Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry

I Should Thank You

It was a devastating lesson, but I guess there’s a reason I had to learn it. The tragedy is that you were the last person I ever wanted to teach me how to be completely gutted open and there are still days when I find myself sifting through rock bottom, searching for reason beneath the chaos. And it’s an ugly mess here. I never really noticed all the ways I loved myself until you showed me all the reasons not to. I never knew how far it was to reach bottom until I landed there after you let go. I guess I should thank you for showing me how it feels to be so worthless, I tried to become invisible to see if I would matter. I guess I should thank you for introducing me to such a cruel lesson about how brutal some hearts have to beat to keep breathing and the way silence is sometimes thick enough to rip a person to shreds. I should thank you for pulling the blindfold from my naive eyes. I should thank you for the free fall, the wake up call, the devastating way I hit bottom and lost everything I ever knew. I really should thank you for knowing all my secrets and fears and throwing them in my face so I could choke on each one like my own medicine. I should thank you for leaving me during the worst time of my life and never looking back. And I should thank you for the lessons that come back each day to smack me in the face as a reminder of the time I sunk so low, I destroyed myself and had no one to tell. I should thank you for showing me how to break, because from that breaking I discovered how strong I am. I should thank you. But I’m thanking myself. Because when I broke into a million pieces, the room cleared, and you were the first to run and act like you never even knew my name. Thank goodness for me. Thank goodness I was brave enough to stay with myself and pick up every fucking piece of me to rebuild into this brave, beautiful woman in front of me that will never hit a rock bottom like you again. -Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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