The Unexpected Aftereffects of Emotional Abuse

You never know
   what will hit
   or when
 or how
until you're bent double
   or suddenly running,
   gasping under the weight
 of yet another unintentional comment
   and you never know
 who will hit,
   a random co-worker,
      a friend who would never want
   to hurt you,
  a stranger on the street
and suddenly the back of your brain,
     that part conditioned to believe
 that surely
   of course
    ANYTHING bad is true
 because when he presented all your "faults"
   he said "You want the truth? I'll give you the truth"
     and then he dropped bombs in your brain
   with the force of a fucking fighter plane
     and they were bad bad bad girl,
   playing the victim despite your feeling that
     everything was All Your Fault,
    casting blame on everyone around you
        never mind that three days after
    he was telling you that "everyone else"
      said it was your fault
 and hell, you already believed it
  that no one needed you,
   that you needed to be needed when you don't,
    that you had no worth
      without someone needing something
       from you
    too needy
    too emotional
       too much for him to handle
  and if the person who collared you can't,
   who else would want to, and why
      would anyone want you?

    And even now, months on,
     now that you've defused most of those triggers
  there are moments you still believe them
   How he built up good/bad girl to flying or falling
    how he used talking all the time as an "I love you" equivalent
     or ignoring you for punishment
   until you were begging
     (you swore you'd never beg)
until that sick pit
   in the bottom of your stomach
   Until you have to fight through all this shit
   to keep from projecting all his actions
     onto unsuspecting people who
     would never
Until you were so fucking desperate
   just to be told you were a decent person
     that the right voice saying "good girl"
  makes you cry.

But you can get back.
  You are not
   any of what he told you was "true"
   you are wondrous,
    strange and beautiful
   loving and child-like and adult
    lover and caretaker and wife and pet
    and you can go back there.
 You can be
    who you have always been,
     under all that insecurity.

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