When I was a little girl

My mother taught me

That my value does not lie in the face of the men who have wronged me

But as I grew older

I found it was hard trying to keep myself from thinking I was unloved in the eyes of the man who chose drugs over his own children

When I started third grade

I was placed in "special" classes

Because I wasn't like the other kids

And I never understood my mother when she told me I would eventually need medication

When I hit eighth grade

I was the only girl who didn't know how to shave her legs

And as we put on our shorts for gym, I tried to explain that my mother didn't allow me to shave

But that didn't stop the laughter escaping my friends' mouths

And so my self-esteem became nonexistent

The following year I entered high school

Though the only thing that changed was the number of panic attacks I had each day

As a freshman my mother's words rang in my ears as on the bus someone I thought I could trust wedged his hands between my pants and my skin despite my protests

And I was only a few yards from my front door when freshmen year I found myself pinned against a car that didn't belong to my family

All because I had refused to kiss the boy holding me there

When I started my first job at fifteen

I didn't know what was wrong with talking to the man who worked in produce until one day his comments made me uncomfortable

And his eyes no longer stayed on my face

At sixteen I was catcalled

At seventeen my wrist hurt from the stranger demanding to know my age in Walmart


At eighteen

I have a father trying desperately to make up for the almost sixteen years he lost

And a man trying desperately to love me

But in the end

I still feel the fingers of every man who has touched me without my permission

And I still feel their breath of relief they sighed when they got what they wanted

So despite what I was told

I am still trying to convince myself that I am worth loving


I just wish I were still


This poem is about: 
Our world



That was really good. Such realness. I commend your vulnerability; the intricacies of your daily life come forth on my computer screen, and I can almost touch the pain eminating from your poem. I hope you've kept writing. You are strong. Thank you for sharing.

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