Was I born a masochist or did society make me this way?

Tag: break up


Watch me destroy my own happiness. I can tear down the foundations on a rainy day and leave you out to dry. Wipe her lipstick stain off your cheek, kiss the crimson away till my lips are bloody. You and your pride, both of us struggling for air as our egos compete to drown the other. My stubbornness, my inability to let anything go, did you really find that endearing once upon a time?

How could you ever have loved me? Flaws and warts and all. Every imperfection is sharpened like razor but we both got so good at pretending. I could almost have believed you were the one. You could almost have been my salvation. We might have been able to save each other if you meant all the lies you were saying. I would have given everything for them to be true.

I told you all I had was a bunch of sad stories, and I had learned to hide the bitterness with a sickly sweet smile that reached my eyes. He taught me how to smile with my heart broken wide open. You never cared enough to notice the cracks. My darling, sticks and stones may break my bones, but love will never hurt me.


There’s a reason I haven’t apologised. There’s a reason I feel entitled, even angry, still. When I loved I left no doors unopened, I was ready, ready, ready for you to come in, to make me a home. The epitome of love is not selfish romance, it’s not two people kissing under the rain in a rose garden. It’s family, it’s beginnings and promises of a lifetime to come, I wanted the sort of love that would ache.

We did not meet so young, we did not have perfect excuses for our failures to be more than what we chose to be. You had no excuses left, I was running out for you. Every day was another day that you refused to change, which in a way was choosing to not be with me. Every day you took another step away from me and I’d run to keep up, I loved your shadows.

I have learned to keep my tongue in cheek, to win less, because small victories are not worth celebrating, especially alone. But I did not know how to let you go. I had forced myself to erase the concept of a life without you. Now I am trying to re-imagine this new life, but it is not as beautiful as my first design. I drew you perfect.

There must be fifty ways to leave your lover, but I know only one. Break your own heart, shatter it to pieces, make them watch. Tell them you still love them, and it’s slowly killing you. Tell them you won’t ever love like that again, no more, no more. I dream of happier endings but I don’t tell you anymore. No more, no more. My heart’s been broken but it doesn’t hurt anymore. No more, no more.


Teach me how to fall out of love again. Rewind the tapes, swallow the darkness, the lonely nights, the dinners for one and empty bottles of wine stacked up on the kitchen counter. Snuff out the scented candles, watch the roses wilt, take my pills on time but only half of the time. My head is pounding and my hands are shaky again and no phone numbers saved in favourites to call against the deafening quiet.

Delete the photos, the messages, remove the love notes stuck to the fridge by magnets I found on holiday when I was missing you. Forget the pillow talk, the sweet whispers, the smell of your hair, the way you like to run your fingers down my spine, I refuse to hear your heartbeat.

We’ll walk in opposite directions, go back to our own homes. You’ll forget the way coffee should taste and go back to spiking yours with too much sugar. I’ll go back to filling mine with too much cream and we’ll both stay unhealthy in our preferred ways only this time I won’t be there to nag you into calling me crazy.

Let go of my hand, cross the street before looking and hope today is your lucky day. Watch the leaves fall in Autumn, don’t think about our first kiss, our lips never touch, you never feel the tingle of my passionfruit lip balm. Untangle my hair from your sink, wash your sheets until you can’t remember the smell of my shampoo and throw away the over-sized shirts I used to wear to sleep.

Tell her we were no more than sweaty bodies tangled in summer nights, that it was more lust than it was ever love, that you only called me baby because you didn’t care to remember my name. Wipe away the tears I never shed for you, rip up the concert tickets we never bothered to book, throw away the ultimatums we never laid on the table, bury the happy ending that was never written. What never was will never hurt you again.


The problem is the profound influence he had on me, his ideas forged me into part of who I am. I am no longer able to separate the girl I was before I met him with the woman I became after he left.

He understood me, the parts of me that even I didn’t fully understand. I had spent most of my life subliminally championing the idea that being misunderstood made me interesting, but it took him seconds to dismantle my mask. I wanted to be mysterious, but he refused to give me that courtesy. I despised intimacy, he found a way to get close anyway. We found in each other something that completed us, we loved each other when we were both unlovable. I built myself a new home with his arms wrapped around me, and I thought forever was a promise meant for keeping.

