‘Let’s talk about neglect.’

Which part?

The part where I was two skin shades darker because I never took a bath? I was covered in dirt and grime. Once my skin became reptilian. I was so dirty and dry.

The part where the other kids didn’t like me? I cried too much and too randomly and could never explain why? I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain that I was not left abandoned on a doorstep but I felt that way.

The part where I couldn’t read until the third grade? The part where I never did homework? The part where everyone thought I was ‘slow’? The part where when I actually did my work I made honour roll?

The part where I was about 20 pounds below normal weight for my height and everyone complimented how skinny I was? How beautiful I was? How no one ever asked why I never ate lunch? How I’d eat wagon wheels for breakfast because I didn’t know how to cook?

The part where no one ever noticed? We lived in a nice upper class house. We were always at school. It didn’t matter. I didn’t matter.

The part where I liked to climb construction equipment and partially built houses? Somehow this concerned no one. The idea of a child playing in half built homes felt right to me. Existing in the skeletons and bare bones of what would one day hopefully hold a happy family.

The part where the neighbors called animal services yet somehow never child services? Because the dog who I took care of at nine was fed, was walked, but ‘couldn’t speak for himself.’ As if I could.

The part where I can’t find anything to love about myself?
The part where I don’t believe anyone loves me?
The part where no one ever has.




Ophelia MonroeOphelia Monroe is an 18-year-old from the isolated forest of northern Ontario. She likes to write in abandoned buildings and large untouched fields. Find her at ophelia-ghost.tumblr.com.

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