Wishes for the next victim

You don’t know this, my dear sister-in-arms. You wouldn’t. But, I heard one of your first phone conversations with him. He and I were still living together when you met, although we’d broken up two months earlier. I heard him on the phone one night, using a tone I knew all too well, one that sent my stomach into spasms and caused me to almost vomit with anxiety. It was the tone of, “I know more than you.” It was the tone of, “I am lying.” It was the tone of, “I will win.”

I knew then that he had found you, Next Victim. I knew then, with sudden clarity that I’d been shielding myself from for years, what he was and what he was going to do to you.

I don’t recall exactly what he said. He was trying to convince you that you had misunderstood something he said or did. He wasn’t to blame, you see. He never is. He had behaved perfectly. You simply had misunderstood. He is wonderful, so if you thought otherwise, you were mistaken.

My heart went out to you then, Next Victim, and has continued doing so throughout this past year. I think constantly of you. I wish I could have saved you. I considered writing to you as soon as I learned who you were. I drafted and redrafted long letters that I never sent, but know this: I longed to run to you and protect you.

I seek solace in your blog and in what little I can see on your Facebook page. I look for signs that you are okay, hope desperately for signs that you’re starting to wake up. I long for the day when I see you have left him and are moving on. I pray you will find it soon and he doesn’t have time to damage you beyond repair.

If he were a bullet I would gladly throw myself in front of you and take the hit in your place. I have been hit by that bullet before. Many people suggested that I’d dodged a bullet. This is false. The bullet hit me cleanly. It opened my chest wide and there was a crater showing where my heart had exploded.

I was hit and I survived and I know that bullet’s tricks now. I have healed stronger and I am now bulletproof. I know you think you are bulletproof, too. But, my sweet almost-friend, you are only bulletproof against your own ex. You don’t know the tricks of mine yet. You don’t even know yet that he is playing tricks, I’d wager. You don’t know that you’ve found a man just as damaged and hurtful and manipulative as the ex-husband you write about, but smarter and far more capable. You call your ex-husband a narcissist and don’t yet understand that you have moved on to another of the same breed.

If I could save you, I would. If I could protect you, I’d do it gladly.

As is, I wait. I might be waiting forever. I might never know you at all. But I wait, and think of you, and hope you are okay. I wait patiently for the day when, someday, I know he is out of your life. I wait to know that you are okay.

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