relationship type

here is what
I am used to
when it comes to a
relationship: I martyr
myself and let him
get away with murder.
no one understands what
I see in him because he
picks fights with others and
he’s so utterly different
when we’re alone. but
crying over him gives me
something to be dramatic and
put upon about, almost a
purpose, definitely a cross
to bear.

or he’s cruel
to me in private, silently
judging in public, and
doesn’t like it when
I have friends, let alone has
friends of his own. I tell no one
how bad things are, and escape
into denial via my job, my own
inner life and my writing, which
I do not share
with him.

here’s what I am not used to:
he puts my happiness
above his own. he’s already
martyring himself
for another. everyone
sees his worth and he gets along
with my friends, but
they warn me about
getting hurt because
he’s not free. I don’t
deserve happiness, you see.
I’m used to being the
saint, slumming.

this new paradigm
makes me feel
disoriented, as if
the world has been turned
upside down – black is white,
rain is sun, the universe
is not going to explode
one day.

I can get used
to a new paradigm, I
think. but it’s hard not to
fall back into old habits and ways
of thinking. please
bear with me while I make
all the mistakes.

Published by

R. Brookes McKenzie

what fresh hell is this

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