You have been episodically occupying my mind for a long while now.
I remember very clearly the first I felt you creep under my pores and into my being.
I remember your flashes of fear and the way they began to permeate vast expanse of my identity.
I met you. I felt you. I became you, gradually but all at once.
You were being eight years old and reading anything I could possibly get my hands on in an attempt to overpower racing thoughts.
You were melancholic thoughts felt whilst walking alone in woods when at the age of 12 years old.
Irrespective of my age you have always been Sunday evenings.
A violent nostalgia that dresses deceivingly in the warm yellow hues of the soft golden hour. You are warm but in a way that burns my chest and sets my thoughts alight.
You have been the abusing of bodies. Both other people’s bodies and my own.
You have been petty crimes and cruel words. Cruel words spoken by others and cruel words spoken by myself.
We have grown up around, within and beside each other.
You have become slowly and clumsily a softer side of me.
You have grown downwards, upwards and sideways into a compassion born out of understanding.
You have become an all-encompassing sense of empathy.
You are the reason I spent years studying a subject that made me feel closer to people.
You are my inherent disposition towards the arts; you are the reason I love to listen to music.
You are the reason I loose myself in books. You are the reason films fascinate me.
You are the reason certain pieces of art catch my eye. You are the reason I have spent hours reading poetry from the greats and the not-so-greats.
You are the catalyst of my inquisitive nature and my natural interest in all of the people around me.
You are my open mind.
You are my ability and desire to understand rather than condemn.
You are my love for loving. You are my compassion.
You have become my humanity.
There are always going to be darker days. The thoughts you give me are still intrusive.
Your sense of detachment does not get easier to understand.
Your heavy apathy does not feel any lighter.
The barrage of paranoia does not feel weaker.
But there is an undeniable sweetness in the understanding of balance.
For my heart to be so flexible and accommodating, my mind must perform the somersaults.
What does not kill you makes you softer, but only if you allow it to.