let it bleed, you are free

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

An open letter of the hurt and rise

Let it Bleed, You Are Free



I look in the mirror, and I see a warrior. I answer his calls, and I am a broken.


About two years ago, I found myself absolutely impassioned by a boy I met on a bus. We talked literature and where we came from. Me, braces and bright eyes; him, charm and wit. My eyes fill with tears as I write this letter. Regret and what ifs fill my heart every time I visit this place. Maybe one day, I'll bid this place good riddance, but until then, I write.


I'll call this place The Before. 


Young and stupid in love, we made a promise to be together.  Twenty years old, maybe I hadn't a clue what love is, but the heart knows it when it feels it, right?Months of bliss passed us by, and we became inseparable. Taking lazy Sundays to another level, meeting his friends, showing him mine. Strangers to lovers, it was all so invigorating and new. Aligning our stars to make everything so right for us. Love was what was happening to us.


Inveigled with promise of love, I fell hard. I used to imprudently wish to live in The Before, even if it meant never knowing The Now. My eyes used to gleam with hope, they now gleam from the tears of a broken heart. I watched us grow. We loved with passion, and with that same powerful feeling, we fought. Words became more violent, the sorry's became sweeter. Now, it was like only he could make it anything better. I allowed him that power. I became someone I could not recognize: mean, spiteful, and weak. Spewing words we did not mean, the fights continued. It all began to deteriorate when he cheated on me. I felt I could die. Embarrassed and hurt, I begged to know why. He held me as he said it would never happen again. That it would be the one mistake. I believed him with all my heart. I didn't want to lose him.


In not wanting to lose him, I lost myself. No, we are in love, you are not leaving me, and I am not leaving you. Our fights continued, and our words grew meaner each time. Standing in front of the door to keep him in, threatening self-harm to make him stay. It was clear that I had lost myself, but even then, I didn't want to accept it. I am ashamed of what I had become. This person is not someone anyone needs to be. From the bottom of my heart, I promise you will rise. From then on, jealousy took over at the sight of any girl near him. Trust was nowhere to be found. Arguments about nothing, arguments about everything. Dark and unforgiving. We were losing the light that once shined on us.


Summer of 2016, love was still there and all enticing. A graduate from The University of Texas with my first Big Girl job ahead of me. The past is the past. I wanted it all with him. We made plans, and there was nothing I wanted more than to see them unfold. We spent the last few days I had before starting my new job staying up late and sleeping in. It was pure bliss – Lazy Sundays all week.


It was his twenty-first birthday, and we wanted to celebrate the way we all know how: a night out drinking. Chocolate cake and candles, his friends from out of town. I won't drink too much, my first day of work is tomorrow became my mantra that night. Nights of celebration never go the way they are planned, and now I am drunk and dancing with the guy that feels like my forever. Cheers to a new year of life. As I grew more intoxicated, I knew it was time for me to go home and sleep, so I made my way to get my guy. He was in a strong embrace with a girl he introduced as his friend. Livid and jealous, I pulled him and said it was time to go. He yelled at me for making it a bigger deal than it was, and we spiraled into yet another toxic argument. Poisoning each other with hateful words, we continued our arguing as if no one was watching. Just get him in the car. He was in the passenger seat, but the arguing and yelling did not stop. We were at each other's faces. I turn away to get us going, he grabs my face to forcefully look at him. I scream, "don't put your hands on me!" He gets in my face yelling God knows what. It's time to go. I back up and drive off with him yelling at my ear, me yelling back. I stop in the middle of the road to get him to shut up. For the love of God, please shut the fuck up. Again, we are at each other's faces. He tries to get out of the car, I pull him in. He turns around and smacks my face. I pause allowing myself one brief moment of shock, and then continue to pull him in. A truck with three guys pulled up behind us. Two guys step out, asking me if I am okay. They see me crying and distressed. I tell them he slapped me in my face, but to please get him in the car. One of the guys asks, "Did you say he hit you?" In my mind, I did not want to believe it was so. "No, just get him in the car!" The driver of the truck suggests calling the police and leaving us alone. They try to reason with my guy, but they eventually drive off. He walks over to my car, still in the middle of the road, and gets in the passenger seat. Still angry and crying, I get close to his face and yell, "Did you really try to hit me right now?" I begin to push and shove him, as if my five feet nothing, ninety-five pound frame could cause him any real physical pain. "Hit me again, I fucking dare you!" I spew more hateful words, until finally, I took five punches to the face, causing a bloody nose. Disbelief and shock are the only things I can truly remember feeling that night. He stops. He cries. He is ashamed.


