I Need Someone To Blame For This
For years I have been trying to escape myself. This body has never been my friend. I am not at home here; I am in the haunted guest room at the top of the creaky staircase that you are never quite sure will support your steps. It’s quiet here, but my anxiety is deafening. I have lost the weight, but I still can’t find myself anywhere. I tell myself it isn’t my fault; they bullied me. But then I bully myself, and I am right back to where I started. Alone. I always thought I wanted to be alone. And some days, I still do. Other days, I just want to crawl out of my skin. Empathy. I have always had a lot of that. That’s how I get into trouble. I pour myself out, over and over again. I am empty and still, I find somewhere to bleed from. He never laid a hand on me, but my god, did he find so many ways to hurt me. My 21st birthday he showed me just how unimportant I was. Celebrations are for people you care about. There are certain things you only do with people you care about. I am the lucky one because I got out. That stuffed animal could still be stuck in the backseat of his car; a reminder of the day I learned I’m really not as funny as I thought I was. He never laughed at my jokes, and with him, I never laughed at all. I think I stopped smiling. And even when I would manage to manipulate my facial muscles into a contorted version of happiness, my eyes could never catch up. There is a certain sadness in my graduation photos that no amount of photoshop could ever fix. She was living, but was she really? She was so tired, and he was tired of her, but for some reason, neither one of them would ever let go. I think of her often when I look at myself now. There are days when I can feel her creeping back into my body, one vertebra at a time. There’s a dullness seeping into my skin and my eyes. He isn’t here, but I swear, he has never left me. Maybe if I would have put out more, we would have been okay. If I would have just laid there and taken it, maybe I would be married right now. Rich. A real career woman with money, a husband, and debilitating self-esteem. Isn’t that the dream we are all chasing? Something to Instagram about. A life worthy of one thousand likes. I think that’s what we are all doing here, isn’t it?