Don’t show them your drawing

They’ll find the mistakes, compare it to what’s already on the fridge or that Picasso we saw on the field trip last year. Third grade is no excuse; third degree.

Don’t ask them how you look

They’ll find the bump in your pony, the hole in your sock which is already inside your shoe, which are too tight and have a scuff. They’ll see that too. You look tired. Did you even brush your teeth?

Don’t tell them you’re hungry or full

They’ll decide you’re too big, small, selfish, greedy, a bottomless pit, picky. Comparing your plate to everyone with more or less deserving than you, making it impossible to taste or swallow past the lump in your throat.

Don’t offer your opinion even when they ask

They’ll decide their ideas, experiences, thoughts and preferences are superior while simultaneously highlighting why everything that comes out of your mouth is misspelled, incorrect, stupid, dismissible, toxic, lesser, silly, incoherent, impossible and wrong.

Don’t smile or cry

They’ll tell you why you don’t have the right to be either happier than them or sad for no reason. If at all possible erase your face entirely so as not to be accused of making any contribution to disturbing their existence.

Don’t sing

Your song is wrong. Having a good signing voice is an insult. Shrieking like a cat in heat; humiliation.

Don’t pursue a career

They’ll be dissatisfied with every choice deciding for you, the challenge is either too great or insufficient bragging fodder. Yes your life is nothing more than fertilizer either way. Produce a harvest if you must but remember, apples rot.

Don’t ask for what you need

They’ll pathologize your bodily functions, your bones for growing, your weakness against elements like heat, hurricanes, blizzards and drizzles, insisting no one but you has ever made such elaborate requests.

Don’t tell them you’re scared of anything

They’ll register every phobia to permanent and public memory from which there is no escape. Long after you’ve outgrown hesitation around cliffs, water or spiders they’ll remind you by dragging out your catalogue of vulnerabilities in some rare moment of petty strength; like unintentionally peeling a potato quicker than they did. Never forget you’re terrified of everything.

Don’t expect warmth, affection, reciprocity, instruction, understanding, support, joyful invitation, celebration, protection, encouragement, compassion, patience, kindness or love.

Most importantly, don’t believe them. ~

Do you ever get tired of the work it takes to be? Like everything’s fine, you don’t need this or that but also don’t have the energy to be exposed to the chronic emptiness of the hollow trauma-zombies?

I say yes and am declaring this the island of sanctuary. I’ll draw a very big circle, maybe the size of Antartica only warm, so there’s room for you. There will be singing, drawing, dancing, eating, sharing of thoughts, ideas, inventions, dress up clothes and eternal space on the front of the worlds biggest fridge.

xo

25 thoughts on “Don’t

  1. Thank you so much for the invitation to this safe space away from all the “theys” who are so wrong. It’s exactly where I needed today only I didn’t know it until I got here. *deep breath, happy smile* I can breathe a little deeper here already. I brought cookies. *hands those over* Oh, would you pass the red crayon please? I have a lot of hearts to color! ♥.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you and count me in. ❤ Refrigerator or cheese cabinet? (ROFL we are just catching Pushing Daisies, so hilarious!)

    Your piece reminds me of the song Numb; your descriptions of my parents, especially the summary, "Don’t expect warmth, affection, reciprocity, instruction, understanding, support, joyful invitation, celebration, protection, encouragement, compassion, patience, kindness or love."

    Really really.

    Of course, school bullies are also like all this.

    And also love the prescription:

    "Most importantly, don’t believe them."

    And this sounds heavenly: "Singing, drawing, dancing, eating, sharing of thoughts, ideas, inventions, dress up clothes and eternal space on the front of the worlds biggest fridge." I'm bringing a big fruit pie to share! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sophie, I get warm chills every time someone else shares how this resonates with them. So happy to have you join us! Fruit pie sounds delicious! I’ll have to look up Pushing Daisies but if you’d like your art displayed on a cheese cabinet we can make that happen!

      Like

      • Thank you, super! 🙂 I might draw a good Brie! 😉 You know, “Still Life With Good Cheese”!

        Sharing stories is such an amazing thing to do – all manner of stories, from fairytales to the dark realities many of us faced alone for so long. For the latter, it shines light on the darkness for all of us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mmmm brie. My absolute favorite (next to goat cheese, Gorgonzola and the creamy Irish cheddar with onions we get at Trader Joe’s for Christmas 🙂
        Story time is my favorite. 😊

        Like

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