My Armor

I’m learning how to lie, “I’m good”, “I’m fine.”
I’m learning it’s not the truth you want you hear.
Piece by piece, moment by moment, slowly building an armor to hold it all in.
Falling apart wasn’t something you saw fit, “It makes others feel bad.”
We learned to dance around the truth, never talking between the lines.
I learned what to say and what to leave behind, unsaid, unfelt.
This armor protecting you from me.
You kept your eyes closed to my reality, believing I was weak or cruel to speak of it.
I want to believe it’s because you love me, my pain, too much to bear.
If you only knew your unopened eyes drove the wedge you never predicted.
You wonder why I’m different, turning your back to the unspoken trauma that caused it.
You see me as colder, yet you are the one telling me not to feel.
How could you never see how I’ve come to be me?
You helped me build my armor piece by piece, moment by moment.
 I wore it to protect you from me, playing the part, smiling and “doing fine.”
Hiding away sheltering us from it all.
The times I couldn’t remember him in front of you.
I knew then he was mine alone.
The times he wasn’t considered, his name unspoken, left out of it all.
I knew then we left him at his grave.
The times I was told it was my fault, “you don’t have to bring that up.”
I knew then the shame my feelings would bring.
This grief inside, each moment hidden, swallowing my truth, is like a fire that can’t be put out.
 The time has finally come. Here is your warning I’ll soon be different again.
Unraveling the mess hiding has made, understanding my grief has no shame.
 I’m ready to embrace it, to own it, to be me. I’ll finally be free.
Go ahead, hand me my armor, but take notice; I’ll wear it differently now.
I’ll put it on piece by piece, ready to own my great-hearted grief.
My armor, a reminder I can choose what I allow in, no longer afraid of what I let out.
Here I am, beautifully broken, like many before me and many to follow.
My armor, a reminder, I’m standing in my strength.