Dear High School…
Dear Institutionalized Hell Hole…
Dear Teenage Years…
My parents always kept me from watching certain TV shows or R rated movies because they didn’t want me exposed to that sort of language, violence, steamy sex scene, sexual violence or impurity
Dear Mom and Dad,
Let me tell you about high school.
Dear First Love,
You took everything.
My ability to find joy within myself.
My right to say no.
That day in the pouring down rain when I told you I was leaving and you told me no.
In that moment I realized I needed permission to be myself, to thrive, to breathe, to grow.
You grabbed my arm like it was a life preserver in a hurricane and held on with a death grip.
You told me if I left you would kill yourself.
In that split second a human life was placed in MY 15 year old hands.
Was my happiness as valuable as your life?
No. Of course not.
So I stayed.
Dear Boy I Blocked on Snapchat,
When did a photo of a penis become a pick-up line?
Did I miss something?
You reminded me that being a female, simply having a username, an account, enjoying the 21st century, is an open invitation to flood my phone with unwanted and un-asked for pictures of your penis.
I was 14 years old and I barely knew your name.
I had no say in this.
See you in the hall, head down, keep walking, don’t think about it.
Don’t think about it.
Don’t think about it.
Dear Art Class,
You are a safe haven for me.
You were my 80 minutes of hope.
Casually glancing over at that boy’s art project and wishing I had never looked.
That boy had sculpted an arm.
Deep cut, blood flowing out.
And the razor blade,
thrown off to the side.
Hold it together.
Don’t be a freak.
Not those innumerable nights hidden in a locked bathroom.
Not my mother, looking at me, disappointment written on her face like shitty poetry.
The walls scream at me to hide my surprise,
Now there’s a trigger warning on that classroom door too.
Dear Mean Girl,
You were just that.
Every part of your being was mean and you knew that.
You embraced that.
Then you embraced ME with your mean girl arms
Strangling ME with your mean girl death grip
Sucking the life out of ME with your mean girl lips
Dirty looks in the hall didn’t bother me
Brush it off
Just a mean girl
Insults posted for the whole school to see
Brush it off.
Until you laughed and encouraged her, because she had you wrapped around her talon, I mean finger.
She called me a hoe
Like she knew me
She didn’t know me
She knew my phone number though, and plagued it with anonymous hate
“You’re the biggest slut I know”
“You’re a fake ass bitch”
“You’re a hypocrite”
“The reason I don’t believe in Jesus Christ”
And then when she was finally confronted with it, you know what she did?
She denied it.
And then was defended.
She’s working through a lot.
She has some serious emotional issues.
That may have been the worst part.
Because you know what?
I was depressed too.
Every day of my life had become dark like the hollow part of the night, not the peaceful evening with pretty stars to look at and enjoy and wish on
Like the dark, day will never come again, what are stars again?, don’t look down that alleyway type of night.
And the depressed, emotionally challenged, mean girl was that huge, ugly cloud that blocked the moon.
You laughed along with her.
And I don’t forgive you.
Dear Football Player,
You’re a big man, aren’t you?
Everyone knows you?
Looks up to you?
Thinks you’re the greatest?
Is that why you walked behind me, so close I could feel your breath on my neck, like a tattoo needle rapid fire writing on my neck in perfect cursive “just a body.”
Because that’s what I was to you
You didn’t know my name
But you knew that your entitled, football snatching hand belonged on my ass, didn’t you?
Ugly smirk written on your face spells privilege
Accepting my place among the silent, parade of shamed girls, none of us star athletes or stunning cheerleaders,
No student council presidents allowed here, because we are the faceless girls,
Never speaking up
These desperate hallways have the ability to mute the immutable
Strip the dignity from the dignified
Get used to it
Because you’re just a body here
Dear High School...
Dear Institutionalized Hell Hole...
Dear Teenage Years…