Mother Dearest

A poem about a tense parent-child relationship

Mother Dearest

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

from me

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

I'm sorry

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

I'm sorry

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

and nothing

has ever been

so liberating.

slam poetry
Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
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Elizabeth Biz Diedrick
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