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  • Lindsay S. Wheeler

In the Night

I hope you know how you pulled the floor out from under me that night.

I hope you know I trusted no one but you.

I hope you know you took that from me too.

I hope you forgive yourself for everything

Except for what you did to me.

No one should live in guilt

But you never showed regret.

I hope you find it in the night

And that it stays with you for a while.

I hope you know I came up from the ashes ten times stronger.

That I had to.

That I am not who I am because of your influence

But because of your one final example.

That as hard as you tried to change me

I could only change in facing your neglect.

I hope you know you blocked the light from reaching me.

That your attempt to “protect” me was an indoctrination.

I hope you know you failed in making me you.

That you can’t replace good with hate.

That you said you put me in your locket because I was perfect.

That you took me out the day I became real.

That family doesn’t do this.

I hope you know your abuse will hurt you more than it will hurt me.

I hope you know what you did to me that night.

That you made me so small I could’ve disappeared.

That you threw me down so hard on the floor that it broke again.

That just for a second I believed you were right.

That it was a second longer than it should’ve been.

That I ran through the streets of New York

Trying to find the moment things went wrong.

That I could’ve searched forever

But it’s not my job to fix something so broken.

I hope you know you are not what is best for this world.

That I have lived more in twenty-six years than you ever will.

That I am good and real

Not because of you, but despite you.

I hope you know that when I met you to talk about it

That you didn’t deserve it.

That you are not entitled to project your damaged past on me.

I hope you know I remember the things you said when I was a child.

That I was good enough to know they weren’t right.

I hope you know the only thing you ever gave me was shame.

That your final gift was a relief I didn’t know I needed.

But, I hope you know that until that moment

I denied that you could be the something bad

Others said you were.

I defended you always.

I hope you know.

I hope you know how you betrayed the best thing you will ever have.

That you took away what was most important to your kids.

That I will live in honor of what you tried to take from me.

That I am bigger than you.

I hope you know I learned to love the moment I let you go.

That I could finally say “I love you” without insecurity.

That when you stopped pretending you loved me

You revealed that you don’t like me.

I hope you know that when you said I was nothing

You failed at the one small thing that should’ve been easy.

That you did this all on your own.

#family #disappointment #loss #poetry #poem

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