Put on a happy face.

Pretend to the world that you’re not exhausted.  You’re not in an unstable environment.  Your house is a home and you love it.  You’re happy to survive, not LIVE, in your mother’s home.  It’s fine; you have your own space, right?

You know what you want, what to save for, but how?  You have bills to pay, but with what?  You couldn’t even shower in your own home, not for nearly five months, so you fucked up your finances to get away, to drown in music and furpiles, and to take two fucking showers a day.

Then you came back to the house, not home, to space heaters and warming water on hot plates and in kettles, using baby wipes and NoRinse just so that you could bathe somehow.

Wasn’t she supposed to fix that while you were gone?  Why does she make you fix it?  Your name isn’t even on the lease, the title, the utilities.  She doesn’t even listen to you, you stupid, worthless child.

She uses you.

She hates to see you succeed.  She doesn’t ever want you to leave.

She loves you…trapped and suffering and depending on her.

She was never really proud of you.  She never saw you.  She never even saw the welts your father left, but everyone else did.

You told her that they laughed, even after one was there when he beat you over a forgotten spelling book, and she laughed with them.  But she wasn’t there, so it must not have happened, right?  So the huge black and blue welts on your hands and arms had to be a figment of her imagination.  Her husband couldn’t possibly have hurt you.  You were lying.  You were being dramatic.

She didn’t give a fuck until you couldn’t cut it in tenth grade, in a school that she was paying for.  She didn’t see you crumbling all those years.  Everyone else did, even if they didn’t understand, but not the one person that mattered.  Not until it threatened her money.  Then it was all your fault.

And it’s all getting that much worse, isn’t it?  She uses most of your food stamps, gets food she wants, and then eats the vast majority of it herself.

You’re running yourself into the ground, you aren’t eating right if you eat at all, you’re passing out for twelve-plus hours at a time, you don’t have the energy to cook or clean…how does your worthless ass even get up and bathe?

How does no one see you shutting down?

You’ve made yourself invisible…

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Mad Lapine

July 2014

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