A Letter to You

Hi there, you might not recognize me but I know who you are. I wanted to reach out to you, to say that I understand. I want you to know that I get it, that I know how it feels to be alone in a room full of people, to feel like no one sees you, how it feels when people step to the other side of the street to avoid you. I know how much it hurts to feel so alone that you abandon yourself in order to pretend to be somebody else, in hopes that that person can find the love you desire. I know how it feels to sit in the corner of the living room, waiting for your mother to pass out drunk so that you can crawl up under her arms and pretend that she is snuggling with you. I know the guilt that must blanket you over feeling like you’d abandoned your sisters, leaving them to be abused by your step dad.

You hide in the shadows; you crawl up and sleep in the trees. I know you are there because I feel your pain, when you hurt I hurt. I know that feeling in the pit of your stomach that turns the taste in your mouth acrid. I know that smell too, that stench of fear, of failure, I can smell it now, wet cardboard mixed with old sweat and angst. I should tell you it will be OK, but I don’t know that for sure. I should let you take my hand and lead you into the sunlight, where you can feel it wash over your cold colorless face, but I can’t, I don’t want to promise you, you won’t get hurt, because you will. It’ll happen as soon as you are comfortable, just when you’ve let go of that blanket, that icy chill will drop from the ceiling straight down the back of your shirt and you will cringe. You will close your eyes and try and wish it away.

That’s how life works, and I won’t promise you otherwise. But you know what, when that happens, I will be there, I will let you take my hand and warm you with my body. I will wrap my arms around your soul and hold it for a moment, I will look into your eyes, honest and true and tell you for that time, just then and for a while I will be there and I will hear your pains and I will touch your heart, and I will slow the creep that tries to steal your breath. I will love you for then and always. When you are ready, I am here. I am your safe place and you will know it because I feel it so I know you will too.

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