But waking up in the morning to that empty bed, all that space, I felt like I slept on needles and every piece of my skin was burning. All my mistakes came hammering down, drilling into my brain and hell is the special pain I had invited into my life, hell is knowing I am no longer permitted to speak your name.


I am tired of weak women. What happened to us? Eyeliner winged, stilettos tapping the ground rhythmically, heads held high, and yet we’re so broken inside. How did we become a generation of professional women with critically low self esteem? Why is nothing we do ever good enough? We can be mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and somehow if you’re single, if a man finds you undesirable, that’s the tipping point. That can cost you everything.

I’ve seen smart girls fall into the most obvious traps, losing their minds over heartless boys who never gave a second thought to their sufferings. I’ve seen her chase pills with vodka and cry in the hospital wing after getting her stomach pumped while he sat there guiltily, mumbling useless apologies. You don’t apologise for breaking a heart, it takes exceptional cruelty to expect forgiveness for such a crime.

I’ve seen her draw hearts in chalk on his doorstep, drowning out the unbearable noises in her head, warning her that he is nothing but a mistake. I saw her break a plate in half and draw colourful lines on her wrist with the porcelain edge, and a terrible smile settled on her face. She was an angel before he stole her wings.

I am tired of weak men. What happened to you? What sort of sadistic pleasure do you derive from destroying beautiful women? What is so much easier about lying than telling the truth? Why do you thrive on the ambiguity, on empty promises, on vague implications of a possible future involving two, when that is never your intention? Why give us the illusion that we mean something and then blame us for believing in magic?

I will not settle for your late night guilt, when the last quarter bottle of rum reminds you of the taste of her and you ponder the idea of calling, and you wonder if she misses you too. She does not.

I will not accept the regret that comes two years later, when you see a face that reminds you of her but the new girl is not as pretty, and you wonder if you made a mistake. Yes you did.

So take your sheepish smile and use your charm on someone more naive, a brown eyed girl with curly lashes who lies in bed and pictures the two of you happy, and hurts when you never call. You will never hurt me.

I am tired of weak people. Look alive, darling, the fight’s not over yet. Let’s go to war over nothing, the same reason as always. Tell me how much you loved her silky blonde hair and soft lips that always tasted like cherry chap-stick. Tell me how she wept on the kitchen floor clutching a bottle of gin when you told her the truth isn’t what she’d always wished for. Tell me how you’ve kept busy all these years trying to forget the way she smiled on the way out, dragging the last of her luggage and the last piece of her shattered heart. Tell me I should never love you. I promise I won’t.


It’s funny how quickly things can change. Your favourite cafe has caved to the new competition that opened next door, and I am too afraid of your shadow to visit mine. I still drink coffee but I never add sugar anymore; some days I taste more bitter than black espresso.

It was the way you chose to remember me. We sat in mutual regret, two stupid kids who fell in love with so much enthusiasm we didn’t know how to fall out without falling to pieces. I fidgeted with my sleeves, waiting for you to speak, to make an effort, to put some substance into the words you kept repeating. I still loved you enough to believe you could change, even when you couldn’t look at me. Maybe because you knew you couldn’t fix your mistakes, and you saw our meeting for what it was: an empty gesture; salt on my wounds. I will pretend you felt shame.

It was the way you sighed, it caught me off guard. Years of regret frozen in the solemn air, lingering,  the world was locked in slow motion, and I couldn’t cry anymore, my tears had hardened. There was pain in your eyes too, and I was responsible, I made sure we’d suffer together. I would trade our most colourful memories for one last miserable fight with you, to disagree violently and unapologetically, to scream and shout and show no mercy, to remember you in more than just faded mistakes.

I waited for you to fall asleep while I rested my shoulders on your chest and counted your heartbeat. I heard you mumble an awkward apology and realised I would never learn to forgive you. Maybe because if I don’t hate you I might have to actually feel something and that could kill me. Maybe because I would trade all our memories together just to remember what it feels like to be whole again. Maybe because I am in love with this pain, this exquisite pain of being incomplete, the intoxicating allure of feeling broken.



