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This is Me.

by Dawn Earnshaw 5 months ago in humanity · updated 5 months ago
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Mental Health.

Belonging to everyone.

I didn’t know I was poor until I grew up.

I didn’t know the cheese I ate was from the government or how my name hung somewhere on a Christmas tree in some church. I didn’t know I was just a yellow star amongst a hundred yellow stars that someone picked off and took home....I didn’t know until I got older. I didn’t know that the food I ate was because it was all there was or that sometimes the house was extra cold for the night because the electricity was turned off. I didn’t know that the light switch was just a meter counting every second in currency or how mom stressed and struggled to pay the bills....I didn’t know until I could hear her crying on the other side of the bathroom door. I didn’t know the house I lived in in kindergarten was where the poor kids lived.... I didn’t know until I grew up and someone told me.

Belonging to something.

I didn’t know a one bedroom house for 5 people was too small or that food stamps were something you didn’t want to be caught holding at the grocery store checkout if someone you knew was there....I didn’t know until I moved to a town where the rich kids lived.

Didn’t know some people didn’t like the Irish until I grew up. That some people viewed them as just poor people sneaking over borders trying to take their jobs. I didn’t know that they had a problem with it when I would tell the story of my great grandparents fleeing Irland and how my grandma was born on the way over.I didn’t know until I grew up. I didn’t know that to some I was too Irish and yet to others I wasn’t Irish enough. I didn’t know that prejudice was a choice that some people choose. I didn’t know until I grew up. I didn’t know that I’d still be trying for approval when I grew up and that I’d always be my biggest critic. I didn’t know that acceptance was something you actually have to convince yourself to accept. I didn’t know until I grew up.

This is me.

I didn’t know that I’d still be just a yellow star screaming.”pick me” “pick me.”

Keep Your Distance I’ve spent most of my life thinking that I was the virus. That my intensity was too much for some peoples’ immune system so I told them to keep their distance. And I built walls around me to keep them safe. A quarantine of emotion. A quarantine of me. However now we’re living in a moment when touching someone’s skin can be the equivalent of poison so we keep our distance waiting for the day that we can touch again;it’s startling when you realize that in these times, humanity can either get lost or it can take over and either one can sometimes feel like a tsunami washing over. I’ve cried tears over each moment we’ve lost as well as each moment we are present because sometimes love can be hiding in the smallest of gestures and even a distant wave can feel like the warmest of hugs. Someday these walls will come down again and we’ll get back to what being human means. When a handshake and a shoulder to cry on come without hesitation. When holding a hand is no longer a threat, I knew sometimes this all feels like we’re going crazy….but did you ever look at the sky in the calm after the storm…all of the colors…it’s just around the corner in the distance When I was just a little girlWe didn’t have a lot My mother kept the lights on With some silver in the slot The tv was a rental one That too was on a meter, But when I cast my mind back Life back then, seemed so much sweeter The larder wasn’t always full of tasty things to eat but we didn’t notice hunge as we played outside in the street our clothes weren’t always bought from new, often worn before, we didn’t follow fashion ,never thought to ask for more, my mother’s purse was empty except of course for dreams but she always found some pennies To buy us both Ice Creams Our shoes were always measured Our hair was always neat I remember she insisted you must take care of your feet! School uniforms were granted given by the state we looked as smart as anyone when we walked through that gate. We never took a holiday certainly not abroad a day out to sunny Blackpool Was all we could afford. We’d paddle in the Sea and sit down in the sand,ride a donkey up and down the beach.

Every Christmas there were presents, underneath our tinsel tree and we were always overjoyed, whatever they may be.

In and out of houses, up and down the street, borrowing cups of sugar; we helped each other make ends meet.The house phone had a lock on it, so we could’nt run the bill up,we only tasted lucozade, If we were gravely ill.The doctor saw you on your sofa,with his stethoscope and bag, a week off school was endless, If you managed with the blag.

By Zach Vessels on Unsplash

When you went to bed at night, That then was mother’s time, You’d hear her singing, Death was never mentioned, Too young to understand. It’s seems that life would just work out , the way you had it planned, But the years passed in minutes, There was no time to spare, Overnight it seems, the silver threads, adorned your mother’s hair.

Your endless days were over , As time raced away at pace, the happy days of innocence , disappeared ... without trace, Don’t waste a single minute of this life with which you’re blessed, things change in just a heartbeat.

What are we afraid of?


About the author

Dawn Earnshaw

Loves writing short stories and poems - learning punctuation and Grammar.ADHD

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