love letters

i’ll write you love letters from my bedroom. because i don’t know how to tell you this stuff anymore. not in person. not in that uncanny moment, when my eyes meet yours, and for one split second i am forced to confront the fact headfirst… that i’m only human.

and i’ll flinch when you touch me. because i don’t know what else to do. because your pounding vein hits mine, and i am reminded that i am nothing more than one messy, bleeding wound. and for all the times i probably should have said it: i’m sorry. that you’re right beside me, and yet somehow, i still miss you.

and i’ll type it up on a text message. i’ll stare at it for ages. wipe the tears off my cheeks, and mumble happy birthday like everything is fine. when it isn’t.

when i am a post-apocalyptic building, the beams just barely holding. when i don’t let myself breathe in the dollar store; as i am slowly swallowed whole by my own dark humor. but for all the times i probably should have said it: i’m sorry. and i love you.

and yeah. i know i’m not exactly great at this stuff. but… i promise, that is true.


It’s one of the most terrifying experiences for me. To be open. And I don’t think that that’s something I’m in alone in.

I’ve always had trouble with the little things. Holding my mom’s hand while crossing the street. Being touched when I wasn’t expecting it. You know what I mean.

I don’t know why that is. Because all bullying that happened to me as a kid was mostly emotional, I was rarely physically hurt by anybody–not enough that you’d think it’d justify a whole complex about ever letting myself be intimate with anybody. But, I guess something must have happened to cause it, because here we are, terrified of eye contact and cuddles.

Obviously, almost four months of quarantine really didn’t help with letting myself be intimate with family and friends. I spent so long working on letting go of my fear of letting down my guard, and now it’s like I’m starting right from square one. It’s hard not to be mad at myself for that–even though it’s not like a global pandemic is my fault, obviously.

It’s not that I’m scared of other people, I guess–for the most part, although being touched by strangers or acquaintances is another story; in that case I definitely am scared of people. But with those I love… I’m just scared of myself. Scared of hurting them. Scared of getting too close. Scared of losing myself. Scared of letting me down. Scared of how finite I am, how completely and utterly irrelevant. Scared this is all a lie, somehow, and I’m going to wake up someday, and remember how terrible and unlovable I am. And it’ll all be over.

I’m working on it, though. I am. Really, really fucking slowly, but… I am. I’ve overcome this before, and I can do it again. Yeah. I have to believe that that’s true.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

concealer

trigger warning: body image issues, implied self-harm, implied compulsive skin-picking

wake up, little girl. do your makeup in the mirror. use the dollar-store sponge you got years ago, and dab on the concealer.

over the scars. over the scabs. over all the bleeding wounds you’ve inflicted on yourself, because you could be so beautiful. you know? and yet, here you go. throwing it down the drain. and in just a second, everything i gave you could be taken away.

you just have to get it away. digging holes into yourself again and again. because this little girl is not okay. this little girl is filled up with things that disgust her, and things that disgust her must be violently ripped away.

wake up, little girl. you can’t go to work looking this way. so put on some foundation. and don’t bother with lip gloss, because that shit never stays.

wake up, little girl. because someone as broken as you… well, let’s face it. no one’s going to see your face in all its honesty, and still call it beautiful.


Looking in the mirror, I’m used to highlighting all of the things I don’t like. My cheeks, which are out of proportion to my forehead, and I’ve always thought make me look like a chipmunk. The scabs scattered across my forehead that most days, I’m too tired and busy to bother covering up with makeup. My forehead in general. I’ve done it so many times, it’s automatic. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

The truth is, so many of us have been taught, whether from our parents, siblings, friends, relatives, schools, or the media, that we’re not good enough. That it’s normal to pick yourself apart–and, as little kids do when they see a behavior modeled on someone they trust, fear, or look up to, we learned to copy it; take it on. As a kid, I’d often get teased about my appearance–about my messed up teeth or my scabs or because according to a girl who used to bully me, my butt jiggled when I ran. (Which is the stupidest insult in retrospect, but also hurt a lot at the time.) Bodyshaming was a huge part of my school’s culture–it was like you couldn’t even be considered a girl if you didn’t hate yourself. We would ask each other if we were fat while we waited outside the school in the morning, before class would start, and tell each other what we thought were the ugliest features our classmates–and sometimes, ourselves and each other–had.

My parents never really contradicted those things either, and although they never criticized how I looked, they didn’t deny it either–and it definitely didn’t help that, well, my body type just isn’t meant to be skinny, and without a self-destructive level of exercising and dieting, to the point of it negatively affecting my mental and physical health, I will never look like the girls on my Instagram feed. Whereas, my parents were and still are the picture of perfect health, skinny and muscular and outdoorsy, constantly impressing on me the importance of maintaining a good fat/muscle ratio.

But it’s bullshit, honestly. Like, there are so much more important things to worry about than the things we don’t like in ourselves and each other–imagine how cool the world would be if rather than spending all that time trying to fit a messed up standard of beauty, we used it to pursue things we loved, or make each other happy. And, I don’t know, on a good day… I feel pretty. I really do. Which is not something I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say before. I take dumb selfies and send them to nobody, and I dance around my room in my favourite twirly white dress, and don’t feel ashamed of my thighs. Obviously, that’s not most of the time. But still. It’s something, right?