I miss you, in a Sunday morning don’t wanna get out of bed because I dreamed about you and I think if I keep my eyes closed, your face might come back to me again kind of way. In a Friday night staying up till 3 AM and blushing as I read screenshots of our old messages kind of way. In a wasted Saturdays writing about what we could have been kind of way.

I miss you, the way that you could make me laugh till my belly was aching, and the way that your eyebrows would scrunch up when you had to wipe my tears away because you truly couldn’t bear to see me sad.

I miss you, whether it’s hot summer days, or cold winter nights huddled next to the fireplace, nothing I do now feels as right as our first spontaneous trip to the beach. You pulled me into the freezing water and silenced my protests with a kiss. We left mismatched footprints in the sand and that was the first of many sunsets we watched together.

I miss you, your calloused hands from playing the ukelele and the way they used to graze my skin; I used to be your favourite instrument. Your smile, that god damn charming smile that made life look easy, you smiled at me like I was your reason for living. You set my world on fire with that smile and I loved the way it burned. I laughed as black smoke filled my lungs and it all crumbled to ashes.

I miss you, your uncanny ability to cook everything to perfection, your extensive knowledge on every unimportant subject I could ever imagine, and the way you simply cruised through life, without ever questioning the absurdity of our existence. You were always meant to exist in this way, you were a drifter not a doubter, and you never intended to stay.

I miss you, in a I hate your fucking guts but I still want to kiss you a thousand times kind of way. In a I don’t know whether I want to slap you in the face or push you to a wall so I can make out with you kind of way. In an embarrassingly primitive, it makes me cringe to say your name kind of way. In a you hurt me terribly but I still fucking love you kind of way.


I could feel the cracks before you could see them. We kept pouring more love on top, hoping it would fill in the gaps but all it did was draw attention to the imperfections, and before long it became painfully obvious that we were not going to find a happy ending.

I told you I was tired of jumping through hoops just trying to stay sane, but you laid out all the obstacles and pretended they weren’t impossible for someone like me. I’ve learned to be selfish and enjoy the little things now. I’ve learned to say no to boys like you.

It hurt, but I never told you. I was tired of fighting to be heard, fighting for the right to feel when all around me love appeared easy. I say I want a man who will never make me cry but what lunacy! Such a man does not exist, not now, not ever. I say I want loneliness but it feels worse than crowded city seats and I envy the girl shedding tears behind her book in the corner bus stop, how wonderful to still know what sadness feels like. I say I want to be alone but truthfully I wanted you, I wanted us, together, somewhere, somehow, but I had no faith. He took the last piece, and no matter how hard you tried, you could never fill the holes in my heart. I don’t blame you.

I used to whisper I love you because I worried it would feel cheap if you heard me all the time. I wanted our children to be more like you, idealistic, hopeful, but the jaded cynic in me saw that we were never meant for do or die. The hopeless romantic in me knew that if I held your hand, I would never want to let go. The coward in me ran.

I opened another pack of cigarettes and told myself this is the last. I said the same thing last week. Two years ago every cigarette was the last. Maybe two years from now I’ll move onto cartons. I learned to shrug my shoulders when I realised it was easier than saying no, and that day I saw you do the same, I realised survival was our instinct. I knew you would be fine without me, and I will continue to survive, but please don’t assume that it was easy. Saying no to love is not easy.

Though we laugh and pretend the hard part is over, you and I both know we have been hurting for longer than we can remember. It makes no difference that sometimes when I smile I’m thinking of you, and sometimes when you smile I remember to breathe again, because you could never give me what I wanted so I had to stop trying to fit where I didn’t belong. I wanted you to stop making promises you couldn’t deliver, because words have too much power over me. You had too much power over me. But I beg you to remember the good times, because those memories are precious, even if they’re haunted.


