It’s what they throw at us like an afterthought, an attempt to humor us.
“Don’t be sad, it gets better!”
“You shouldn’t whine, it gets better!”
What would you know about our pain?
About fear, blood, screaming into the void and having it scream back,
Don’t tell me it gets better.
After a week of lying in bed, everything always feels worse.
Don’t tell me it gets better.
As if I can just wait this out like the flu.
This is a fever that will not break.
Don’t make this seem like something that will go away and stay gone.
As if it’s not a continuous battle,
Even when the weight of my armor is enough to bring me to my knees.
Don’t tell me that it gets better,
because after 14 years of hell with a man who never learned how to love
I ended up with another who didn’t know what to do with someone so broken,
so he chipped away at the glass.
And, then, I was stuck with someone who knew EXACTLY what he wanted to do with a broken girl like me--
break the glass more.
Because the gay girl in your new family was the first one you’ve ever met,
And she seemed so fragile, like cracked glass,
Ready to snap into a billion pieces at any moment.
And, what’s more satisfying than the sound of a hammer against a chunk of old window?
Because “stop” and “no, please” never really meant what they should’ve.
Because his hands kept wandering way past the metaphorical stop sign plastered across my waistline.
Because his hands crossed my mother’s too many times,
battling and bickering, bickering and battling, snap, slap, crack,
cracks in fragile glass never heal themselves.
Because no one listens because girls are too soft to be a razor edge, too fragile to ever hurt another. The bruises still blossom like a gunshot wound to my head.
How many times will I have to explain it?
Not all damage is visible
Like a war fought inside my head, divide and conquer
Take away the power that lies in numbers
Until I only know her
When I don’t even know my own army anymore
Who am I fighting for?
“It gets better” when I stand to say it does.
It never gets better when you’re stuck in the same cycle,
pain, crash, yell, collision, crash, pain
Pain, pain like the fresh wounds created by the words of your peers
or the knives within your desk drawer
or the hands of a seventeen year old boy.
“It gets better” when you stop sitting around, telling me that and take a stand to MAKE IT BETTER.
Because complacency gets you nowhere,
Because I know you don’t really care when you’re whispering hollow phrases in place of sincerity and action.
“It gets better” when our safety comes before your comfort
The future will never erase my scars
And thinking of the past will only bring more.
So we only have the present, wrapped in the same bloody tissue I wiped my wrists with last week
wrapped in the love letters I tore apart, every word that bound us together
It “got better” because I screamed and fought until it did.
Because I spent every day and night making these years more like a war won rather than another fruitless battle against terror,
Because I took your words and crushed them beneath my feet,
and owned my identity like it was finally mine.
-m. jarnot & l. myers