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Oct 20
once, you opened a box of Tic Tacs
and I smacked it out of your hands,
and I watched as all of those
little mints fell to the floor.

you looked at me in shock
and asked,
"why did you do that?"

and I went silent.

I didn't know how to tell you
that it was impulse, because
Tic Tacs make the same sound
as benzos do when they're rattling
around inside a pill bottle.


once, we got into an argument
over something stupid,
and we yelled at each other
and we both said things
that we didn't mean.

you got up to leave
but I had stolen your car keys.
you couldn't go anywhere.
I locked myself in my room
and you fell asleep on my couch.

the next day,
I gave them back to you
and again, you asked,
"why did you do that?"

and I went silent.

I didn't know how to tell you
that you could've crashed and
your car could've gone up in flames
and you could've never made it home

and if that happened, the last thing
that I would've ever said
to you would be "I hate you."
and if that happened,
I would never forgive myself.


once, I woke up screaming
and you tried to comfort me
with a hug, and when I felt that,
I hit you as hard as I could.

when your nose
finally stopped bleeding,
and you had gone through
and entire box of tissues,
you looked at me and asked,
"why did you do that?"

and I went silent.

I didn't know how to tell you
that almost every night, I relive
experiences that I wish I never had.

I couldn't tell if I screamed out loud
or if it was only in my head.
I couldn't tell my nightmares
apart from reality, because
my dreams always feel so real.

I couldn't tell that it
was just you hugging me,
because your embrace
reminded me of the man who
held me down once and
hurt me in ways that I'll never forget.
I didn't know how to say that
every night, he reappears in my head.

I spend all day fighting off my past, and
when I let myself relax to go to sleep,
I let my guard down. and he returns
to haunt me all over again.


once, you packed your bags
and you told me that you were leaving.
you were crying and so was I, and it felt
like my entire world was imploding
and on the verge of collapse.

I wiped away a tear
from my cheek and asked,
"why would you do that?"

for a moment, you went silent.

and when you answered, you told me
that you didn't know me,
and I realized that you were right.

every time you had asked me
who I was, I went silent.

when you asked about my trauma,
you were asking me who I was

and this whole time,
I hadn't realized that my trauma
was such a big part of me.

I hate having to accept it,
but I know that it's true.

my trauma made me who I am,
and I don't like that person.
Sarah Flynn
Written by
Sarah Flynn  F/Pennsylvania, USA
(F/Pennsylvania, USA)   
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