Inner Voice


I once heard it said that
the way we speak to our children
becomes their inner voice.


For years the only words
that entered my ears
were those of criticism.


Imagine when the bullies
are in your own home;
the enemy is your family.


You crushed my spirit
and created an identity of defeat.


You became my shadow-
the negative voice in my head-
following me since childhood.


You sucked out the happiness
and inserted black holes of misery.


You were supposed to be my shelter,
but instead you were my prison cell.


"I love you", I muttered
on a rare occasion it was warranted.


The words sounded foreign on my lips,
and your touch felt like a stranger's.


I cursed you under my breath
and hid my angered countenance.


I hated you more with every sigh,
with every roll of my eyes.


I couldn't love someone
who torn me down so often
and made me feel so minuscule.

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