I am no longer crying, I am no longer screaming. I sit in silence. 

I raise my hands to my nose. It pours blood into my hands. My shirt with the blue flowers now stained with red. I sat in silence and watched the blood drip onto my navy-blue skirt. Just drive. I put my car in drive and instantly, I see more red and blue. The cops are here.


A female officer walks up to the driver seat, where I am still sitting in silence. I roll down my window. She sighs with disappointment, "step out of the vehicle, sweetheart." I do as I am told. She hands me a tissue, and I burst into tears. "Did he hurt you?" Disbelief and shock. "No, no he didn't." I turn around and see him in handcuffs and being placed in the back of the cop car. "Please, this is a big misunderstanding!" The officer assured me this will all be okay as she tried to calm me. Her affection was quite maternal, and to this day, I think about her kindness a lot. She did not arrest me for DWI, she gave me the option to call for a ride and leave this night behind. She assured me that my only trouble would be to get my car out of the towing lot. I called the only friend I knew that lived nearby, Kevin. He told me he was out of town but could send a close friend, Hector, to pick me up. Hector eventually came, and the scene was now in the rear-view mirror. I couldn't speak. I sat in silence like I did in my car. As I write this all out, I find it funny that my little brother's name is Kevin, and my older brother's name is Hector, and Kevin and Hector helped save me that night.


He drove me to the towing yard and I paid about $200 to have my car released. There were some legalities that are a blur to me now, but eventually, I had my car back. Hector led the way to his apartment and pointed me to the restroom. I pause before looking in the mirror, I was afraid to see the damage. I look up, and all I saw was defeat. The left side of my nose turning a purplish-blue and traces of dry blood. I splash cold water on my face, and again, I am in tears. The reality of my first day of my new job comes to mind. Pull yourself together. Two hours and thirty minutes of sleep. I was one hour and thirty minutes late to my new job. No makeup and bruised, I tried to mask it all with a smile. Training and meetings throughout the day, falling asleep at my desk. It was about 4 o'clock when my boss told me I could go home for the day. My instincts told me this was a bad sign, but I left the office and told myself I would bail him out of jail now. 


I contacted his friend, Robert, and made plans to meet him at the County Jail. Shortly after making the call to Robert, I get a call from work. It's my boss. He tells me that they feel it is best I reevaluate my professional career and maybe apply next Spring. He embellished this little speech with finding myself and making sure I am going in the right direction as a recent graduate. In simpler terms, I was fired. I couldn't really make a case for myself, I was irresponsible in my choices. I called my sisters, Lizette and Anny, and told them everything. They told me to come home. Even now, my heart is warm thinking how simple yet so incredibly comforting those words were to me. Guardian angels in the form of two sisters. 


I met with Robert, and we made our way to the County Jail. He asked why he was placed in jail, I couldn't muster up the courage to say. Even now, I think he knew. It was written on my face. I went to the front desk and asked how we could get him out. The man at the front told me his bail was set to $5,000. Of course, I didn't have the money, and at this point, I didn't even know how I had the will power to even be there. I called his sisters and told them their brother was in jail, and I need money to help get him out. I omitted the details, they didn't need to know. They were angry with me for not telling them sooner, one of the sisters cursed at me. If they only knew. I took it lightly, after all, they were distraught with worry for their little brother, and the anger stemmed from love. I understand. His friend and I decided we would split the bill at a Bail Bonds place, each of us paying about $250. The lady at the Bail Bonds place told me he would be released at 10PM. I texted that information to his sisters, and I made my way back to his apartment to pick up all my things. Robert came with me. He watched as I put my clothes, my art, my things into a trash bag and out of his life. A bag full of memories. I cried as I stood in his room. Robert placed his hand on my shoulder, and I shrugged him off instinctively. I didn’t mean anything by it, I just didn’t want the comfort of a male. I thanked him for accompanying me, and I made my way back to my apartment to pack some clothes and leave this all behind.


