Brought Up That Way

She was raised to hate herself,

the kid sister with four older sibling critics

whose vocabularies don’t contain the word “constructive,”

with hourly observations of what she had done wrong,

she lived under a microscope that forced her

to eat oreos locked in the bathroom,

safe from the prying eyes of her brothers and sisters.

 

She was raised to hate herself,

her parent’s little girl who at eight years old,

her pigtails and purple swimsuit in the boathouse,

told her that she should begin to watch her weight.

Her head hung, peering over her tummy

and into the wavy version of herself,

tears falling four feet into the water below.

 

She was raised to hate herself,

her green eyes reflect the message as she stands

in front of the mirror, silver blade teases her fingers

insults buzz inside her skull, beg her.

She’s been raised to know how,

to cut the fat and let the her red hot hate

rinse away.

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