23 Years

For 23 years I didn't know what it meant to look in the mirror and think anything positive.
Because somewhere down the road someone had told me I wasn't good enough and I internalized it placed it upon every relationship with another person that I had.
Fourth grade.  That's when the self hate began to dwell in my mind.
That's when I was supposed to notice I wasn't as small as my other friends. But it wasn't me who brought it to my attention but those very girls I had given the label friends   Pointing out that I was fat as if that made me less worthy, less human.
Constantly defending myself for my mother told me there was nothing wrong with me and I wanted to believe it so bad. Wanted to know that I was just as good as them. Thinking that if I got attention from the opposite sex that it meant I was good enough. Something I unknowingly held unto until I was 21. The attraction of the opposite sex wasn't even what I wanted but again I was told by everything around me that those feelings were wrong again. Being "gay" associated with all that is negative said with disgust by those who used it. So it's not okay that my thighs are bigger than my friends? That I talk really loud? That I don't have all the expensive sneakers? That I think you look really pretty when you wear your hair down? Everything that I was doing that came natural that was my life became more and more wrong in my eyes. Praying every night that God would change me and I would wake up a new person. Praying that he would make me normal. Those prayers held me for a while but soon transformed into thoughts of suicide. Thinking "no one would miss me if I was gone" "I'm useless to this world" December of my freshman year of high school I decided enough was enough and proceeded with trying to take my life. I obviously wasn't successful but even unsuccessful attempts require medical hospitalization until the psychiatrists deem you stable enough to be released back into the world. Of course that's easy to fake they don't know the thoughts that plague your mind. Released after three days back into my world of gloom and wrong. Hiding it all with the beautiful smile I was known for. College revealed a lot to me. Soul searching a term that would only belittle my journey. The teachings of Buddha and some self counseling of my own brought me to an interesting place. Waking up one morning looking in the mirror and realizing I am okay. I'm not great but okay. Okay turning to better and better to good. Each day becoming a new journey of loving myself more. Finding strength and solace in what made me different. Understanding me. Each days isn't good but the good outweighs the bad in numbers I never thought feasible. 23 years. 23 years to learn to love my big thigh, queer ways, curly hair and loud laugh. 23 years to get here. Endless years to keep growing.

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