Apartment 330. I walked in my room with intentions to pack immediately and leave as soon as possible, but as soon as I opened the door to my room, I was overwhelmed with sadness. I crawled into bed and under the covers. Begging God to tell me it was all a bad dream, begging Him to give me a sign that this was all just a big lesson in His Great Plan. I tossed and turned begging, more than anything, for sleep. I awoke to messages from him telling me this was all over, and that he is sorry for the pain. I forced myself to sleep, again, this reality was too much for my waking body to bare. 


The next morning, I woke up and packed my suitcase. I would have walked out naked if it meant getting home sooner, but I had to be rational. I drove to my sister Lizette's house. Three hours, the longest ride of my life. 


I am finally home.


This is The After.


There was still plenty of summer left to indulge and experience. My twenty-second birthday was around the corner, and I had to make myself new again. I was so used to being next to him. The only person that could make all this better was the only person that caused all this pain. Some nights, I felt like I couldn't breathe. Some nights, I wanted to yell his name. Watching our quirky videos, scrolling through our selfies - how did we get here? Some nights were tolerable because I had convinced myself I was where I needed to be. I am a firm believer that, yes, everything does happen for a reason.;


A month passed, and here he came. Making his way back into my life. Promises to make it better, promises to get us to where we used to be. The Before. It's not too late to start anew. I believed, body and soul, I believed in our new beginning. Months of working it out, overcoming the obstacles, I figured we could come out stronger. Explaining to my loved ones that this was just a bad, drunken night, and that's he's good to me. I made excuses for him to have a place with my family and friends. I was starting a new job and visiting him every other weekend. We were starting over. We deserved this.


Halloween 2016, my sister Anny, my two friends Dianne and Vicente, and him. This was the first step in connecting him back with my family, my friends. Cheers and laughs. He even arranged to be the one to drive the three hours to get me back home and drive back to work the following day. He made sure to spend every minute with me and making our long-distance relationship work for the better. We made love drunkenly that day. We were happy. Maybe we’re going to be okay, I thought.


I got back home and found the comfort I felt I never find again: peace


A couple weeks went by, and I felt myself feeling nauseous all the time. My oldest sister Lizette and her husband made me teas and helped find remedies to make me feel better. The thought of being pregnant was brought to me in a form of a joke. I laughed it off, but then I thought back to Halloween. I told him about my fear and remembered I had a pregnancy test in my junk of things, a "just in case" kit. I took the test, and the results showed two faintly colored blue lines. I sent him a picture, and he made plans to visit me to take another pregnancy test. Walking the aisles, trying to figure out which would be most accurate, we purchased a pregnancy test. We got back to my sister's house, and I took the test again. "Pregnant," it said. No two faintly colored lines, no room for doubt, just flat out, "pregnant." I looked up and his eyes met mine. "I'm not keeping it," were the first words I spoke. He held me and said that he would go along with whatever I chose to do. That was the thing with him, his voice and embrace were the most comforting things I knew. It is where I felt the safest. We quickly made plans to visit Planned Parenthood to talk options. They had an opening to perform the abortion as early as the following Friday, giving us a little less than a week to plan out the finances. 


Texas legislation requires "women to have an ultrasound at least 24 hours before she has an abortion." It is, however, a woman's choice to see the sonogram. I chose to see it. A tiny speck no bigger than a pea. Six weeks and six days pregnant. I knew my mother would disown me if she ever knew the choice I was making. I couldn't tell my mother, I couldn’t tell anybody. I especially couldn't tell my oldest sister, the mother of my wonderful nephew. My sister was nineteen when she found out she was pregnant. How could I tell her when she birthed one of the greatest blessings in our lives? "I just can't keep it." Sometimes, even now, I think about what would have happened had I gone through with it. It would have been a July baby, like me, like him. Maybe it would have been the redemption to that awful July, but I couldn't let a baby fix our mistakes. 


