how do you love without emptying yourself?

I forgot my anxiety and the pain in my ribs and the recurring nightmare I’ve had since I was five years old.
I forgot about the time I cried so loud my mother thought I was laughing hysterically and how that night my father stayed outside my room to make sure I was still breathing.
I forgot how empty my bed was for months, and the longest night of my life when I stared at the moon until he looked away.
I forgot all the times my heart tore itself apart.
I forgot all the times my stomach was empty for weeks and I slept through entire days.

but I also forgot my favourite songs and the names of my friends and the 1.00 pm doctor appointment I scheduled three months ago.
I forgot the mornings with my mother and the photographs under my bed and the journals I’ve been writing since I was twelve.
I forgot the books I loved and the names of the characters and places in them.

what I’m trying to say is that I loved like it was a slow unbecoming of myself; like it was a slow forgetting of every bad thing, and every good thing, I’ve ever felt.
I loved like I was being erased and remade into everything you wanted me to be.

– excerpt from a book I’ll never write
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