Here’s to those who are hurting.

You’re not poison ivy, and you’re not crushed mimosa. You’re not a history of screw ups and let downs. You are not a choking hazard with nothing else to give. You’re not his or hers or theirs to be tugged and pulled around by their selfish and egocentric whims, and your future is certainly not on their leash. You don’t combust into flames and extinguish into ashes at the snap of their finders, so just breathe and relax. You don’t owe anyone anything, and you are definitely not their definition of damaged cassette tapes.

Tell anyone who has treated you badly to screw off because with gritted teeth and clenched fists you inhales vile smoke, and your lungs are turning black and your kidneys are reeling into cement and stones. You re in the middle of pitfalls and booby traps and all you have is wrong, wrong, wrong advice that made you cry until your bones feel hollow and your lips seal. You are just human, and your knees can be scraped and scalded. Just make sure that after your cacophonous dance with the rainstorm, you find the strength to get up and try again.

Love yourself radically and violently. Love yourself because you are the red riding hood. The wolves don’t look like wolves but like glass angels and polished halos. You’re only learning and growing in a highly unfamiliar forest.

Love yourself because wearing a polished medal will never feel as good as when your hands are shaking from all the caffeine your heart surreptitiously slipped into your fingertips. You’re scared, too scared, and paranoid of them knowing that your lungs rot and your breath stinks because you haven’t really been waking up these days.

Love yourself because you’re a raging storms, with sharp teeth — a vessel of apocalyptic mess that tries, tries, tries to sew, patch, heal yourself again.

You don’t deserve to be abused again.


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