It hurts. It hurts to type, to move, to sit still. It hurts to talk, to be silent; it hurts to look in the mirror and see me. A year, and I don’t recognize the blue grey eyes in the physically disjointed reflection.
She never existed before.
He never existed before.
We always existed.
To understand the changes, both willfully and forcibly forced upon me, means understanding what it means to exist within the person staring back. Oh how I understand, and hate that I do, because this human being is so beautifully broken by this world. To have those eyes scan over skin marred with scars and hatred. A body violated by others, violated with self-harm. I just want to do good in this world, and my hands have known such utter destruction. Memories a nightmarish torment with no moment of relief. Dreams that seem so unattainable, because happiness, hope and love seem to be nothing more than that, a dream.
I feel the staples pulling at my skin, and the droop of my eyes as I watch the sun rise through yet another night. Secrets always seem to want to spill from my lips through the rising tide of light. Yet, I live in that shadowy place, where everyone knows but no one wants to say anything against the creature that knows their worth, knows their beauty, knows the troubling truth about living honestly.
I don’t trust you. I don’t trust you with my safety. I don’t trust you with my hopes, my fears and my dreams. I don’t trust you with my reality. I don’t trust you with my darkness, because so many of you failed me in my light. So many placed the heroes cape on my shoulders, and ran when I fell; ran when I needed saving. When the monsters were at my door, and I couldn’t stop my bleeding and keep the door closed. I won’t apologize, or excuse my words. I’ve learned to remake the rules as I go.
I still love you. I can’t explain that reality. Your beauty amazes me. Your existence brings me to tears. I struggle to find the words that make the poetry of this world. To not just tell you the sun is up, but show you had black shifts to an ever increasingly pale blue that reveals the hue of the hills soaked in the morning dew. All that beauty, how can I not love you?
I just don’t trust you. I’m exposed to the back and that scares me, because the last person tore into me without remorse. Tore my heart through my soul and told me that it wasn’t meant to hurt. I’ve been abused in ways I won’t say, and scrub at my own dirt-covered hands. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t want punishment. Nothing you can say could lay a harsher judgment than I have already passed down onto me. None of it is okay.
I know I deserved better. I know she does; the one looking back at me. I know he does; the one whose heart is beating shallowly in my chest. I know the little one I left behind deserved more kindness than I ever showed her. I pray that the 15-year-old me forgives the transgressions I inflicted upon once unmarked skin. These ever-changing eyes stare back at me in yellowed photos, the sadness always the same. But what can we say to the 3-year-old that learned of fear and self-loathing from a father’s hand? Who learned double-talk at family get-togethers? Who grew up hiding because of a broken home that found it easier to pretend? To watch friends preen about protection and love, and yet never are there when you truly need them the most.
Do you know what it feels like love to deeply, and feel so utterly lost and alone? Just another crack in the sidewalk?
It would be easier to blame, but the pain is pulling too much on tired hands. So I don’t care how much it hurts to hear I don’t trust you. I don’t trust myself so how can I ever trust you?
I’m learning though, what it means to be vulnerable. To be honest and present. There is a curve to this learning, and a lot of patience and self-awareness. It’s daunting. It’s exhausting. It takes time. I’ve experienced a lot of trauma at your hand.
I’m not telling you this for your attention. I can’t draw what I never had. I’m just changing without any chance of going back. Smiling at the sad eyes that have always been a beautiful friend, and letting them swim out of focus as another sob brings my night to an end. She deserves to feel beautiful, and he deserves a chance to stand. We deserve the right to exist, and be heard no matter how much it hurts.
A chance to be something more than a victim in our story. A chance to actually be the story, and not just a result of tragic tales and moral examples.
I don’t trust you, but I will love you anyway.
This is who I am.