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My soul is not the same shape
as my body
and doesn’t hurt the same way.

So when I tell you I come
from a past of abuse
but have no bruises
or scars to show for it
I hope you realize I need
a different kind of rescue

and a healing that follows
no straight path

you don’t watch one part
for signs of bleeding
or keep the same few bones
in splints or tourniquets

you watch for triggers

you read between the lines
where I don’t seem to respond
with an attitude you might
expect from those
whose childhoods were soft
and whose coming-of-age
is blanched in sunshine

you wait for madness to strike
and dance with it
until it slowly passes
and welcome me back

you save me from myself
by being there
by letting me borrow your courage
when mine runs out
and take temporary asylum
in your peace
I’ll be carrying luggage
but I won’t unpack
and I’ll take them back out with me

you take the words I mean
and those I throw over my shoulder
like they are nothing
just to hear how loudly
they crash on impact,
bend them into shapes of questions
and leave them by my bedside
so I can straighten them out
and apologize
and make everything right

you take my trust
and never ever hit me with it
otherwise you either
break it or break me

and my soul will have to
amputate another limb
or grow another organ
to compensate.

My soul is not the same shape
as my body…

“Mystery” by photographer Наталья Ершова

Inspired by the article 13 Things To Know About Someone Who Grew Up Emotionally Abused, which was a revelation to read and spoke to me deeply about my own struggles.


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