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They force her down to her knees,
down where they can easily tease and
scoff and make her look up at them,
in a twisted display of inferiority.

They laugh until she hears it in her sleep,
can’t breathe without their laughs taunting
her, always there, always reminding her
of all the reasons she’s not “good enough.”

They hit and laugh, push and laugh,
pull and laugh,
Everything they do is accompanied
by their laugh,
shrill and deep at the same time,
They taunt and laugh,
laughing at her,

a sick cycle of harsh words and
cruel punishment accompanied
by their laugh
a sick cycle that never fails to
amuse them.

They do it until she can feel them
with her, always,
even after they’ve stopped,
after they’re gone,
she can feel it,
the marks,
the wounds,
the blood dripping out slowly;

But it’s not the wounds that worry her,
it’s the scars, it’s the echos of their laugh,
their words, that scare her,
knows the wounds will go away,
her body will repair itself,
her mind, though,
her mind is a different story.

The scars will never go away.

the echos will never disappear.

It’ll take years just to dim the intensity
of the words and the laughs that are
burned into her skin,
burned into her very being.

She spends years thinking
she’s not good enough,
if she was smarter,
prettier,
taller,
skinnier,
they’d like her.

it’s her fault,
her fault they don’t like her,
it’s her fault,
always her fault,
for not being good enough.

It’s always the victim’s fault,
because if they were good enough,
they wouldn’t get picked on, now
would they?

She spent years thinking she wasn’t
good enough,
as if the opinion of others determined
her worth,
as if she needed their approval to live,
she spent years hating herself,
until she stopped.

She picked up the pieces and worked with
her scars instead of against them,
picked them up with thoughts like
“worth it,”
“they’re wrong,”
“beautiful,”
and patches the pieces together again.

Lets “beautiful” and “wonderful” and
“special” fill in the spaces of her life,
lets them be the bridges between one piece
and the other,
knows that the pieces don’t fit together as
well as they used to,
because you could fix a mirror, but you’d
still see the crack where it broke,
but at least they fit.

She puts herself back together,
and when the last piece is put back in place,
she looks at the world,
the one that tried to keep her down,
tried to control her, stifle her,
she looks at it, and she smiles.

She smiles because she won.
They tried, but they didn’t win.
They tried, but she’s still standing.

She’s still here.