You ignorant little shit. Those are probably his four favorite words. Basically any time I don’t measure up to his ever-heightening standards, that’s always what I hear. That I’m an ignorant little shit. That I’m not deserving of his love. Sometimes he’ll mix it up—pepper in some choice words about my weight, or about my attitude. Those times hurt a little more; but it’s kinda fun not knowing what to expect. You know, some people would say I’m being abused? Those social-worker psych types who say words are sharp as knives. They might be right. Except not about the knives. Words are nothing like knives. See, words don’t leave clean, even slices that heal with pretty scars all in a row. Words are more like rocks—some are big, some are small, they sting more when thrown by stronger people. And another thing: words don’t slice—they bruise. They damage from inside, leaving colorful evidence of blood you don’t even have the satisfaction of seeing. I’m longing for the day, though, when I stop being an ignorant shit, and start being a punching bag. Because even though bruises are totally lame, they’re at least visible. And if someone saw, maybe someone would care? Or maybe not.