A Laugh at 17-Year-Old Me

For When You Need to Laugh at How Sad You Were

Sometimes, we're so caught up in our own self-loathing to realize the logistics of breakups. We cry and stuff our faces with food or stop eating for days at a time. Some of us sleep for 16 hours a day and others stay up wondering what they did wrong. But the truth is, we didn't just lose our whole future. We're still living even when our partners leave us. So here's a list of poetry I wrote years ago when I was 17 and thought I just lost the love of my life. I'm now a lesbian and can confirm that the emotionally abusive boy I was dating was most certainly NOT worth the end of the world that I thought was happening. Now here's a glimpse of my mental breakdown:

Nothing

He is a black cat in the shadows. He likes it there. He fits in.

He likes to hide in the alleys, only coming out when there is a chance for an adrenaline rush. That’s the only way he likes to feel. That’s the way he was taught.

He was the perfect alley cat.

Then he saw her.

She is nothing. She straddles the line. She doesn’t fit here or there. She just is.

She likes to hide in her white room with white walls, only coming out at night, when she can visit the shadows.

That’s the only way she feels better. The shadows make her feel at home, but only for the night.

She was the perfect nobody.

Then she saw him.

He neared the edge of the line, thinking there had to be more, but also hoping there wasn’t.

There was, though.

She was everything and more.

She could show him the world.

He could show her the dark details.

That’s what she craved. That’s all she ever wanted.

But he wasn’t ready for her to see him from the shadows.

So she waited.

She straddled the line for eternity.

He never came.

He never wanted to.

For he was the perfect alley cat.

She was and always will be nothing.

I'm so tired.

I'm so tired of being different and alone

I'm so tired of not hearing your voice on the phone

I'm so tired of not having someone

I need someone

I need you

I love you, I love you.

I feel dead

I am dead

Death has consumed everything except my hope

I am hope

I am weak and feeble and anxious and crazy

I am yours

You consumed me

You consumed all of me

You are my drug

My weakness

The only vaccine

Is absence

I’m sorry

I’m so sorry

It’s my fault

I was the bigger person

You are weak

I am strong

I was your guide

I could do no wrong

I did you wrong

I did you wrong

I let you abuse me

I let you intimidate me

I let you love me

I let you care

I left you there

I love you

I love you

So there you have it, folks!

The world didn't end. I don't love him anymore; I don't need him; I most certainly am not to be described as "nothing." I hope you enjoyed my emotional teenager moment as much as I did while looking back on my Google Documents years later. But more than that, I hope you go into your next breakup thinking about how dumb it would be to spend months trying to piece yourself back together when you or your partner decide to call it off as if you are no longer whole because he or she has left your side. AS IF!

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A Laugh at 17-Year-Old Me
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