To survive I had to be more cruel and hurtful to myself than anyone who ever hurt me could ever conjure. By assuming the role of the abuser I had a chance at escape. I didn’t want to listen out for the approaching footsteps in dreadful anticipation. I didn’t want the taste of fear to linger. I wanted to pretend it was a fine meal I savoured. Putting myself down felt gratifying, fulfilling. If I was in on it, if I thought I deserved it then no one has really hurt me. I just let them. It was right. I got what I deserved.

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