I’ll wait for you, but I won’t call you, I don’t wish to burden you, I don’t need any more empty promises. You’ll move on just like all the others, you won’t look back, you won’t see my hand prints in the sand and as I’m crawling back with blood on my hands, you’ll tell her you’ve forgotten my name.

I’ll be in the mirror when you’re kissing her neck and her lipstick stains will show up as bruises on my skin. I’ll find your late night whispers when you’re not really missing me, you’ll be too busy memorizing her curves. I’ll hide these tears of goodbyes because there’s no need for you to know just how much it hurts. We were never meant for do or die; we are too strong for apologies.

We’ve been going backwards darling, you’ve known it all along. You said yes too quickly and you’ve been wanting to move on. You’ve been dreaming of freedom and I was only weighing you down. You wanted to kiss my scars away, but you don’t love them the way that I do. They are not surface marks, they are deeper than flesh and bone, they are the skeletons of my wounded soul, and I don’t know where I’d be without them. I wouldn’t be anything without them. I’d be so lost without my sadness and the joy that you promised me would only lead to a new broken home.


When I was 16 you stumbled into my life with all the youth and innocence of a precocious child and told me I was your map, I was your compass, but I didn’t know how to guide you when I was still searching for my own way home. I pushed you away, I left you drifting like a lost boy. I was terribly selfish, sometimes I think I still am. I am sorry that I wasn’t around when you really needed me, but I couldn’t bear to see you cry and it hurt me to know that I was the one doing that to you. I prayed you’d meet someone who was easier to love than I was. It is even harder to love me now, no one since you has done it quite as well.

I’ve been trying to change but part of me feels like I’m still looking for the girl that you fell in love with. Even though we haven’t spoken in four years and I even made myself forget your number eventually, your voice still haunts me. I remember our first kiss, sitting on that bench by the ocean, listening to Iris, we forgot the whole world. I never told you that you were a bad kisser and you never got any better at it, but that’s probably my fault too. I was never good at communication.

Sometimes I’ll sift through my closet and find the box that has your stars littered inside, hundreds of pieces of paper that you had poured your heart into, but I had poured your love into the ocean. I think you told me to keep it but even with your consent, I still felt like a thief. You said you’ll always be waiting but three years ago I heard you had finally moved on, and I should have been more happy for you but I wasn’t.

There are days when I wonder what if I had fought harder, what if I had just told you everything that was hurting inside. Maybe you would have been the one to leave me and things would have been quite different. Maybe you would have been the one to break me; I imagine you would have been kinder than him. You were always a gentle soul.

Two years ago I met a boy who reminded me of you and wanted all the same things you had promised me once. You both saw us in a small suburban home, surrounded by a white picket fence, and you had wanted to grow old with me. I don’t think you knew what growing old meant. You hadn’t even grown up yet. I wanted to stay young. I still do. I’m still not the girl you wanted me to be.

A few months ago I heard your name again and she told me ‘he really did love you’, but I wasn’t sure. My mother tells me love lasts forever but love doesn’t seem to last very long for me. My mother has been wrong before. I gave you my heart once, but I don’t think I have the same heart anymore. Maybe the cells have all regenerated and the one that’s beating inside me now is entirely new, or maybe I should have paid more attention in biology instead of skipping class to wrestle in your bed.

Two days ago I should have thought about calling you, but you were no longer on the list of people I trusted and wanted to confide in. We are less than strangers now and I’m sure you wouldn’t even recognise me in a crowded room, it would pain you to find me. I am not sure if I am grateful or disappointed, or both. I have considered every boy who had left a scar on me since I pushed you away to be a part of my redemption, but if you knew you’d probably laugh and say “I told you so.”

When I think of the life you had planned for us I wonder if maybe I am not the type that’s built for happy endings. Maybe I am better off alone; not hurting, not living, barely breathing, merely existing. Maybe that is what I deserve.


When you left me, did it feel like dying or did you feel alive for the first time? You wiped tears off my face and told me you hated seeing me cry, but I caught your smile when you thought I wasn’t looking. A part of you liked to see me suffer, didn’t you?

When you said you didn’t love me, I was sure that you were lying, or something had clouded your judgment and all I had to do was remind you what made you fall in the first place. I teased and taunted, bribed and begged, but you weren’t just leaving, you had already left.

