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  • Writer's pictureOlive Von Topp

Why I Stayed

I stayed because it wasn’t always bad.

Because there were lots of good moments.

In between the gut wrenching.

I stayed because I saw the potential

In what could be,

But never would be.

I stayed because in some way,

Unbeknownst to me,

I was trying to save those

I couldn’t save-

By trying to save him.

I stayed because we was there

When the unthinkable happened.

Tying us together in some weird, dysfunctional

Trauma bond.

I stayed because in some odd ways

We took care of each other.

I stayed because I was terrified

Of what would happen to him

If I left.

I stayed because I loved him

And surely love would be enough.

I stayed because I understood his struggles,

I had been through them

With others.

I stayed because I saw his struggles

As mental illness,

Not as manipulative

Or abusive.

I stayed because I lost myself

And I no longer knew what I needed

Or what I deserved.

I stayed because I had grown to distrust myself

Unsure of what was real or “just in my head”.

I stayed because in many ways,

It was easier than leaving.

I stayed because I was lying to myself.

Because I didn’t know any thing different.

I stayed because I was scared of what

Life would be

Without him

Without taking care of someone.

I left because I was dying.

And I had to make a choice:




I chose me.


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