Because I thought it was love, I let them get away with everything.
My rights, values, or morals didn’t matter because of the undenying feeling in my chest.
Because I thought it was love, I let him text the other girls, I let him force my body onto his, I let him scold me unrelentlessly, merciless, no matter how much I cried or told him to stop. "It's not like I'm raping you," he would say.
Because I thought it was love, I let his apologies make up for the times that he gave me the black and blue treatment for running away.
Running away from him felt like running away from a shadow because he was always there with me and I could never tell if I wanted him or not with his red fists and my inability to fight back because I knew he had anger issues that he told me only I could fix
Because I thought it was love, I let my “friends” spread rumors about how I could not be trusted, how I will steal their boyfriends, how my bisexuality was only a hoax to get the guys attention for I was down for a threesome
Because I was an appointed whore, one of my close friends asked me if I had an STD and I was thinking how that was even possible when I was too busy asphyxiated on how they told me I could lose a couple pounds before I even lost my virginity.
Because I thought it was love, I still can’t talk to my mother about anything. My very own mother.
Every joke turns into a lecture, every lecture turns into a life lesson, every life lesson turns into a regret, and next thing you know my heart is a stampede of panic attacks before I could even ask if I could go out with my friends that weekend.
Because I thought it was love, I let my father push me, punch me, pin me against the wall and choke me whenever he’s having a really bad day and I somehow managed to piss him off.
Because he was my father, I let him take away my free will, my freedom to choose anything, my freedom to speak in my own house, to speak freely to my parents without having a double-sided shotgun glued to my hand loaded with enough ammunition to cause a nuclear war in this very house.
Because I thought it was love, I thought they loved me.
I thought romance would come naturally if he punched enough times
I thought friends would come running to my rescue when the truth turned into lies.
I thought Mom of all people would at least be able to see when I’m suffering in and out of my home.
I thought a father was supposed to protect his daughter instead of crushing her in her own shell.
Because I thought it was love, I flinch whenever anyone raises their voice
I rarely fight back.
I never speak unless asked to.
Because I thought it was love, I'm afraid of love.
Afraid that I might run in head first only to have my head severed and my heart injected with pills that no longer work
Afraid that my history will repeat itself and I will be reminded that it's only a cycle meant to crush a love I wish for.
But today I am working on my voice, pulling it from my chest, and learning to love with a man who has returned into my life
to prove to me that precautions can be made and postponed, rules can be broken, and my heart is allowed to choose
Because love is a beautiful thing
and I wish to share it with those who want to share it with me.