It seems strange to be writing to you
When you feel just like another part of me,
An extra appendage that I can’t amputate
Or even attempt to ignore, no matter what.
I feel your arms around me in most moments,
Tightening, tightening, tightening,
Leaving me with no air left in my lungs,
Breathless and terrified of my chances of survival.
Even as I write this, I feel your presence
Sitting silently right next to me and smiling,
Believing you’ve won this unspoken debate
About who has power in this unhealthy symbiosis.
Maybe symbiosis isn’t the right term, however,
But instead I should say parasitism
Considering that I truly was here first
No matter how hard you try to take away all autonomy.
You make it difficult to talk with my family, friends,
Even listening to myself is a constant struggle and
Power play between who I know I truly am and the
Shell you’ve created from my skin and bones and fear.
I’ve tried everything from meditation to talk therapy
To medicine that I plead with, whispering softly,
“Do what you’re supposed to, cure me, save me,
Make me normal”; the medicine never listens, though.
Sometimes I wonder if I give you the power you have
Because of the situations I’m in, trapped in this public
Prison for all children that love to conform and fear
Anything out of their realm of normalcy in the suburbs.
Someday soon, I promise myself over and over again,
I will be free of the prejudice and fear and shaky hands
Just from saying hello to a friend, just from answering
A question in class, or wondering if I’ll look out of place.
I will no longer feel my skin melting off of my bones,
Leaving me vulnerable and feckless no more
My lungs will clear up with the cool breeze of freedom
And your grasp on me will disappear for the rest of my life.