When you called me a monster, was it like looking in a mirror or was it like seeing me for the very first time? I never took you for a fool but I didn’t want to call you a liar. I still catch myself defending you at times when there’s clearly nothing left to salvage. You cleaned me up only to find you didn’t like me sober.

When you said my name, it felt like coming home for the first time since he passed away. Something in your voice made me feel safe, the same way he always did, and I have not heard it anywhere since. But it didn’t take long for you to replace it with shorter versions like ‘babe’ and I should have noticed I was the only one you didn’t have time for. When you called me darling I should have remembered that only boys meant that sweetly, and you were a man. I was not going to quietly close the curtains to our play, I was going to break your world even if it took the last breath out of me. It’s been a while since someone fought back, hasn’t it? I refused to destroy my life for you, I did not lay down and worship your mistakes. I will not make excuses for your actions or romanticise your cruelty as the innocent acts of a lost boy. I will stand my ground. I will right your wrongs. This ship will not go down easy.


I hope you are not alone on this day, and I promise not to hold it against you for not thinking about me. I hope you have a warm body to keep you company, and you cook her breakfast in the morning before you break her heart. I hope her sleepy eyes remind you of better days and your dreams are peaceful without my burdens.

I am sorry for placing you on a pedestal and allowing you to continue your criminal ways. I fell in love with your potential but I never knew it was your curse. Now I know why you never made promises, and how little love can be worth.

You don’t forget, you don’t heal, not completely, not ever. But the pain dims, doesn’t it? One day you wake up and it’ll occur to you how long it’s been since those old wounds have hurt. Then before you know it you’ll fall in love again with someone who is nothing like me. She’ll be broken in different ways, but the difference is you’ll still love her in the morning. You’ll love her even when all her wounds are open and she’ll crumble under your kindness the same way I did.

Perhaps it’ll be easier for you to shed a tear when I’m gone than to pick up the phone and ask if I’m surviving. We like to pretend we have control, but at the end of the day we’re all as lost as each other, drifting along till we find someone who keeps us afloat, because life is less scary when you have someone to hold.

Maybe that’s why I keep your number on my phone when reason demands that I erase it. Maybe when you read these words you’ll understand that it was never over for me, and it never will be. Knowing this terrifies me to the core.

I think I stopped missing you a long time ago, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing who you used to be.  Fate has its own way of playing us for fools, even if what we had was only a cruel jape of some twisted mastermind who likes to pretend he’s Cupid, tomorrow I’ll still remember the smell of your hair and the taste of summer you left. 


I keep trying to wipe you away but every time the mirrors fog up I see the messages we used to write for each other and it seems like my heart learns how to break all over again. I was a fool to squeeze the words out of you, but now your voice plays tricks on me in the dark, and I’m still not clever enough to see you for what you are.

I keep remembering the boy who told me he was scared of loving me, and I still blame myself for not taking his fears seriously. I should have questioned what dark secrets you were desperately guarding, and why you had been alone for so long in the first place. I want to go back and tell the stupid girl that love doesn’t fix everything and point out all the warning signs. All those times I had defended you in front of friends, and pretended that anger and jealousy were your ways of showing you loved me. I walked right into the trap, right into your arms, right into the fire. Finding sleep is always a battle now and most nights I wake up wishing I could dream of you, because only  your illusions are safe to touch.

I don’t cry anymore and the last boy who tried to wound me only received an empty smile, because you can’t break a broken heart. But damn, no one ever told me that keeping new scars away doesn’t stop the old ones from hurting. I tell my friends I’m in recovery but some days I feel like I’m still sinking and the nightmares never end. Sometimes I wish I had the wisdom to drown in that lake, when we were still beautiful and you would always see me that way. I wonder if you really believed I was strong enough to rebuild a castle out of all this rubble, or if part of you enjoys watching me fall for your lies. 

