A Realization About Betrayal

You said
        No one likes you because you cry so much
And I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me.
When you claimed that
        My voice
        My intellect--
Every skill and positive trait
I had developed, displayed, and loved,
Were fake,
My accolade undeserved
Or given out of pity,
When you took the kindness I tried to give and told me it was worthless--
When you said my trials were too easy and I was too weak to handle real pain,
I felt so betrayed.

I still, in some ways, feel betrayed,
But no longer by you
But by myself.
I was so willing to believe bad things about myself
That it only took your words
To destroy any positive thoughts I'd ever had
Because somewhere inside of me
I already thought all your words were true
Because subconsciously
I had been waiting to be exposed
And I had never realized that.

All this time, I had pinned so much of my pain
On your words.
They were cruel
And could have hurt and undone anyone,
But you were not my downfall, my worst enemy,
I was.

You betrayed me when you said those things,
You were wrong, and you were mean,
And I have spent too many hours in therapy trying to come to terms with that,
And I am so glad it has been so long since I've seen you,
But in the end
You were not the worst thing to happen to me.
I was.

I betrayed myself,
But not because I had deluded myself into thinking
I had talent,
Or worth,
But because it was so easy
To throw that belief away.

I was so okay with hating myself
Hurting myself--
Abusing and bullying myself--
Destroying myself far beyond
What anyone else would be capable of,

That's on me, not you.
You said the words out loud and you wanted me to believe them,
But in the end,
The person I need to rise above the most,
The person who most deserves my forgiveness,
And the person I will have to work harder to forgive,
Is me.

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