Dirt

Dirt by Valerie Parente

I strolled back to that field of dirt
where the trauma was at its worst.
And suddenly I’m twelve again
And I feel absolutely no different.
So much dirt on my hands
Like I didn’t stand a chance
Because I was way too deep
In the dirt beneath my feet.
And I can see it now
The seeds meant to sprout.
The place I was supposed to grow a garden
But a bunch of rowdy kids interrupted the harvest.
Throwing dirt at my name
When I was at that critical age.
My mind is twenty-six years old and it hasn’t forgotten
All the times those kids teased me just for talking.
“Do you want to dance with her?” some girl asked,
“Never,” the popular boy laughed.
It’s taken me a decade and a half
To realize I’ve been wearing that past,
Attracted to the trauma of being unwanted
That’s why I fall for men who aren’t options.
And I’m fairly certain there’s a part of me
That’s been trying to understand why I was teased
That’s why I looked for the worst in myself
And fell into an adolescent kind of hell.
Back then I just dismissed and dismissed
Because I knew that kids will be kids.
In a way I was more sensible back then
Because now I feel the need to openly obsess.
That’s why I visited this field of dirt in the first place
I figured it was about time to unearth that pain.
I’m not upset, I’m not mad.
I just wanna know what about me was so bad
That they felt the need to throw that dirt
When I was just a twelve year old girl
Minding my own business in my own garden
Planting a future I almost walked in.

Its not about trying to re-hash old wounds
It’s about trying to get to the root.
Because there’s trauma under this ground
and I think I’m ready to dig it out.
There is so much beauty in retrospect
Because as I look back, the clouds roll in.
Now the rain is coming down
And those seeds are finally ready to sprout.

– Valerie Parente (12-10-2020)

The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away by Valerie Parente

My deep-seated
obsessive need
to resolve every one
of my teenage dreams
comes from
my inability
to forgive myself
for developing a deadly disease.

I gave up a decade of my life
I gave up adolescence as a whole
I didn’t have a social life
I didn’t have a chance to grow.
I lost important relationships
I missed out on milestones
I let good things get away
in the name of starving my throat.
Anorexia took half my life
in ways I will never know.

So when I suddenly reappear
and it seems out of the blue
when I recall my childhood
like it was yesterday’s news
that’s because the last thing I saw
before sickness came through,
the very last thing I saw
was a different version of you.

I’m 26 years old
and suddenly I remember it all
I’m 26 years old
and it’s nobody else’s fault.
Do not blame yourself
you did nothing wrong
.
That’s what I tell myself
when the regret comes along.

I don’t know if it’s because
the world is in a dire state
or maybe it’s because
I’ve hit a certain age
but this year I’m realizing
all of my critical mistakes
and my biggest struggle now
is not in what I delayed.
It’s not about getting back
what the eating disorder took away.
It’s not about finding romance.
It’s not about a psychological escape.
It’s not about fixing relationships
or finding new ones to create.
It’s about forgiving myself
for losing a decade.

So when you hear me say
I miss what was nearly mine
the one that got away
the one still on my mind.
I’m not talking about someone
in front of my eyes
because the one that got away
was me all this time.

– Valerie Parente (12-4-2020)

Silenced for Safety

Silenced for Safety by Valerie Parente

Few things feel as bad
as leaving people you love with no explanation
not because they don’t deserve one,
but because you’ve been traumatized to the point that it feels safer just to stay silent.

Silenced

– Valerie Parente (2-18-2020)