I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, that I didn’t believe her. I sat back and I watched her wonderful spark fade. I sat there and I watched as her eyes dulled, her tears evaporated, and her smile stiffened. I’m sorry I didn’t do anything, I didn’t say stop, I didn’t even show her any understanding. I just let the hurt wrap around her, like a shameful blanket smothering her efforts to speak out. I let her down, I let her lose hope. I allowed her to lose her sanity and I watched her continue to mask her despair and apparent loneliness. I began to question myself, there had to be a reason why I was so unwilling to help her. She must deserve it, right? These things do not happen to the innocent. Girls who live a good life are treated well. She really must be a complete bitch, just like he says she is. I’m not 100% convinced yet though, she has always been kind to me in the past, but I suppose you never really know someone’s true colours. I saw her again today and I watched her with him. It can’t be as bad as she makes it out to be. She clearly eats! He doesn’t let her starve, that’s for sure. If anything, she perhaps could do with eating a bit less, he has warned her, that she is getting tubby. Maybe she should feel ashamed of the way she looks, after all, he is so handsome and charming. He is looking out for her when he tells her to watch what she is eating. It’s a kindness. Wow, she really must be crazy. He told me today that she is nuts and she makes up situations in her head and tries to blame him. Maybe he is the real victim here. He seems a lot more convincing than she does. He is so articulate and able to express himself clearly, while she is just a blubbering mess most of the time, she does not make any sense. I want to laugh at her sometimes, with him, she is bonkers. Ok, I’m starting to feel sorry for him now. He really does put up with so much of her shit. She is so controlling, she asks him so many questions. He is so patient when he answers her and then she has the nerve to say he told her something different earlier. Why is she asking him the same question again then? She is mental! She has even started refusing to leave the flat, he says she will not go anywhere unless he goes with her. Like she’s scared of him cheating, so he told me. Although, by the sound of it, this all stems from her guilty conscience. Last week, on her way back from lecture, he saw her flirting with another guy. She of course denied it all, he had to tell her several times, that he saw her with his own eyes. She eventually apologised and said it would never happen again. She really is a nightmare. He’s had to start monitoring the way she dresses. She is such a tart. She wanted to go out with a face full of makeup and a short skirt the other night. He told her straight, you look like a cheap tart. He said that nobody would want to see her make a fool of herself. She eventually got changed into something more respectable and toned down the make-up. She probably wanted other men to look at her, she seems to like the attention. She’s lucky to have him, most men would have run a mile by now. I don’t know how she dares! She tried to tell me a pack of nasty lies today. She showed me some bruises on her thighs and some red marks too. She had clearly done them to herself for attention. He had already warned me that she was crazy enough to make stuff up. I was a bit scared that she was going to freak out on me. He told me in confidence, that he once had to physically restrain her for her own safety, that’s why she had read marks on her wrists once. She is properly deluded. He is a total saint. I’ve completely stopped listening to her now. He was right all along, she just needed a bit of guidance in how to behave in front of people. There has been a significant improvement in her behaviour. She seems much less mental now. She has stopped making things up, she’s dressing in clothes that cover up her flaws and she is so much quieter now. She never causes a stir, she just needed to stop attention seeking. He said, as soon as people stop giving her attention, she will calm down and realise that she doesn’t need attention from others, she has everything she needs from him. So, she kept her mouth shut, she dressed how he liked her to dress. She got fatter, she stopped wearing make-up. She stopped going out with her inappropriate friends, they found her boring now she was in a relationship now anyway. She closed herself off from the world, she stopped going back home to visit her family, she accepted it was not cost effective. He continued to fuel her, until one day the light finally ran out of gas and he was left in darkness. Once again, I started to feel sorry for not believing her. I felt a dull ache inside, I think it was guilt from not standing up for her. I felt stupid, that I had been fooled by a false sincerity and that I had abandoned the woman stood looking back at me in the mirror. I saw her dulled eyes staring back at me and I knew that I was wrong to have believed she was mental. I looked at her stiffened smile and felt her blanket of shame start to suffocate and smother me. I’d trusted the wrong person. I looked down at the body I had been conditioned to hate. I touched my thighs, that were once bruised and burned. I felt disgust. Even though I was free of that human prison cell, I was not yet free from the shackles in my mind. The ones that held me back and stopped me from trusting. The torture chamber in my head that would not allow me to make a decision without first, looking for approval or permission from someone else, who I believed to be better qualified or smarter than me. I now look at me. I do not know who I am yet. I have lots of jigsaw pieces. I am a mother, wife, daughter, teacher, survivor. I am all those things, but I am also many more I am brave, I am compassionate, and I am strong. I am a person who deserves to live in peace. So, I will.
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