“Quitting You.” Fiction. Based on a True Message After Two Years.

“I flash back to the night I left your place
That thousand-yard stare upon your face
I think of the cops and the threats and the calls
How I couldn’t sleep through most of last fall.”

—Amanda Springob 

“Quitting You”

Fiction. Based on a True Message After Two Years.

By Kali Paszkiewicz

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

It’s been almost two years
and you messaged me today. 
I have been trying to erase you 
since we said goodbye, to be 
honest, I should’ve never invited
you over. To be honest, I 
should’ve never stayed late
in the Goodwill parking lot
to talk to you. But really, you
should have known better. 
You, being 16 years my senior, 
should have been able to 
recognise the masochistic 
desire in my eyes, the Depression
cheering in satisfaction as I
let you hurt me. No, it wasn’t
for pleasure. No, it wasn’t because
I trusted you. 
I know I can’t blame you. 
Age doesn’t make you wise, and 
your pain was just as obvious
the way it glistened in your
eyes, like gasoline in a puddle, 
a match away from lighting up
the whole damn street. The way 
I lit my cigarettes was an ode
to you. It must have turned you on
to know you could hurt me
inside and out. 
It’s been two years, and you think
it’s okay to ask how I’m doing
amidst the chaos. How do you think
I’m doing? I can’t answer you
because I don’t want you to think
I want you back in my life, 
and I can’t block you because
I’m feeling low again. I picked up
cigarettes after six months of 
quitting. Do you ever think
about quitting as a process and not
just a one time decision? I’m still
quitting on you, and I need you
to know that without saying 
a word. 
You must not have changed
if you’re reaching out to me
again. Something must have
triggered you, and you need
a shoulder, or maybe, a punching
bag. What did you think I thought
of you? Do you think I was
in love? The only thing I can 
apologize for is allowing you
to believe anything less than
the truth. I can’t say no. I can’t
speak the truth because it’s like
coughing up a lung, so here it is, 
on this page you’ll never see. 
I used you. 
You were the hammer that
staked me through the heart 
like a vampire. You were my 
excuse to manifest my pain. 
You were a distraction. 
And nothing else. 
The only shame I feel
is for letting you dominate me. 
For letting everyone dominate me. 
For being small and helpless. 
It was a game to you, but
for me, I can’t break out
of the cycle. You made me
feel weak. 


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