My mother told me to be myself 

and I tried to until the halo above my head got caught around my neck;

I’ve been told that good things come in threes 

which is how many dozens of times she forced me to go to church 

but it’s now six months later and all I see is the buddha statue next to my nightlight.


My mother told me to be myself

which was taken as an excuse to break a kids nose

after he labeled me “Gorilla Girl” in middle school

just because I have hair on my arms…

I cried myself to sleep every night after that but to this day,

I have never once shaved them.


My mother told me to be myself

which my father took as “she doesn’t need me,” so he left…

I was fine until I tricked myself into thinking that others opinions were sunlight 

and I was a flower, which made me hate myself for believing I would be okay without him.

It just so happens that I can grow all by myself. 


My mother told me to be myself

and I did just that even though I had a dream about him the other night that tore me to pieces. 

I wanted to tell him so badly but he’s the worst drug I’ve ever been addicted to

and I refuse to go through that withdrawal again.

I blocked his number this morning.


My mother told me to be myself 

but what she forgot to mention was that 

most people will try to put you down

and make you hate who you are,

but it turns out…


This poem is about: 


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