Broken Speech

Broken Speech by Valerie Parente

I’m emotionally exhausted
and I can’t find the words to speak
I never looked for the words
the words looked for me
but ever since I snapped
I’ve had broken speech
because I’m so broken inside
that I can’t read my own needs
and it’s my own fault
for the hurt I’ve received.
Don’t get me wrong
I love the pain in poetry
but I think I’ve made you out
to be worse than you seemed
and I’m not sure why I did that
but if I rearrange each piece
of all the writing I put down
I’d say it came from an inner need
to feel appreciated and valued
and you were the victim of that greed
because when it comes down to what I care about
you’re towards the top of the hierarchy
and maybe that’s not appropriate
since I’ve been told not to preach
I just hate biting my tongue
especially about the things I see
and I lead my life like I write
with a message and a theme
but I couldn’t understand the meaning
of finally caring about another being
then being withheld from that connection
and told I’m crazy for my feelings
I guess if I had to come up with words
it comes down to my mentality
and the antidote to my selfishness
was feeling happy by someone else being happy
and that’s how I felt about you
that made me feel well-rounded and complete
so many years of mental illness
deadly eating disorders and OCD
they just stopped seeming important.
My relationship with another human being
mattered more than the fear I live with every day
I don’t know if that makes me crazy
but for once I no longer felt sick in the head
and the real world was actually lovely
I had a good time with somebody real
and that time was my favorite relief
from the inner script that is my mind
I think that’s why I took it personally
when you didn’t have the time to spend
and different types of priorities
and I’m sorry if that’s a little scary
I don’t mean to be as intense as I seem
Emotions tend to overpower my behavior
and the words I write get pretty heavy
and I don’t know if I’ll ever know how to express
that I’m so Goddamn sorry
because I took something you were insecure about
and I made it all about me
and I honestly can’t imagine
anything more manipulative and mean
maybe there’s no point to this poem
maybe there’s no lesson or theme
But it’s important for my mental health
to write out the words I didn’t speak
then next time I won’t let it build and lash out
on the the people who mean the most to me
So I guess this is my long-winded explanation
my reasoning, shame, and apology
it’s embarrassing that I let it fester this long
and turn into such broken speech.

– Valerie Parente (1-1-2020)


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