The Puppet Master

i have always been
the kind of woman who speaks
her mind even with
glaring eyes trying to
burn holes into my
golden irises

i have been a fighter
since birth
i fight against stereotypes
against injustice
against those who choose
to disregard my ideas
because a girl like me
should be softer

i have always been strong
and maybe that’s why
sitting on the dirt covered
bathroom floor
of a high school where i am
respected
known
and admired
is so foreign to me

maybe it’s why when i am
being yelled at
by a boy who wraps his fingers
around my wrists and
hurts me just enough
to show that he can
to show that he is the conductor
of our twisted orchestra
i stay quiet
i become smaller
softer
weaker

i am no longer myself
i turn into water
that he drowns me in
because when a boy i can’t let go of
twice my size
towers over me
fists clenched and
eyes darkened
i crumble

and i’d like to call myself strong but
if i truly were then i
would have been able to
break free of these shackles
the first time he pushed too hard

i am not strong anymore
i know i am not myself
i had to be told by countless amounts
of people who don’t even know me
that it’s time to rebuild
it’s time to be reborn
because bad guys don’t change in
the span of a year or
even ten years
sometimes everything you’ve heard
is true

you think he’s different with you
because it’s you
and he cares but
he’s different because he knows
how to play the situation
he knows how to manipulate
he has the knife in your back
and it’s been there for so long
you forget it hurts
pain is a constant that your heart
has grown accustomed to

but every so often he twists it
and you disregard it because
“he’s changed so much.”
you don’t think it’s an abusive relationship
because he’s never really hurt you
but treating you like you’re nothing
making you feel guilty about
his mistakes
cutting you open and leaving you
to bleed
and then coming back and claiming
to love you
is not love

it’s the game he lives for
he did not love me
he loved the reflection of himself
he saw through my eyes
he loved what i did for his ego and
i often say that my soul
longs to begin again
and he has given me the opportunity
i’ve been searching for

i had to be stripped of all i was
and all i could have done
to come back fresh
untainted
to build myself once more
but it’s sad because
i miss the knife in my back
i miss the pain because without it
i don’t know how to feel
my writing comes from heartbreak
and sadness became my home

i’ve been broken for so long
i don’t know how to be alright
and maybe i won’t be alright
for a long
long time
but at least i know now
that i was strong enough to let go.