My father taught me to read a person’s body language,
so that I could recognize when a punch was coming.
I taught myself to read what a person’s body was saying,
so that I could offer them comfort even if they didn’t say a thing.
My father taught me that it was better to hide,
because there was less of a chance that I would be hit.
I taught myself to shine brightly and to remain visible,
because even though I was afraid, I was tired of hiding.
My father taught me to hate myself and everything I was,
that I should be ashamed of the secret that I held within myself.
I struggle with self love and self care, but I finally believe
that I am worthy of both, and I no longer hide who I am.
My father taught me to hate everything that didn’t look like me,
that anyone who didn’t fit the right mold was worthy of disdain.
I taught myself to love those that don’t fit in, that don’t conform.
I’ve realized that life doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has
to be lived.