After getting pregnant at 19 I was searching for 

something to fill the hole inside of me. 
I was broken and unfortunately I dove in to a relationship that wasn't right for me. 

This person was in the military and I saw PTSD

firsthand and was stuck in a cycle of narcissistic abuse. 

Sometimes we can feel like if we aren't being physically abused or we don't have bruises . . . 

that it's less real or that it excuses it or we convince ourselves to stay because it

"could be worse". This is a dangerous spot to live in because you never know when it could be the day that things change . . . 

It took me years to break the cycle and this

is the poem I wrote the day I finally found my freedom. 



There was pain sunk deep within the WHY

How did this happen? Was love a lie?

I tried so hard and loved so much.

It didn’t matter. I was never enough.

I could laugh or cry or beg or plead.

You’d only care once you made my heart bleed.


Around and around the cycle went.

It was my norm: my perception was bent…

to a point beyond what rationale could see.

I could fix you. I just had to believe!

Believe the best and ignore the worst.

Push past the pain and brush over my hurts. . .

because if I showed my hurts buried inside?

The tables were turned as I wounded YOUR pride.


My life became yours and not my own.

I lived for you; yet I felt so alone.

Then when I knew I could take no more…

I picked up the pieces and walked out the door.

But somehow, some way, I always came back.

How terrible was I to hurt YOU like that?

You couldn’t live without me (or so you would say)

Your pleas struck my soul; so I turned back and stayed.


For a bit I’d believe my fears weren’t true;

The laughs, the good times? THIS was the real you!

I’d tell myself “this time it’ll last!”

“His old ways are in the past!”

I’d stuff the smiles and hopes into my heart.

Fooling myself became an art.

Things were good… couldn’t I see?

Something must really be wrong with me!


On and on and on it goes.

The things I tried. . . God only knows.

I stayed til I had nothing left.

I was empty. Broken. Torn. Bereft.

Yet somehow, again, I refused to quit.

I was certain you’d change once the spark was lit!

. . . and so I reasoned and I excused

your bad behaviors while I was used.


But you couldn’t fix what you cannot see.

I hope someday you will; someday. Maybe.

That isn’t my job: now I finally know.

I’m sorry… so sorry. . . but I have to let go.

I thought if I could just figure out why;

THEN I could fix this.



I would’ve said that forever… I know it’s true.

There’s nothing I wouldn’t have done for you.

Oh how I loved, you may never see.

I valued you more than I valued me.

But how could you value what I did not?

I lowered my price to give you a shot.

So of course you didn’t appreciate me;

for that I take full responsibility.


The words of one song changed the course of my life

as they pierced truth through my heart; sharp as a knife.

“Life’s a long and winding ride;

...better have the right one by your side.”

“Happiness don’t drag it’s feet”

“and time moves faster than you think.”

The words of that song took my breath away.

Where would my life end up if I stayed?


Tears clouded my eyes and I couldn’t see.

It’d been so long since I’d thought about me.

I deserved a man who’d love me for every part.

Who shared little laughs and honored my heart.

I realized that I’d been settling for less;

and in some ways… I’d allowed the whole mess.


I knew in that moment I had everything to lose.

I knew in that moment I had to finally choose.

Things are different now and I’ve come to know:

nothing will change; unless I go.


I’m leaving not because I’m at the end of my rope.

I’m leaving because, in leaving: there’s hope.

You can still change; but it’ll start from WITHIN.

Trying to make you is like chasing the wind.


I know now I can show love from an arm-lengths away.

That’s where I’m safe. So that’s where you’ll stay.

And it’s not because I didn’t care.

My heart would’ve followed you anywhere.


I found the truth; now I finally see.

I stayed for you;

but I’m leaving for me.


COPYRIGHT 2019 Sara Michaels


If you feel led; I have also turned this into a
post on facebook.