instead.

i think i was supposed to be a good girl. i was
supposed to play by the rules and colour inside
the lines. i was supposed to work in jobs that
slowly killed me and achieve, achieve, achieve.

i think i was supposed to stay silent, to be the
one who held the secrets, carrying them on my
back like only a feather had landed, even when
they were crushing me, killing me, shaping my
existence. i was supposed to be the one who
kept smiling and laughing, even when i was
breaking inside.

i was supposed to be the leader, organising,
planning, bringing everyone together, all the
while trying to blend in, merging with the
rest. i think i was supposed to remember
each insignificant detail in everybody else’s
life, but forget all of the significant details in
my own.

to be polite, patient, always saying “yes”, even
when it hurt. it always hurt. i was supposed to
build thicker and higher walls around our family
of shame, to never crumble under the pressure,
to keep going no matter the cost. and always
be the one to pick up the pieces. every single
time.

i think i was supposed to be perfect, to be
everything you’d dreamed of and more. always
more. i was supposed to be viewed in holy light,
but never truly seen or heard. i think i was
supposed to be mute, silently guilted into the
background.

and i was. i was all i was supposed to be and
then some in reserve. until one day i wasn’t,
until one day i stopped existing in your
captivity.

instead,
i lived.

image

image © Mariann Martland

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