To the people I decided to stop fighting for,

It's not you, it's me. It's me who made the choice to put your needs above mine for longer than I should have. It's me who let myself be involved in an endless cycle of giving, without taking. It's me who continues to see the best in people even when shown a million reasons to take off the goggles-- to not float back down to Earth, back to reality. But to crash into pieces of what was once a flawless facade.

But it's you who were never going to change.

You were never going to see all the ways you hurt me, and I was never going to force you to. Just as you failed to understand, I failed to tell you there were repercussions... because there weren't.

I am a kind person, and I will not stop being kind. I am a compassionate person, and I will not stop being compassionate. I will, however, stop letting my kindness and compassion act as a gateway for mistreatment, for not second chances but third and fourth and fifth chances. Chances that you never asked for, but that I gave you anyways.

I have to walk away from the one-sidedness, from the excuses that I handed you on a silver platter. I let you walk all over me, and I even shined your shoes in the process. I am done using amazing memories as a means of masking toxicity with a happy past. The thing about memories is that they're used to reminisce about the previous, but I used them to excuse the things that you do in the present.

You were never going to stop making me feel small when all I'd do is try to lift you up. I suppose the more you let someone treat you as though you're small, the more they believe it is OK to do this, it is OK to belittle you. But it was never OK, and that's on me. It was me who'd tell you the ways you had hurt me, only to have you repeat them over and over again without consequence. And it was me who was fine with this.

I am without anger, without frustration, and without sadness.

I feel nothing but love for you, but I must also love myself enough to stop fighting and to let go of things not meant for me, things that no longer bring me joy and peace in my life.

Now I am exhausted, far too tired to fight for people who judge instead of love, who bicker instead of trying to understand. Because you weren't going to change. You won't change. And that's OK, that I've made peace with. But I have to change — I have to stand up for myself, and I have to walk away.

So I lay down my armor and I throw up my shield because it's time to start protecting myself, to start fighting for me.