and your voice in my ear. and the stories slashing through me. and your voice in my ear. and you’re telling me like he told me like she told me and for a second the world vacuums itself black and white all around me. and i just need someone to stay, and remind me i’m real, and tell me it’s all right. and i’m about to cry. but i can’t cry, and the memories wash over me, and it’s too much. it’s too much. it’s too much. the sound of your voice or the lack thereof it’s too much. and it’s hard to think through the panic because the panic is all i am and they’re watching, even when you’re not. and your voice. telling me that i’m garbage because that must be what it means because you’re another goddamn broken human being wandering around another goddamn broken planet. and i thought it was over. and i thought that i was safe here. and i thought you’d be there for me. and i thought you’d protect me. and i thought it was all right to fight back but it’s not. but all i want to do is fight back and when is it right to fight back? and is it somehow my fault for being different? and should i just stop existing maybe would that fix it? and could i just disappear into nothing and why am i the one they choose when they sharpen their knives and get ready to dig them under the weakest skin they can find. and will i ever just be somewhere where every damn person is there and every damn person cares and i know it’s never going to be perfect but i just don’t understand how anyone can live like this because it feels like someone has left me with only a skeleton and you have taken my heartbeat you have taken my skin and you leave me with nothing and then you wonder. why i’m afraid of abandonment. when every part of me feels like it’s been ripped open and i pour myself out onto the pages and it feels like i’m surrounded by a wall of fire. and all i need is for you to wrap your arms around me and remind me why people are worth it again. and i need you to listen. listen, to the landslide in my veins sending panic through my skull and the glass shatters and the walls crumble and the wind howls over my empty body, and finally. i think i understand. what it means to be shaken.

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