Can I come in?

It's not worth asking
if you're going to do it
anyway.

Can I talk to you?

Talk to me?
I think you've done enough.
Why don't you try listening
for a change?

I just wanted to, you know, be "in the know".

Well frankly,
mother
,
maybe you should've thought about that
before you ran into my room to fetch my diary
to read with your afternoon tea.
Maybe you should've thought about that
before you spilled all of my secrets
to our entire family and
a few of your friends.
Maybe you should've thought about that
before you spouted off all that nonsense
about liking girls "being confused"
or "being a phase"
or being "your problem"
and before you spouted off all that nonsense
about who I am being utterly wrong.
Maybe you should've thought about that
before you humiliated me in front of my father
and changed me in the eyes of my sister
and let the whole neighborhood know
that I was a
freak.
Maybe you should've thought about that
before you caused That Night,
which almost
two years

later I cannot get over.

You never talk to me! I'm your mom!

Well frankly, mother,
I cannot talk to you because
if I try, I freeze up and
stop breathing and
clench my muscles and
get chills and
breathe hard and
tear up and
see stars and—
—Oh, that's what you call a
panic attack
, isn't it,
dearest?
I cannot talk to you because
you hurt me deeper than anyone else
in my life
ever has
and probably ever will.
I cannot talk to you because
I know you still think I'm a
freak
,
that a girl who
cuts and starves herself to death
(which is all I can see myself as
because that's all
you
can see me as)
just would be topped off by...
(you can't even say it)
...being a lesbian.
I cannot talk to you because
I cannot even express into words
the degree to which you hurt me,
to which you destroyed me utterly
without even knowing it.

I'm just worried.

Well, you should know
that I don't hurt myself anymore,
in fact,
I'm the happiest I've ever been.
You should know
that I still like girls, and
that's what makes me happy.
But you should know
that I don't see an end to the anxiety,
the neverending
all-consuming
stop-dead
oh-god-I'm-gonna-die
panic attacks
that are ruling my relationship with you,
and that I'm afraid they're going to last
forever
.

Fine! If you don't want to talk to me, fine!

You hurt me worse
than I ever hurt myself.