There Is A Reason

There Is A Reason by Valerie Parente

Contrary to popular belief
I did not choose this pain,
it chose me.

I did not choose to fixate,
my mind was already made.
I did not choose to restrict,
it was in my genetics.

I did not throw my life away on that fateful day in ninth grade,
it was meant to happen to teach me about compassion when you rise from the ashes.
I was predisposed to every mental hoax so that my soul could know true spiritual growth.

– Valerie Parente (2-1-2021)

The Girl In The Mirror

The Girl In The Mirror by Valerie Parente

I killed the girl in the mirror
when I was a 14 years old student
and every day I resent myself
even though I didn’t know what I was doing.

That girl in the mirror had it bad
and that wasn’t so peculiar.
Nobody that age knew how to act
but I still held it against her.

I make decisions now
with the mirror girl on my mind.
I’m trying to make her proud
because I owe her my adult life.

– Valerie Parente (1-4-2021)

Fishnets

Fishnets by Valerie Parente

Maybe if I dress as the girl I’ve never been
then I’ll never have to feel this pain again
because these bittersweet songs
have me missing it all
and I’m not one for regrets
but I regret that I left
so I’ll just slip on these fishnets
and continue to pretend
I never took anything for granted.

– Valerie Parente (12-5-2020)

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)

I Am My Own Savior

I have had a major breakthrough in the past few weeks.

Before I get into the details of this breakthrough, I need to reiterate the warped thought patterns I’ve had throughout my entire adolescence. Ever since I hit puberty I drilled it inside of me that finding a romantic partner was the key to happiness. And this deeply rooted belief affected me in literally every area of my life. Instead of helping me progress, it stunted all of my growth.
“When I fall in love I’ll be able to start my life.”
“When I fall in love I’ll be able to move out.”
“When I fall in love I’ll be able to stop being anorexic.”
“When I fall in love I won’t be afraid of germs anymore.”
“When I fall in love I’ll feel satisfied with my experiences.”
“When I fall in love I will have a purpose.”

And it took me a hell of a long time to realize that all of this was complete and utter nonsense. Yes, I was told over and over again that it was nonsense, but that didn’t stop me from believing this fallacy and letting it dictate my life.

I can’t tell you what exactly happened the past few weeks… but suddenly… it’s over. Those feelings are gone… and not “gone” in the sense that I kept telling myself I didn’t need someone else but in the back of my mind still longed for it; “gone” in the sense that I completely and irrevocably do not feel like I need someone. Do I want someone? Honestly I don’t really care. But do I need someone? No. Not at all.

Maybe this epiphany hit me because I started reading a lot of nonfiction and expanding my mind and forcing myself to go out and do activities on my own and be my own date for the day. I’m not sure. All I know is that beyond any fraction of a doubt I have had a major spiritual awakening. I can’t explain the “how” of it happening, but I can tell you the outcome. I, for the first time ever in my adult life, feel like I don’t need to be saved. I feel completely satisfied and at ease with the fact that I am my own savior. I am the one who is going to be with me at the end of every single day and I am going to be there for myself and I am not scared of this fact anymore because I am whole on my own. I have everything I need inside my soul and I feel truly connected to the force that created me, whether you want to call it “God” or the “universe” or whatever. I believe in myself. I believe I am made of unconditional love. I don’t need love, I am love. I can rely on myself. I refuse to wait for someone to start my life because my life is here and now and in every present moment and I truly feel like I am never alone. Something inside me feels protected and loved and so far from being on my own while paradoxically feeling like I am a soul that can rely on itself to feel complete.

Now I am just sitting content; looking back at that teenager who numbed herself with mental disorders and I cannot believe I wasted an entire decade thinking so little of myself and putting so much on hold for wait for a savior… and I am in awe that the savior my ego was crying for was me all along.

I am not afraid anymore. I am full and happy and truly in awe that I get to be me.

I do not need anything, I have me.

– Valerie Parente (8-4-2019)

Comparing Scars

Tiara

Comparing Scars by Valerie Parente

I don’t feel great when other girls talk about their pain
because I feel like I have to one-up them just to validate my struggle
and I know it’s ridiculous that I actually feel jealous
of someone else’s suffering as if it’s a form of currency
like it’s a competition of whose scar is more impressing
I feel the need to defeat her by showing a cut that’s deeper
because if I’m the one who’s talked about then maybe I’ll no longer doubt myself.

I know it’s sick and warped how much I crave to be heard
I’m longing for attention more than I long for redemption
I don’t need some comfort, all I need is to come first
some kind of stage or grand display to say my hardship wasn’t in vain
it’s not just about being different, it’s about justifying the infliction
all that I’ve carved upon myself instead of asking for some help
and I know this truth is ugly but I need to speak with honesty
because if I can’t at least be real then there’s no point to how I feel.

– Valerie Parente (5-19-2019)

 

An Inadequate Reflection

An Inadequate Reflection by Valerie Parente

From the very core of her being she illuminated every room she walked in. In her healthiest state, her effervescent energy reflected onto all that she interacted with.
Perplexingly, as she entered a room whose walls were constructed from mirrors, she could not project her inner light onto the conspicuously ideal environment. The only radiation of light transcended from her optical form, emanating onto the boundaries boxing her in. As her being translated to the sleek canvases something equally underwhelming as it was uncanny occurred. The mirrors absorbed her energy. But this energy was not the energy that regularly brightened the moods of those around her. This shallow light was purged off of the metallic surface at the exact same angle from which it entered.
She virtually saw her own image, yet her demeanor seemed like an astral projection inconsistent of her true being. Her thriving frame of mind could not be captured by the hollow frame of mirror without warping the truth along a lateral axis. Her silhouette was inverted and her essential nature was unseen. In this limiting dungeon of a room she looked to the parallel world mounted on the walls and saw not a reflection of herself but a collection of perfectly stable atoms mocking the very imperfections that shaped her existential being. Those atoms fought to mimic a material vision, a vision far less reflective of her inner light than that of her fundamental spirit. And in a strangely empty place where a shining sheet was no more than an inherently dark plane, the optical illusion of a light-bearing presence existed.
At that moment she stopped relying on the mirror for gratification.

– Valerie Parente (10-12-16)