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Monthly Archives: October 2017

Break Me Like a Promise

I.

break me like a promise

There is a girl.

There is a boy.

She has eyes that sparkle with optimism. He has a eyes that she could get lost in. She would move mountains for him.

He tells her that he loves her. He is the first boy to say those words to her. She believes he does love her. He probably believes it too.

She doesn’t know yet that loving anyone, for any reason, makes a person vulnerable in ways she never thought possible.

The boy and the girl talk for hours on end. His words cast a spell on her. She breathes them in like air to her lungs.

One day he tells her she is not good enough.

Those are not the words he uses, but they mean the same thing. The girl begins to learn that there are many ways to tell somebody they are not good enough without using those exact words.

You chase people away with your negative attitude.

You aren’t spiritual enough.

You’re clingy and needy.

You’d be happier if you lost weight.

You’d be prettier if you wore make up.

Not good enough, not good enough, not good enough.

She believes him when he says she’s not good enough. Why wouldn’t she? She has always believed everything he says.

She spends hours convincing herself that it is fine. That she is fine.

The girl doesn’t even notice the cracks have begun to appear.

II.

crack

There is a girl.

She has never been good at fighting. Not at fighting for herself, anyway.

One day she works up the courage to ask the boy not to say the things that hurt her. He tells her to grow a spine.

This is a dance they repeat. Her begging him to understand, to stop breaking her. Him asking her why she isn’t stronger, why she isn’t better.

Over time, she does grow a spine, just not in the way the boy expects.

They are caught in the middle of their dance. Back and forth, back and forth. Until one day the girl stops dancing. The boy finds another partner. It doesn’t take him long.

The dance has made her feet strong. She runs. She soaks in the freedom. She feels unbreakable.

She runs and runs and runs. She cannot outrun her own mind. She cannot outrun the cracks that are already there.

She shatters.

III.

Screen Shot 2017-10-07 at 1.45.10 AM.png

The is a girl.

Or at least, what’s left of her. Most days it doesn’t feel like much.

Her mind resonates with the echoes of what she is not. She still hears all her inadequacies spoken in the boy’s voice.

It is too exhausting to try to be more than she is. She wishes she could fade to nothing.

Time slows to an agonizing pace. She is caught in her own head, suffocated by the ghosts of what she cannot outrun.

She leaves the pieces of herself scattered because she was never satisfied with what they were whole.

She feels nothing. No sadness. No anger. No happiness. She is nothing—her body a vessel carrying an empty soul.

One day she feels fear. It is a relief, almost. To feel something after having not for so long. She never knew she would be grateful for fear.

She fears herself. She fears what she has become.

The fear makes her stand. It makes her move. She cannot run the way she used to. But she can walk.

So she walks. One foot in front of the other. It’s something.

IV.

brave women

There is a girl.

She once thought she was unbreakable. She was wrong.

Once she thought she was not good enough, but she was wrong about that too.

Some nights, the ghosts still haunt her. Perhaps they always will. They no longer scare her, though. Not most days, anyway. They are simply a part of her.

The girl learns to look up, learns to love living again.

She takes deep breaths.

She tries to help other broken people. She finds them everywhere.

She finds her voice. She learns to fight for herself. She learns to fight for others.

She spends a lot of time trying to make sense of it all. She writes in third person, as if the distance could protect her.

She feels everything. Mostly, she feels hope. She is not the girl she was before in some ways. But they have a lot in common. They are both strong. They both have faith. They both believe things get better.

There is a girl.

She is not unbreakable. She is not invincible.

She is a survivor.

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