We Don’t Talk About It

By Monique Sheppherd

We don’t talk about it so I wasn’t ready.
I didn’t know what to call it when my chest got tight,
or when the trains of thought
became threads that controlled the way I acted
and reacted.

I didn’t know what lifted my hands to peel skin from my lips
until red coated my fingertips
or what the names were for the static
in the background of my head.

I refused to go when the doctor suggested a therapist
because I felt insulted
I didn’t want the label.

They said,
“we don’t get it,
They do.”
“You just need to pray”
So many invalidations
I believed them,
blamed myself,
struggled

I didn’t know that it was okay
to take things that
stopped
the urge to die,
or that doing so didn’t remove
my humanity

When I talked about it
I was called
attention-seeking,
pushed
to get happy
listen to ideas
of how to fix what was seen as an obvious a flaw in my positivity
and my ability to handle growing up,

I watched the same happen to my sisters,
our bond not by blood,
but from having others refuse to acknowledge our pain

I have lost so much,
struggle daily,
we’ve still lost so many

Women who weren’t ready,
or didn’t know what to do,
because no one says a word.

1 Comment

  • Reply Why I’m so Vocal About My Struggles with Mental Illness – Wish Upon a Spoon January 24, 2018 at 5:11 am

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