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

Tag: prose


We are not friends. Not because we are incompatible, but because we are perhaps too compatible. I looked into your eyes and saw a replica of my recklessness, my inability to reconcile what my heart wants and what is right. I saw a flicker of who I used to be and I suddenly understood why they were afraid of me. You have a devilish smile, and I can’t look away. But you and I, we hold our friends in higher esteem than pleasant first impressions and a quick wit. I don’t know how to impress you, because no one impresses me anymore. It takes too many years for us to trust someone, and who has that kind of time? But it is loneliness that pushes us to share secrets and exchange stories without fear of judgment. I can read you like an open book, and I know the ending to this story all too well.

We are not lovers. Lovers are gentle and kind, lovers have more than mere infatuation, and they blurt out promises they don’t intend to keep. I will be the first to admit that this will never amount to anything more than faithless lust, and your charm won’t do more than enchant me for one night; let me have my moment of weakness. But you and I, we are too jaded to say things we don’t mean. We are too clever to believe in shallow lies, and we both know the truth is too dangerous for injured spirits. I saw a darkness in your eyes, I caught a glint of evil, a glimpse of what will come, and I let the night wash over me; let me be your sweetest mistake. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, but is this human nature or my nature? You are not the first to want your wicked way with me. You will not be the last.

So let’s pretend we are equals for now, let’s pretend I’m not broken. Let’s pretend this game is fair, let’s pretend you want damaged goods. Put on your armour, pick up your weapon, we won’t stop till one of us is begging for mercy, we won’t stop even when that happens. I want to see if you can hurt me. I want to know if I still feel pain. I will give anything to feel my heart beating again.

I finally understand the fear. It is not fear of the unknown that sends them running, but the gun to their head that screams – “I will make you suffer with me“. So when you wrap your arms around me tight, be sure to remember I am barbed wire and I cut deep. When you kiss me on the cheek, be sure to remember I bite and I leave bruises. When you think you might love me, be sure to remember hearts can break and never heal completely.

So let me be your nothing, let me walk away now. Because if you’re anything like me, you don’t know how to.


It is summer and the air feels thin around us. You open all the windows in our apartment to tempt a non existent breeze while I pout at the weak air conditioning as if I could guilt it into functioning. We spend our mornings cramped in the bathroom, taking cold showers together and spending too much time with our hands on each other. I grew accustomed to the calluses on your fingers and you learn to avoid my scars. We barely knew each other but we didn’t need to know better. You dragged me to the beach for an excuse to hold my hand, and to this day I cannot visit the ocean without thinking of your arms around me under the waves, keeping me close. Every mistake we made that day was worth it. I looked into your eyes and saw passion.

It is Autumn and the air is gentle. It is the season of death and redemption, and we are no longer infatuated with each other’s quirks and sins, we have fallen into a deeper mystery. You read me poems by Frost and I try to memorise your favourite. I have not been able to tempt a poem from my mind since; all my words have twisted into bitter songs. Every remarkable day we spent under the sun has been stored away, you turned my mind into a maze and I have given up my search for peace. I looked into your eyes and refused to read the signs.

It is Winter and your heart is frozen. I caught the way you looked at her and gave you more credit than you ever bargained for. I begged you to be a better liar and swallowed your guilt, I downed your lies faster than tequila, boy you served it smooth. I looked into our mirror and the wild child had disappeared, I was a fool who thought you could love me tamed. I grew comfortable and complacent, not noticing the more I tried to love you the more you despised me for it. You took both hands and wrapped them around the life I’d planned and squeezed the last breath out of it. You silenced my screams with a kiss. I looked into your eyes and saw my own darkness.

It is Spring and I am learning how to let go. I know the reasons you won’t be coming, I understand why you couldn’t stay. I am recollecting traces of myself and spending hours chasing memories while you wait patiently for them to expire. But I’m the ghost in your corridor at 2 in the morning when you have company yet still feel lonely. I’m the coffee you drink every morning and I’m the song played by every radio station on repeat. I’m the taste of regret that lingers on the bottom of every glass of whiskey and there will never be enough alcohol to drown out the voice in your head whispering my name. I’m the colour of Autumn and I don’t fade easily. I will never look into your eyes again.


We crave flesh and intimacy, carved from infatuation, and we want from strangers the most. In a city of sin, there is nothing better than those brief moments of almost lovers. When your hands are close enough to feel the warmth radiating from their skin but you’re not quite touching. When your lips are close enough to sense their breath but you don’t taste their desire. In this city we treat love like a myth because there’s too much history, leftover anger, unrequited heartache. We don’t fall for romantic gestures, our hearts are bulletproof. We want to be understood but we don’t bother explaining ourselves. We want intimacy but we push people away, we say distance makes the heart grow fonder but we don’t actually believe it. We want lives worth remembering but we drink enough to forget what happens most nights.

