Can you remember that exact moment he walked into your life? You weren’t expecting him but like the wind that gently caresses your cheek, he felt harmless and you let him in. He had a certain air about him and it drew you into his atmosphere even more. Before you knew it, you were free falling from the sky. The adrenaline, intensity and speed thrilled you. After all, all you could see were those beautiful piercing eyes, smell the richness of his cologne and his powerful embrace that somehow made you feel like everything would be alright. You weren’t thinking about the ending or the rock bottom you were eventually going to hit once you reached earth again. Nobody could understand how you felt or where you were coming from, but you didn’t care. The benefits far outweighed the consequences and similar to an addict needing just one more hit, you kept going back. Over and over again you ran back to him, even when you were in the company of another, he took precedents over everything and everyone. He was all you thought about, dreamt of, longed for, needed and saw. He was different and unlike the other guys before him. He was charming, handsome, rebellious, dangerous, smart and witty. He was perceptive and able to understand you without words. It was different with him. He was thrilling, exciting and full of adventure. He could finish your thoughts and somehow read your mind. It was so easy to fall under his spell and give in. But it wasn’t one sided. He was just as obsessed with you, as you were with him. His desire for you was insatiable. He was intense, thoughtful and affectionate doing nothing but placing all his focus and attention solely on you. He wanted to be with you constantly and you loved his passion. His kisses intoxicated you and his touch paralyzed you. There’s nothing you wouldn’t give up for him. He had total control over you and he recognized that right away. In time he began to take full advantage of that, constantly testing your resilience, loyalty and love for him. Soon his sweetness melted away with the summer heat that was only followed by fall leaves, and the bitter cold snow of winter. His countenance changed, his attitude and demeanor shifted but you couldn’t accept the facts. Controlling you was his drug and when it came to using his power over you, he loved to overdose any chance he could get.
You didn’t think it was possible for the attachment to grow or the need to get stronger, but it did. Like any other drug that hooks and reels you in, you built up this insane tolerance. Without him around you’d begin to withdraw immediately and emotionally, too blinded by your weakness, you never sought out any help. He was the one thing that made you feel alive, yet internally he was killing you, destroying your mind and heart from within. You couldn’t see the side effects, but everyone else could. Like gasoline on flames, it’d only be a matter of time before he’d possess and consume you too. Still you didn’t want to hear it, if he was meant to burn, you’d concluded you would too.
Your willingness to love such a damaged man gave him the opportunity to blaze a rocky and tumultuous trail inside of your mind and heart. Just look back and think about it and tell me, do you remember the moment you knew he realized the depth of your love and passion? Can you recall his smile and how it released all the butterflies that had been caged inside you free? Can you remember feeling his quickened breath on your neck and his racing heartbeat against your chest? That very encounter was the moment he passed his flame onto you. Back then it was just an ember, slowly burning until it grew to resemble a flame of a candle. It was a feeling that can’t be put into words, a kind of high that cannot be compared to any other drug, and no other experience in the world could ever be compared to it. The flame that once danced in the palm of your hand, quickly grew to a level you could no longer control. You believed you would savor it and set it someplace that only you would be able to partake of its warmth and beauty, but nothing could’ve been further from the truth. This was the first time he’d burn you, leaving a scar that would leave you numb to the pain and the small flame still burning in your hand.
Overnight that small lit candle turned to raging flames, eager to consume all the oxygen it could, determined to grow with each passing second, ready to destroy anything in its wake. Suddenly you began to notice how his behavior was changing and how he seemed less and less interested in you anymore. Something else was stealing his attention, someone else was his new distraction. His eyes that once sparkled now looked dimmed and each time you sought him out, he just continued to push you away. You didn’t want to believe what the situation was becoming, so instead you tried harder and gave him everything you had left. He controlled your every mood and move. You centered your world around his thoughts and opinions. You became the shell of the woman you once were. And you thought he didn’t notice, but he did. He just didn’t care. When you weren’t around he sought the comfort of other vices or women and the bed you shared became tainted with the evidence of other women who had come and gone before, after and during you. . He also had other vices that he was addicted to and many of them altered his personality, mood and attitude. Every day brought out a new version of him and every night you struggled to find the man you originally fell for. The reality was you were losing him, and every step he took away from you, he was ripping out another piece of your soul. To overcompensate for his shortcomings you made excuses for him and in return he resented you more for it. Where once you thought you had the power over the situation, you soon came to realize just how powerless you truly were over him and his addictions. You didn’t want to accept it, but he had already shut you out, silently moving on, drifting further and further away from you every night.
It wasn’t long before you saw his true colors emerge and his prince charming facade fade. He was a monster and even though you had every opportunity to leave, you still felt imprisoned by him. Your mind and heart were being held captive, but it wasn’t against your will. You were addicted to the illusion and the initial high you first felt when you met him. And even though everything inside you screamed “get clean. stay sober”, you still just couldn’t shake him. Fits of jealousy and rage turned into endless nights of arguments, physical and mental abuse, with nothing but busted holes left in walls to remind you of the night before. He was all consuming because he himself was consumed. The flames had claimed him long before you ever came around and no amount of help could prevent what he already was and what he would always be. You wanted to believe he was more than the remnants of his past and failures. You wanted to save him from everything that ever hurt him but it was you that needed the saving all along.
You didn’t realize that until it was too late. You went up in flames and burned entirely, baring the scars of that man and that relationship forever. No matter how far you run or how much time passes you by, you’ll never forget the one who changed you, the one who burned you, the one who stole your innocence and robbed you of the opportunity to ever love another in that same unguarded way again. But I know this secret..the burns that have killed others, have only made you a stronger you. I know this because I also bare the same scars. I know what it’s like to consume and be consumed. I don’t regret it or hide from my past or the pains it has caused me. I find power in my truth and I have found a voice in midst of the storm. You can also find that power within yourself to overcome the nightmares of your past. You may have burned for him but you don’t have to burn forever. I didn’t and I won’t. I’ve been burned since but never by that same flame. I’m still growing and learning from my mistakes and paving a new road for myself everyday. Where once I used to cover up and hide my scars, I now embrace them like the battle wounds of a soldier. My future is not limited or hindered because of my past and my ability to love has not been shaken. I know I’ll always be drawn to the flames that dance within the eyes of a pretty face but ultimately I need a strong man, brave enough to tame the fire in mine.