Mom, I Hope

I've spent a lot of time in the bathroom.

Instead of going to bed, I'd run to the one place where I felt safe. But I always felt trapped at the same time. The bathroom is where a lot of the scars on my body came from. It's where a lot of the hatred I developed for myself first came to light. I would look in the mirror, and I could see what everyone meant when they said I was too skinny. I had to be bigger.I had to be better. I couldn't try new foods because I was scared of change, and everything was different.

Ten year olds shouldn't be dreading school because they're worried of what other people will say about them. Ten year olds shouldn't have to wear hats and hoodies every day so people wouldn't see the cuts on their arms and the bald spots on their head. People told me to stop, and I couldn't. I only wish I could have told them that. People asked me what was wrong with me, and I lied and told them it was stress. I gave them an answer and they didn't take it. They came up with their own. Cancer. And that rumor spread faster than cancer ever could.

At school, I got dirty looks. At home, I got silence. Dad was home, but he wasn't there. Mom was in heaven. That's what dad told me. I couldn't ever get it through my head. The only thing that stuck was the image of an empty kitchen because now, instead of the bathroom, I stared at the chair she sat in. Where she would read her bible and carefully flip the pages and carefully highlight scriptures. She was always there when I woke up in the middle of the night. I loved the silence that was her reading. I can't find the bible she gave me and I can't remember the prayer on the back. I can't find the memory of her smile and I can't remember what her voice was like.

Six years have passed, and no one mentions you. The first thing dad did after you passed was take down all of your pictures, like you were some horrible thought. People say I look like you, and I'm still not sure whether the tears I cry are salty or sweet. It's like I don't want to be compared to you. Like I'm offended when people talk about you, but they probably knew you better than I did. I

t's easier tot alk about you now. I don't choke on the words: "When mom died". I can say your name. And I can do other things, mom. And I wish you were here, because six years ago, I was a crumpled piece of paper full of stray pen marks. Today, I am a framed piece of art, and I create things that become framed pieces of art.

I can speak. I can smile. I am no longer the troublesome daughter who won't try peppers; I am the one who tries new things and loves it. My scars are scars, and I know my tears are sweet because they are no longer recent cuts. I am not afraid to dance in public. I am the first in our family that will attend a university. I have singlehandedly beaten a disease that has no cure. It took me a while, but I can tell people why I was going bald in elementary because I BEAT TRICH, mom. I can talk about my past with a smile on my face because I BEAT DEPRESSION, mom. I can talk on the phone to college recruiters because I BEAT ANXIETY, mom. I

used to think back and wonder why you were taken away so fast, but now I look back and I just hope you can see how well I'm doing. And I hope you think that I am... amazing.


This poem is about: 
My family


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