Illustration by Alanna Campbell.
By Emma Garside.
Dear best friends I lost:
I’m sorry I neglected the signs that were so obviously in front of me.
I was charmed by his smile
and the lies that would fall so gracefully from his lips
I was entwined by the undying attention he gave me.
For you see, I thought I could change him,
or maybe that he would want to change for me.
I would have never expected it to turn out like this
the empty promises and and bold face lies,
I foolishly believed them all.
Dear best friends who couldn’t forgive me:
I’m sorry it took so long for the rose-coloured glasses to break.
I was convinced the love we had was real.
He acted like a child and I was his toy.
He never wanted to share his shiny new truck with anyone else
he wanted to keep it for himself and I let him.
I thought that’s what love is,
to love someone so much you can’t bear the thought of someone else hurting them.
So the only way to ensure their safety is to keep them out of sight from others.
I thought he loved me, I really did.
But you don’t trap something you love.
You give it the room it needs to grow and breathe.
Dear best friends I wouldn’t listen to:
You were right, I should have listened to you.
I was blinded by the idea of false happiness.
He would promise me things would change
and sometimes they did, but only for a little while.
Then it would go right back to me praying I made the right decision.
Dear girls, women and sisters who are reading this:
Just because he says “I love you”
and acts like he owns you, it’s not love.
I was in a toxic relationship for two years.
I didn’t realize until I left that every day I stayed
it took a little piece of my soul, my heart, my life.
Dear girls who can relate to this in the slightest way:
Please speak up, and stand up for yourself,
please take a step back and reevaluate the love you are being given.
You are worth so much more.
Sometimes it’s worth giving up rather than to keep fighting.
He doesn’t have to be physical to be abusive.
He doesn’t have to hit you to hurt you.
Because sometimes he will say “I love you” and not mean it.