I thought I could replace you with softer lips and sweeter kisses, but going home with him never did mend what was broken inside. Warm bodies never replaced the chill you left, and I was still envious of the stranger who was sharing your bed. I thought I could forget you if I learnt to lie still in the dark and fall in sync with his breathing, but I think he left early because I mumbled your name in the morning. I’m still fighting invisible monsters and all this make up doesn’t make me feel beautiful the way that you did. You made me feel beautiful once, then you whispered the same lies to a younger fool. I thought I could forgive you and I’ve tried and tried, I’m still trying not to curse your name when they ask if I’m fine. 

You thought we could be friends but I was right in the end, I’m always right in the end.

You were the fire and I was the ice. You taught me love and I showed you spite. You’ll burn the rest and I’ll melt away. You’ll love another and I’ll keep the blame.


Remember his soft blonde curls, the way his lips opened to steal the breath from yours. How he always smiled like he knew a secret, and the way he understood the value of people but never their worth.

Remember the nights because they were the hardest, with no distractions to protect you from dangerous thoughts. The way his hands knew exactly how to please you, but every word that he spoke turned into a curse.

Remember the days when the sun was bright but your home was covered in clouds of his anger and nothing could tame the nature of his violent spirit. How the children’s laughter never amused him and nothing you did ever made him less bitter.

Remember the vows you repeated after one another, when love seemed stronger than your doubts and he had promised you a future. The wine had tasted sweet but the hangover was torture, the veil had been lifted and it was too late to leave the monster.

Remember the lies, the women, the drinking and the pills. The phone calls, the chases, the diamonds and the will. When it stopped mattering whether you left or stayed, when right and wrong rested on who he chose to blame.

So sign the papers and leave the past behind. Shut the doors and open a new chapter of your life. Remember how to smile without the taste of blood in your mouth, and teach your children how to love without leaving destruction in their wake.


Last year, you broke my spine when you spat out the words “I don’t love you anymore”, and I cowered under the table while you tore our lives apart. The seams were drenched in my blood, you threw the shreds at my feet and watched me weep.

I had grown to love the mug that was big enough for two, and even when I threw it at the ground I knew I was destroying a piece of myself too. I wish we hadn’t fused our lives together so eagerly, now there are too many things that remind me of you.

I ran my nails down the small of your back and dug them deep into your skin, wanting to leave a mark but knowing it would fade too quickly to leave any lasting impression. I drew my name onto your chest and whispered “Please don’t leave, not yet, please just stay” but she wiped me away and you told me it was too late.

Those last few months we had soldiered on like it was our duty to be calm and twisted. I confess, I had read so many love stories I thought we’d be strong enough to move mountains. But the truth came crashing down when it became obvious, we couldn’t even climb a hill without pointing fingers and appointing blame.

I spent New Years Eve cleaning out my closet, throwing out the ugly shirts you thought I looked good in, while the songs we used to listen to filled up my thoughts without my permission and one glass of wine had me drowning in reminiscence. I risked a glance at the mirror and saw a skinny girl with holes in her eyes instead of windows. Suit up, put on your armour, this is gonna hurt.  

This year I will learn how to be alone. I will become accustomed to the silence, to the absence of phone calls and text messages, to never seeing your name on my screen again. I will forge emails that feign forgiveness, learn a new sort of redemption, and promise not to harm another soul by cruel omission.

You will always be the strongest burden, the rock that tries to pull me under while I’m learning to swim. I sought you out in all the darkness and now you’ve stolen my light. Somewhere, someone is blowing out my candles.

I discovered a new name and find I prefer it. I left behind my old mistakes, drawing attention away from my scars with black nail polish and bright red lipstick.

This year our war won’t hurt so much, you’ll kiss a new set of lips and I’ll try to forget the way you tasted so cool and sweet during the summer we spent together. When winter comes my legs will be wrapped around our old tangled sheets and he’ll say my name the wrong way. I’ll think about you and imagine her, all her softness pressed against your strength, I’ll wonder how long it’ll take you to break her.

When you fall from the stairs and break your leg, they put you in a comfortable bed and mend your bones. But when I fell from your arms and broke my heart, no one taught me how to keep breathing. The way you say my name makes me weak, and there are not enough things that remind me of you.