When they ask me what I am afraid of,
I lie.

I can never expose you,
never tell the truth about you
for fear of speaking you into existence.
You are my punisher and my captor,
my tormentor, my torturer.
You are the little voice inside of my head
telling me bad, bad things to do to myself,
things I can’t talk about
for fear I’ll forget who I am and turn into you.

You tell me we are one and the same, but I am not you.
I would never hurt a child the way you have hurt me.
I would never tell a young girl she is unlovable,
or fat,
or ugly,
or crazy,
or worthless.

I would never tell her to carve ugly, terrible words into her body,
to hold a flame to her skin,
until she has burned herself so badly that the pain goes out like a light
and her nerves are dead,
just like she should be.

I don’t know why I listen to you
when you force me to my knees in front of the toilet.
When you send me running around the house in a panic,
searching in vain for a pencil sharpener I haven’t already dismantled.
When you tell me the closest to love

But I am not afraid of them.
I am afraid of the shadows of my mind
of the twisted and warped reality, I am living in.

And I scream because it is all in my head.
I scream because none of it is real.

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