How You've raised me

You’ve raised me 

to be your inferior. 

 

To the naked eye this is hard to tell, 

but since I’ve lived with you my entire life, 

inferiority is a sound I know too well.

 

Because I wasn't cursed with the disorder 

that you know so well 

doesn't mean you can remind me 

every time we work out 

that you can say I

“really look too swell”. 

 

Of course the next day 

it could be back to your three am trips 

to try and force me to eat another, 

and another, and another bag of chips.

 

Because better my body than yours, right? 

You know no matter my morals I won't fight. 

 

You shouldn't mandate my food down to the last pea, 

because ED’s are scary and when I look at you 

I feel selfish to think “I don't want that to be me.”

 

On the first day of grade one 

when I entered my new room with bright, curious eyes

and saw another girl with the same name 

(Something that hasn't happened before!) as mine, 

when we chatted about nicknames 

my toxic shadow laid her hands on my head and sung without a beat 

“You can call her the fat one, 

Fatsy Nashy, you won't be wrong”. 

Did you ever ask me if I agreed with your song?

 

People who sense danger use several coping mechanisms to be able to last, 

after your last and most frequent relapse I’ve thrown all my coping in the past. 

No time to cope when you have to kick and punch all day to try and fight back 

the fear of an eating disorder away. 

 

Kickboxing gloves and stars and stripes wraps, 

though you have hurt me I want to believe that's all a thing of the past 

and this is you, new and improved.

 

You raised me 

to believe who I was wasn't okay. 

 

And yes I will admit 

as I got older I did 

really start to fight, 

because no matter what I said 

you’d never see me as right, 

but I still liked the knowledge 

of being brave enough to fight. 

 

You shouldn’t tell a five-year-old 

“I can’t wait to kick you out for being a Lesbian” 

because ten years later she takes her heart’s desires 

and puts them half back in her chest again. 

 

And though the word Lesbian isn’t exactly true, 

I am a few letters down in lgBtq+ 

and that’s where I knew I lost 

yet another connection with you. 

 

Being Bisexual isn’t bad nor will it ever be, 

that nobody could miss-convince me.

 

But to you when we stood in front of the inn, 

the inn where a lot of LGBTQ+ history began, 

where after I told you I could only see 

the shape of your quickly incoming hand, 

it was an attack on you because 

“the perfect mother had raised the disgrace of a daughter.” 

 

Being left in New York City 

isn't as scary as you’d think 

when the adrenaline of truth 

is finally, after so many years, 

running through you. 

And though you only left me 

for those two hours, 

in the time I gained back 

a lot of powers. 

 

I don't have to be straight 

to be your daughter and one day,

you will accept that, 

it may not be soon, 

it may not be easy, 

but I do see you trying, thank you,

 

Just don't leave me in New York City next time. 

 

You raised me to always question 

if I deserved to be right.

 

I was diagnosed with dyscalculia 

(a learning disability characterized 

by an extreme difficulty performing mathematical operations) 

and dysgraphia 

(a word processing disorder 

that affects spelling, speaking, and hearing) 

when I was seven years old.

 

I didn't learn that information until I graduated high school at 18. 

 

You would rather see me struggle through eleven more years 

of me seeing myself as nothing but stupid 

than have me tarnish your image of brilliance. 

 

I’m not that smart, looking at me struggle 

you’ve been telling me that for years, 

and I'm not that proud to say

 

I hoped that my love for books would diminish.

 

Because the words I had to explain them to others, 

where to random to help them finish,

 

And you agreed because I’m not that smart 

and every time you told me 

“You have so much potential and every time you speak you throw it away” 

and Hey, maybe you were correct that day.

 

But today is today and today I know that I am smart.

Today is today and today I know I am strong.

Today is today and today I know I am beautiful.

 

Today is today and today 

I am not your inferior,

 

nor will I ever be.