t have to be alone when I’m her. When I’m her and I’m with him, she’s real, because when I’m alone it feels like a ruse.
He doesn’t see me as the pretty, smart, popular girl that everyone else believes I am. Yeah, I am her, but I’m also more than her. Or, less than her. Sometimes I’m not chatty or witty or winning or dressed in cute outfits and saying cutting yet truthful things in smart conversations. Sometimes I want to shed that skin and be less of the clever feminist activist in short skirts and success I think everyone sees me as and be more of the rabid dog that I feel like on the inside. I want to bark and bite. I want to be less the object of affection and more the receptacle for someone else’s pain and wrath.
I thought I had gotten past that point of hating myself, but I guess I haven’t. I like to bury myself in his problems so I can forget about mine. I would let him totally subsume my identity if I thought I wouldn’t starve to death in a matter of months. I will take his pain, which is wild and unbearable and hard to look at, over mine any day because my pain, which isn’t very remarkable at all, is too familiar to feel comfortable.
He lets me run away from myself, even though I run to somewhere much worse and much darker than myself. I am a bad girl in a bad place with him, but I’d rather be here with him than here alone because if he’s here, this is his fault. I can runaway from him when it’s time for me to fix my problems and ask him why he treated me like shit. When really I know that I treat myself like shit, and he is the medium of my self inflicted wounds, and this is why I love him. Even if I don’t know if I really like him. He lets me be myself at my absolute fucking worst, and he hurts me.
I wish I knew how to stop him from hurting me, but I guess that would mean I’d have to stop wanting to hurt myself. And I’m not sure when that will happen, but it probably won’t happen this week. Or next week. It won’t happen soon enough before I’m sucked in and stuck here permanently with no way out.
He kisses me softly on the neck and whispers, “If you ever leave me, I’ll kill you.”
I’m probably going to leave him soon.