We are liars who crave the truth, we are criminals who admire honesty. We study each other through the champagne haze and cigar fumes, and pretend our smiles are sufficient introduction. You ask for my name and I tell you one. This is my first lie.

Four shots of tequila later the club lights fade out, you’re standing at the entrance of my hotel lobby, demanding to see me again. You ask me why I’m leaving, I hate you for begging me to stay. This is your first mistake.

We nurse our hangovers together the next morning, hiding our dark circles behind over-sized sunglasses and putting too much expectation into the healing effects of early coffee. You order me a latte and I learn a little more about you with every sip. You tell me about your life and sneak in subtle hints of where I would fit in. I smile and listen, I pretend I haven’t heard this before. This is our first date.

You take me out to dinner and I insist on splitting the bill to avoid giving you the wrong impression. You take me out drinking again so you can blurt out after the last shot of absinthe that you think I’m marriage material. You insist it is love at first sight, as if a decent first impression is enough to maintain a stable relationship. You tell me you’re done with games. This is what they all say.

I ponder the limited potential of two people terrified of commitment, and the reality of what your declaration really meant: you are ready to be inconsistent with me now. I make a half hearted attempt at honesty and tell you love doesn’t seem to last very long for me. I wonder if you said the same thing to the last girl, I adjust myself to the possibility of being wounded again. This is my favourite game.


I am hungry for someone.

Not for the left over lust from too many shots of tequila at the end of a lonely night, when you throw your arms around the best looking stranger left in the bar and pretend to be satisfied, but every kiss turns to humiliation when morning comes calling. I am waiting impatiently for the person who is supposed to transform my life. I am starving.

Far too young to be having a midlife crisis, too old to be drifting so aimlessly.  I keep thinking maybe life will begin to make sense if I hit that next milestone, but it never does. I remember her scent, it clung to him like toxin, and I bit down on his promises till I drew blood.  Old mistakes still haunt me, old friends have become perfect strangers. We don’t say hello anymore, I miss that. I feel empty.

A man who used to love me with every fibre of his being, whose heart used to swing sideways at the sound of my name, has decided it is easier for us to never speak. I am inclined to agree that his decision is sensible, mature, reasonable, yet a part of me wonders if one day we’ll look back and wish we had put down our pride and remembered what was important. I refuse to admit I am no longer important to him. I still crave for validation.

Can you be broken yet unbent? Can you be strong even as you are falling to pieces? This is how I feel. Like a tree with all her branches hacked off, but still standing tall, my roots dug deep beneath the surface, safely breathing. I recall one grey Sunday, when I was feeling shattered. You found me lying on the floor, pills scattered near blood stains, memories you can never dig out of your mind. That is how I chose to stay, an ugly imitation of love, a gross obsession. I am insatiable.

I have forgotten what intimacy feels like. It is too easy to wrap your arms around a warm body, it is too hard to understand why you want to. It is too easy to trace the secret scars visible only in the dim lights of your bedroom, it is too hard to ask why I have them. It is too easy to fall in love with the spark in my eyes, it is too hard to stay when the light goes out. I feel temporary. I am famished.


I feel disconnected, like a wire was cut without my permission and now I’m drifting into unknown territory.

It was a dream and nightmare all at once, the city danced and we swayed to the beat, but the stifling heat of this concrete jungle made it impossible for us to breathe.

I lit another cigarette on your balcony, my arms around your neck, watching the smoke trail up and the curls settle onto your washed up shirt. You kissed my neck and I whispered another lie because I didn’t want to spoil the moment. It just sounded better.

I watched strangers shuffle along the dirty streets lined with too much history they didn’t care for, their heads head high but defeat in their eyes because there’s no love in this city and it’s driving them crazy.

You lit another cigarette and by this time we were not simply strangers, but lovers by default. We were in the right place at the right time, just lonely enough, and wiling to lose ourselves in the friction. Hollow passion can taste so sweet, if only because they remind you of empty promises.

I saw myself reflected in windows full of ugly neon signs and I had painted myself neat. Dark chocolate eyes and black lipstick; I left bruises on your cheek. I told you not to get too close. I warned you not to love me.

I followed your darkness and played with your monsters, when I left I took them with me and you were too blind to notice. The rain fell soft and warm but it couldn’t wash away my sins, and the novelty of pretending to be lovers wore off by the time the neighbors turned off their lights.

Our hearts were miles apart and broken in different ways, but it felt good to feel skin on skin, to be chemicals reacting.


