i think i’m done for now.
I don’t know how to ask you to understand.
All my mystical powers of communication sort of fail me here.
How do I tell you to care?
Listen to me tell my own story?
Not while you’re just waiting to respond.
If you don’t want to come with me into my space,
Into what I’ve been through,
Is it worth it?
Should I just leave it.
Instead of begging for empathy.
Let’s try anyway.
I’m not saying my pain is worse than yours, just understand me.
Don’t rebuttal, or talk back,
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me now?
Please, listen without judgement, to learn more about me,
Not to compare to you,
Just to hear me.
I’d beg you to hear me,
Because I, in my pride, think you would get it if you understood.
Maybe you understand already, and you just don’t care.
The first time a man slapped my ass,
I was 10.
And I stopped and stared at him, a family member.
My mother said, she’s just not used to that yet.
As I went to grab them another beer.
Him with his trucker hat on, dentures out.
My dad touched my hip when I was 11,
Through my shirt, while I was laying on the couch.
Saying my waist was coming in.
I didn’t know what that meant.
I thought I had been laying on my side too much and my ribs were caving in.
Like I thought my feet were flat because I wore skater shoes with no support on the bottom.
My mother accused me of self-harming at 14,
Because she saw me in the shower,
And my stretch marks on my chest looked like scratch marks.
You can damn well bet no one told me those were normal.
My gender segregated sex-ed class asked who hadn’t started their period,
Only me and one other girl raised our hands,
The next year no one raised their hands, so I kept mine down.
I wouldn’t start my period for three more years.
I was so scared back then that I was broken I would hit my pelvis, convinced it was broken.
I just wanted to run fast and have a boyfriend.
My mom took me to JCPenney’s to get my first bra,
Even though “there was nothing there”
She was angry the regular section didn’t have bras small enough,
She yelled at a saleswoman,
We went to the kids section for training bras,
She refused to buy me one that fit.
Touching me saying there should be gaps here.
So instead I got my dad to get me one while we were at Walmart
It was a white band and it had an ice cream print on the white cloth strip in the middle
I wore that until both straps broke.
No one told me how often to wash it. Or that I was supposed to wear it every day.
I had a five-dollar bet with my stepdad that by 16 I wouldn’t be all into the makeup stuff.
I never was.
Maybe out of spite for him.
Thinking I was going to turn out a certain way.
I used to put eyeshadow on one half of my eyelid only, because I thought that’s what you were supposed to do. On the days when I wore the blue polos to school, because navy blue was the coolest color.
My sister would mock me for wearing anything other than black,
And mom couldn’t afford, or remember to buy me, any beauty products.
I was using my brother’s baby shampoo until I went to college. Only wearing makeup to prom.
I gained fifty pounds when I started puberty.
I was still getting taller.
I didn’t know how to eat meals.
I’d been packing my own lunch since the 2nd grade.
My sister tried to teach me how to throw up,
And my brother would eat everything he could, to “get a belly like dad”
I hid chocolate under my pillow my mom would find when she slept in my room because her husband was being awful.
She’d tell me it was okay I was gaining weight she still loved me.
But she would watch me eat every mouthful and ask me how I was doing with it,
And tell me I looked skinnier every time she saw me,
Each time I was gaining weight.
I can’t stop thinking about how different my life would have been if I’d been told.
I’d like to blame my mom a little bit, for some of the trauma of me as an adult,
Maybe he wouldn’t have touched me if …
But I’ll die still blaming myself, so there’s that.
Never sharing this kind of stuff with boys I love,
Because when I have in the past,
It gets compared to how hard they’ve had it too.