Staring out at this quiet room
Lips moving, but words unheard
I already know what they’re telling me
Their stress is “so much worse”.

Why? All because they’re older
Their workload a lot more
But they used to complain
When they were my age as well.

They would say the same things they say now
That I “don’t understand”
Making me do everything that needs to be
Making me feel lesser than them

Telling me I’m immature
Forcing me to mature
They have debts, and jobs, and loans
And school, and no time at all

Yet they still hang out with their friends
Still feel they have time for that
Not stopping for one second to think
I might be just as stressed as them

I have school and homework and responsibilities at my church
I pick up all the slack at home that our mother does not
Yet I still get called immature
Still get told that I do barely anything

And I almost never hang out with friends
Punishing myself for everything that I’ve done
Telling myself I’ll have time for fun later
But for now I have to focus on catching up

What about me? What about all I’ve been through?
They seem to forget my past, that I went through a lot
Seem to forget my brother wasn’t the only young one
When our parent’s relationship split apart

They seem to forget when I trusted a girl
And she took something from me that I can never get back
They seem to forget that I was bullied all throughout school as well

They seem to forget that I had to have a therapist for a while
To make sure there was nothing “wrong” with me
And to heal my mind from trauma
Seem to forget that sometimes it still haunts my mind

And I still never complaining unless the screaming starts
That endless screaming, ringing in my head
I can’t avoid it, and I can’t keep calm
I try at first, but end up losing it and diving over the edge

The screaming sets off something in my head
And I try to start bringing to their attention all my complaints
All of my concerns, and it’s the worst time too
Because they never take me seriously when that happens

Do they remember all the meals I’ve made them when I feel bad?
Or how I bake them cookies?
Or know how every time I sit down for a long prayer I pray for them?
Pray for each and every one of them individually?

And how no matter how many times I think that this family is gone
Torn apart by the stress and confusion and anger
That I still want to have family time?
That I still treasure that hour or two when we sit there peacefully watching T.V.?

Do they realize that I’m still hurt by their lack of caring on my day?
My birthday, the one day of the year they have to be nice to me.
I’ve been yelled at on my birthday for the past three years
And this year we didn’t ever even celebrate it as a family

Do they know how much it hurts when I care so much
And yet it seems like they care so little?
Do they know?
Do they know that I cry myself to sleep sometimes, and dream about better times?

When I was young and cute and they adored me?
Or when I read them a piece of my writing and they seemed amazed
At how good I had become, how my talent had come to life?
Do they realize?

Can they tell that I want to study psychology to know every single flaw of my mind?
So that I can fix myself and be good enough for them?
Have they seen the hurt they make me feel when they’re being so utterly insensitive?
Do they realize?

Did they figure out that the reason I get no work done at school is because I’m embarrassed?
That I’m hiding from the world around me?
Can they see I feel like I’m not good enough? That I question everyone’s kindness?
That I think everyone must think I’m so annoying because I grew up thinking so?

And yet I put up with it all, and I even manage to stay marginally happy
I pray to God and put a smile on my face, and deal with what lies ahead
I stay brave in front of the world until I can no longer stand
They tear my heart from my chest, yet I take it like it’s just a small bruise

Do they realize?