Empathy Kills

I replay everything in my head since that day. Since the day I let you in, before I knew that love could be evil. I unlocked my heart and eventually loved for the first time again as you roamed in and around every chamber, letting your feet sink, dancing on my lungs and weighing my breath down. A love that I thought was real, that I held in my hands and reflected every moment in millions of diamonds. I woke up in a glass box, floating toward a new mirage when I reached the surface. I couldn’t find air anymore. There were only clouds overhead, with rain beating skin, sinking into open scabs. Cleansing me, coursing through my bones. This happened for a few hours. My skin shimmered when I peeled my clothes off to dry on a blanket of sand, while the leaves of three date trees waved their lofty arms at me. Teething like clumsy babies, dropping coconuts.

Yet, here you are. Living in my veins. Eating my blood. Tipping like a stubborn needle. Pulsating, pricking me so I know you’re still here. I can’t pull you out because touching you forces you deeper. I don’t want to offend you or embarrass you. It’s like coming clean from the greatest addiction, and I wasn’t even dependent in the first place. This disease that I misdiagnosed as love, it penetrates me, drains me, blurs my senses. All I can see, smell, touch, taste, is you. Not because I need you, but because I want you. Maybe the idea of you was just enough to be classified as lethal. I add more details to the pathology of this imprecise illness. Your voice pounds like drums in my head, leaks through my pores like oil. Since then, everything about me feels dry and useless. But other days, I find ways to rinse you out by carrying this story on my tongue, slithering beneath my teeth like you do with people to repel me. And yet you still clog me, and yet you still poison me.

I scream and start fighting back, calling myself out of a comatose state, a fleeting dream. In a dream fueled by incandescent passion, I found fire in my footsteps and I left ashes in between my toes to walk everywhere you were. I burned holes in my open bosom because I desired to be everything you were. But once I was held under the flame of your mercy, I was unequivocally condemned, fetishized, lied to. I told myself, after seeing my legs collapse on the sheets, that I would never go back. Yet our limbs were interlaced. I always make the mistake of going back. I might as well have hung myself, humbled, guiltless, a spectacle of your jurisdiction. I was not supposed to be human, but I had wishes. I wished you would be less selfish; at least let me be the selfish one. Because my type of selfishness is only wanting you to myself. I know I saw you differently than other women do. You’re a whole room of answers that I wanted to discover. I love learning from you, but I know you’re nervous when I step in. I can’t become a woman you want me to be. I can only come as I am. Twisted in a knot where every end meets and new beginnings hang in threads. Swollen with an ego that I’m currently decompressing. I need direction. My love is patient, my soul is stretching and writhing. A dying rose, buried in a bed that you still hover over with your lips on my neck, your tongue lacing thorns between my teeth.

I wish time would freeze and we could go back to a moment where I could take something back, maybe recreate a new dream. Because we weave our own stories, we can seize whatever we please. However, there’s nothing we can escape at this point. I see my life in many colors, a dichotomy of primary and secondary. Red love blazing merrily at my core, purple serenity cooling softly at my periphery. But to you, it doesn’t matter. To you, I’m a whirlwind, and in some ways I am. A passive recipient of your thundering invasion. Avalanched by anguish, magnified by intimacy. Eroding my confidence, denuding me of my lucidity.

I’m trying to ricochet around this topic, my feelings are frayed and I haven’t been trying to deal with this. But fuck it.

There was nothing real between us because you’re afraid of the truth. We clouded ourselves, bathed in an inking nightmare. Panicking because we never knew each other. I think your mama raised a fool because everything I said and felt was on blank paper and you still couldn’t read the fine print. You didn’t understand that I liked to be free and that I hated borders. You shouldn’t have tried to confine me between pages, you shouldn’t have unclothed me and left me bare, exposing my thickness and criticizing it. Then, for attention, you publicized me a scandal. I wasn’t something you could pick up, cradle in your fingers, and throw down. You shouldn’t have treated me the way you did because you knew I wasn’t the one. We both knew. I just wonder why you never call me, because I’m too complex to read. You should’ve called me and made it clear. But fuck it, I’m out of the feels.

It’s interesting how people change once they get what they want. After that, nothing is ever the same as it once was. I try to convince myself that you are who you say you are, that I’m not proud of this fractured heart. I wish I could paint the hairline cracks in it with gold, like kintsugi. Maybe to highlight my potential since your perception of a woman is maternal and gilded. A girl with a white smile, a delicate demeanor who will solace you with docility and money. Masculinity issues.

It’s not a good feeling to be used. It’s not a good feeling to be the only one who cares. Disarranging my heart gave me a new start. I’ve suppressed as much as I can feel, but there’s no one I feel comfortable enough telling because they all say I’m crazy. Nothing clinical. I don’t see visions, I don’t see ghosts. I feel, and I feel, and I feel.

Although I’ve known for a while that the consequence of being empathetic is being called crazy by people who feel better in silence, there’s nothing normal about telling someone who loves hard, especially a creative, that he/she is crazy. Nothing is normal about expressing contempt or hostility toward someone who is genuinely being. However, we think it’s normal to do so because we think that we’re helping that person by pulling that individual back into the cluster of normalcy on the spectrum. The polarity, the dimensionality of people scares many. It indicates a lack of rationality, or a refusal to respond to authority. I witness people’s unwillingness to listen to someone different, to listen intently to other stories, and then I see the same people claiming that they understand. Meanwhile, they missed the entire point, sealed their lips, and escaped. I want to cross lines so badly and call people out on their bullshit, and sometimes I do because letting them think I ever believed their counterfeit love isn’t worth it.

We’re all in this world to try to feel special in some way. Sometimes the ways we do so deviate from the cluster of normalcy, but I don’t want normal. I want real. I’ve been under the influence of pain from a very early age, and I know I don’t need anyone. I wish the people I gave my time to knew that I’m not someone who can be easily lied to. I would love someone to hold me close and tell me it’ll be alright. But I also don’t need anyone and can elevate myself higher, win more than the time and the worth I lost when I was with guys when my life had just begun. Now, I’ll learn to not be everyone’s sun.

The next person I get to call mine will love me more than their first love. But I can’t tell a soul anything without feeling like I’ll lose everything I gain. I want to be free, young, gifted, and loved by me. I need my own light, I need my own guidance. I need my own time to create, my own time to discover and become overstimulated by myself as I find the brighter side of a bruised heart that’s savored oblivion, but has never stopped beating. I’m going to let go of your pain, your time, your frequency, your breath, your totality. Let go of all oversensitivity. No longer being the balm to your anger and fear. Understanding through your eyes, through your ears, through your heart that you never understood me,  that you won’t listen because you’re scared and you won’t want to feel guilt. People know they fucked up and that’s why they leave. That’s why they don’t confront. That’s what makes me cry and murders me because it resists everything I know to be real. But that’s okay because I’m still who I am. I’m saying what I mean, and I’m keeping my word. Truthful, and careful with it. Never making any assumptions again to be my best self. Doing my maximum in everything. Standing barefoot in an open ocean with the option to either plunge myself into unconsciousness and let the fish chew my flesh, or swim until my muscles ignite and burn every part of you out of my body. I’m living to be me.

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