ever since your silence, i have lived in conscious fear, and although you didn't put me there you closed all the other doors and shrunk my world until it was the only way forward. every time you touched me it got worse, until all i felt was your criticism and hatred and resentment towards the world concentrated into the way you looked at me. you were supposed to care for me, to love me, and those experiences are poisonous now.

the depth and metallicism of fear makes me into a chimeric cyborg, and i feel the metal claws of your treatment wrapping around my ribs and between my vertebrae whenever someone touches my skin, holds my hand, takes my shoulders, even covers me with a blanket. all these things have warped, been curdled, by your acidic perception of the world that in turn disfigured me. i want these things. as much as you did, probably, but you only knew how to use them to harm and now i only remember how they hurt me. i want to have anger. i want to own my acid and disfigurement and turn it against other people, but that is how you hurt me, so i cannot. still, i cannot stop my body from remembering how eager it was to please you and its dismay when nothing it did was enough, when you yelled at me for telling jokes, how you did not react when i told you the best news of my year, when it woke up to you throwing a pillow at my face to suffocate me on valentine's day, since you were too lazy to wrap my gifts, how you could only hold me when you thought i was sleeping when i was, to you, an unconscious doll of a being. when i broke the role of the subservient and almost-as-smart, almost-as-good person as you, you hated me.

please never touch me again; never touch anyone. i have to hold the undying ember you gave me and pray it doesn't touch any one else i love. but it does when i panic when they hold me, when they give me soft warm blankets, when i try to tell a joke or express a boundary or work though a problem, when we don't talk for a day or two, when we play video games together and i wait for criticism. this is when the heat escapes my heart where i try to contain it. i am proud to say i've never snapped like you did, but my hesitancy and fear inspires a kind of pitiful carefulness and tenderness that i hate as much as i appreciate. you make me have something approaching vulnerability out of necessity and although it has made my life better and shown me the kinds of gentle love i can receive, i resent you for being the source of my pain and making it necessary as a condition for loving me.

through all this i was never angry, and even now i don't see the point. there is nothing to gain from it, but at the same time there is nothing to gain from this all encompassing defensiveness and woe. i hope your therapist is helping you; i hope you're paying them well to unravel your knots and remove the bullets from your mind. i hope i never have to see you or hear your name again. i hope i can live free from your ghost. i wish i could write some poetic metaphor about rebirth or realization or renewal, maybe in connection to the idea of how panic during suffocation is the usual cause of death rather than the action itself, but really there was nothing beautiful or uniquely glorious in what we had. all it was, in the end, was a lost child trying to appease someone and another child who thought appeasement would make it whole again. there is no beauty in an unresolved and codependent bond, no matter what i tried to convince myself of then or now. there is no beauty in being prometheus or sisyphus by choice for no benefit and no pride. in the end, you and i were only darkness, two voids looking for wholeness, two mirrors seeking someone to reflect. i am becoming someone. are you?