It is my fathers voice I hear first
as it’s the one I have known the longest:
“Why are you so fucking stupid? Can’t you do anything right?”
The sound of the voice has changed over time,
taking on the tones of my ex-husband next:
“You really are as ugly as you look. You’re ugly on the inside.”
I try to push away those voices,
pushing past the fog that they create within me,
but still the tone of voice changes again.
I hear the voice of a past fiancée next,
the tone of voice is happy
even if the words cut like knives.
“You’re my little freak, aren’t you? You’d be more attractive if you lost twenty pounds.”
I turn away from the words, but they follow me,
latch on to my mind like parasites
and their voices are all I can hear.
I turn into a dark corner of my mind
and his voice is waiting for me too,
an ex-boyfriend that had strings attached to
every action of love that he made:
“You want to end your life? Go ahead and do it. The world would be better off.”
Every word from them is a
slap, punch, stab, roar, guttural growl
in my ears that all I can do is look at myself
and is it any surprise that I hate what I see
when I look in the mirror?
Then I hear another voice,
though softer, it is louder than all the others:
“I love you unconditionally.”
At first, I tried to turn away from this voice,
the one that spoke words that I couldn’t believe.
“You’re perfect for me.”
I wanted to run because the words didn’t hurt me,
they weren’t designed to degrade or take away
bits of me, but to hold me up and show me
who I really was.
“You’re too hard on yourself. I wish you could see yourself as I see you.”
Every time the other voices come,
this one voice chases them away
but I have to stop holding on
to what they thought of me because they never knew me.
They come back to me though,
from time to time,
filling my head with a noise like the buzz of bees,
loud and insistent.
When that happens, I have only to look
into the eyes of my husband,
the man who knows me better than I know myself,
and let the voices go.
Within myself, I stand upon a cliff
I can feel the wind as it brushes my face
and I open my mind to the wind
so that the voices, which have grown loud again,
will be released to the heavens.
I know that they will return,
that the voices from my past will return.
Every time, I will let them go and focus on my voice
as it sings a song I have yet to know
the words for.