I thought that without you, I would be a shadow; that I would go back to being what I used to be before I met you. Sad & incapable. I thought of you as the foundation everything I became was built upon. It would crumble if you weren’t there. That the person I had become was dependent on you being there. I looked at the happy, light, euphoric way I felt because of you (who I became because of how you made me feel) & the sense of belonging & being “good enough” that I finally felt. I thought these feelings couldn’t exist without you being with me, like a constant & repetitive circle that required you feeding the fire to keep it going. Eventually though, I realized that what I had become because of you was mine to keep. The feelings & experiences; the things that now made me feel good about who I was; the way I’d learned to love myself – those were things that could not be taken away or forgotten or repressed. This was who I was now; it wasn’t dependent on you validating me or providing a mirror by which I could see myself. It was thanks to you, showing me how to be this person & motivating me to do so, & it was thanks to me, grabbing up & running with these feelings & discoveries, & then building upon them when I had to, in order to become independently happy. I don’t need you in order to feel that way – I really can do it on my own.