When you think of childhood, you think of innocence, happiness, love.
When you think of childhood, you think of playing and learning new things everyday.
This isn’t about that kind of childhood, though.
I didn’t know that kind of childhood.
The one I remembered was full of darkness. Full of fear and hate.
You were supposed to take care of me. But instead, I had to take care of you.
I had to be the grown up, because you didn’t know how to.
Now, that’s not to say things were never good, because they were.
I know you tried. You tried to make our time together special. You tried to show me what childhood should be, but it was too late.
My innocence was long gone.
At a young age, I was not only raising myself, and my sibling, but you as well.
A child shouldn’t have to be a parent, and yet I was more of a parent before puberty than you will ever be.
You thought I didn’t need you? You thought because I was “wise beyond my years” I never needed you to hold my hand and tell me everything was going to be okay? Did you even think about what I needed at all?
Probably not. No matter how many times you hurt me, I always came back. But not this time, it’s time for me to let go now.
But, I still think about you sometimes. A lot, actually. And I wonder, do you think about me? Do you even miss me at all?
I guess I’ll never know. I will never know if hurting me the way you did even phased you, but that’s okay.
It’s okay, because I’m better off without you. If you saw me today, you wouldn’t even recognize me.
I am not the broken girl you remember. I am not broken anymore.
Today, I am strong and happy. Today, I am free and hold more love in one pinky nail than you do in your whole body.
Your addiction was the worst thing that ever happened to you, and it made me who I am today, but I won’t let it define me.
I am strong today, because I learned that I had to be in order to survive. I built this wall around myself, and didn’t let anyone in. But now, that wall is gone and it’s just me. I don’t need walls to prove I am strong.
I am happy today, because I choose to be. You made me miserable for years and I have finally let go. I let go of the hate and everything you did to me and now I am happy.
Today, I am loved. There are so many people around me who love me. Despite everything you ingrained into me as a child. “No one will ever love you. Everyone is lying, they don’t mean it. Just keep people at a distance and your life will be better off.”
You told me this over and over and over and I believed you, until one day, I didn’t. I let someone in. I let someone close and they taught me how to love again. They taught me what it was like to hold onto the light that I always had inside of me and let go of the darkness that you brought.
They taught me that you were wrong. And today, I am better off. Not because of them, not because of you, but because of me.
I am not only surviving, I am thriving. Without you. I am better off, because I chose not to let you win.
Your addiction may have beat you, but it will never beat me.