The first time I went to your apartment neither of us expected me to stay the night. I ran down to the convenience store and picked up a $2 toothbrush but left make-up stains all over your pillow case. When I woke up, a part of me panicked when you weren’t around, but you came back and handed me the best coffee I’d drank in months and the taste lingered long after I drained the cup.

Since you’ve been gone, I sit alone in my room, hands wrapped around myself tight, no mascara stains, no foundation masks, and I’m wondering if her skin feels the same. I wonder if she knows how to move to your rhythm, are you in sync? Does she know you hate it when she messes up your hair, does she kiss you the right way? Does she taste different or does she remind you of me anyway? Does her hair smell like girly shampoo or that strange coconut brew I left in your bathroom on purpose? Does she put bubbles in your bath, and does her laughter remind you of the ocean?

Since you’ve been gone, I’m not so picky anymore. You know, loneliness has a way of nipping that fucker right in the bud. I settle for strangers who know how to sit in comfortable silence, and when they joke about hurting me I almost wish they weren’t empty threats. These days when I think of your smile it reminds me of summer dreams and wildfire, loving you was the most exhausting fantasy. I bent and I twisted and I shed my own skin but none of it was ever good enough, I was never what you were looking for.

Since you’ve been gone, I’m trying harder to be a good person, you know I’ve always wanted to be a good person. But you and the rest of the world keep reminding how much easier it is to be selfish and mean. Cruelty is how you stayed alive, we’re both survivors, and if that’s the string that held us together why did you blame me for falling? I’m not waiting for an apology and I don’t expect anyone else to pick up these pieces. It was vanity, it was weakness, I was narcissistic enough to believe that if I unraveled in your arms you’d be kind enough to catch me. I was trying to prove a sorry point, but all you saw were tears and blood. You’re not coming back this time; there is not enough skin left for you to love me.



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.


It wasn’t personal.

I know, that sounds like bullshit. I know, everything is personal. But it wasn’t about you, in the end. It was just me, my broken heart, my bruised ego, my anger, my pain. You couldn’t see what I felt, and I was grateful for that. It is hard enough being sad without witnesses, I don’t think I could have survived the shame.

I was trapped under your shadow and there was no escape, no redemption. Your selfish fantasies swallowed me whole, and life began to move on without me. Have you ever experienced anything so horrifying as time passing by without you? You became the centre of my universe and gravity took its sweet toll. I was a trophy on your cabinet, and mornings were your curse. It’s hard to ignore the rainy days and the masochist in me continues to indulge in sad songs that remind me of you. But it doesn’t hurt the same now; it reminds me I’m forgetting you. The presents you bought me are scattered across the house, I pretend I don’t notice.

The sun rises even when you’re not here, and the moon is as beautiful as the first night we met. It is winter again and I’m beginning to miss your warmth, the feel of your skin pressed to mine, your hot breath, your whispers, your lies. I miss your lies the most. I wonder if you’re finally alone in the big empty house you’ve chased all your life, do the echoes make you happy? When your hair starts to look more like clouds than the sun, will you dye it? Your eyes will blur, you will need reading glasses, but you won’t be reading to me in bed anymore. Your shadows will start to look taller than you,  you’ll find yourself lacking in good company, and you will recall my words. I left you, remember? She won’t stay for you either, deep down you know this.

Your empty compliments left me exhausted, constantly chasing your praises, trying to be good enough. But now I don’t dream of the foolish boy who broke my heart and I don’t curse the universe for letting it happen. I am grateful, did you know that? You made me stronger, did you know that?

It feels so good to say I am happy now without being anxious that I will jinx it, or scared that it will be snatched away again. It is different this time. I am a sinner not a lover; I am no one’s beggar queen. I have walked through hell with a smile and endured the longest nights, the coldest memories, but damn it, he was right, there is always hope. I have found my own happiness and I intend to keep it. I have done things I’m not proud of, but pride is the enemy, pride is the mistake. I have been bent but I am not broken, I am stronger than those who knocked me down.


I want to be the girl with the brightest smile, the one who lights up his life. I want to start a fire in his heart and let it consume us both in the most beautiful flames. I am not a fleeting moment, not a fireworks display; I will burn slow and torrid and even his coldest memories will fade when I’m close. I have waited a long time for someone like him, men have traded their souls to the devil for a love like this.

I am not a fragile rose, easily bruised, and wilting without your care. I am the sun, the stars, the night. I’ve carved my own path in this world, my hands are rough and none of this is pretty, but every breath I take feels so good without you. You were not the end to my story, and your cruelty will not be written into my final chapter. In too many ways, I am ordinary. An ordinary girl living an ordinary life. But when I breathe, I am beautiful. When I breathe, I am starlight.

When I am gone, my bones will be here a little while longer to keep him company. My memories of our love affair will exist elsewhere, unseen, untouched, unheard, but felt. This love will show you redemption; this love will mend your regrets.



