Erudite by Valerie Parente
I went to hell and back,
studying my mental turmoil,
started as a kid with a task,
to get attention from the whole world.
When you’re a confused teen,
you feel so damn invisible,
then one special boy sees,
that’s when life got difficult.
I was always obsessive in nature,
and my imagination was a priority,
a perfectionist that was insecure,
so I excessively daydreamed.
I had talent back then,
but I didn’t use it for good,
I delved in sickness instead,
when one boy no longer looked.
Ten years gone, ten years dismissing,
that’s what the anorexia did,
ten years studying, ten years witnessing,
all the trauma adolescence inflicted.
It was circumstantial and biochemical,
and now I finally understand,
if there was any hope for normal,
I sure as hell didn’t stand a chance.
Now I’m a young woman with a pen,
and I’ve examined my psyche well,
as an expert on where I’ve been,
I make art in the name of mental health.
Believe it or not,
I wouldn’t change any single thing,
all the anguish I fought,
it helped me see another dimension.
There’s compassion in the stories I write,
there’s understanding behind each phrase,
there’s a past that helps me empathize,
there’s a purpose that will never go away.
I no longer think in terms of “me”,
I see your conscience and its fight,
my every move doesn’t need to be seen,
but I’ll shed light if it helps your life.
This is our world to better,
we are the children of the moon,
using psychology we study together,
out of the lunacy we’ve been through.
I’m going to nurture someone, someday,
in a cycle I finally want to be part of,
and that sentient bundle can embrace,
a worldview where mental health is honored.
– Valerie Parente (5-22-2021)