Almost Pass For Normal

I’m not supposed to write this poem

It’s embarrassing - on many levels, for many people

And my entire life has been consumed by the fear that my words might ricochet into somebody's ear and burst their bubble

I’m not looking for trouble - just some clarity

And it’s been weighing on my mind lately that my wrist has nearly gone back to normal

Or what can pass for normal

I’m not supposed to write this poem because the scars are still there

And unlike anything else, I can’t write this one off as empathy

This one happened to me

So when I’m not looking or my guard slips and somebody catches sight of my wrist they think




Looking for attention

My hand still twitches like an addict when I hear jokes about self-harm

And I feel guilty for...well, I don’t really remember what for


When my mom found out, I watched her mind spin until it grew dizzy

Unable to comprehend my blood and tears mixing late at night by lamplight

She asked me if I had done it to relate to “those people”

I said no

She asked me if I wanted to die

I said no


Death was the dream vacation I hadn’t earned

A kindness I was too dirty to deserve

Too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too -


The shadow that draws you in with a smile and a backstory

Touches you with a sharp intimacy some people spend their entire lives looking for

Holds you like the piece of yourself you were looking for

Suddenly you don’t want to cry anymore


You feel nothing

You feel empty

And compared to the silent desperation desert you’ve been wandering

That’s a blessing


But I’m not supposed to write this poem because I’m not diagnosed with depression or anxiety

I’m not supposed to write this poem, because I have a little brother and sister who still don’t know the whole story

I’m not supposed to write this poem because my loving mom and dad are still alive

Because they caught me before my hands could further mutilate their pride and joy

Before teachers got worried or suspicious

Before kids could get vicious and grow an extra set of teeth to sink into my already bleeding skin

Because I wore a pink bandana to cover the scars and a Broadway-worthy smile to cover the tears

Because it’s embarrassing - on many levels

One of them - my pride

Grafted into my shoulder by the surgeon expectation

Who whispers

If they know

They’ll never really trust you again

Whispers I should feel guilty for...

I remember now

For indulging myself in sin when the world has spent so much time scrubbing me clean of it

For writing this poem

When my wrist can almost pass for normal


I’m sorry I spoiled your precious performance

But it's an experience someone somewhere might need to hear

Might ricochet into their ear and say

You’re not alone

You’re not alone

You’re not alone and there’s no need to be ashamed

Acceptance is how we recover

It’s ok to recover

It’s ok to admit you’re recovering

I understand that it feels like your tongue has betrayed your mask

But it’s not a betrayal

It’s a new beginning


This poem is about: 
Our world



Thank you for that ricochet. I needed that

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