Love is not a cure all. It can’t paper over pain. Or fix what is broken. It can’t be the only thing in a relationship. Those tender quiet moments you share together, where love is allowed to be. Those are glorious. They lift you up. Make you whole.
But afterwards, at the breakfast table. Their casual cruelty. The silence. The important things you seek to share pissed on. Treated as less, for the sake of their ego. For the sake of their wounds.
Those few moments of feeling love. They are not enough.
Love can break barriers. It can shatter shells. It can make someone better. But they must choose that. They must use love as a place of strength to be more. To embrace vulnerability because in love they are safe.
It’s hard when you know the love is real. But who your partner is, is no partner. They think only of their pain. Their hurts. Their fear. And they dress it up as wrongs you’ve done. They have to be right, even when they are wrong. They have to dominate even when they display every reason they cannot be trusted.
Those moments when they are sorry. When they promise to never do it again. When they are so sweet. Those are the lies. The only real apology is changed behavior. And hard as it is, especially when you are vulnerable. When you are isolated. When you have abandoned friends for this relationship. When you have cut off family. When you are financially dependent. Even then, you must know.
Love is not enough.
And you deserve a relationship that gives strength.
That builds upon itself. And brings joy just by being.
It’s possible. If you build it. But…
Not with them. If they choose their anger, their fear. If they choose their trauma. Their pain. You can only show them that they are safe to heal. You can’t force them. And you can’t be their punching bag. Physical or mental.
It’s the hardest thing in the world to walk away. To be afraid. Of the maybe one day. Of how they might react. Because that’s what they do. They build a cage of fear. They enforce that fear with sudden and irrational violence. Then they promise never again. It may even last for a while. But they are just biding their time.
You deserve better than a cage of fear. A life of violence. Of lies.
It’s hard. It’s scary. But eventually they will go too far. They will break you. Kill you. Destroy your sense of self. And you deserve better than that. Your life is worth more than that.
You can be strong enough to do this. You can lean on old friends. Maybe old family. They likely don’t know what is happening. That person they were in the beginning, that joy and kindness you felt. That’s all they know. Tell them. If they support you lean on them. If they express doubt, believe their lies. Walk away from those. Don’t try to convince them. They aren’t real friends. The same for family.
Rebuild your network. And reach out to trauma centers and hotlines. Even emergency rooms. Firefighters, but not cops. The high level of domestic violence in the cop world has normalized trauma. They cannot be helpful when they are tacit offenders themselves.
You are not alone. You can do this. You can be safe. You deserve more than this.
This is terrifyingly brilliant, Pelgris! I’m not sure anything more true has ever been written. My favorite line… “The only real apology is changed behavior”. Well done, my friend.
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