It’s been seven years since I left home, and I’m still hurting. There are days when I am still six years old inside, and you can’t see but I’m shaking. I fear you. All of you. Every day and every relationship, every space is unsafe because I don’t trust you. I can’t trust you. I’ll hand you my soul because if I don’t you’re just going to take it anyway, but that doesn’t mean I’m yours.
The bruises have all healed but I’m bleeding on the inside. I don’t drink like I used to but sometimes I feel dizzy because the chemicals in my brain can’t keep up with the never-ending cycle of calculations that I’m constantly doing to mitigate the circumstances of being a human with this kind of story. That’s why I drank in the first place. It started when I was twelve. No one asked why, they just got angry.
Back beyond those seven years, people used to ask why. Why are you so angry? They still ask that one. Why don’t you smile more? Why are you so this or that? Why are you always wearing black? Are you going to a funeral?
Yes. Every day is a funeral. I’m just waiting to be buried.
Fast-forward. Now I wear colors and I smile, but not at work because at work I’m more afraid than normal. Don’t look at me. What do you want? How can I help you?
And you have the gall to make it seem as though your way of coping with the world around you isn’t something I’ve already tried a thousand times. Your ways of lying to yourself are what got me here, so thank you but no thank you. Look at me. Such an example. How do you do it? I can’t imagine. What is it like?
It sucks, Martha. It sucks a lot.
Here, I’ll tear my heart into smaller pieces and toss them to you one by one because I know you need them. I know they're object lessons that will help you understand better but also ouch. Ouch. Good Lord, do you have to be so rough with them? Pull at them like that, stretch them out to see if the light shines through when you hold it at the right angle? I could tell you that it does. But not that one - no light gets through that one. Here, just give it back.
For the love of God, just give it back. I regret all of this. I don’t trust you. I can’t trust you. But no, be honest, I can take it. I can’t take it. I take it anyway. Keep yelling, I’ll still be here. Keep crying, I’ll still be here. No, please, let me. Tell me all your unfounded opinions and thoughts that are just a little too racist, ableist, sexist - no, no, I understand. You’re doing your best. I get it.
I don’t get it.
Control the narrative. Control yourself. Control the controllables because let’s be honest there aren’t many. People are so unpredictable. Like the mean dog down the street your parents warned you about. Well. Your parents did. Mine didn’t. But it’s okay, I was only bitten a couple times. It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s all fine. Tell me more about how unfair life is. Tell me more about how hard life is. Tell me more about how you deserve more. I know you do, dear. Don’t we all? Well. Anyway.
Most days I’m still six years old inside, terrified of your next outburst. I don’t trust you. I can’t trust you. Are you going to hit me? I’d rather you hit me. Don’t look at me like that. Look at me! The bruises faded but I’m still bleeding. Don’t worry, I’ve got bandages. No, no, I know you’d help if you could. Wouldn’t we all? Well. Anyway.
It’s fine, it’s fine, it’s all fine. I’m sorry.