when i was six i was afraid of the monsters under my bed.
today i am sixteen and i am afraid of the monsters in my head.

When i was six the sound of my heart beating in my ears sounded like a stampede, always chasing me but never getting close enough.
Always remaining the perfect distance away to keep me in fear, but for nobody else to understand why.

When i was six the butterflies sloshing around in my stomach felt like wasps. They didn't flutter, they fought and cried and begged to escape. No matter how many times they stung, they could never die.

When i was six the sound of my mother raising her voice sounded like warning alarms screaming danger. I cursed my ears for never allowing me a minute of solitude. I cursed the monster under my bed for never allowing me a minute of peace.

You see, when you’re six it’s okay to be scared. To cry for no reason. To constantly shake with jitters. To be terrified of absolutely nothing for absolutely no reason. That's normal. Is that normal? That's my normal.