Deserved

I have always been well behaved.
Unusually so, I would yell insults such as impertinent and almost always robotically give my Please’s and Thank You’s.
Don’t get me wrong I was a rebel at heart but
My idea of rebellion was telling you I disagreed with your ideology but since you paid the bills I would comply.
When I was seven years old I was thrown into a fence by the horse you told me to feed, and I didn’t yell, because I was too scared of what would happen to me if I did.
When I was a little older, I drank a whole glass of sour milk with a smile glued to my face
Because I was too hesitant to say that something was off
Because I knew if I was the one who thought it was wrong then it must be all right.
When I was barely old enough to be classified as a child, I would sit with my tiny hands folded in my Sunday best.
Praying to a God that you told me loved me to let me die right then so that I could go to heaven.
Because you said children always went to heaven, and I was tired of my hell
But you cleared it up because I learned sitting next to you in church pews that when you found yourself in hell it was because you deserved it.
So I must have deserved it.
And the only way I could ever escape was by being the best and saying I was the worst.
You told me to humble myself and I did.
I laid down before you my everything.
My heart, my self, my soul in hopes that it would be enough to grant me access to that heaven you so sweetly described.
But for some reason the more I gave the more final my punishment got.
But eventually the hell was replaced by a purgatory of sorts. I don’t know how else to describe it.
Like a twilight zone where your disapproval was masked with smiles and
My doubts were cast down, as no one who smiles that much can be the monster who
Locked me in rooms I could only liken to hell.
And as I grew older I reasoned that I was a monster for not loving you better.
Because no matter how many times you told me you loved me I couldn’t stop flinching at your touch.
Too ashamed to voice memories of things I was convinced were my fault.
Because when I found myself in hell, I knew I must have deserved it.
And now I go back and forth between thinking that the hell must have been imagined and telling myself that I must have deserved it.
But someday I hope I can go back and forth between wishing that hell was imagined and
Telling myself I deserved heaven.

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