This is a little introspective piece that I wrote a little while ago. It's basically therapy by writing, but for whatever reason, people seem to find these interesting... AEH --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Scars (c) Adrienne Etienne Houseman Why do I hide myself, burying everything right beside my heart. There are people that will listen now. I know that I can reach out to them, and they will take the extra steps to be there when I need them. But still, I am persistent in my habits, from when there was no one for me to turn to with my darker thoughts. I hide in some small space and curl around my pain like a wounded animal. I can't let anyone hear the sobs that rack my body late at night, I can't let anyone see the nightmares that rip the wounds open again, over and over and over. I try, and sometimes someone sees through the shell enough to reach out, but most often, they don't see, or don't think that there is anything that they can do to help. The ones who watch body language see it more, they can see the little hitch when something in my mind tries to snap again, when I retreat to my dark corner, when I really want to be cradled in someone's arms, but am too afraid of rejection to dare to ask. I want to be held, I need contact, to remind me that I am alive. But I can't stand to be touched by most people, and by the time I can stand it, they respect the barriers. And it is up to me to initiate contact. And I can't do it. Call me insecure, call me silly, I know intellectually that my friends would hold me if I needed it, but the thought that she might pull away, or he might break the hug too soon. They keep me from reaching out. Every now and then, I have the courage, but it is rare. Instead, I bargain for human touch. I find some excuse to lean against you. Request a hug as a reward, trying not to let on that I just want to be held to feel your arms around me. I fear that too much contact will be seen as clingy, and that you would turn your back on me. I fear that it would be misinterpreted, that I would be pushed away cause you thought that I want more than just to be held, to be reassured. But the times that I am sure that the world is all there is wrapped up in the arms of a select few people, and I am too scared to ask when I need to be held most times. And right now, none of you are even here to ask. I couldn't get a hug like that, the ones where the world is suddenly solid again. And my wounds go back to being scars. They'll always be there, the insecurity, the sometimes self-loathing, those scars are as permanent as the many that adorn my skin. No I never cut, I was never given these scars, they just happened, I just have amazing talent at injuring myself. And the scars on my mind, my emotions, those are the ones that were given to me. By a mother who could not accept that her "little princess" would rather play tackle football in the mud, who would not accept that people thought that her little girl was a boy. By peers who rejected her for being different, for stuttering and lisping and learning faster than they did and not sharing their interests. By adults who should have been kind to her being bothered by her silence, by her anger. By bullies who tried to hurt those that she protected, when the only time that she really felt back then was the pure flame of anger as she fought. By the father who had always accepted her as she was until the day that she tried to tell him that she was gay. The man that she had idolized, turned his back, unwilling to accept that his daughter didn't like men. That broke her further than anything ever had before. It hit her in the stomach as she was finally learning to stand on her own feet, to interact with others, and it sank barbs of guilt into her heart. She had failed her father, he didn't love her anymore, he who had always been there. She missed him, she missed the comfort of those arms. I wanted to be held by my father, but the same man wasn't there anymore. I found that I could find a truer comfort in the arms of those closest to me. But that was brittle, scared, scarred. I couldn't bring myself to find that comfort, cause on some level, I didn't think that I deserved it. Because I thought that I had to fight the world all by myself, clawing myself free of the wreckage and laying my old scars open over and over. I've learned a little. Learned to reach out. But I slip back each time that I am left alone. And the cycle begins anew. The scars open, and I don't know where to turn, so I crawl back into the dark and curl around the old wounds.