play dead

freeze in place. stare out at the crowd, for just a moment too long. give them a small, shaky pirouette. you roll your ankle, and try not to show it.

because i don’t want to be a let down. or whatever. i don’t mean to come across obnoxious, or brash.

so i will swallow back the lump in my throat. i will shake out my shoulders, and try not to show it, as my frost-kissed fingers turn black and blue.

i will sleep with the door shut. i will drink my tea cold. whisper to myself at night, and cry when no one’s home.

i will crush myself into the smallest corner you have to offer. curl up into a ball. and i’ll wait until it’s over; weather the storm, like i always do.

i will forget my own name, as the blizzard screams. i won’t run this time. when my demon claws his way out from his grave, and wraps his arms tight around me.

i will sink down to my knees. i will beg for forgiveness. oh pretty please… i’ll give you whatever you want, whatever you need. if only you would grant me the tiniest smidgeon of mercy.

just… please. don’t hurt me.

I think I’ve spent my whole life living in survival mode sometimes. It’s probably a trauma thing.

I guess, when you learn that, for whatever reason, you’re not safe in the world around you, you learn to play dead, a little bit. Does that make sense?

You learn to make yourself as small as you possibly can–you learn how to stay quiet, and stuff your opinions right down your throat–because maybe you want to speak up and defend yourself or issues you care about, but if you do, you know that it probably won’t get you anywhere–that people will laugh, that people will get angry, that people will hurt you. Maybe not physically, but they will. And in the end, it’s not worth the risk. You learn to look down in hallways, and walk as fast as you can on the way home from school.

You become hyperaware of the little risks around you. You see the tall, burly man across from you on the bus, and avoid his eyes. You see the group of guys jeering loudly as they make their way down the hallway, and make sure to put in your earbuds, and stay quiet. You see a stranger come up to talk to you, and you do everything you can to get away because you don’t want to get asked uncomfortable questions, don’t want to open up to someone in a public setting, out of nowhere, with no idea who they are or if you can trust them.

And it keeps you safe… but sometimes, it also gets really lonely. Which I’ve completely brought upon myself–and something I’ve been thinking about a lot of late. I’m just tired of playing dead, you know? I want to live. But also, that’s a very vague thing to say, and I don’t really know what it means. Honestly, just come thoughts I’ve been having of late.

Lots of love,


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