Some monsters don't exist in the dark. They hold you tight when you cry, and whisper loving words into your ear. Some monsters have storm grey eyes- with swirls of blue that you could fall into. Some monsters exist in your nightmares long after their damage has been done. The worst kind of monsters are the ones you believe in with all your heart. The ones who know to unravel your soul. Bit by bit. Thread by thread. With a fear of loss, and insecurity that haunts you like a stubborn ghost. Those are the ones who didn't do the initial damage at all. Those are the ones who just decided that your monster wasn't a monster at all. The friends who decided that your voice, your story, your soul wasn't worth saving from the monster hiding in plain sight.

Ugh. Needed a rant. Having bad dreams again, and part of it is my own fault. Started watching "Big Little Lies" after reading the book. Just connected too much with my own experience. Both cases I'm grateful that I was able to leave the relationships before the violence escalated to that extent. The same time I wonder if the damage caused by the abuse would be less had my friends believed me. Gas lighting is a powerful form of abuse. Being gas lighted by your abuser, and then the people who you seek help from is worse. I still struggle to understand parts of what happened, and still assign blame to myself for things I had no control over. For situations where my trust was tarnished, and I was left vulnerable. Its been a decade, and my heart still pounds when I see someone walking on the street who looks like one of them. One made me feel helpless, and the other made me feel inferior. But it was my so-called friends who made me feel worthless. Its amazing, despite having nightmares, despite feeling off- my fiancee was able to recognize that I wasn't myself. He loves me for me. He has never made me feel worthless or damaged beyond repair. He never doubted me, or blamed me for my scars. Even after years, he is able to patiently listen to me talk about my bad dreams. He is able to recognize when we are walking down the street and I start to panic. He reminds me that I am loved. I am someone worthy of love. And what happened to me was not my fault, and should never have happened to anyone. At the end of the day, no matter how angry, fearful, or anxious I have been. I know I am lucky to have him at my side.