You do not get to define my beauty without truly seeing me.
Yesterday would have made it nearly one year that the ground beneath me had a few more weeks not to shake. My body just had a few more weeks to make it to my glistening, red ribbon finish line.
You do not get to decode my fear.
You do not get to explain my strength.
You do not get to elucidate my survival story.
You do not get to dim my journey determined by your own.
My courage is not in my expression. It is not in the curves of my body. It is not in the sound of my laugh. It is not in the plumpness of my lips. It is not in the deep brown of my eyes.
Stop searching for my fortitude.
Mine is shown in every cut. Mine is in every scar. Mine is in every bruise upon the cheeks that have hit against every surface. Mine is for all the moments my consciousness has been lost. Mine is putting my trust in every stranger I walk past in the street. Mine is having no choice but to awaken at the hands of them one day. Mine is knowing the ground beneath me is not made of pillow. Mine is not knowing if it was one hit too hard. Mine is walking the trails of blood with my tongue in my mouth. Mine is getting lost and never getting found.
Mine is in abuse, abandonment, addiction, and disease.
I do not want another person walking my path not being able to see my truth.
This is my reality.
When I speak of my recovery, my tales hold strength, and they may keep people up at night. My tales can sometimes silence a quiet room, and I am tired of whispering so others can sleep better.
My tales are told through the shadowed skin beneath my eyes, as I am too exhausted to talk about them.
The tales that accompany my healing journey are not made to leave a sweet taste in the mouths of those I share them with.
Please stop expecting my story to be edited.
I am not born into trauma to further disassociate myself from it by sending love and light.
My trauma is not given to me by the moon or the stars.
My trauma is not a manifestation of my negative thought pattern.
It is time to free myself by sharing my story instead of sharing someone else’s.
It is only in my perseverance that I found a taste of hope. I still lick the taste of blood from my unhealed wounds as I continue to pick myself up from the same ground we all walk on.
To an outsider, there may be silence, but to me, I am left with power.
You might see a beautiful woman, and you think you know her story.
Did you guess right?
This is mine.