A Letter to Myself

Trigger warning for past abuse.

It is okay to admit to yourself
that you were hurt. And it is okay
to admit you are angry.

But it is not okay to say
that you are damaged.
You are not damaged.
You are strong.
Like carbon under pressure,
your flesh hardened and now,
you are diamond.

You understand me?

Your skin is no longer paper
to be torn by hands too greedy
to see the bruises they left like
angry words.
If they tried to touch you now
they would be cut
and they would bleed.

They deserve that. They were not your friends then
and they are not your friends now.
So instead of thinking fondly of them,
be angry. Be so angry, the fire of it swells inside you
and burns to ashes any goodwill you feel towards them,
they who hurt you without pause.

You are hardened.
And they are nothing but dust in the wind.

Superiority Complex

i hoard words
my mind is full of them
piled haphazardly in a corner

i always think i’ll need them
one day

but when will i ever have any use for words
i can barely pronounce
who will read a poem
they need a dictionary to understand

i guess i’ve always fancied myself
a learned woman
i’ve always prided myself on
being “the bookworm”

at least, that’s what they all used to call me

i’ve tried before
to write like those great poets of old
but i am no shakespeare
i am no poe

it’s exhausting,
trying to live up to those standards

and so, i let the piles fall
spill unnecessary words across my mind
and wade through them to discover
myself, underneath all that baggage

***

I used to feel this way a lot: if I couldn’t compare my writing to the old greats, then it wasn’t worth it to me to write. I guess a part of it is my horrible self-esteem issues, and the fact that, when I was younger, I was considered to be the Reader, the Writer; I was the one all my classmates resented because subjects like literature and grammar were easy and fun for me.

I’m learning that instead of trying to live up to ridiculous standards, I need to write for ME, and write about things I know. I may not always be happy with the results, but I at least feel more like myself.