A Message To The Man That Broke Me

A Message To The Man That Broke Me

Here's to moving forward with our heads held high.

This one is for you.

You who, once upon a time, was there when we needed you the most. In a time where everything felt like chaos, you arrived and offered stability to a household of scattered jigsaw pieces. You were far from perfect, but your flaws showed an individual that was right at home with the rest of us. I was the closest you had to a child in a long time, and while I would never be a substitute for the loss you had faced so long ago, we managed to scrape by sharing a relationship of something along the lines of mutual respect.

You who, after several years, faced major medical complications which caused irreparable damage to your body and mind. You had suffered the kind of damage that doctors were sure you would not come back from, and for once you needed us to be there for you. I was willing, and I made room in my heart for the change that was to take place, but I could never have known just how bad things would get. In the years since your degradation, I've had to come to terms with the fact that I am no longer safe around you.

You who, day after day, take out the frustrations of your unjust life on everyone around you, on the people who care and want nothing but what is best for you. Sometime after the degradation, after we downsized to an affordable place to call home, you directed every ounce of anger you could muster my way. I knew it wasn't your fault, that I needed to be brave for the people who worked hard to support you and myself, but I was not being brave. I let you tear me down every day until I had nothing left. I was stupid, and that is the biggest regret of my life.

You who, every minute, berated me with your insults, your threats, and on the rare occasion that I didn't pay attention, your weak, flesh and bone fist. I heard everything you had to say, even when all everyone recommended was ignoring you, I listened and soaked in every last insult. I believed that I was worthless, that I should die, that I would always be a failure, that I would never make it if I pursued my dreams. I let your anger with the world infect my motivation to get out of bed each morning, and I've lived under that shadow for far too long.

You who, every second, climbs into my hopeful thoughts with your doubt and shatters the confidence I once took pride in. I've wanted to hate you for so long, but hate is exhausting and I just don't have the energy for that. When things got really bad, I always reminded myself not to blame you because what happened to you is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. So now, in order to rid myself of the anger you've left with me, I wish only to say one thing. One thing that I might never have the strength or courage to say to your face.

I forgive you, but I can never again allow you to be a part of my life.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I Refuse To Apologize For Putting My Mental Health Before My Education

It's OK to not be OK.

I’ve been in college for a long time now. By the time I receive my undergraduate degree I will be 24 going on 25. Some days I think about this and I feel defeated, like I’m far behind where I wanted to be in my life. Then I remember why I’m so far behind and I feel a little bit better about it.

I’ve struggled with various mental illnesses for a large portion of my life. Over the past 10 years at least. It’s been a daily struggle and somedays I can get out of bed and face the day and be perfectly fine, but there are days when I can’t function. AND THAT’S OKAY.

I used to beat myself up for missing a class or having to call into work because I just couldn’t do life that day. As I’ve gotten older I’ve let myself realize that you have to take care of yourself in whatever way works for you. If that means that you have to stay in bed for three days and sleep, then do that and when you feel more yourself face the world and get your life together.

Mental health days have proven to be so important to my life and successfully functioning as a part of society. Yes, maybe it’s taken me a bit longer to get through certain parts of my life, but I’ve moved at a pace that works for me and when I’m finally finished with this chapter of my life I’ll be able to say that I came out happy and healthy and functional.

College is hard. It’s hard for healthy people and it’s definitely hard for those who struggle with any sort of illness, mental or physical.

Over the past 10 years I have come to terms with what my illnesses mean. I can’t be like everyone else all the time and I can’t just pretend everything is fine. The more I tried to ignore my problems, the larger my problems became. In this case ignorance IS NOT bliss, it’s a death sentence.

Everyone in this world will struggle with something at some point in their life and if you’re anything like me you’ll put on a brave face and say that you’re fine…for a while. But there is no shame in not being okay. You can’t be okay all that time. To quote my favorite show, Grey’s Anatomy, “Not everybody has to be happy all the time. That’s not mental health; that’s crap!”

Take that day off. Stay in bed. Eat that junk food that you never let yourself have. Cry. Scream. Drive until you don’t remember why you weren’t okay in the first place. Do whatever it is you need to do to feel okay (within reason. Please don’t do anything unhealthy). Accept that it is okay not to be okay and show the world that, yeah maybe you’re a hot mess, but you’re handling it and you’ll come out better than ever because you took the time to sort out your crap and maintain your mental health instead of rushing through it to please society.

So maybe I’ll be in my 30’s before I finish school, but that’s okay because I’m healthy-ish, I’m happy-sorta, and I did what I needed to do to succeed in my own life and I refuse to apologize for that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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When you start feeling depressed, you kind of go into a downward spiral.

I stare at the wall

It will never move

But I stare intently

As if it might

I can’t breathe

I feel like I’m drowning

But I can’t even save myself

I’m swimming in an ocean

With all my strength

But it’ll never be enough

I’m going to drown

Now it’s a matter of when

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