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

asphalt

there is a hole in my head. dripping out onto the floor. there is a hole in my head. and i don’t know what i’m going to do anymore.

there are forestfires, burning down my cheeks. and oh my god, does it sting…

there is asphalt in my stomach. wet, and placid. ruminating on all the wrongs i’ve done, as reality warps and bends in the midsummer air… and i just want to forget. could we please just forget?

because even after all this time, i still don’t know if i honestly deserve to be here.

and because there’s something controlling me. i can feel it. because i’m nothing more than a puppet on a string, even if these joints are weighed with the mistakes i’ve made. even if these strings are fraying, slowly.

there is a tunnel. a spiraling maze, you can die trying to follow. there is a grove of trees, surrounding me. their leaves starting to whisper sweet nothings, ever-so-softly. there is a tally mark on my wall, of all the things no one should ever have to know about me.

and there is a little closet in my room. where i like to pretend… that the cracks in my skull are something you can remedy.


Guilt has never been an easy emotion for anybody. Has it?

The summer of sixth grade, I lost three whole months to it, over a tiny error that plunged me into one of the darkest places I’ve been in for a long time. I never really got over it, in the conventional sense–there was no moment when I chose to forgive myself. Eventually, I just had to force myself to move on with my life. I did learn some pretty good coping strategies though, which I guess is something.

I haven’t had intense episodes of chronic guilt/self-loathing/what-was-probably-depression-but-I-don’t-know-I-was-eleven since, not to that level of severity where it was making it hard to sleep, and consuming my every waking hour. But it’s still continued to be a difficult emotion for me. Sometimes, I can’t even tell, whether I should be feeling guilty about something or not.

Other times, I know it’s ridiculous–I shouldn’t be beating myself up to the extent I do for such small, inconsequential things as forgetting to answer a text; apologizing to someone as though my life defends on it. And I do it anyway. Because… well, because I can’t help but feel that it’ll keep me safe. I guess that’s just anxiety for you. Sometimes, I do fuck up. I make a mistake, and I learn my lesson from it, and I apologize, and take all the steps I can to make sure it won’t happen again, and then proceed to cut myself off from all social interaction for two weeks because I’m the scourge of humanity now, apparently.

It’s something I and many other people never learned to regulate properly as a child, is what I’m getting at. But I’m working on it.

I don’t have an easy answer–and I don’t think there is one; the process of learning from mistakes is yours and yours alone. But I hope, wherever this post finds you, it brings you some form of relief–from whatever you might be going through.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings

a silent threshold

i stood before you, in my big winter coat. just trying to keep the darkness at bay. hiding away from the cold…

my breath turning to steam. and i think these days, we both cling to things that we can’t ever truly hold.

but what are you supposed to say, when it all goes wrong? when the flowers wilt, and my hair turns grey, and you look up at me, with eyes so wide, and beautiful. and how in god’s name am i supposed to see your face and still be able to disappoint you?

and last night, i dreamt that i had once last chance to hold my younger self. and i told her to be happy. i told her to read books and write stories, and go to playgrounds because there’s only so much time left. because it’s over now, isn’t it? i’ve got to fend for myself.

and i just want to love you. for as long as i can. because i don’t know, if i’ve got eighty years or two minutes until the end, but i do know that… that you’ve always been there. and you’ve been such a good friend…

reminiscence

you don’t remember it all that well. but it happened, didn’t it? if the photo albums have… anything to say about it.

and as your fingers graze through the layers of dust, cough a little, and wipe the years of history off on your cream-coloured dress.

you don’t remember it all that well. and yet you’re still shattered into pieces because of it. and sometimes, it all comes rushing back. and sometimes… it’s okay. you can move on, now. it doesn’t have to define you for the rest of your life, and you are so much more than all of the things other people may have said about you.

and sometimes you are there in my head. telling me who i am. and what to do. pinning me to the wall by my shoulders. and maybe i’ll stay there forever. because i would never want to upset you…

sometimes, i look you up on instagram. and i wonder what you’re up to.

but it’s long past time now. come on, little girl. wipe away the dust, and clear out the shelves of the stories they gave you.

it’s time… it’s time to write something new.


I’ve always been the type to get stuck in the past… well, more than a little bit. I’m definitely guilty of holding a grudge, and developing strong opinions based off past experiences. I think we all are, at least to some degree–it’s human nature.

And it’s also something I’ve been considering, of late. How, well, reflecting on the past is great, to a degree. But it can also be incredibly destructive. I’ve spent so long living my life based off what happened to me when I was seven. And… I’m not seven anymore.

For ages, those memories have governed everything I do, and honestly, it’s getting kind of old–living this kind of half-life, because all I can think about most days is keeping myself safe from ever being bullied like I was then again.

I’m just… I think, after so long, I’m ready to leave all the painful memories from that period of my life in the past. Not to forget that it happened–but to give it a funeral, and lay flowers on its grave, and take a deep breath… and move on to something new.

It’ll still come back to me, sometimes. Of course it will. And when it does, I will remind myself that I’m safe, and that things are better now. That I am worth so much more than the things that people said to me as a kid. And that I deserve to move past this. And so do you.

Lots of love,

dragonwritesthings