Written summer 1976 during a time of self-discovery and freeing myself from behaviors that hurt me.
I'm afraid to break free from depression and negativity,
I'm afraid I'm not worthy
afraid nobody likes me
nobody needs me
or wants me
or loves me.
Afraid I'm incapable of loving
or being loved
or accepting love at all.
I'm afraid of making bad impressions on people,
of saying the wrong thing
at the wrong time,
of reversing my words, slurring my sentences
into indistinguishable pratter,
stuttering aimlessly, repeating myself----
just not making any logical sense at all.
I'm afraid there might be food stuck between my teeth
or a booger hanging from my nose
afraid my teeth aren't white enough
or my hair isn't shiny enough
too short the bald spot showing
Afraid my mascara will run down my face
like the time it did
at a party
and the guys kept commenting
about my "unusual eyes"
I never knew how my makeup was smeared
'til I got to my car
I saw my reflection in the rearview mirror
a raccoon woman staring back at me.
I'm afraid of making friends with people
afraid of trusting
or believing that anyone is truly kind
or capable of loving
or genuine or honest.
I'm afraid to go to the beach
afraid to wear a swimsuit in public
afraid others might see my surgical scars
afraid I look like the Bride of Frankenstein
afraid I smell like the Bride of Frankenstein
afraid my body odor is offensive fifteen feet away,
or, worse yet, my vaginal secretions.
After all, I can smell myself from here!
I'm afraid somebody might get too close.
afraid of closeness
afraid of not having someone to be close with.
I'm afraid my too-tight pants will split a seam,
afraid my zipper's been open all day,
and afraid nobody likes me well enough to tell me,
"Hey, your zipper's open,
your make-up is smeared
There's a booger in your nose,
food in your teeth."
I'm afraid of not thinking clearly,
not being understood
not being heard
not being liked.
I'm afraid I spend too much time being so afraid.
Worst of all,
I'm afraid of not being anything else but who I am.
copyright Elizabeth Munroz