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december 27, 2011

 

there is

this girl i know

she is

quite beautiful

delicate

…graceful

…radiant

her high cheekbones

chiseled in stone

fair skin

aglow

her jawline

sharp enough to cut paper

lips

hot enough to melt glaciers

most of all

she is so, so very strong.

so very, very strong.

this girl i know

she survived a lot in life.

more

more than you know

much, much, more than you could ever, ever know

emotional

pain

physical

pain

psychic

pain

this girl i know

yet

she endured

yes.

she endured

so much

so very, very much

yes

year after year after year after year

of physical, emotional

and sexual

abuse

this girl i know

for all her strength

she felt so alone

so, so, so very all alone

alone inside

alone outside

her soul

alone

so often

all-too-often

so

(a breath)

she worked hard

so incredibly, very, very hard

relentless in her quest

to become so much more

to become so much, much more than perfect

this girl i know

she thought that she would feel better

or different

or

just better

maybe stronger

if

she was the most perfect in each of her endeavors

writing

schoolwork

dancing

homework

housework

cleaning

preening

restricting

grooming

exercise

everything

anything

everything

….it all

had to be

just

so

perfect

so perfectly

perfect

even if

her home was chaotic

even if

her mother was psychotic

even if

her “abuse-her” made her need medical attention

antibiotics

other medications

even if

the flashbacks brought her to tears

even if

the pain

never ever

ever

seemed to

….heal

this girl i know

sought

ever greater perfection

as she found the strength

to steel herself

against those who caused that never-ending pain

but,

it was never, ever, easy

to please herself

no

perfection was never, ever

enough

this girl i know

was

never

enough

the more she studied

the more she wrote

the more she stretched

and twisted

and jumped

and pushed herself

to restrict

to exist

to persist

the harder she chased perfection

the further perfection eluded her grasp

finally

this girl i know

she let it go

broken

chest pounding

stabbing pains

ripping

deeply into her heart

dizziness

enveloping her head

weakness

overwhelming her hard-fought superstrength

blackouts

tremors

ten thousand aches

seizures

delusions

confusion

depression

endless days turned to dust

lost

to cunning, conniving, endless

imperfection

she screamed

so loud

she raged

so long

but, nary a few

heard her anguished cry

this girl i know

thought

she might just let it all go

alone

forever

alone

yet, this girl

this girl i know

this beautiful

womyn

she simply didn’t see

the love

the light

a few pixels from her eyes

in time,

this girl i know

began to accept

perfection is

impossible

she came to know

that

our journey is

as important

as the results of our work

and

that she no longer needed

to be

all so very, all alone

driven only by

perfection

and, one day

this girl i know awoke

knowing that

there were others like her

others, who liked her

others, who, like her,

survived

and, slowly,

together

they endeavored

to

survive

and thrive

and

to embrace

being

alive

slowly,

ever so slowly

she became

herself

ever so slowly

she became

alive

breathing

deep breaths

of life

ever so slowly

she began to………………………survive.

and,

when she survived “perfection”

her work

her art

her dance

her body,

yes, her body

became

so much more perfected

this girl i know

came alive

© 2011 by ariana sexton-hughes

i was in a very bad place when my dear friend, Zoey, recorded this brilliant recitation of “this girl (i know).”

she should be a film star. her reading is breathtaking. i am forever grateful for her beautiful work.

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