The screams look like smiles from the distance where I keep you

It’s a fault, really — this automatic response system. A built-in, fully customizable auto-pilot that allows basic functioning and a general appearance of being totally fine and confident, with absolutely no effort on my part. It just happens…well…automatically. And so you see exactly what it wants you to see. Calm, cool, collected…

But completely broken. Falling apart. Frustrated. Angry. Cynical.

Because you don’t see my fists pounding on the one-way mirror, trying to get you to see past the facade. To understand. To drown out the perfectly woven words of reason and excuse. To look at everything around me and answer yourself. Do I look ok to you? REALLY?

I need you to look beyond the color, the sparkle of my eyes and really *see* me…behind the masks and smiles. I need you to hear what isn’t being said because I am asking for something and no one can hear me — someone hit the mute button a long time ago.

I feel like I’m standing in the middle of a mine field and I promise you I am not going to make it out of here alive. I don’t stand a chance unless you show me where to step — carefully, slowly guide me to safer ground. Don’t let go of my hand, because I’m terrified of falling. Let your breath on my face calm me. Tell me to shut up and listen, then tell me where to go from here.

If I fall again I might not get back up. Please don’t just walk away and tell me I’ll be ok. It’s not that simple, and I just can’t find the words. But, my knees are bleeding and my legs are aching and I’m ready for reprieve.

How much closer have we come?

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