"Do not eat after midnight. Your appointment is starts at 9AM." I wake up and he drives me to my appointment. I get my IV done, and then I am wheeled off to the surgery waiting room. I am in a blue hospital gown. I am placed on the bed and told to spread my legs. I shake. I’m scared. It's cold. "We're going to put you to sleep now, sweetheart." I slowly doze off. Throughout the operation, I could still hear, "open up, sweetie." I see the blinding bright light from the lamp. I wake up. "Okay, we're done here. How do you feel?" I can't speak. I get rolled outside the operation room, and I am handed Oreo cookies. I see him walk towards me. "Make sure you take her to eat a big meal." He gets down to his knees and asks how I'm feeling. I just want to go home. I hand him my Oreos to open and managed to eat two.


We fell asleep on my bed for about eight hours and the next day try to make our day a good one. I feel empty. He leaves back home and to work. I go back to my reality. Days got longer and regret and what ifs began to haunt me. I go to work and go home and go to sleep. I was in a rut. I couldn't eat, and sleep was my only comfort. My sister Lizette caught on quickly that something was wrong. She walked into my room and sat on my bed. She asks me what's been going on. I can't tell you, a mother. "You can tell me. Are things okay with you and him?" I say yes. "Tell me what's wrong." I sit up and tell her I had an abortion. She raises to her feet as if I told her I murdered someone, maybe in her eyes, I did. She is hurt; I hurt one of my guardian angels. She calls me weak, and I cannot deny it. How strange that the same day she asked me what was wrong, was the day she had a baby shower planned for her coworker in our home. She begins to cry and calls me weak again, tells me I am not a teenager in high school, I am an adult with a good job and could have made it work. She storms out my room and slams the door. I want to escape. I run to my car, no shoes, no shorts, nothing but an over-sized t shirt. 


I park at the top of a hill nick named "Prayer Mountain." 


"Kill yourself." I tell myself that if I die, it could make it all easier. I think, maybe if I drive towards the highway and merge, I can hit the car driving into my lane and let it skid me off the road. No, that would hurt someone else in the process. I think, slitting your wrists can make it better. No, that's too much blood, and I would hate to be found that way by my family. I then think about how much I am thinking about other people. No, you wouldn't do it because you care about other people too much. I used to think that not going through with it meant I was coward – all talk and no show. I understand now that not going through with leaving this world was one of the bravest things I have ever done.


The weeks after that night were for healing. Healing, healing, and healing. I tried to find my outlets again, and I wanted things to be better between me and my sister, and ultimately, for things to better with me and myself. There were fights, but there was progress. Picking up my old eating disorder habits, I was falling deeper into my mental illness. I figured if life is bad, at least I can be thin. I would eat what I could and make myself throw it up minutes later. I got good at hiding it. I’d plan my showers right after dinner to have ample time and background noise to hide it all. It got to the point, where if I going to sleep with a growling stomach, I had a successful purging day. Unhealthy decisions and nightmares drained me. Nightmares of being pregnant but losing the baby were the most damaging. Waking up gasping for air, waking up calling for God. Please, just it stop. I became darker and meaner, blaming everything on him and Him. I felt I could hate him if I really tried. I felt I could really hate Him, too. I'm sorry. I thought seriously about maybe checking into a mental hospital. I didn't want to cause him or anyone else more pain. Things aren't that bad. My God, I felt I was living in hell. I hated myself for allowing myself to this point. I welcomed the new year, 2017, with an anxiety attack. I could not calm myself and felt I had to force myself to breathe. He held me like a child, telling me it will all be okay. We struggled with my illness. I started harming myself with sharp objects, not enough to drastically hurt myself, but just enough to feel it hurt. I was going crazy. I wanted to be better already. 


