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March 4, 2021

The Words I Need to Hear from You.

Tell me I’m pretty.

That you like my hair, my eyes, my smile.

Say that my laugh is contagious,

That I have the power to shift the energy in the room.

Tell me you love my positive energy,

My empathy,

My hardworking, diligent nature.

I’m the responsible one.

Pat me on the head and tell me I’m good—

Good enough.

I’m a good girl.

The best.

Better than all the rest.

Tell me I’m smart, wise, and mature.

I want your appreciation, your love,

And affection.

I’ll do anything to get your attention.

Tell me I’m giving, generous, lovely, and kind.

Lovable.

Tell me you like me.

Let me know

That

I’m worthy.

I am, after all, seeking my worthiness in you.

All of you—

All of you who do not live or breathe or reside

Within me.

And if I see judgment in your eyes

About something I like,

I’ll deceptively,

Almost imperceptibly,

Try to convince myself I don’t like

Or want

Or need

It either.

If you’re displeased,

If I sense even the smallest whiff that you’re displeased,

With me,

I’ll shift and mold and shape myself—

Do whatever it takes, whatever I can

To please you,

To make you glad—

Even if it means

Sacrificing me,

And who I am.

When you tell me it’s not what ladies do,

I’ll make a mental note

To never do it.

Ever again.

It’s a no-no.

I’ll shift and mold myself to such an extent

That I won’t even be able to identify

What I want

Or like.

Or how I feel.

Here,

Hold my worthiness, my entire sense of worth,

In your hands.

I’m willfully,

Though, ignorantly

And unwittingly,

Handing it over to you.

Do with it as you please.

I am, after all, more concerned

With seeing myself through your eyes—

In viewing myself through the lens

Of your filtered perception.

And one night,

When I’m lying in bed

And I realize what has happened

What I’ve done,

I’ll see my whole life pass before my eyes,

Images and memories

Replaying, heartbreakingly behind closed eyes.

I’ll feel panic rise in the center of my chest

When I realize

What this means.

And I’ll decide,

Finally—

Once and for all,

I’m done.

I’m through.

I’m through trying to prove myself to you.

Any of you.

I no longer need you to tell me I’m pretty.

That you like my hair or eyes or smile.

I don’t need you to say that my laugh is contagious,

Or that my energy has the power to shift an entire room.

I don’t need you to tell me I’m smart, wise, or mature.

Oh, God, please don’t call me mature.

That’s not who I really wanted to be.

I no longer need a pat on the head.

You don’t need to tell me I’m good—

Good enough.

Worthy.

I no longer need to hear anything from you.

I will no longer scan your eyes to sense how

I should feel about me.

I’m through trying to find my worth

In you.

I don’t need your attention, your love, or affection.

I will no longer try to fit or mold or shape myself to you.

And the expectations I think you hold

Of me.

There are too many of you—

All wanting, asking, silently requesting

Requests

Of me.

I’m through trying to prove my worth to you.

From now on,

I’m listening to the only voice that matters,

The one that lives and breathes

and resides

Within me.

My own.

~

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