Like a small scrappy dog, I get defensive

Dad, you taught me to loathe myself if I am less than perfect; perfect as defined by your impossible standards

You trained me to take a beating without a sound, to be ill and injured and not seek help, to blame myself with a heavy heart and tears of shame when you got upset

You made me an elite warrior of masochism, my own worst enemy

You placed prison bars of limitation within my young brain

It dawned on me that there are other ways to raise kids besides guilt-tripping them down the road of life and making them feel terrible for being themselves.

Your low blows of late reopened ancient wounds in me

You create problems where there are none

You weave disasters out of thin air, so real in your mind that I start to fall into your vortex and believe it too

Your problems are yours, not mine

My love is a beautiful flower

That you repeatedly take a shit on

I’m starting to feel territorial about my heart

I entertain ideas of barking ferociously along the perimeter

Tell you to stay away, you are not welcome here

I used to revere you, now I see you as an intruder

Don’t come near me- I hunger to take a bite, to shout my truth at you, to draw tears from you for once instead of you invoking my tears; my well is running dry

Stay away, I feel scrappy

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