Back To Life

Back To Life 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)

Twice That Age

Twice That Age by Valerie Parente

I’m starting to feel remorse
that I’ve never felt before
for the people that I’ve hurt
in trying to protect me first.

I know obeying my fragile mind
doesn’t make me the bad guy
but it’s hard not to cry
when a decade later you see the signs.

There were a lot of people trying to help
and life-altering feelings were felt.
I let misunderstandings hurt my health
and manifested my own kind of hell.

I don’t regret it to this day
but I reject the games that I played
because I decided to wait and wait
and choosing nothing is a choice to waste.

I only ever wanted one thing
and if I just quit the shit I could have had it.
Maybe now that I’m twice that age
I can get back what I pushed away
because what I truly want is still the same
and I think destiny is on the same page.

– Valerie Parente (10-27-2020)

Mirror Image

Mirror Image by Valerie Parente

Everything I accused you of, I manifested in myself.
Every letter I wrote to you was a letter to myself.
All the pain and hidden motives I assumed you felt I assumed in myself.
All of my accusations were a mirror image of myself.
You didn’t push me away, I pushed myself away. Because the ego inside this head tried to sabotage any chance of another ego helping me out of this hole I call my soul.

Desperation

– Valerie Parente (12-18-2019)

 

The Way You Treat Me

The Way You Treat Me by Valerie Parente

The way you treat me is not a reflection of my worth
it’s a reflection of yours.
Your value is dictated by your ability to value.
And you will be graced when you show gratitude.
Because I expect
you to project
a level of respect
based on the emotional needs
you should have already met.

– Valerie Parente (6-17-2019)

 

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)