If he lies just a little
Or just misrepresents something
Avoids admitting a mistake
Or downplays it when he does
Even if he misstates or misremembers
Warning alarms blare inside my mind
“Liar, liar, liar!
This one can’t be trusted
Run far away.”

I can’t stand it when he cries.
I am cold as ice. Dry ice. No tears from me.
I can’t believe his. I don’t believe him.
God knows I’ve seen enough tears in my time
and it’s profoundly unlike me to feel such morbid apathy
But I can’t see his tears
As anything other than
The cacophony ensues
“Manipulator, manipulator, manipulator!
Don’t trust him for a second.
If you believe him now you won’t know how to stop.”
So I stand idly, coldly by
And wait impatiently for his tears to end.

It’s like I’m making up for all the red flags I’ve ever missed from everyone who ever hurt me
It’s like by trying to avoid being hurt I become a monster myself
It’s self-sabotage
It’s relationship suicide
It’s my fault
My fault
Someone else’s fault, but not his
Because he is kind
I know he is
And he is patient
And loving
And he would never put a hand on me
And he’d never force a dick in me
And he cares about me
And I care about him.

But I cared about someone else before
So I didn’t see the signs
I didn’t trust that I was right.

It takes me a while to see that this time I’m not right.
This time I’m just paranoid.
I’m just paranoid
Or am I falling for it?

No. It’s me. I’m wrong. I’m better than this. My heart is bigger than this. I am strong enough to trust and give my love and forgive mistakes.

But in the back of my mind I wonder
Why can’t he just not lie
Not misrepresent
Not avoid
Is it so much to ask?
Is it so hard to make me feel safe?

But the truth I know is yes, it is.


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