We haven't spoken much since middle school,
I'm sure you've noticed.
Or perhaps you haven't noticed.
The only thing that I am truly sure of is you used to notice me every day.
Every day, a new insult.
Every day, another tear cascading down my "fat" cheeks.
Every day, another nail in my coffin.
Don't you understand?
We are still too young to be planning our own funerals
Yet you had me thinking about the weight my casket would put
On those pallbearers laying me in the ground
Under the dirt you made me feel I was.
Every day, a new name, but you remained creative.
Always the same silver bullets piercing my heart.
You taught be how to be broken before I had experienced totality.
Years later, I'm still cutting myself with the pieces of my heart
As I attempt to pick them up off the bathroom floor.
It has been years, but every day your words ring in my ears
When I see myself in a mirror.
Through all the pain, I grew stronger.
You put me through pain no little girl should ever feel.
It took me so long to finally confront you.
I figured, we had both grown in age and maturity alike.
I don't know who hurt you, but I do know you have experienced pain
As everyone has.
With my trembling skin I once hated so badly I wished I could crawl out of it
I approached you and opened the same mouth that always stayed shut
While I coward down and took the beating for all the hurt someone else gave you.
I moved my numb tongue to form the words
To let you know that you cut me deeper than you might've thought
And left scars I still gently trace over with my cold fingertips.
Not only emotionally, but mentally, spiritually, physically.
I told you how your voice rang incessantly in my ears every time I was hungry.
I let you know I'm not angry, I only want to make peace
With the past you put me through.
I thought you might not even realize the pain you put me in at such an innocent age.
But all you had to say to me
Through that same sly smirk that crossed your face when it was time to throw daggers,
You said so simply, "You're Welcome."
After I stood in shocked silence as even others around me lost their breath,
Your grin only grew as you confirmed my worst fears.
You truly were proud because, as you said, I'm not fat anymore.
I wonder if you ever thought, even just once,
About how many nights I went to bed hungry because of the
Wise Words you were so kind as to bless me with.
How much I isolated myself
Because I was terrified the rest of the world saw me as you did:
Ugly, Fat, Short, the Gap in my teeth most children have at that age.
The makeup I hurriedly put to my face
To hide all the imperfections you pointed out,
To hide the dark purple circles under my tear stained eyes
Tainted from nights spent crying instead of sleeping.
Now that little 12 year old girl locked alone crying in deafening silence
Is a strong woman surrounded by people with genuine love to give.
I stand speaking the words my heart has been crying out for years,
Since I was too young to understand how somebody could be so vicious.
Through it all, I want you to know that after everything you've put me through,
I can still manage to find it in my heart to forgive you.
The Strongest I've Been