Let Me Tell You The Ways

Posted by Angela Gallo on

Dive into the Phoenix’s Nest for this very special episode of pure poetry magic.

Get a glimpse into my mind.

My thoughts, my feelings, my desires, my past traumas, I’m sharing so deeply with you and I hope you enjoy every second. 


Let me tell you the ways.

Let me tell you about all of the ways, so many ways that I tried to make myself disappear. The ways I used every kind of detergent, every kind of prayer, every self-loathing trend, and every kind of confession in a desperate bid to feel less repulsive. Drowning in a cesspool of prepubescent lust.

On the occasion my young body called me to explore it and I would be consumed in thoughts about how unworthy I must be, how weak I must be and therefore how the only punishment that might cure me of this ailment was the flogging of my 6 year old, and my 8 year old, and my 10 year old body. Bruised and broken on the inside by the crack of a whip handed to me by the world with an instruction manual that read,

“101 Ways to Hate Yourself By The Time You’re 16”.

These were the ways you convinced me these are the ways that I convinced me that I was better off bleeding, bruised, and broken as a child, then be free to be who I am. The stress from my surroundings infiltrated my sensitive soul deeply and I experienced full blown bleeding at the joints eczema, exacerbated by the ways I washed my hands 12 times after I made myself climax.

By the way as I washed my hands with my eyes closed because I wouldn’t dare meet the eyes of that sinful version of me in the bathroom mirror, feeling promiscuous just for loving herself.

Each scrub accompanied by the begging of forgiveness from a god I believed was as disgusted with me as the world was. I used to put bars of soap inside of me, bought a vaginal douche and mixed holy water with my tears to create a solution that might maybe, hopefully make me clean. What kind of fucking 13 year old thinks of making elixirs out of anguish and God.

I felt so gross about my bleed, my discharge, my vulva, that I would wash, and wash, over and over again wondering why it didn’t work. Wondering if I smelt, wondering why everything about my body made boys laugh before a boy had ever even seen my body.

I was always too fat, too outspoken, too queer, too much of a tomboy, too unconventional. I caught the eyes of people before I knew how to magnetize with intention.

I attracted bullying.

I hated this attention.

I wanted to be a ghost because being seen meant being scrutinized and I wasn’t in a position for my sexuality to be scrutinized.

When I used the bathroom at school I would force a cough so no one could make out the sounds of my pee splashing against the toilet bowl. I hid my tampons in books and opened those packets with a muffling of the flush. I would often call into the nurse’s office pretending to be sick without fear of anyone knowing that I was taking a shit. Horrific really. A reality where my body, biology, and basic functions, you know the things that I couldn’t hide from ever, felt like crosses I had to bear as a settling of grievances with Jesus Christ.

Had to pretend I wasn’t intelligent to fit in, told no one that I read as much as I did which meant that the only way I knew how to socialize quickly became smoking pot and drinking 40s.

I spent a lot of time hiding.

I spent a lot of time being ashamed and Jesus Christ did I find every possible thing under the sun to be ashamed of.

I feel like I’ve spent 30 years trying to explain myself, substantiate my existence, justify my nonconventional actions, and carry guilt for no other reason than carrying guilt because choosing to be happy is selfish. And because it made me feel temporarily self righteous to carry that guilt.

My desires to be seen weren’t born from ego. They were born from Revolution, Reclamation the Rebellion and the Retaliation against hiding to appease the subpar vibrations of those around me, around you, and around us.

I won’t hide ever again especially from myself.

Line the rooms and the hallways of my home with the mirrors.

I dare you.

I want to relish in my reflection.

Lord knows I’ve earned this self adoration.

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