The Monster Outside

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I’m uncomfortable, trapped, confined. There’s no way to escape, this prison follows me everywhere I walk. Everybody notices but all they can do is stare and look away, for they’re in their own prisons, each different than mine. No matter how much I want to break free, I’m not strong enough to rip the bars away.

I see others who are just like me, screaming for an escape from the chains hanging on them. I want to ask them if they know how to fix this, but they’re just as clueless as me. No matter how much we scream and kick, the walls sit still. Many have changed, succumbed to the crushing weight of the cage around them. Others have fooled themselves into thinking that it will go away if they don’t pay attention to it, but no matter how much they try it’s always right in front of them.

It’s hard to remember how I got here. Sometimes I think they were always there, faint in my memory, but other times I’m not so sure. I have a vague recollection of being free, if only for a moment before the walls climbed up and consumed me whole. For years this cage have been my ugly companion, being a constant reminder to me that I got here one way or another.

Sometimes I look in the mirror and can’t help but feel disgusted. This ugly prison drags, is covered in marks from battle, and is too heavy on my shoulders. My movement is reflected back to me but it doesn’t look like me. I try to avoid it as much as I can, but my mind is consumed with the thought that the next time I look it will be gone. Years pass, but the cage stays no matter how many times I look in the mirror.

For years and years, my loathing for this prison has gone up and down, going from hatred to sorrow but nothing has helped me escape. But now I look in the mirror and look, really look. This is my cage. Everybody’s is different, sometimes even invisible, but none-the-less it’s still there. I’ve seen people grown up with it and have never been able to escape. I see myself growing older, still trapped. I don’t fight it, I even begin to look at the walls with care. What for so long has been disgust, has suddenly sprouted a bud of love. I look right into the misunderstood walls and say the words I never thought I’d say.

“I love you. I love your lines and breaks, and your big curves. You’ve been with me through hell and back, and yet you’re still here,”

With those words, the walls crumbled away. In the mirror I could still see them, staring back at me but instead of a sour disposition, was a loving smile. So now every morning I wake up and look in that mirror and repeat those words. The walls reflect back at me, but the weight no longer pulling me down. The battle wounds no longer fill me with disgust, but love for its strength. In all actuality I will never escape these scarred walls, they’ll always haunt me for what I did to them and there’s nothing I can do to make it up except love them for what they are. Me.

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