I Stay Because I Am a Damn Warrior

“I stay because I am brave.

I stay because I am strong.

I stay because I am built for hurricanes.” ~Jana Joy

I am a runner.

I believed it because you said it with such authority.

But is that true?

No.

Not even a little bit.

I stay

because I am brave.

I stay

because I am strong.

I stay

because I am built for hurricanes.

You are the runner.

So many moments you were called to stay,

But you ran away

Every. Single. Time.

You let me believe I was the broken one.

The unworthy one.

But I see now it’s not personal.

You abandon everyone who asks you to show up in any real way.

It is your lack running the show.

You bully, dominate, control the narrative.

Terrified the truth will be uncovered.

Beneath your “doing” is manipulation

Designed to build a hero’s image.

But it was all an illusion

To hide the cowardice.

My work is to unravel the narrative you expertly built,

To discover myself outside of your carefully crafted storyline.

To hand your traumas back to you

to carry for yourself.

I held them for so long, I collapsed under the weight.

I needed you to be the strong one,

For once.

But you didn’t step up and stand by me.

You didn’t offer to carry it,

Alleviate some of the burden.

You just heaped on more.

And then you ran.

You found someone else to hold your shame for you,

Too weak to carry it yourself.

I see the pattern clearly now.

So many moments you were called to courage

and you ran.

You left me to face all of life’s challenges…

alone.

To manage all the moments

you were too afraid to show up for.

I stayed.

I reconciled.

I made excuses for your absence.

I resolved all your problems for you,

All by myself.

Because I am the strong one,

The brave one,

The one who can face any challenge.

But I enabled your hiding.

I gave you the credit

When the credit was all mine.

I am not the runner.

I never was.

I stayed.

I stay.

Because I am a damn warrior.

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