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.


One day you will fall for the right man, and when he touches you it won’t feel like your world is being shattered, and his fingerprints won’t leave bruises like your old flames. You won’t have to count his promises or compare them to regrets, and the way he explores your body will erase your scars. He will leave daisies on your skin with his mouth, and make you smile even when your insides are aching. He will follow you into the darkest corners in your world of sin, and see you for who you truly are. He will bring you joy with his kindness and even when you are alone you’ll no longer feel lonely. And it will feel like someone has reached through your ribcage and found the last piece of your heart that you’d forgotten, and he will make it grow; he will rinse it with his love. 


I never asked for love. Love was something that came to me as surely as ocean waves, and equally lacking in origin. It brought lust and jealousy, and eventually, hate. I have asked for pain, unrelenting discipline. I have been damned to eternity by your broken promises and easy lies. I know for certain that these sins will not be washed away with time and my sanity will not return at dusk.

I have sinned, I have taken vows in negligence and removed myself from responsibilities carved within. I have fallen, I have lied my way to better days and told you only what you wanted to hear, not what needed to be said.

I kissed your lips, I tasted mint, I tasted Spring and all your forgotten promises, vanished into thin air the moment your arms lifted from her hips. I held my breath, through the games and the tales you didn’t try hard enough to embellish. I wanted to win, ignoring the costs and indulging in my own ignorance. I read the signs but I might as well have been blind.

I have become pale and thin like the girls who look like ghosts instead of faeries, and every time I smile, my memory of yours fades further away till all I see are traces of your violent words scattered across our borders, choking me back, keeping me still.

I have shown you my world, all of it sin and madness. I tell you I have a soul as black as coal and you can’t light a fire in my heart without burning me to the ground. I begged you not to.

I can feel you in the air even when you are nowhere to be found. I have your old t-shirt hidden in the back of my closet, and I pretend its not there when I’m hunting for a new dress to impress my old lovers.

I show them old wounds to ward off new dangers, and though I have bled my share for you, it was not enough. You demanded more but I had nothing left to offer. I was lost in your soliloquies and I am still hiding in the mists of your neglect, your false comforts.

I have served you whiskey straight from the bottle and pretended not to notice your drunken slurs spelling the wrong name. I have sold my darkest hours for a few seconds of hearing you breathe steadily next to me. I traded my darkest secrets to feel the pulse through your veins. I danced to your heartbeat. 

I remember all your weakness and even at your strongest you were never brave enough to be honest with yourself. I sold your troubles for a ticket down memory lane and swallowed every bitter pill just to learn your name.

All that risky business we liked to call love was only selfish lust pretending to be wise. I held your hand when we ran in the rain and you pretended not to notice my tears. They tasted like the ocean. They tasted like our histories.


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.


You never leave a note. You don’t dial his number and leave one last missed call. You don’t administer that sort of guilt, because you know it would eat him alive.

You don’t say goodbyes, you don’t cry silently in public, you don’t show any signs of weakness that will allow your loved ones to blame themselves.

You don’t smell the roses, you don’t watch the sunrise, you don’t search for the silver lining that was never there in the first place.

You don’t apologise for the past, you don’t fear for the future, and you no longer trace your mistakes until hell is the darkness inside your own mind.

You will always be afraid, but there’s no denying the fundamental differences between a coward and a coward who pulls the trigger. The latter can be admired for taking control, however twisted that may be, but at least they were brave enough to conclude their own fate. 

This is about control, precision, and patience.

This is not about the pain, this is not to end the suffering; all of that can be endured, and they have been.

It’s the emptiness, the hollowness in my chest that’s taking over, this incurable disease called loneliness, it makes me want to die.

Everyone gives me advice about how to live my life but no one notices I’m not really alive.

It will always be easier to break things than to mend them. It will always be easier to lie than to face the truth. It will always be easier to hurt someone than to love them. I have always understood this, but somewhere in between forgiving the unforgivable, I found myself an outsider again. It is exhausting to be kind.

It’s the smiling, the constant smiling that makes my face ache. A pathetic defence mechanism that is weak at best, and masochistic in reality.

I have been torn into pieces and my blood is on the hands of a hero. Even when I’m gone, he will try to deny it. He will say it was not his fault. He never meant to hurt me.

I have been torn into pieces by lovers and friends. I feel so tired, I could sleep for an eternity.

I am waiting to return to the nothingness I was before consciousness took away the bliss of ignorance. Maybe my leaving will mean something, to some people, for some time. But they will follow me one by one and we will all return to stardust and rust. We will be forever apart, but together always.

I have faced my demons and I have lost. But this does not mean I am weak, only that my demons are stronger than yours.