When I was born, I was crying. Was it weakness? No, it was life. As I grew older, I continued crying. Was it weakness? They told me yes.
In first grade, I found a friend. Blond and blue eyes, pretty and petty. She told me we were best friends. The next day my head was in the dirt. They told me I was dumb.
I believed them.
In second grade, I couldn’t sit still. They sat me in the corner, they told me not to be a brat, that a seven-year-old to fidget was immature.
I believed them.
In third grade, the math was difficult. Teachers were no help. Parents were busy keeping me alive. They told me to manage on my own.
So, I did.
In fourth grade I had learned; don’t make friends, don’t disobey, don’t make a scene, don’t run away. In fourth grade, they found me. They told me I was ugly, fat, worthless, dumb.
In fourth grade, I believed them.
In fifth grade my life got worse. In fifth grade I learned how to disappear. In fifth grade I thought I could hide, but they still found me. In fifth grade I stopped smiling. They told me that was good; I had ugly crooked teeth anyway. In fifth grade, when I mastered math, they told me I was a nerd.
They told me, and I believed them.
In sixth grade, I looked in the mirror and picked up a knife. In sixth grade, everyone was gone, no one was around, my smile was a frown. In sixth grade, I watched the blood pour. My smile lifted up. They punched and kicked me, saw my scars. Saw my grades dropped, saw my eyes die.
They told me I was better dead, the world didn’t need me. They told me I was fat, dumb, useless. They told me. I believed them.
That Summer, though, I met new people. They told me I was smart, beautiful, bright, creative.
They told me, and I didn’t believe them.
My eyes were dead, my spirit dull, no one could lift me up. I smiled only to keep up an act. No one could tell I was gone.
But these people tried again, again, they stood next to me in front of a mirror.
"Look at you, really look at you. See the pretty color of your eyes? The curl of your hair? You’re creative, girl, you really are. So please, just please, believe us." They held out their hand, looked into my eyes.
And, I did, I dared, believe them.
In seventh grade, I stand here now, smiling, happy, true. I’m not the same girl I once was.
The question is, are you?