How to Breathe Again

I don't remember what it's like to feel safe in my own skin
I don't remember what it's like to wake up without my heart beating as if hummingbirds are trapped within my chest
A monster is perched on my shoulder, whispering into my ear:
"You're a worthless, good-for-nothing child. You'll never be good enough."
The mere act of attempting to will it away is simply not enough because each and everyday that monster pounds on my temples,
forcing the words "I CAN'T" from my lips

I want to go back home
I want to go to the safety of mother's embrace
Back to believing everyone was good and that there were no evil souls
I want to go back to not questioning my morality
seeing every mistake as formidable because now I only see through a clouded lens
I'm so afraid of being bad that every mistake fills my chest with an agonizingly painful heartbeat

I don't want the pangs inside of my chest to dictate how I live
The day that I finally feel content seems so out of reach no matter how far I grasp for it
This monster atop my shoulder mercelessly misinterprets every kind phrase and words of encouragement as masked malice
I value others' opinions but it's so difficult to not assume that I'm hated
Safety is so essential to me but I still can't hold onto it without that monster snatching it away

As my eyes observe the body language of others when I speak to them, the monster skews every movement into how disgusted they are with me
I can't look into someone's eyes without fearing that all they perceive is a monster
The comfort of being told I'm good enough never lasts long
"They're lying to you."

Thoughts consistently racing through my mind seem to wrap all the way around my neck,
depleting my lungs of the air I deeply yearn for
I just want that monster to disappear
I just want my mind to be free of constant thoughts
I just want silence

so I can breathe again.

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