by Saint Rote
Photo by Debbie Hudson c/o unsplash
A warning drum crescendoed with every tap of your fingertips, preparing me for a battle I’ve already fought too many times before. Because you mistook my pigtails and baby teeth as a sign of child but failed to realize that I was a veteran of the war that ran rampant through my mind, a mental martyr to myself.
Your name has long left my mind, as the years went on and I’ve stretched into myself. The thought of you faded into sepia photographs and shallow water. The faint memory of you lingers in my head, and if you were to walk up to me like an old friend I wouldn’t be the wiser. I’m sorry but nostalgia has proven to be my greatest adversary.
I know who you were. A kind woman, one with soft eyes and bared teeth. However, behind closed doors, the half-crescent-moon smile you dawned for my mother wore thin.
Now I understand why; resistance at the hands of a restless seven-year-old must have been no easy feat, but I appreciate your efforts. It’s unfortunate I saw right through them.
You never liked children. I saw it every time you hid behind your clipboard fort hurling your arsenal of attitude directly at me as if I was the enemy, as if I was holding hostages. But the only thing I held captive was my voice that brewed in my belly threatening to burst. I kept my eyes down and my lips tightened to keep myself from shattering before you.
The agony of your apathy strangled me to silence that weighed so heavy in the room laced with the awkwardness only a child can make.
I still hear the blood pounding in my ears as we basked in silence. A warning drum crescendoed with every tap of your fingertips preparing me for a battle I’ve already fought too many times before. Because you mistook my pigtails and baby teeth as a sign of child but failed to realize that I was a veteran of the war that ran rampant through my mind, a mental martyr to myself.
I tried with you, I really did, but your incredible sad lack of insight made me feel like I was under attack; and no matter how many times I kicked and screamed my mother always took me back. Your office was never meant to be a cage. I wonder if you’re aware of that.
You called me a selfish brat, and I felt my voice crumple under me, too worn from the war to retaliate. No amount of fighting penetrated your cavalry of cruelty. Your frustration led to my mental sedation in a time when my only defense was the remains of my premature ego. It was constant manipulation and mind games wielded by the woman hired to help me; no child should play pawn for a paycheck.
That’s all I was after all. Don’t you remember?
A child with too many sad thoughts, too scared to stand up for herself, but also too tired to even try. My mother told me that you were going to help me and haven’t decided if you ever did but I’ve counted over 10 years since the last time I sunk into your couch.
I’ve had countless therapists dive into the innermost parts of my soul entangling themselves in the sadness that plagues me. No amount of alternative medicine will undo the ideas you’ve put into me, and at times I can’t help but think that maybe there was some truth to everything you said. Maybe I was a brat, maybe I was doing this all to myself, maybe I was the one to blame. I’m sorry I don’t remember your name, but I’m more sorry for whoever fell victim to your game. I hope you've forgotten all about me. I can’t imagine why my memory would even play in your head.
At the end of the day, I was just a patient. Just another sorry sad child.
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