Wait, What?

Wait, What?

SnapDragon calls a Time-Out.

This is Real, 2018. St. Petersburg. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

I am in recovery.

Not from drugs. Not from alcohol.

I am in recovery from mental abuse.

Since birth, I was told that someone was always watching me.

24 hours a day, seven days a week.

My every action–in public and in private–was judged.

The books I read, movies I watched, and music I listened to were scrutinized and dismissed as impure if they dared to portray the struggles of human experience.

Scientific discovery was a ploy to be outsmarted.

I was told not to think; my thoughts could not be trusted.

I was told my body was not my own, to do with as I pleased.

I was shackled with the threat of eternal flames, for the crime of being human.

For being me.

Fresh Air, 2017. Philadelphia. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

And I’m not just cherry-picking. I’m not taking things out of context. This is how it felt. This was my reality.

No matter how hard it is to face the truth, it is here, in these words.

Escaping has been my life’s most outstanding accomplishment.

I saw my opportunity, and I went for it.

I am free.

I am free.

Yet I am covered in scars.

I sometimes feel my heart beating fast inside my chest, for no good reason at all.

Who’s there?

Hello?

Someone’s there.

I cannot rest.

Carry that weight.

You’re lost.

You’re a disappointment.

Sprouted Seeds, 2017. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved.

And then I remind myself, that no, I am not.

I am not yours.

I belong to no one.

I am me.

So you can read this, and judge.

You can shake your head and gather the flock for an intervention.

But I have used my greatest asset: my mind.

I’ve dared to embrace the here and now.

And that is all I need.

Because The Emperor has no clothes, friend.

(starts dancing, with the most glorious of smiles on her face)

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