Wounded Child


She doesn’t say the words, but you still hear them: “not now, sweetie. Mama’s busy.”

You know better than to reach out for her. Your hands are already stinging. Better to keep them by your side where they can’t annoy anybody.

Still, the need aches at you.

“I told you, I’m busy,” she doesn’t say.

You try to be a good girl and pull away, but your heart doesn’t listen; it still reaches out despite knowing it’s not allowed.

The yelling gets louder. “Didn’t you hear me? I said I was busy. Stop being a bother.”

You hold the need inside your chest, dragging it away kicking and screaming.

She doesn’t need you. Why can’t you just do what she says and leave her alone? Sit in your room by yourself and play with your toys. You’ve got no excuse to feel lonely.

Yet you can’t stop yourself.

“Bad girl,” she doesn’t say.

“Bad girl,” you echo, because that’s what you are.

You shouldn’t need her like that. You should be content in yourself. You shouldn’t need to hold and to soothe, because everyone else has grown out of that.

What is wrong with you?

“I just want my mama,” you whisper.

It feels like such a small request, to have a family that loves you, just like everybody else; but she doesn’t.

She tolerates your presence, and you should be grateful.

You pull away, and you hide. At least in the real world you never have to bother her.

In your chest she still follows you, and you can’t help yourself.

“I’m busy,” she doesn’t say. “Take your need somewhere else.”

I’m trying, Mama.

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