I run my fingers over the scars where the knives went in. They don’t burn to the touch anymore, but I hoped they would be smaller and less distinct. I look at the jagged edges and wince. Why would anyone want a heart?
It beats normally again, but it took a while. As I hold it in my hands and turn it over, an aura of trauma lingers. I regret not protecting myself sooner. I could have prevented all the pain by following my instincts. From the start, my instincts gave me an uneasy feeling.
It never seemed right to trust him with my heart, but I didn’t see the trap for what it was at first. I wanted to believe in the best in him and his potential to be a good man. I invested my heart and trust when I had the instinct to run. I felt his predative nature, but he mastered lies, smoke, and mirrors.
He said his biggest fear was me leaving and he found ways to force my loyalty. Fear of someone leaving isn’t love at all. To save him pain, I caused my own by mitigating his jealous insecurities.
He used jealousy like a leash on a tigress, ripping at it to control me but uncaring and distant while he hunted other prey. As long as I was complicitly unaware of his violations, he showed no remorse.
He chose to ignore the wounds he caused and inflicted more when I begged him to stop. Anyone with a conscience would have released a wild thing in such pain.
In his imposed isolation of possession, jealousy, indifference, disrespect, and dismissal, I damaged myself escaping to freedom and safety. He remained distant and uncaring as I fled.
Once free and capable of causing him great harm, he apologized while twisting his knife and justifying every crime. Despite the wounds, I refused to cause him the damage karma owed him.
I danced with a devil and learned his steps.
Perhaps, in my defense and his, he has wounds he never let heal. He bleeds while he causes others’ wounds. I was not his first sacrifice. If I stayed, he would slowly bleed me to death like others who came before.
Perhaps, I should be grateful. I spent so much time in hell, I know my demons’ first names. I had to fight for air to breathe and I found strength I didn’t know I possessed.
Scars remain but serve as a warning to protect myself, but perhaps most importantly, remind me: healing endures.
My heart is stronger, willful, and wild. I chose to be alone until the wounds healed. I wouldn’t carry the damage forward. I wouldn’t allow my past to make me the originator of another’s pain.
With experience comes solitude. With solitude comes clarity. Clarity drives peace. Peace brings wisdom. Once wisdom has its way, love quietly returns.
Love always returns stronger.
Pain is life’s way of teaching what love is and isn’t. The greater the pain, the greater the depth of understanding and the stronger love returns.
Love returns in a whisper and remains in an orchestrated symphony. Its dedication knows no bounds. It is a refuge from storms, salve for wounds, and a splint for injury. It strengthens, shelters, cherishes, and gives more than it takes. Most of all love remains after the thrill of the hunt has ended.