the ugly girl

When you have been the ugly girl

the outsider girl

the awkward girl

the not invited to the party girl

the sitting alone in the cafeteria girl,

you have something that 

the girls and boys who fit in 

all their lives 

will never have.

You know how to be alone, 

and absolutely love it

because you were so isolated, 

that you were forced to love yourself.

You can walk into a room full of people 

and not care about what any of them think

because you know it can’t possibly be worse 

than what you’ve already been told to your face.

There are other days though, 

where you are alone, 

and you absolutely hate it

because the only thing that you can think about is 

what purpose there could possibly be 

for anyone to ever be so cruel to you.

You walk into a room full of people 

and get hit with waves of anxiety and horror

because you imagine that you can hear what they are all thinking 

about you and your body and your face and your hair

and the words feel like metal scraping the inside of your body.

There is so much 

that you experience 

in you own mind, 

that you don’t think anyone 

will ever understand

today, you are a beautiful woman, 

and no one you know today 

thinks of you as the ugly girl that you believe you are.

And you wish you could see you how they must see you.

They have a clean slate, yours has been dirtied by name calling and teasing.

You can’t see yourself without it

and they can’t see you with it.

No one will ever keep the ugly girl alive like you do

and no one can ever let her go like you should.

Sad and Scared

I was in the 3rd grade when I was called anorexic for the first time. I lived with insecurities about myself and about my body for all those years. I told myself the story that my body was wrong for this world, that I was wrong for this world, but still I kept living in it. I was a strong little girl. 

I have a vague memory of someone at school saying something about my voice being so high pitched. My voice was “annoying” to this person and they weren’t afraid to let me know. That was when I couldn’t take it anymore. I was okay with living with the idea that my body was horrible and bothered everyone around me, but my voice too? That was too much for me. It was later that day when I was alone in my room that I found myself staring at a bottle of nail polish remover, wondering if I would feel any better if I drank it. I wanted to feel my throat burn and then I wanted to die. 

Instead of taking action towards that plan, I told my mother about my thoughts. The best thing she knew to do was to bring me to a therapist.

“Honey, if you would have taken a drink of nail polish remover, you wouldn’t have died, you would have seriously injured your throat and you would have had to live with that for the rest of your life,” the therapist said to me. What was her intention in being so logical about this? I had never in my life felt so inadequate. I was in immense emotional pain, pain that no young girl should ever face, and my therapist was telling me that the one thing I felt like doing to ease that pain would have just made things worse. At that moment, I decided to stop trusting myself.

I spent the remaining time in therapy daydreaming about jumping off the end of the ledge I could see from the office window. I was 13 years old at the time.

I wonder if this extreme idea of escape wasn’t a mental illness, but rather communication from my soul saying, “get out. Now.” I always wanted to get out, of life.

Most days after school, I would sit in my closet with the door closed. It was there that I cried, drew, and journaled. It was there that I felt like I could release all of my emotions. It was there, where everything felt okay, even when I was sad and scared.