he tasted sticky sweet
like the stories they fed me
in those “harmless” disney movies
i watched his hands endlessly
finding comfort in their imagined strength
thinking if i could just keep track of where he was going
i wouldn’t feel so lost anymore
his fingers found my face
and traced my simile lines playfully
his touch always made my insides quiver
and i grew weak
no, not only in the knees
yes he had that effect on me
the kind where you lose breath
and find yourself grasping for words you used to know
but this was a different kind of weak

i remember one day looking in the mirror
my body covered in fingerprints
i was so unwell
his hands left black and blue marks in the places
nutrients used to be
i thought i could live on your love
quite literally
i remember every night writing
again and again
dear diary,
tomorrow will be a new day
i will be better
i will be more focused
i will not falter
i will not eat

when our paths crossed again years later,
i wanted to ask:

“do you remember how i used to hide
my body from you?
“do you remember how often i could not eat
because my belly was killing me?”
“do you remember how i came home
eyes bright red and knuckles bleeding,
praying you would notice me?”

do you?
do you remember anything?
and why, please tell me why —

why didn’t you say anything?

you fancied me silly
but i was just sick

and as i kept watching your hands
i saw
you were like a microwave meal
pretty on the outside
quick to heat up
and filled with lies

but instead i said
because here is the lesson
the universe gave me
the humble pie
i have been eating

it was never ever your responsibility
to save me
it was never ever your job
to read my mind
know my heart
and heal my soul
and i was completely
out of line
to resent you for not doing
what wasn’t yours to do

because it is only ever my responsibility
to save me
it is only ever me
that can save me

so please
this is so so incredibly important
and i know
so many of you
are waiting
for someone to save you
i know because i was you

i know so so so many of you
are hoping someone is gonna swoop in
and make it all better
i know because you tell me
i know because my inboxes are filled
with messages from you
that could tear my heart in two

but here is what i am really upset about
here is my plea
listen to me

you cannot wait
you must not wait
for someone to save you
this is not someone else’s job to do
this is yours

so if you are
or just plain self destructing

you get that it is you
who is going to choose
to do it differently

and as incredibly confronting
as this may sound
it always
comes down to a choice

all the time i am asked,
how did you get yourself to stop doing that?
how did you heal?
how did you finally break free?

and my answer is always some version of
i chose
you choose
and then you choose again and again and again

in many mundane and exciting ways
life is a series of tiny choices
and the more you learn to master
your ability to make choices
that are conscious
the more you will win
the more mastery you will have
and i really believe the happier you will be

because at the end of the day
the only person
who can truly heal you
is you
and that will be because you choose

because you choose

❤️ emily joy rosen

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