My family looks at me with such judgment.
They see that I have changed.
I am no longer the face of innocence.
The person that laughs everything off.
They know what I’ve been through.
That I’ve seen the worst of life,
But they don’t understand.
They want me to go back to how I used to be.
Be their bright shining star!
Like it’s just a flip of a switch, and nothing ever happened.
I hurt them,
Shut them out,
Trying to keep them from catching a glimpse of the new me.
I’ve seen what no child should have to see.
I’ve watched my family break apart.
I’ve watched people who I trusted turn their backs on me.
I’ve watched my mother cry brokenly with no idea what to do.
I’ve heard what no child should hear.
I’ve heard my family screaming at each other with a tone of hatred.
I’ve heard people I treasured break me apart, “You have until Thursday to leave”
I’ve heard my mom whisper to herself, “I don’t know what to do.” over and over again.
I’ve felt that what no child should feel.
I’ve felt what it’s like to lose foundation over and over.
I’ve felt guilty for crying after seeing the look on my mother’s face.
I’ve felt nothing, the empty abysmal nothing as I stare at a person I don’t recognize.
I looked in this woman eyes,
So blank, so broken.
She used to be youthful,
She used to be joyful,
She used to be human.
She had lost her empathy,
She had lost her compassion,
She had lost herself.
She may not have been in a war, but she has seen bloodshed of the heart.
She had watched strength in those who are supposed to give her strength die.
She had watched love in those who are supposed to give her love die.
She had watched her own mother get beat down over and over until she was nothing.
Until her mother looked as hollow as she felt.
In being witness to such violence, she became a master in their warfare.
She shot the gun of hurt to her family, protecting the motherland.
She set off the bomb of hate as she retaliated for the abuse she received.
She turned a blind eye to the body count of those she lost, as a general does.
She has to survive.
This woman, I watched her, as she watched me.
The woman of pure horror, a true animal.
The woman stared at me from behind the glass of my bathroom.
This woman, so familiar, but so cold.
I punched the mirror, and it shattered around me.
The shards cut my knuckles, but I felt nothing.
The woman had disappeared, though I knew better.
She would always be there, and she would never truly leave.