Dear James, Part 8

Dear James,

I would like you to look at this picture.  This is little me.


It’s hard for me to imagine that the little blonde pig-tailed me would ever bear witness to, let alone experience, domestic violence by someone who initially showered her with so much love and kindness.

I sometimes think that what you saw in me was this little girl.  Someone sweet and kind and vulnerable.  Someone who could bend to your insatiable need to fill your empty bucket.  That’s pretty fucking cruel, don’t you think?

That little girl?   She was enough even as that five year-old.  As the 43 year-old that you met?  She was still enough.  I am enough.  I didn’t need to change who I was, however hard I tried, when we were together.  And I don’t need to change who I am now.  I’m a good person.  The fact that you chose not to see that is not my problem.  It was never my problem.  It is your problem,  James.  All you.

You once said that a friend of mine didn’t understand what was happening between us because she was not hearing your side of the story, only mine.  Guess what?  She didn’t need to hear your side of the story.  It was full of deceit and control and sociopathy.  You don’t get the courtesy of “your side of the story” when it comes to what you did to me unless it’s in the courtroom.  Because I was there.  I was not disordered and I know what you did to me.  All of it.

Have you ever listened to the John Butler Trio?  “How You Sleep at Night” is pretty great. Here are the lyrics I love the best.  They remind me of you.

You left your mark on me
I’ll leave my mark on you
This war we fight you’ll see
Scorches all but the truth
Suffer now will the fool
and I’ve been wonderin’
How long you think this lasts

Do I dare to believe in something more
Yes, do I dare to believe in something more
Than what you’re telling me
‘Cause all I hear is lies
Dressed up in fantasies
Travelling in disguise
So Mr. won’t you please
Look me in the eyes
Tell me how you sleep at night

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