Today I ended a relationship. I picked up her stuff and threw her out the front door.
Took her photos and her torture equipment and walked to the rubbish bin, placed it all inside and slammed the lid, sealing it from the sunlight of this beautiful Sunday.
No longer would this evidence linger in a corner of my sunshine coloured room, gathering dust and festering like a scar from the past that never quite grew over.
It has been a long time coming and there is still some healing to do but for the most part she is now only a bad memory and a lesson that has been lived and learned.
The break up has been a long and arduous process. With each day I worked at removing her from my life; one twisted tentacle, one poisonous root reaching from my past to my present, at a time.
Her sneers and constant jeers, the chanting of her unworthy canticle; I learned to drown these out with songs I sang about myself and how beautiful my life is and all the blessings I can count in everyday.
Sometimes she still turns up the volume, slips into my top forty. I have learned to change the channel.
She took photos, cruel pictures of a twisted soul that loved to pinch itself and exclaim over how ugly and dark everything was, every wrinkle, every wart, every stretch mark like a pleasurable wound to be opened up over and over again with the sick satisfaction of self inflicted pain.
I deserved this, she told me. I deserved to suffer. I deserved to live in the dark because I had no control, because I carried extra when others had enough control to go without, because I couldn't stop when others could, because I was an expert at hiding all I took.
She showed false cheer and lured me back into her arms with the promise that if I listened to her, if I loved her enough, if I let her lead my life, that she would make me worthy one day. She played her Pied Piper tune and conjured images in the smoke of the days of my life she burnt; one day my life would look like theirs, if I said no to myself enough, if I hated myself enough, if I punished myself enough.
But it would never be enough.
Slowly, I emerged from her darkness.
I saw that her love wasn't love at all. If she really loved me she wouldn't tell me that I was ugly and unworthy of anyone's love but hers. She wouldn't keep me in the dark and cover me with her kisses of shame.
She wouldn't pet my hair in the dark of night, whispering dark fairy tales of the monsters that people like me became if they wandered off the path she lay at my feet.
She wouldn't wave future happiness in my face while making everyday a misery.
So I started packing her bags for her, practicing my break up speech in my head. I started squirreling away strength and starting a new life that she couldn't see, couldn't destroy.
A year and a half ago I knew it was over. I spent more than a year saying goodbye.
Today I finally threw her out.
She will not be missed.
She is my past. I am my now. I am my tomorrow.
And the sunshine has never looked brighter.