I look at myself in the mirror each morning and ask,
“How did this even happen?”
“When did I become so cold?”
I think back to the times when the world was sound.
“Honey, I’m so proud of you!”
“I love you so much!”
“Sweet dreams baby girl”
Back then I was loved so much…
Now I’m sitting here wondering what the hell went wrong.
“Was it me?”
“Did I do something?”
“Why did you stop loving me?”
As I close my eyes at night, all I can see is my family; what we used to be.
It’s like I’m invisible and mute.
No matter how much I jump and shout,
No one can hear me.
No one can see me.
I look at our old sandbox…
The weeds now laugh at me mockingly as they continue to take over.
I remember the sandbox being magic fairy dust, making our dandelions grow.
The pails becoming homes for our pets.
The swinging chair just sits with its green paint peeling.
No one has sat there in years.
This place used to feel like home,
So full of love…
But now I realize love doesn’t last forever.
It does have its limits, even though I can’t see the boundaries.
I see the families on TV:
Full House, George Lopez, Family Ties…
“Why can’t that be my family?”
“What did we go wrong?”
“Why don’t WE do that?”
All I see in us in melancholy and fear.
Some days I wonder if we’re afraid of the real problem…
But what IS the real problem?
They’re so caught up in their own lives that they don’t notice me anymore.
But when I look at their pasts,
All I see is rejection and neglect.
Maybe this is the only way they know how to love.
As I look at myself in the mirror, I ask,
“How can someone love another, but act so damn cold?”
“Do my parents love me?”
“Do I love them?”
They’ve put me through so much abuse,
And I’m supposed to act like it’s nothing.
So many of my memories of them include someone else as well:
Okay, maybe he’s not alive,
But he does a lot of damage.
Mom would bring home her buddies home,
Only to mess with me instead.
I remember waking up to him sleeping next to me in my bed.
Or my sister sleeping on the guy my mother just met.
Or the guy she “loved”, who touched me in places I didn’t fully understand.
“Is this the way family is supposed to be?”
I just went along with it to keep my mother and sister happy.
I wanted still to be the ideal daughter.
Just take a deep breath and forget all the harm that’s been done.
Isn’t that the way to do it?
Thinking back on my mother’s alcoholism…
I didn’t deserve to be used as a physical punching bag.
Or to grow up so fast.
Or to tend to your hangovers.
Or to be the fill in mother.
“I didn’t deserve any of this!”
As I look in the mirror,
I see myself dwindling down to absolutely nothing.
The dark circles around my eyes,
The wrinkles on my forehead.
The forever frown that’s been tattooed on my face.
All that appears to be fine is NOT fine.
Everywhere I look it’s all gloomy and desolate.
As I look in the mirror, I decide that it’s all up to me.
Only I have the power to build my future.
Whether or not it’s going to be productive,
Or full of misery.
Whether it’s going to be full of love,
Or complete loneliness.
I now know that this is my time.
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