They told me words could never hurt me. But that’s all they’ve ever done. The only time I feel what I assume is happiness is when words do not exist. When I’m someplace in the woods with nothing but the rustling of leaves. The footsteps of small creatures. The songs of birds. When I’m at the ocean’s edge to hear it’s roar. The rocks as they erode. The fish as they splash. The gulls as they call.
They said we can rise above words, but they’ve probably never been talked down to day after day. They were probably never told how selfish they were for wanting to go outside. They were probably never told how the beating of fists and the shedding of tears and the drawing of knives were their fault. They were probably never interrogated every time they came home from visiting family. Perhaps when they threw up and cried they were actually taken to see a doctor instead of being told they were only seeking attention.
They say that words only have the power that you give them. But how do you know those words aren’t true? Slut. Bitch. Selfish. Whore. Crazy. Irrational. Manipulative. They told me that words mean nothing but also told me to call things by what they were labeled on their shelves. So when I looked in the mirror what was I supposed to see? Only the labels given to me.
And so I patch on new words every day like band-aids over old scars. Beautiful. Kind. Honest. But they always grow stale and fall from my skin. I can’t seem to stop picking scabs and letting them bleed again.
And so when you say you’ll leave me. Well, that’s to be expected. Because words like promise, forever, love; they don’t mean that much to me. And statements like, “I’d never leave you”, “I accept you”, “You’re not too much”, well those people just don’t know the truth.
I’m not afraid of loneliness… I’m only afraid of losing what I’ve grown accustomed to. Smiles, and laughter, and kindness. Things I’ve never really held very true. So when they say those cruel words mean nothing, when they say they’re only false threats… You don’t know what they do to me.
It would have been nice to believe all your words were true.