To The Eight Year Old Girl I Used To Be

I’m sorry

I wish I could make you understand

the reasons behind the decisions I regret,

to steer you away from pain you’ll create,

pointless fights you’ll never win.

I know you’ll stand there as I yell,

stuck in the headlights whilst you search for the answer

that even now I’m yet to find.

You will see your parents destroying themselves,

make Brownie promises to yourself

in the light of a torch under your duvet,

when you should have been sleeping.

You’ll promise not to travel down the same road they did,

not to become the walking dead.

Adolescence will hit you.

Shattering those precious promises,

tearing yourself in two,

silencing your tears by drowning your inner voice with alcohol,

that voice that never knew how to swim.

You will fill your mouth with smoke,

so you don’t have to speak anymore,

Besides, clouded lungs will be the least of your worries.

Soon, you’ll see why killing yourself from the inside out,

is favourable over heaving heavy lungs.

I tried to become someone you would be proud of,

but, the demons I fought were too strong,

so I did the best I could,

I wore the armour my parents handed down to me,

chainmail weaving its way across my torso,

stainless steel panels layering themselves across my limbs,

embellished with their drinking problems and smoking habits,

protecting me from what I feared the most.

I hope you don’t think any less of me, child.

And when the time comes that you need to wear that armour too,

I will be ready,

to hand it down to you.

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