My Own Fault by Valerie Parente
When I was a little girl
I used to cry when a boy would tell me he had a crush on me.
I would become lightheaded and it was hard to breathe
and the only way to feel okay was to be so, so mean,
determined to make the nice boys feel sorry.
In my adult life
it’s been a lot easier to say that nobody is capable of loving me
than to accept the deeply twisted and tangled reality
that I make it near impossible for love to be received
because I am so unbelievably scared of intimacy.
So to the boys who had the nerve to ever be nice:
You didn’t do anything wrong and I wish you well.
You didn’t petrify me, I petrified myself.
– Valerie Parente (9-9-2020)