Momma says I’m a pretty girl.
She says my beauty is beyond the beauty of any other.
She says my mind is full of knowledge,
My hands create the best art
And my looks can kill.
Momma doesn’t know I don’t believe her.
She doesn’t know I cry at night because the girl who sits next to me in math class got the answer before I could even type the first number into my calculator.
She doesn’t know my art only exists to mask the anxiety I get at night when the house is quiet and I can’t sleep.
Momma thinks all my worrying is just a phase and one day I’ll see how truly beautiful I am, but what Momma doesn’t know is this will never go away.
She doesn’t understand everyday I look in the mirror and see every single imperfection
She doesn’t know I lie awake at night counting my worries instead of counting sheep.
She doesn’t see when my hands shake and my knees lock or when my breathing becomes shallow and my heart races for no reason at all.
She doesn’t recognize my torn cuticles or the scars I have on my arms from scratching at night when I try to sleep.
She doesn’t see the thinning of my hair or notice the weakness in my voice.
She doesn’t see when I wring my hands or when I bump into walls because I was too busy looking at the pictures of the things going wrong in my mind.
She tells me to put my phone down and pay attention to the world around me, but she doesn’t understand I can’t because I’m terrified of it.
She thinks I laugh at everything because I’m either being polite or I think something is funny.
She thinks my nail polish chips off fast because of how much cleaning I do on the weekends.
She thinks I sleep at night because when she walks in, I turn around and act like it.
Momma can’t understand my anxiety controls me.
I sleep most of my days away,
I never clean anything,
My nail polish chips fast because I pull it off when I get nervous,
I stay awake at night because it’s harder to sleep when there is nothing but silence and my mind decides to speak louder than the people who are no longer around me,
And the boy I’ve been seeing is actually several people who talk to me once and decide I am not good enough for them, so I move on and get my heart broken because it’s easier to get hurt than not.
Momma can’t know these things, because I’ve never believed I was beautiful and I’m afraid she might be right.
Momma says I am beautiful, inside and out.
She says I am smart,
I am an artist,
I am enough.
But I don’t believe her,
Because my mind won’t let me.
Momma says I am not anxiety, and anxiety is not me.
She’s probably right, but I’m never going to believe her.