Once upon a time, I was a girl who trusted in the goodness of people, even when there was none to be found. I believed that ultimately if you were good to someone, they would respond with love, but you destroyed me bit by bit, in spite of my love – and by the time it was said and done, you got away with murder.

I knew that it seemed crazy to trust you and to love you as quickly as I did. Everyone saw the darkness in you but for me. All the warning signs were there, but all I saw was someone who was deeply troubled and needed to be loved and accepted. However, as time went on, you broke down my spirit.

I put all of my focus on you and even shunned the people that continued to warn me that you seemed dangerous. I told them that you were sweet and that you had a bad past. Within the first few weeks, after you built me up to believe you were my soulmate, you started to pull back. When I was around you, you were cold and callous. You blamed it on depression, but you seemed dark, angry and unmotivated.

Promise after the promise was broken, and while you tried hard to put on a mask that covered it, the black hole within you started to show through.

And while ignoring me, telling me I was crazy, and giving me lie after lie was bad enough, you began to physically hurt me. Finally, I had enough. And I told you it was over. You needed to move out of my home and go somewhere else because I couldn’t take it anymore. In turn, you responded with manipulation, trying to make me feel sorry for you, you begged me to stay with you, as though you somehow cared. I allowed you time to find somewhere else, while I began packing my things to start a new life, without you, and without your darkness.

But, before I had a chance, you attacked me and tried to take my life. How you did this felt so unreal. It was as though I was in a horror movie, and you, well, you were the monster.

It was a miracle I had survived, and when I was in the hospital, even then, I couldn’t reconcile how someone could do such a thing. After you attacked me, you fled. It’s crazy because you’d think that the trauma and heartache you had caused would have been enough at this point. I assumed the police would get you, and that out of all of this justice would be served, without question.

But the gaslighting of a narcissistic psychopath doesn’t end there. You tried to claim that I had attacked you and told everyone that I was crazy and dangerous. But, the world knew differently. While I laid in ICU, struggling to recover, you inflicted a very superficial wound on yourself and claimed that it was me. You tried to take my life, and left me forever traumatized and without the ability to fully trust ever again, and were so narcissistic, that you wanted to make me the bad guy.

While the police knew that ultimately, you were the aggressor, they had to question me. Could you imagine someone doing the most horrifying thing to you, and then being asked if YOU were the monster?

And while you eventually had to pay for what you had done in the legal aspect, I let you take a plea, just so I’d never had to look in your eyes again and see the darkness I so desperately tried to believe wasn’t there.

I lived for years with flashbacks, resentment, pushing people away and trying to run away from the dark cloud you left hanging over my life. I went from the forever optimist, who believed that there was light in even the darkest of people, to be afraid to even look at someone I didn’t know.

You showed me that anyone is capable of anything, and no matter what a person says does, or acts like one day, in the next they could take your life away.

In the days after it happened, I knew that something was different and that I would never be the same. And as time raged on, the post-traumatic symptoms grew and manifested. For a while, I tried to finish what you had started and sabotaged myself to the point of near self-destruction. I wanted so badly to feel anything but the dark and traumatic memories you left inside my mind.

People would tell me, “Wow! It’s a miracle you survived!” But I didn’t see it as a miracle. Couldn’t they see that I was no longer me? Couldn’t they see the shadow of myself that remained?

And for years I believed that I was forever lost. I even tried to finish the job you started, because I didn’t know if I could go on without the part of me you destroyed.

But, despite the backslide you caused, and even though I would never see the world through rose-colored glasses ever again, through years of cycling through running from the trauma you caused to attempting to put my pieces back together, I finally did begin to piece myself together.

The memories and flashbacks finally almost entirely went away, and honestly, I think I purposely distorted your face in my memory over time, because the damage you ultimately left, the damage that never goes away had nothing to do with you as a person. To me- you are dead. But, my inability to trust, my constant fear and anxiety of people- that will never fully go away.

The paranoia I have of someone getting through my walls, obtaining my trust and then destroying the remainder of myself – it will never go away.

I will always worry that someone I let in – will infiltrate my spirit and take away what’s left. BUT, those things are so minuscule in comparison to the fact that I am now a warrior. In all the darkness, pain, and agonizing terror I have lived through and relived during the years it took to mend the hole that had been left- I found a new, and stronger version of me as well.

And while it was so difficult, you showed me that I am a survivor and that nothing anyone could ever do would take that away. You may have killed a major part of me emotionally, but you would have never been capable of killing the strength of my spirit.

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