Regression Depression

A glittering tower of stones, laden with vibrant neon signs

The girl takes the first tentative step out of the dark house

The light from a neon sign is blinding

Another wary lurch forward, blinking spots out of her vision

Finally, her hand meets the stone.

She is out of the dark


Her eyes adjust to the light

She separates letters from the glow of the sun

“Good Job” 

She reads

The girl smiles, a near indiscernible gesture. And continues the ascent

Each movement is faster, prompter. Her face grows brighter, her manner perkier

Her back straightens as she looks the signs head-on, even as she passes the signs in search of more

“You are special. You are talented. Gifted, Amazing, Beautiful, Capable, Unique, Necessary, Wanted.
You are loved.”


It takes one word. One small event.

It becomes a catastrophe.

Disappointment is heavy, after all


The rock beneath her foot is dislodged and becomes a speck on the ground far below

Feet waggling in the air, she strains desperately to pull herself to a foothold

But it is in vain. Within moments the rocks supporting her fall as well

She falls with them

People below fall faster than the stones above


She groans in the dirt in a pile of agony

She cannot even see the spot she fell from, the shadow of the looming wall blocking her view. 

Like a child standing ready for school that suddenly awakens to find they dreamed the morning, she finds herself at the start

It takes one word. One small event.

It becomes a catastrophe


“I am special?” She asks herself, no sign to prompt.

Yes. More than special.

Bitter. Self-conscious. A hunch-back imp, ravaged by self-righteous pomp, scarred by self-pitying meekness.

The wall built on the words of others is now broken.

To them, this witch no longer deserves such praise

Stone by stone the wall of achievement and glory collapses

The invalid below merely drowns in her silent screams

It takes one word. One small event.

“I have come so far. I feel so much better about myself.”

They’ll build themselves up as they tear your wall down. 


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