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I Loved That Life

I Loved That Life

I don’t have to live that life anymore.

Yet whispers and dramatic glances

Tip-toe around my shadow

With intentions of altering

Perceptions of me among my peers

Frustration increases and anger boils over

As I come to the scary realization that

I still care what people think

My past haunts me

Every single time someone else

Uses it to pull attention

Away from their own insecurities

I didn’t earn respect by

Lying, cheating, and stealing

Accusations and assumptions

Based off of one minor detail

Of where I came from and

How I ended up right here

There is so much more to my life-

To my story-than the streets

My past does not define

The woman I am today, yet

The ghost of an inaccurate stereotype

Follows me throughout my home

Among the strangers I chose

To live with temporarily

As a means to an end

A decision that protects me from myself

I kept throwing my life away

Similar to the others around me

But I have yet to let another soul

Know the nature of my disease

Know how far I fell

I refuse to let anyone bring my walls down

I will do whatever it takes

To make sure no one gets close enough

To see the broken pieces I hide or

The shameful things I’ve done and

The pain I know I’m capable of

I can’t be that person anymore

I don’t have to live the life that

I admittedly love and miss

With every breath of clean air

Comes a sharp pain in my chest

With every reminder that I had to

Leave it all behind to save myself

From a growing darkness within me

That will never be satisfied