This piece highlights the damaged relationship between mother and daughter, illustrating the struggles of communication to friends and family about mental illness. The two have been ripped apart by the mother’s lack of understanding of the daughter about self-harm, depression, anxiety and so on.

Written by Elle

She comes to me with tear stained eyes.

She has avoided me for a number of hours in the buildup.

This has not phased me.

The swish of her ill-fitting jeans as her inward facing knees bash together like two young children forced to play together.

She sits alongside my crumpled legs.

My hand fires for my sleeve like a reflex.

Gliding back down my thigh, grazing the gills carved into it as it plants itself, a fetal fist by my side.

The tableau begins,

As she opens her mouth, I become stunned. She is talking to a statue.

My mind fleeting, her words crash landing.

An endless string of clichés and misconceptions from her wide mouth rooting from her small mind, sharpened on their way out by her thin, cutting lips.

She hates me all the more for silence.

One hand on my leg, a comforting gesture making me sick to my stomach. It's vile, and I resist the impulse to swing a slap. This surges through me but I am in a state of paralysis.

The contact like a hit, a blow to my stone exterior, solidifying the unconscious decision to play dead.

No response causes her to voice her frustration.

She underestimates the volumes which my silence speaks.

I am mute, she is passive-aggressive.

She tries to force those words out of me and I just can't let it happen. I cannot utter them. This shakes up the nest in my brain and my mind begins to buzz and sting attempting to escape but it is trapped.

This solitude is lonelier in her company.

An extra tear falls as she defends herself but she is selfish.

I do not live in the past, especially not hers.

Her moral compass is set to hit the ground, and in her quest, she ruptures all my gateways. She blocks all my escape routes.

I remain motionless and the inner panic begins.

I am so tense from the uneasy feeling that I long to stretch my limbs and extend my vocals but she is still here, expecting too much from me.

What she says only solidifies the contrary.

She cannot comprehend my response but nor does she try to.

When she talks down to me like a six-year-old I feel as helpless as a 6 day old.

My eyes flicker briefly past hers, her gaze enticing and alluring like the cheese in a mouse trap.

Infinities pass with the silence consuming me rather than comforting me as they had done before the attack.

She begins to retreat, expelling her blame onto my own.

She sighs with frustration as I gasp for air,

She expels what I ration,

She is an obese king to my starving servant.

No relationship have we built, no relationship have we lost.

Two strangers, 

Mother cradles daughter.

Daughter's sister left to fend for herself.

She made herself her own worst enemy after the disconnection that she felt.

She seeks her own desolate approval.

She comes to her with tear stained eyes.


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