Words Can Hurt

I look in the mirror
And I fail to see
The beauty in me
Outside and within
Instead, all I see is
The flaws in me
Outside and within
“I’m too this, I’m too that
I wish, I wish, I wish…
That I didn’t look like this
That I didn’t think like this
That I didn’t feel like this
That I didn’t behave like this
Sometimes I wish I was someone else
I’m worthless, not good enough, not perfect”
Failing to realize my own true beauty
Outside and within
And then
I look closer in the mirror and
I mean, microscopically, so
My vision narrows and I see one thing
Skin that is not clear, nor even or smooth
Skin that is not worthy, nor nice or beautiful
Skin that is not flawless
In fact, it’s…covered in flaws
I mean, perhaps that’s my perception
And the lens in which I see and look through
But, it’s what I see and it’s me
And if it’s me, it must be
They say, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
Well, I wish I could say the same
And maybe I would have if I wasn’t so
Anxious and depressed, angry and sad, broken and stressed
And maybe I would have if I wasn’t so
Insecure and self-conscious, with little to no self-esteem and self-worth
But the problem was – I was
I was all of those things
So, yes – words did hurt me – and they cut me deep
And now I’ve got open cuts, wounds and scars
And I’m reminded of them every single day and night
When I see and look at my reflection in the mirror
And I’m filled with hatred, anger and fear
Because I can’t stand what I look like
Because I look at my face and my skin
And all I see are imperfections and flaws
My acne, pimples, bumps and scars
And now I’m picking at my face; attacking it
And when I stop, I’m filled with shame and regret
And all I hear are the voices of those who teased me
Calling me “pizza face” or joking about playing “connect the dots”
Or pointing to my face in disgust, saying, “what’s that?”
What the fuck do you think it is?
And so, I’m comparing my skin complexion
To every single person I meet on the streets
Always feeling less than, always feeling inadequate
Always feeling…angry, upset, ugly and disgusted
Feeling like I need to wear makeup to look beautiful
Feeling irritable at those who complain about one pimple
Well, I’ve got 10 plus, so that makes me feel like shit
For years, I never turned the light on when I went to the bathroom
I didn’t; I couldn’t
For years, I never looked myself in the eye in the mirror
I didn’t; I couldn’t
And sometimes I still don’t
And sometimes I still can’t
Because your voices are now my belief system
And every day I have to fight against it and myself
To strain my eyes to try to see the light and the beauty
To feed my brain with positive, reassuring affirmations
To repeat over and over, and over again
That what lies on the outside
Is nothing compared to
What lies on the inside


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