An Open Letter to the People Who Called Themselves "My Friends"
***Apology Approvals Pending***
You played me like a secondhand guitar
you stumbled upon at a yard sale.
You saw me for my peeling paint job
and my bloodstained frets
and you picked me up because the mystery charmed you.
"Behind every imperfection lies a story," you said.
You only saw the value in me in the spots where
my flaws decorated my skin
like fake snow that you spray on a window
and you took me home with you.
But, home was where you cursed me because
I didn't sound brand new.
You strummed and strummed,
and picked and plucked,
and twisted the keys on my head
until the tension became too much
and my sanity snapped in half with a dissonant crack
when all I needed was a simple tune.
I tried desperately to give those to you,
but they were never good enough, so you threw me away.
You thought I was broken, which may have been true,
But I was not beyond repair.
I can't say that you gave up on me,
because you never gave me a chance to show you
just how many songs I could play for you.
I had so much to offer you,
but you threw me away the moment
you thought you could find something better.
I let you use me
(as if i had not been used enough)
because you saw me for my imperfections
and you still wasted your time with me,
so I thought that it meant something.
To me, it meant that I was
without my pain.
It meant that if I don't wear my scars
like badges of honor on my arms,
then I don't belong here.
It meant that if my heartbeat
wasn't slowing down just enough
that you could count the spaces in between
on more than one finger,
then those beats didn't have value.
That if my life was not a tragic story,
then I didn't deserve to have a happy ending,
because if I'm not actively suicidal,
then I don't need rescuing right?
I can just heal the old fashioned way
and do it myself,
Because I'm an independent woman,
and I don't need a "knight in shining armor"
to sweep me off my feet to safety,
because I was supposed to fix myself
and show you how it was done.
But, let me ask you something, my "friend":
How can you pour from a cup
which has long since been depleted?
How can I show you the light
when all you do is smother it?
How can I teach you to breathe
when all you do is smother me?
Because, only when you lost me
did you learn to appreciate me,
and only when no one else would answer the phone
were you angry that I didn't tell you
exactly what you wanted to hear.
I was your voice of reason,
but you were the sound of madness,
so violent in my ears
I couldn't even hear my own screams.
I swallowed my pain to help you fix yours,
and wore my heart on my sleeve
just so you could take it from me.
And, at the end of the day when I tried to call your name,
you turned a blind ear and you walked the other way
as I used the very thin line between life and death
as a suicidal neck tie,
crying for help but falling on deaf ears.
You see, Friend,
Sticks and stones didn't break my bones,
but your words sank deep into my skin
and rooted themselves in the very bones
that should've been broken
when you discarded me like trash.
They tore me up from the inside out
and you watched as pieces of me fell to the ground,
twisted and mangled like a riddle
in the middle of the floor to be trampled on
and disfigured beyond recognition.
No, sticks and stones didn't break my bones,
and I don't recognize the pieces of me on the floor,
but I've caught myself time after time
wishing everything could go back to the way it was,
the way I was,
before you ever happened.
But, today, Friend...
I looked in the mirror, and for the first time saw,
not remnants of the girl I used to be,
but every piece as a possibility.
I saw every shard of stained-glass as a stepping stone
of a path towards a new creation
unlike anything you've ever seen before
or imagined that I could be.
I looked in that mirror today, Friend
and saw, not something old,
but something entirely new.