The stress sickens me. It fights me as I swallow it down. Like tentacles sticking to the inside of my throat, Desperately trying to get out. How do others suffer in silence? How do they fight the tears away? I look in the mirror and do not know myself. I see only the pain. I see concern when others look at me. And even moreso when I pretend. It is grotesque to watch, As I battle myself within. The words could be the same words I used when I was at my best, But they do not translate how they used to, As my voice breaks and my heart beats out of my chest. I've torn every bit of skin from my nail beds And my mouth. I've brought blood to the surface More times than I can count. I do not wish for more relationships, Or anyone else to bring down. I simply wish that it would stay inside me Until no one else is around. I should lock myself inside these walls, Until I get back who I was. But I fear the longer I am alone, The further she will run. And when I look into my baby's eyes, I know I must allow it. All the judgements, all the concerns, And that there is no option to hide it. I will shred myself down to the bone And let them all see within. I hold my son close against me, And I know I would do it all again.