Monster in Full View

Her “I love you”s are loaded with venom
Thorns in steel wool across my skin
“I’ll keep you safe from the world
(But not from me. Never from me.)”

I think it’s normal when I grow up
And lovers belittle me
Leaving little razor blade cuts
In the wake of their words

I think it’s normal when friends
Push me and ignore boundaries
Because I’ve never set any for myself
(Boundaries are an insult)

I adapt to the situation I’m in
My colors shifting with my surroundings
But always dull and lifeless
A cheap imitation of what I see

Fear lives at the base of my skull
A cozy little home it’s made there
Married to doubt, birthing sadness
(The unhappy little family mirrors my own)

I look at my child and think
“How could anyone purposely cause
Someone so innocent misery?
How could anyone hurt a child?”

Being a beacon of vicarious wins
Being the one who was meant to live her life
Being the one who had to be perfect
(Being made to be ‘normal’, for her sake)

“Don’t do that, people will judge you
Sit still, stop that, you have so much potential
What is wrong with you, why can’t you
Just be normal.

Making me feel smaller than I was
With daggers spat at me in public
Being told I was ‘too fat’ to wear things
(“They’ll make fun of you!”)

Being made to stay in the closet
Being made to conform despite
Knowing my brain didn’t work like hers
Being shamed for being different

Gaslights flicker when I ask her why
When I scream and cry and curl up
When I tell her I hurt because of her
(“I would NEVER do such a thing!”)

It’s always my fault in her eyes
I’m the problem because I won’t just
Fall in line, shut up, sit down.
I want to be seen, heard and acknowledged

I always checked for monsters under my bed
No one told me that sometimes
The monsters don’t bother to hide
(Sometimes they’re the ones tucking you in)

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