Keep in control. Step here, not there. Repeat the words. Obey the fetal position for maximum safety. Keep very still or rhythmically bounce. Speak in hushed tones if at all. No explanation allowed. Shush.
Step out of bounds and risk mortification, deep wounds, pain that reverberates in every part of you. Wrapped in the cocoon of my own making, I am at peace and safe from the destruction of my soul.
The inevitable footsteps come closer with malevolent intent inscribed in blood on her overly painted lips. I’m here, I’m protected, I’m safe. Until. I discover. The shell. Is fallible. Porous. Protection, a mythical balm.
A choice between annihilation or metamorphosis. Die a lifelong death or live armor-less and vulnerable. I shed my shell. I take a deep breath, dip my toes into the water. I reach up to touch the sky’s the limit.