Lessons I Never Learned
I didn't have Mrs. Nelson in fourth grade to teach me. Fourth grade was the year I learned about bullies. I learned that I was different. That I didn't fit in. I learned that a friend could laugh at your public humiliation. I learned that life is not fair. I learned that school could become a living hell.
I never learned to stand up for myself. Never thought I was worth standing up for. I didn't understand the unwritten rules of childhood. Didn't know that people lie.
I never learned how to trust love. It always came with caveats. Do this, don't do that. Never unconditional, always conditional on my behavior.
I never learned how to be honest. I only learned how to please others, even at my own expense. Never learned to speak up and be heard over the shouting of others.
I never learned to be kind to myself. Never learned how to love myself.
I never learned how to let go and enjoy the moment or how to stop being afraid.
I never learned to be.
Thank you to Elizabeth for introducing me to the poet Brad Aaron Modlin.
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