I remember talking to him about wanting to be back in the city, and how frustrated I was that I wasn’t there. He suggested it was time to move back. He told me if I wanted to live my life in this city, that I was capable of doing just that. He said he would cover the rent and groceries, and I thought wow, we can do this. I began applying for jobs in this city, skyping and emailing with potential employers. I finally accepted a temporary job as a broker's assistant for a real estate firm. I worked temp jobs to keep my bills paid on time, and I made solid moves to find my permanent position. Things were finally working in favor. I finally found a permanent job as an Office Manager for a small startup company. I was feeling that familiar sense of peace. 


One night, after a few drinks, we made our way back to his apartment. He began speeding, driving recklessly around the apartment complex. I admit I was laughing at first, but soon realized the danger we were in. I told him to please stop, but he continued, making abrupt turns, burning my tires. The next turn, to turn back into his apartment complex could have seriously injured us, and to this day, I am thankful I came out with little to no bruises. That abrupt turn into the apartment complex changed the course of my summer. He crashed my car right into the apartment complex sign, causing our airbags to go off. My car was totaled. I was on my mother's insurance, and this wreck sent her rates through the roof. She told me she had no choice but to remove me. More bills, more money I don’t have. He gave me his car to take to work every day. He told me how sorry he was for causing all this trouble. I was stressing the whole month to get settlements on my insurance and getting myself into a new car. It wasn’t something debilitating, but for lack of better words, it was annoying and simply inconvenient. You ruined my car. I kept ignoring the fact that he was immature and irresponsible. He made a promise to himself that he would no longer drink, which he eventually broke. How could I have been so blind? During all this stress, his sisters helped us out by letting us use one of their cars. He told them I totaled my car, evading all blame. I figured it was okay to blame me for the wreck. He had an image to keep, and I had no plans on ruining it. He was fixing his mistake, and that is all that mattered to me. He’s sorry, and he’s fixing it.


Summer of 2017 was here. He was sorry for wrecking my car, but nonetheless, we were still good at this point. We made plans to be in his hometown for the Fourth of July and his birthday. His family welcomed me with open arms, and to this day, I hold them dear to my heart. Cake and fireworks for his birthday this time. It felt as if we were learning to love again. It wasn't all great, but we did have those moments that felt like our forever. Laughing and for the first time in a long time, crying tears of joy instead of pain. Holding hands and forehead kisses for the healing. I was feeling happy, but I had a gnawing feeling in my heart that was this all so temporary. Just enjoy this for what it is. My twenty-third birthday rolled around. I was surrounded by family and friends and him. I convinced myself the “small” mishaps in my life were only going to make success and happiness feel sweeter. If you are reading this, yes, I was that naive. 


 We argued over silly things, but it never felt like we would ever lose each other. It was strange, even in our arguments, I felt a sense of comfort that he would never leave, and I would never leave him. I am starting to realize now, this was a dangerous comfort to feel in a relationship. Nonetheless, we made our promise to start again, and we were recovering. The timeline of all this is such a blur, sometimes I think my mind literally tried to erase all the bad from my memory. Sometimes, I really sit and think how it all really went down. Silence, eyes closed, think of the bad. We tend to remember the good more than the bad.


I do remember the hurt I felt, that feeling is all too familiar. A long time best friend of mine invited me to a concert one night. I told him to come with me, but he said he had plans and would try to meet me there later. I drove about 30 minutes out to meet my friend, Penny, and the night went on. Something was not sitting well with me the whole night, even now I can feel it at the pit of my stomach. I wondered why he had not texted me that he was on his way to meet me, and why his "plans" were running so late. Thinking I should just head home and follow this gut feeling, I texted him asking if he was on his way. Finally, he met up with me and Penny (now drunk). We decided to go get food, so me and Penny got in his car to drive there together. Before he even drove off, his phone rang. It was a girl, and again, I feel as if my mind wants me to forget, but I believe the name read Valeria Marie. I immediately pick it up, and the caller hangs up. My heart stopped. I unlock his phone and read the last text messages sent. "Baby, are you okay? Why did you leave in such a hurry?" Shocked, I look up at him, his face pale. “Penny, I am taking you home now because I think my boyfriend is cheating on me.” I got out the car and called this Valeria girl. I ask her "woman to woman" what is going on? She tells me they had been seeing each other since January. Not even a full month after my abortion. She tells me everything, and finally, I ask, "do you know about me?" She says yes because she has social media. Pictures of me and comments on how great I am could be found on his social media. How do you advertise your love for a girl and fuck another? I was disgusted by the two of them. How could a girl knowingly see a guy that is open about having a girlfriend? How could he do this to me? It was sickening. I thought long and hard about breaking his phone. I didn't. He cried and pleaded that it wasn't what I thought, even after I had heard all I needed to hear. He was sick, and I was livid. I live with him. I did not know how to escape because I had already planted myself here. I’m stuck here. All the plans we made to move in together and start fresh, shattered. 


