My life has ended and begun again many times. Every time you called me a name, or screamed at me, or pushed me too far, it was crippling. My heart ached and my chest continued to heave until the words "I'm sorry baby I wasn't thinking" stumbled out of your mouth. "Do you mean the things you say when you're mad?" I ask through muffled sobs. You always have the same answer. "No baby I'll do better. I want to figure out how to talk things through with you better." And as much as I want to believe that…

You lie. The lies flow out of your mouth like Niagra Falls and they are drowning me. "She's like my sister," you say through teeth gritted shut like barbed wire on a fence because you know what you have to hide. I show my receipts, all my proof, and I am still your enemy. I am still the one who hurt you and I always will be. The nights I have spent coated in my tears because you don't matter because no matter what, it will be my fault. You fucked another girl? My fault because we were distant. My fault because I have an attitude. My fault because I am not what you want, so you go look elsewhere. All in the name of loving me, right?

You're so in love with me that I can't post the pictures I want, right? I'm a slut if another man is attracted to me? You're oh so in love with me that if I breathe the same air as another man I'm cheating, right? That's what love is. Distrust, anger, unfaithfulness, control, that's what it means to love, doesn't it?

No, that is not love. I believe that in your altered-reality loving mind you believe you love me, but I don't think you know love and what it means. I know love. I know that it is good and kind and peaceful. Did you hear that? It is peaceful. I know you want a woman who is your peace. But you brought me nothing but chaos. Why would I bring you peace if you constantly brought a raging tornado to mine? Why doesn't my peace matter to you if you love me? I will be a man's peace one day, but it will be a man who deserves me. A man who supports me for nothing in return. There is no part of you that came without a cost…

A cost to my health, my well-being, my grades, my career, my friends, my family; you cost me my entire life daily and I still loved you. But I am the one you blame. And if I'm being honest, maybe I'm okay with that. Because I don't blame myself for anything that happened between us. I never had you without sharing you with another woman. Anytime I was cruel to you or unfair in the slightest, it was in response to what you did to me. You gaslighted me into a burning fire of a person.

Maybe I am meant to be a fire. I am a burning passionate, strong woman. I was meant to create fire and storms. YOU should have been the one to balance me out. But that's the thing: it was never about me. This is about you. The way you treated me is not a reflection of me, but a reflection of you.

You have broken my heart many times and every time it destroyed me, and that shouldn't be the case. This time you broke my heart, but it didn't break every bone and tear every muscle in my body along with it. And I will never let a man break me down so much again.

I know you well enough to know you won't read this, but just in case you do, know this: I loved you. I always loved you. You were my first everything, and I will not forget you, but I will certainly let you leave my conscious thought. I never mattered to you in the way I should've because you always mattered to you more. And that is okay. Maybe now you'll understand that when I said, "I love you more" I meant it, and when you said it, it was just another little lie.

I love(d) you more.