I am the bad seed and you are the beautiful rose garden.

I know what it is like to be numb. To remain stone inside so that you feel nothing else. To force a smile when you feel every opposite emotion imaginable.

I know what it is like to live in hell, and I knew the sacrifices in leaving it. But I left anyway.

Sometimes, those sacrifices are so heavy. Sometimes, it is just so much.

Siblings and cousins and nephews and nieces and aunts and uncles.

Gone. Just gone.

The untouchable family.

The unspoken, shunned daughter.

The black sheep. The bad seed. The slandered. The misnamed. This is what has been done to me, and yet they want me to come back?

But sometimes, you are so different. So painfully different that you feel as if you are horribly disfigured in comparison to everyone else.

And then, if you are lucky, you take a step. Two. Three. Until you are running a distance away and the feelings of ugliness begin to recede. And so you keep running. You don’t look back. The sun is shining over that hill. If only you can just get over that hill.

It is not you who is ugly, you realize.

Some people just have a way of making you feel so bad. So terrible.

They don’t even know they are doing it. Or, maybe they do and you don’t want to believe it. But to the rest of the world, to the ones who look on, they think it’s all perfect. Even the ones close to you don’t know, because you were forbidden to speak of it.

No one can know the truth. That’s the mantra. Keep smiling. Keep breathing. Don’t let it out. Don’t speak of it. Don’t talk of it.

Nothing is wrong. We are perfect.

Don’t you see how perfect we are?

How many ways did I contemplate the end? How many times did I stop myself out of guilt?

But no, we are perfect.

Maybe pills. Maybe knives. Maybe rope. Maybe…

but no, we are perfect.

Every little thing is my fault. Because I am ugly. Because I had to run away.

I couldn’t be ugly anymore.

I’m sorry. For many things. But I chose life. I chose it. I chose the feeling that I never had over the darkness I was shrouded in for so long.

That’s what I have to live with. Because as much as I’d love to completely let it go, you’re always in my shadow. Your words are always in my head.

Nothing ever quiets them.

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