‘When will I have proven my loyalty enough to be protected instead of fired upon?’
‘When will my patience afford me the right to hand your pain back to you for your attention instead of mine?’
I offered to help you with the weight of your pain. Placed your needs on my shoulders along-side my own. It was hard at times but I wanted to support you. I had experience with your brand of hurt. I knew how to hold your heart in my hands so that it would still beat without influencing the rhythm that made you, you. I could see you needed someone to do that. You told me you needed that.
When your arrows started flying my way, I made space to receive them. My understanding, given a safe space, you would eventually be fair. I knew they’d hurt. Fortified against them. Told myself you would learn how to process, you would begin to heal and then, I would be safe. I did not have the power to change you for you, nor did I want to. I only had the capacity to allow you the space you needed, if you wanted, to grow for yourself.
You were overwhelmed. You needed time. You needed space. You needed love.
But each time you aimed, I bled more profusely. I tried to stay strong but my reserves were low and my iron was not being replaced. I was using what was in my store for your relief. I used it to be patient - to not take your attacks personally.
I thought I was triaging until real help arrived.
I was wrong.
I wasn't nursing you back to health because I was too busy on the front lines fighting a battle I was not equipped to win. I was bloody and was quickly losing losing faith in any kind of cavalry.
So finally, I spoke up. I told you I had been wounded and asked you to divert your anger away from me. I did not have the strength to hold back the storm AND to love you the way you asked to be loved. I needed you to see me now, blood-soaked yet still willing to stand by you - but you blamed me. Told me I loved you too deeply, that my pain was not on you, that I should not feel the wounds because you did not mean to fire the arrows.
My pain didn’t register on your heart. That hurt.
It was clear now. There was only space for you in that place so, I let go.
I was overwhelmed. I needed time. I needed space. I needed love.
I stepped away before my wounds became sores that would not heal. I understood that in the pursuit of saving me, I had to leave you.
I was ready to let go. One step at a time, I walked away.
You were so consumed with cultivating your pain, you didn't even notice I was gone.