You are only listening

August 4, 2017

You are only listening to this poem because you feel accustom to knowing about my story, like you deserve to know about every depression filled tear that stained my cheeks as anxiety filtered through my veins until my brain disconnected from my genuine worth and my lungs collapsed into a vulnerable weakness.. I grasp for air relentlessly praying it would turn into a hand to help.. Little did I know the only person in charge of my strength was me. The bruises embedded in my skin were just symbols of the insecurities my abuser fought with in every clenched first he threw. I see his pain through empty beer cans and his fears laying in tobacco packs but you see my struggles as something to advocate for publicity. Since when did advertising my psychological issues for your pleasure dissipate into a friendly gesture? Your hollow "I'm sorry's" don’t suffice for the content I was subjected to as a child. I thought you had to be 17 for Rated R. I'm downing in your profusely shallow unapologetic lies while overdosing on broken promises that you hand out like a peace offering. You are only pretending to be there for me because you want to know about every scar that permanently pierced my childhood. You are only listening to hear about my eating disorder, how I stand in front of the mirror everyday weeping as I timidly touch the surface of the scale. My stomach turns into a pit of despair. I feel the valves of my heart discretely increasing in pressure pump after pump.. My palms are crying in desperation as I watch my dignity slip from my reach and dance to the music of my fallen tears... I wait impatiently and very vigilant as the scale deciphers what number to land on. My insanity is based on a number. This world is based on a number. I am completely engulfed in this manipulated image of veracity we call society. I'm so caught up in what everyone else wants me to be that I lost sight of myself. because in this world if I'm anything bigger than anorexic I'm fat. The standards are set between biggest thigh gap and bulkiest collarbones. I have fat engraved in every crevice of my body because no one showed me that I'm beautiful regardless if the tags on my clothing say double zero. Every hushed tone eventually has the volume turned up and even though you think you are being quiet I can hear your lips as they ever so gently touch, whispers quietly rolling of your tongue.. your words dance so loudly to the shattering of my self-esteem. My mom told me that I could be anything I wanted but the only thing I can be right now is afraid. At night when I'm alone I contemplate life like it’s the last slice of cake, which is what everyone assumes I think about all the time.. Do you remember as a child when you laid down begging mom to check for big scary demons under your bed one last time? Well what she neglected to tell you was they really live in your head. but you want to know what the real problem is here?....

You are only listening.


-Nina Hayes

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