I convinced myself I deserved it. I found myself going crazy, again. Returning to the dark places, feeling low about myself, about my life. No, not again. I refused to let myself go to the dark places I made in my mind. Sometimes when I was feeling so low, I would almost hallucinate that there was a dark figure in the corner of whatever room I was in. Terrified, I would stare at the dark figure and wonder why it hovered over me. As I write this now, I know it was all in my head, but I made it real. Darkness created from the anxiety, the eating disorder, and the depression. Pick up the pieces and fucking go. Only this time, I made a promise to myself that I would never fall for him again. I found a tiny apartment not too far and moved in with two lovely girls, Taylor and Madeline. They welcomed me and made me feel comfortable, even though I was a complete stranger to them. Making new friends, I felt I could let go. I told myself I would live in this tiny apartment for now and then move to where I want to be in a year. This time it would be all for me, not him, not even my family, just for me. Falling back in love with myself, telling myself I deserved so much better, reminding myself how much an incredible woman I am, I rose. I was beaten, but I am resilient. This was not love anymore, this was a stubborn refusal to let go, and we were holding on to each other by a vein. I cut the vein, freeing myself from him, and yes, it bled. It bled and bled and bled. Like all cuts, it healed, leaving only the scar. 


Looking back and writing this all out, I do not allow myself to feel anger. Yes, it took me a long time to make changes, but I understand now that you cannot rush the process to recovery. My heart is ready to move on and welcome the new; I am letting go. There were so many signs and red flags along the way, and my advice to anyone who wants to hear it, please do not ignore them. I made excuses and told myself that it would be better, I just to be patient. Do not punish yourself for not leaving sooner, sometimes you do not know you are in a toxic relationship until you are out. Welcome the new and let go of the hurt.


Holding on to someone or something for a long time is no testament to the strength of your love. My scars and my memories and my stories are all indications that I have truly survived some of my deepest wounds. 


I will now only bare the necessary pains life throws my way. Being laid off a job? (Which yes, I was laid off my job after only eighth months, startups are a little unpredictable sometimes). Fuck it, that just means there are new opportunities to chase. Room for growth and the will to continue the journey. I am not bounded by the troubles that have made their way into my life. I am as free as the fucking birds in the sky. Every day, I thank God that I did not give up on myself. Every day, I thank God for the family and friends that have helped me along the way. My life isn't over because some boy cheated on me, hit me, and wrecked my car. My life isn't over because of the abortion I chose to have. My life isn't over because of the mental illnesses or the eating disorders. My life isn't over period. I refuse to let it be so. I will continue to rise because I look in the mirror, and I see a warrior princess goddess that sprinkles fucking glitter everywhere she goes. I will tell my stories and help it serves solace to those who need it. 



I am free. I live and prosper in The Now.


Submitted: January 27, 2018

© Copyright 2021 brighteyess. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Jim Green

Wow. Very intense and very heart wrenching in some parts. It sounds like you lived and learned a lot in a few short years and its good you are a survivor. Well written. I hit the like button.

Sun, January 28th, 2018 12:22am

LE. Berry

Fiction or fact, your detailed and passionate description was very captivating.

Sun, January 28th, 2018 1:14am

LE. Berry

Sun, January 28th, 2018 1:15am

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