Traitor by Merriam AlFuhaid

You look at me like I have betrayed you. Have I? Or have I only betrayed the expectations you had of the person you wanted me to be? I don’t think that is the same thing. I don’t think my life is related to the feelings I have towards you. You disagree, but then, you don’t understand why you drive people away. I would not leave you, but I understand everyone who has. Perhaps it wasn’t right, but I know exactly how they felt.
You see, it has always been about how I have betrayed your trust, how I refuse to accept your help, and the grief it causes you. You like to share your feelings. I don’t, but I still have them. And I feel that I am the one who doesn’t trust you anymore. I do not trust you to understand me, to leave me my right to autonomy even if you disagree with my choices, to cheer me up, to encourage me. You seem to think I doubt your intentions but I don’t, I never did. You’ve tried so hard to help me and you did it from the goodness of your very big heart, but you didn’t help at all. Instead you were the reason I cried myself to sleep several times and wanted to hurt myself or never wake up at all. You destroyed some of the most important connections in my life and never thought twice. You made me a worse person because you tried so hard to keep me from doing something bad that I lied to you in order to do anything at all. I don’t care about your intentions. I care about your actions.
It bothers you that I don’t share my feelings with you, you tell me, whether through words or an injured glance. You can blame me if it makes you feel better, but I have a reason for everything. I don’t tell you I am lonely because you will think I am selfish for caring about my own life in the midst of all the struggles we are going through together. I don’t tell you I think I am mentally ill because I am too afraid that you will say my anxieties are real just because you think my life should make me unhappy. I don’t tell you about my relationships because you think something is wrong if they don’t match your own experiences. And I don’t tell you how I feel about you because you will say I am ungrateful and immature, and it would hurt you. Maybe you’re right, which is another reason I don’t talk to you. I have an innate fear that you are generally correct about everything, that you know things I don’t know, and so anything you say has the power to devastate me. I’m only now beginning to realize that might not be true.
I don’t want to hurt you, and I don’t want to hurt me. So I leave things as they are, keeping us a safe distance apart. You say it makes me a traitor, but I say it is how I love you.

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