Again, in this dimly lit room, with
the sounds of tranquil waters gurgling from the machine.
I’m sitting on the very used, but comfortable couch,
talking out my issues with this season’s counselor.
My mind starts to clear, but I know by days end,
the mists will again roll in.
I talk about my parents, my two younger sisters, my silly dogs, my daughter,
anything to keep the questions about me at bay.
I will talk about anything,
Is it because I was bullied in school?
Because a girl would tell me I was fat and ugly,
make me flinch with empty threats and closed fists?
That a coach told me that I wasn’t a runner because
‘she couldn’t see it’?
Is it because they would call me the walking dictionary,
but then when they thought I couldn’t hear them
they’d call me something different?
Is it because my parents gave me advice
on how to look “prettier” and not so “frumpy”?
That at twelve I was taken to Weight Watchers?
Maybe it was that in the eyes of my father, I wasn’t worth fighting for
not from my mother, not from his mother, not from a man who had hurt me.
I’m not sure even I can ever answer which thing it was.
A thousand days of hiding behind make-up and push-up bras,
telling people lies so that they would
like me better,
and having relationships as a sole means
to fool myself into thinking I was
worthy of love.
How can you ever trust anyone to love you?
Where did I learn that turning against myself
was the only way I could cope
with what I couldn’t change?
Can I actually fool myself into loving myself?
As I look into my eyes,
reflecting back at me from my bathroom mirror,
then shyly look away,
I realize that even I don’t know me,
and maybe all of this self inflicted abuse
is still me, trying desperately
to reach out to myself.
I force myself to look at me,
recite my given affirmation,