You're Too Smart For This

An Original Poem

“You’re too smart for this”

What does my intelligence have to do with how I see my body?

I had a GPA above a 4.0

I also dropped textbooks on my legs to bruise them

And had hundreds of self inflicted cuts on my thigh and hip

But I’m smart, right?

Sure! Smart enough to know that if I didn’t eat it would numb me

From the pain

Of living with a father who didn’t really care

Or maybe didn’t know how to?

I still wrestle with that one

The struggle of knowing I was “cute” and “petite”

I thought I had to stay that way

What would people say if I was anything but those words?

Doctors said with big smiles on their faces every year I went in for a check-up

Does the number on the scale and my B.M.I. really matter that much?

It must

Sometimes even strangers commented

“Such a cute, little red-head”

Those words cut like knives

Burned like a candle

And melted into the brain I would soon be told was “sick”

I laughed as I stared at the wall

Sick?

No, I’m just disciplined, and I’m smart!

Damn it!

Someone look at me!

I mean really look

No one did so before I even had time to digest the idea

I was packing my things to live in a treatment center at the age of 16

April 1, 2012

This is a joke, right? Because it’s April Fool’s Day and it’s a Monday; I should be in school

No, I should be in treatment for 7 weeks to “Get better soon!”

I was discharged in a body unfamiliar to me

I wasn’t better

5 agonizing years went by

Now at age 21

Still not working

Still not driving a car

Still in therapy

Still not better

July 18, 2017, I am admitted to the adult unit this time

I meet new people, and make new friends

“You’re just like him”

My therapist said confidently

But I’m sick, and I have legitimate reasons for why I am this way

Why won’t anyone fucking look at me?!

Really look?

Look at the sadness in my eyes

Look at the shame I carry on my shoulders

Look at the desperation in my soul

To be something different than this

No one looked

So 6 weeks later I was discharged

Still not better

Still not working

Still not driving a car

Placed in DBT centered therapy

And then DBT group therapy

I changed therapists again somewhere in the mix

To someone different than the rest of them

She looked at me

Really looked at me

Now I’m 22 years old

Still not better

AND

I think for first time ever I can say

I’m either going to get better

Or die trying

Because I refuse to stay sick

Because I am too smart for this

Amanda Olejniczak
Amanda Olejniczak

Hello everyone! My name is Amanda and I am currently a sophomore in college majoring in English. I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. From creating short fictional stories, to my very own memoir and poetry book.

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You're Too Smart For This