MANDALA # 09/1000 

Held Together by Glitter

Vibrant green paint chips apart.
A colorful spirit fades away.
Protect your heart she said.
Never did I listen.

When I was 10 years old a boy told me no one would ever love me.
SHUT UP he screamed.
because you are FAT and NOT ATTRACTIVE
he said with disgust.
I heard their laughter as I hung up the phone.
I looked in the mirror
and to my horror I saw what they saw.

His words he spoke in less than 7 seconds.
They squashed the fire in my soul.
I learned that day to be kind.
For no one would be mean to the nice girl.

I told no one what he said for 14 years.
I thought if I never spoke it out loud it would go away.
But with every rejection his voice screams louder in my ear.

And for the years to follow I allowed men to walk all over me.
I welcomed the abuse.
I thought it was what I deserved.

And I lied to the world.
I lied to myself

When I was 20 years old
I was held down once again.
But not by words this time.

He was handsome and he was older. I thought he was a friend. He fed me drink after drink. But never took a sip himself.
When he tried to kiss me I said no.
But he said yes.
I wasn’t being the nice girl I swore to myself always to be.
So I let him kiss me when he tried again.
I tried to walk away.
But he forced me to my hands and knees.
And in less than 7 seconds he was inside of me. The shock and violation is something I could never explain.
I begged him to stop. But he only went harder. The more I screamed the tighter he held me.

Years of self-defense kicked in.
A condom please. Use a condom I begged.
Fine he grunted as he grabbed my hair and pushed me to the floor.
On your knees he demanded. And I felt the bruises form beneath my skin.
I begged him once again to stop. I looked up into his eyes as he stood over me.
But his eyes only grew darker.
He held my head with his hands as I tried to turn away.
And with force he shoved himself down my throat to silence my screams.
His movements were so violent. So dark and disturbed. He grunted and moaned as he said,
Mm yes, I could get use to this.
Then he threw me once more to my hands and knees.

And in that split second I decided I would rather die than let him inside me again.
With all the strength I had left I forced myself to stand as tall as him.
I screamed NO louder with my eyes than I dared with my voice.
I wouldn’t back down.
I was ready for the fight.
His fingers gripped my arms. I wanted to cry from the pain. But I didn’t.
He gently spoke back,
Don’t lie to yourself, you want this. I know you like this. Look at this dress you are wearing, you look sexy tonight.
I pushed him as hard as I could. And I ran.
I felt him chase me out the door. I made it to the staircase when I felt something hit me in the face.
YOU FORGOT THIS he screamed as he slammed the door.
It was my flower crown.

I walked down the steps into my apartment.
The music was still blasting.
The other kids still dancing.
I went in my room. I felt unsafe in my home.
I didn’t shed a tear that night.
I held my bruised body.
And I burned my blood stained underwear.
My roommate slept in my bed that night. She held my hand in the silence. She saw it in my face, the words I couldn’t speak.

For years I lied about what happened that night.
I told the story in a kinder light.
I denied what he did.
I took the blame for his actions.
I thought the world would laugh if I spoke the truth. I could hear their words, someone as handsome as him would never go after a girl like you.
I wanted to wash away the shame.

I slept with every boy that looked my way. I thought I could drown out the feeling with different bodies.
All I wanted was to be saved from this feeling.
But it doesn’t work that way.

I began to fade away.
The more weight I lost the fatter I felt.
The more boys I dated the lonelier I became.
The more I smiled and laughed the harder it hurt.
They were dazzled by me at first. But then bored in time.
Discarded once again.
I have gone from boy to boy without a moment to rest.
But this last rejection was the final straw.
Enough was enough.

I screamed to the universe why doesn’t anyone love me?
In less than 7 seconds they replied.
My friends and family flooded around me with love in their eyes. They lifted my head high. They told me never to change. The right person will appreciate all that I am. And not be afraid of my past.
And in that moment I saw all that I am.

He was wrong.
I have known love in more ways than one.
There is love all around me. There always was.
I am not alone.
I never will be.

People have been cruel to me.
But more have been kind.

So laugh if you must.
If this was too much for you to read.

You are just one voice.
I have an army protecting me.

I will never be held down again.
I will always rise higher.

My broken pieces are being held together with glitter.

You will soon see all I can do.