You bother me less.
But in spite of my healing, I occasionally get caught back in the eddy of fear and confusion that you were so unconsciously adept at swirling up in me. I have to believe it was subconscious for my own piece of mind.
You were the ringmaster.
The centre of the show, calling all the shots and wowing the crowds with your artfully curated performances; leading them to whatever conclusion best suited your ego.
I was a performer.
A monkey you trained, using a fluid system of rewards and reprimands. Two truths and a lie, folded into a veiled insult to leave me scratching my head long enough for you to change the subject.
You would hold up the hoops and I would jump because I loved you. You would set them on fire and I would jump because I was committed. You would hang them over a tank of hungry sharks and I would jump because I believed I could make it. You would place spikes on the landing and I would jump because it was a habit. The crowd would go wild, not knowing that the tent was collapsing on top of us all. I would lay down at night to process 1000 little traumas that had no name.
Then one day I realized that the lock on my cage was imagined, and I decided to leave the circus.