It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the sound I heard when I was 9 and my father slammed the front door so hard behind him I swear to god it shook the whole house. For the next 3 years I watched my mother break her teeth on vodka bottles. I think she stopped breathing when he left. I think part of her died. I think he took her heart with him when he walked out. Her chest is empty, just a shattered mess or cracked ribs and depression pills.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s all the blood in the sink. It’s the night that I spent 12 hours in the emergency room waiting to see if my sister was going to be okay, after the boy she loved, told her he didn’t love her anymore. It’s the crying, and the fluorescent lights, and white sneakers and pale faces and shaky breaths and blood. So much blood.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the time that I had to stay up for two days straight with my best friend while she cried and shrieked and threw up on my bedroom floor because her boyfriend fucked his ex. I swear to god she still has tear streaks stained onto her cheeks. I think when you love someone, it never really goes away.
It’s not that I don’t love you. It’s the six weeks we had a substitute in English because our teacher was getting divorced and couldn’t handle getting out of bed. When she came back was smiling. But her hands shook so hard when she held her coffee, you could see that something was broken inside. And sometimes when things break, you can’t fix them. Nothing ever goes back to how it was. I got an A in English that year. I think her head was always spinning too hard to read any essays.
Do not entomb her in a pretty pink tower
and insist that only the degree of her physical appeal
may set her free.
Teach her to fight her way out,
to consume books and spit knowledge
to lesser boys who insist she is just beautiful
and nothing more.
Teach her to love her body
not to manipulate and put a price tag on herself
as a defined worth
she shall be immeasurable
she shall be more than this.
Do not let her break herself down
when the boy in kindergarden hits her
because he likes her.
What are you really teaching her?
Pain and love are not synonymous
neither are pretty and perfection.
Teach her to be kind
to be harsh
to be demure
to be wild
to be sensitive
to be thick-skinned
A 14 year-old boy was recently raped at knife-point by a 20 year-old woman. When the story broke, it was primarily men who claimed he should have enjoyed it. It was feminists who validated his pain and spoke in support of him.
“And you tried to change, didn’t you? Closed your mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less volatile, less awake… You can’t make homes out of human beings. Someone should have already told you that. And if he wants to leave, then let him leave. You are terrifying, and strange, and beautiful. Something not everyone knows how to love.”—For Women who are difficult to love, Warshan Shire (X)
Growing up I always thought true love was red roses, dates on Saturday nights, little block box that held expensive things, and always knowing what to say. I thought true love was a kiss in the rain, deep explanations, and the perfect story. But now that I’m older I’ve realized it’s not like that at all.
See because true love for me is ugly snapchats, and peeing while you’re on the phone. True love is kissing at 6 AM despite the morning breath and singing at the top of your lungs. It’s saying all the wrong things, at all the wrong moments. It’s sarcasm and being honest even when it hurts. It’s late hours of the night when it’s been a long day and it’s no make up and bad hair. It’s tears from laughter, it’s tears from sadness and it’s nothing like any storybook you’ve ever read. It’s never running out of things to talk about, and it’s being comfortable in the silence of things. True love is watching The Titanic though you swore you never would. It’s getting mad over stupid things. It’s “you’re an idiot,” and “you’re a little shit” and knowing you’re so lucky to hear those every day. It’s spilling your feelings at 4 AM when you should be asleep. It’s that song you hear on the radio that always makes you smile. It’s the worst story you could imagine, but thank God it worked out anyways. True love is never losing the magic. True love is not leaving when things get hard.