You Say

You say I'm a bitch. A stuck up, self-absorbed, chin-up-so-high-it's-a-wonder-it-doesn't-interfere-with-airplane-travel bitch. 

You tell me I'm a slut. A prude. Basic. Too edgy. You define me by the cloth covering my limbs and then you wonder why I've adopted the habit of wearing long sleeves in sunshine. 

You tell me I'm a loner, a social climber, a loser, a bitch, a drama queen, a wallflower, an airhead, a nerd, and my very favorite, a "dumb blonde".

You call me anything your small-minded vocabulary can sputter out.

But you don't see me. 

You can't see the terrified daughter of PTSD and depression-plagued parents, the polarized family and the broken glass nights. You don't see the weeks gone by of too little to eat. You don't see the self-loathing, the insecurity, the hurt. You weren't around for the years of loneliness that stretched into my horizon, of sitting on a lumpy mattress with a shiny piece of metal, drawing friends on my wrists, arms, thighs, hips. 

You can't see the depression that genetics and trauma have graciously gifted me with. You can't see the canyons carved into my flesh, the suicide attempts, the cover ups, the faked smiles, the breakdowns. You don't see the broken pieces of me because I've duct taped them down for you. 

But you also can't see the survival. The overachieving mouthfuls of food raping my anorexic throat. The mental as well as physical Band-Aids. You don't see the all-nighters spent caressing my limbs with soft-tipped markers because if I don't, something much sharper will take its place. You can't see the 3:57 a.m. chanting, the "Hold on. Hold on this time,"s that I whisper to myself. 

You think I'm broken - and maybe I am. But they say a broken bone always heals stronger; you better believe that I will too. 


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