It’s been a long time. Too damn long considering what I traded away to get the respect you used to possess. I still have knots in my chest. They tighten with an icy grip as I spin into a mess. You might not have much these days, but you still have some sick power over me. I’ll be the first to admit that I struggle to “exist as gracefully as possible.” You are choosing to choke on those words. If I sound bitter it’s because I am. I can say goodbye when the lights go out but not now. Not when you still exist in some other life but not in mine. Not when you’re still trapped in my head. I got over the initial shock, believe me. Worked hard to get somewhere, anywhere but where you left me. If you care, I’ve struggled well without you. Still have those moments where I feel my teeth ripping from my jaw. My spine shaking like I used to when I was kicking the habit. I do my best to say I’m fine and mean it. Meaning these means have their ends in my knotted being. People have mocked what I’ve felt since that day, guess they never heard the cry for help. But this doesn’t have to be only about me and my pain. Let’s talk about you and yours. You can make all the choices as freely as you choose. But expect consequences when you hurt the ones you love. Bet you learned about that with your time in the place you used to call home. You can keep what I gave you if it matters anymore. Don’t need my permission but I figure I’ll be the one to show some dignity. You don’t know how many nights I spent awake shedding pieces of me, trying to give you some living hope. You’re wrapped up in the idea that you’re your own savior. I promise you, your self-obsession clouds your judgment. Maybe these words are the barrier you use to keep away. Maybe I’m damaging whatever chance I have of salvaging love from all of this wreckage. Maybe I’m just not the same and neither are you. Our own experience is what shapes us beyond our control. I learned to let go, I guess these words are what still clings to the corners of my head. We will both have to live with these truths. I plan to continue cleaning up while you continue to float on. Maybe we’ll never see each other again, and I’m beginning to wonder if we ever did.