I still feel it.
The sneering words, the castigation. Cutting me down and projecting a helplessness that isn’t mine onto me. My need for love and belonging was cut at with a serrated blade meant to eviscerate my positive sense of self.
“You’re so intelligent. Why aren’t you doing more with your life?” they say, as they look at me with expectations in their eyes.
I can only be me. What is inside is unclear, made cloudy by the murk banging around en masse.
“We were just trying to toughen you up, get you to live your potential,” they say, never wasting an opportunity to excuse negative behavior.
Maybe I needed something you didn’t think to give?
Maybe I needed something I didn’t know to ask for?
Maybe, just maybe, I am the way I am for a reason. Something this soft is made for flexibility, made for delicate precision, made to stretch across many mediums.
I don’t fit inside your rigid boxes.
You can’t pour me into your glass of “like everyone else”. I rise before I touch the sides. Assumptions close the box lid over my head, and still I seep out through the flap cracks. I have no roots. I have no firm shape.
I am a mist riding on the wind.
You expect me to be rock when I am Ocean,
to be silent when I am a scream,
I am nothing you’ve ever seen
wrapped in your sweetest dream.
If only you dared to open
and know me.