Do you remember when I couldn’t breathe? Probably not. But I do.
I remember the sensation of weight on my chest, weight on my eyelids, weight on my heart. Expectations were heavy, Responsibilities were unrealistic, Burdens were unbearable. You thought I was strong, you thought I was fine. But it’s only because you never asked. Were you too caught up in your own pain to see mine? Was your baggage so binding that you did notice the bags you strapped to my back every day?
When I think about that life, about those days in the big brick house, I feel the air slip out of my lungs. My chest tightens, and I feel heavy. I know there were so many good times. So many hugs and smiles. Christmas cookies, and back scratches. I wish those memories were sharper, and clearer, and brighter. But when I look back, everything is covered in fog. Heavy fog.
Do you remember when I hated myself? Probably not. I never told you.
Sometimes I wonder if you noticed the blood through my sleeve and chose not to speak up. It’s easier to believe you never saw. Was your pain so raw that you never noticed me crying myself to sleep? Would you have been surprised to find me dead at last, my arm submerged in a bathtub full of blood, just like I fantasized a thousand times?
You try to tell me how beautiful I am now. But the part of me that needed to hear that grew up and moved out a long time ago.
Do you remember the day I learned I was evil? Probably not. But I do.
You remember the laughter and the warmth. You remember your ups and downs. Maybe you even have regrets. But do you remember my daily struggle to be perfect for you? Do you remember how I felt when I failed every single day? Probably not. But I do, and I wish with all my heart that I could forget.