A poem about a tense parent-child relationship
when inside is too hot
and outside is too cold
where are we supposed to go?
when I stood in front of you I had nowhere to go
caught between the way your words burn when they roll off your tongue
and the way the freezing chill of a stolen future sets in when a child uses sidewalks for beds
there was no easy way out
cornered like prey
you found me screaming because you took every other option away
I carved my arms but I couldn't feel a thing
because other than fight or flight there's exploding and dissociating
nothing has ever felt so suffocating
as when you locked your arms around me
in that moment I saw you not as a human being
but a thing
that dared to touch what you had damaged
but in that moment I realized traumatizers
can never be healers
I can only imagine how much relief a daughter can feel in her mother's arms
a few times I almost felt it but
those arms always connect immediately to the hands that stained me and distantly to the mouth that did the most damage
because your bark will always hurt more than your bites.
I don't expect you to live your life as an apology
I am so grateful for everything you have done for me
but don't expect me to ever completely rid of the memories you bring back too frequently
and if I can learn to live with the mental scars and permanent damage,
you sure as hell can learn to live with the responsibility.
I'm sorry you have so much anger but you have no right to take it out on me
and expect everything to go back to the way it used to be
that you lay beside a man that makes you cry so frequently
but you have no right to yell at me because he yelled at you
and expect me to have a relationship with him just because you're addicted
I'm sick of saying sorry
and living my life like an apology for every sacrifice you made after accidentally making me with a teenage body.
Every time you insult me
you remind me of the little girl who went to bed begging her heart to abandon the roller-coaster of love and trust she didn't want to ride
For the first time
no apology came to me.
Only a glare
has ever been