'I will not drown for you' I whisper to myself as he gently sleeps beside me.  For I have been swept up in the current of too many loves before.  Too many men who have held me and in their great ambition, carried me out to sea, only to leave me there.  Gasping for breath.  Unable to feel the ground beneath my feet.  No, not again, I say.  Never again.

This love needs to be different.  This love needs to be real.  I carry into it the weight of all my losses and in turn, all my lessons.  So slowly, slowly, I am letting myself breathe air into grief filled lungs.  Shaking as the barriers around my heart come tumbling down.  Bit by painful bit.  I believe this is what they call core work.  This is considered a heart opener.  This is frightening as hell.

Yet I asked and I received.  And now I am learning to unwrap this gift.  Learning how to accept it.  How to incorporate its goodness.  How to let something be good, without tearing it apart before it is torn.  How to eat at the table without being consumed.  Because I have been, haven't I, on too many occasions to recall.

I say to myself, this is my path and I walk it, whether that be alone or with you.  I say, these are my dreams and you are welcome to them, if you promise not to steal them.  I say, this is my love and you may feast upon it, if you are prepared to replenish rather than to leave.  I say, this is my trust, if you take it, please give it back to me.

I am learning to give whilst remembering to take.  To take what I need.  To take time.  To take space.  To take charge.  I will not be led again.  Led astray.  Led into a lie that is built to blind me.  There have been too many empty words and broken promises, that time and time again kept me tethered to a raft that was sinking.  I have drowned so many times in the sadness of men's hollow dreams.  But I will not drown again.

You though, you have taught me how to swim.  You have taught me what it is to be free.  To be safe.  To be me.  A person, who for so long, was hidden under scar tissue so thick, I thought impossible to penetrate.  Yet here I am, again.  I have emerged.  And although I may be fragile, although I may be scared, I am swimming in the deepest of waters, for you.  But also for myself.