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Something I cannot figure out is why I can say no to all these other men but with you I only knew the word yes.
The word ‘no’ missing from my vocabulary, but only for you.
Which meant every time I told you no it spell checked to yes.
Puzzling how setting a healthy boundary comes naturally to me when dating other people yet for you I would do anything, even at the detriment of myself.
Because red is my favourite colour. And the flags were so beautiful.
I was tragically head over heels and I could not bear losing you.
I saw you as my saviour, my only religion. Because you got me out of a worse position.
I always resorted to becoming a puddle underneath your feet, melting in front of you.
Which you would stand on whenever you pleased, then flick me off when you were done.
The doormat sat unused and watching as I had taken its place.
Always showing me the bare minimum of attention before resorting back to usual ways.
Leaving me there wondering what happened – and where did you go? You would shut me out.
This is how you taught me to become invisible and more of who I am faded with each long and tortuous passing day.
I lapped up the lies and followed you around like a puppy.
Losing my self-respect and lust for life in the process.
It was an embarrassing four years but I couldn’t find the strength to leave.
Feeling indebted to you and like I didn’t deserve better.
Then it occurred to me. The truth that love does not hurt but toxic relationships do.
An anxious attachment is a state of constant grief disguised by love and lust too.
While you may not have meant to take advantage of me, it was all too easy and comfortable.
Why would you show that person respect when you get everything you want without question.
But it isn’t sustainable. And it’s damaging. And it certainly isn’t love.
The crisp Autumn months grew into a blistering Winter.
And although it became unbearably cold, especially for me, it was hardly comparable to how the warmth in my heart faded for you.
As I had faded for all of those years in front of you.
And in its place I received a little piece of me back.
But I’m still working on finishing the puzzle and understand it will take time.
I know if I didn’t leave you, my self-respect was going to leave me.
And I wonder now I’m gone, if you even notice me missing.
As I had become invisible towards the end. A shell of who I used to be.
I was certain you could see right through me.
Because that is exactly what you did the whole relationship.
But not in a romantic way of seeing the inner me. Because that never interested you.
And I don’t know who was worse.
Me because I faded for you
Or you because you reveled in watching me disappear.
Now I am damaged. And not in love. But this is far more sustainable. And I don’t want to fade again because I just got her back and I forgot how much I had missed her. And surprisingly how little I miss you. So I’ve decided it’s time for you to be invisible to me. And the answer is no.
How am I supposed to be great with you gone, when you’re actually gone.
About this poem
About leaving a toxic relationship and reflecting on all the ways it broke who you are and who you believed you were. A longing tale of not being seen for years and it slowly destroying you, little by little. Then figuring out how to live after that experience - alone.
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"Fading in Front of You" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 16 Sep. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/103986/fading-in-front-of-you>.