Puzzle Box

When I was young, boys did not like me

People did not like me

I was strange. I was different.

“You are unique” They said.

“You are special” They said.

I am unique. I am special.

“You are smart” They said.

“You are smarter than anybody else on your level” they lied.

I believed them. I was young. I was eager to please those older than me.

“I am special. I am unique” I said.

“You are dumb. You are weird. I do not want to be next to you” The kids said.

“You were always so talkative when you were young” The older ones tell me.

“Whatever happened to that” They say.

Kids are sweet.

Kids are precious.

These are lies.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”

This is a lie.

Children do not realize the knives they wield when they are young.

They do not know better.

They do not understand the damage that can be done until it is too late.

We were told we were smart. We were told we are brilliant.

We are here now. Splintered.

A fractured version of ourself to fit in.

We lock parts of ourselves away to hide. To feel better.

To run.

Facing your problems is hard.

Facing yourself is harder.

We demonize ourselves. Make our problems seem massive when they just want to be free.

They want to live like you.

They want to love like you.

You are your own worst critic.

How many parts of myself do I have hidden?

How many fragments of me lay away secret.

Children do not understand how to face problems. We run to adults. We run to family. We run.

But we are never taught to stop running.

And when you run with a puzzle,

You may never know how many pieces you leave behind.

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