I am comforted by the sound of my own voice.
By the words written in my familiar hand.
By pictures of former joy and success and happiness.
Evidence that I’ve done something good.
Hope that I will do something good in the future.
I look at the past and hope it’s good enough.
Looking at the present I quickly forget.
Comparisons. So many comparisons.
Is it pride? Being unable to let go, hoping that I’m better. Not even wanting to be better, just not wanting to be lost.
Youngest child syndrome.
Being forgotten at the library once when I was five.
Not wanting to be noticed, but wanting so much to be seen…to be loved.
Eight children. Two parents. One me.
Loved. Very much loved.
Broken bones, bone disease, muscle spasms, brain surgery, broken neck.
Impossible not to notice, impossible not to love.
Do you see me behind the pain?
Do you see me behind the bone disease?
Because sometimes I don’t know who you are other than worried about me and my problems.
Can’t you see my strengths and love those, and not love them as only illuminated by what I’ve gone through?
Can’t you love the girl who sings and writes and reads and laughs, and not the girl who sings and writes and reads and laughs, despite it all.
It’s a slippery slope. You try so hard to show the one, then in a burst of pain you must despite it all again.
I miss…not having to try so hard to not be the sick one.
I miss…having more to do than think about pain.
I’m comforted by the sound of my own voice.
By poems and journal entries and evidence that there is something good there.
By the hope that there is something other than the pain to notice about me, that there is more.
Because sometimes I can’t see me past the pain.