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  • Olive 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:

Him

Or

Me.


I chose me.