The shame runs deep. It courses through my veins, part of my life blood, part of my DNA.

The knowledge that I will never match up to my own expectations because of the inherent weakness of my coarse and ugly soul burns hotter than the fires that have scarred my body.

As my shattered self splinters a fraction more I hear their pain through the darkness, I hear their turmoil, I hear the ways in which I’ve hurt them just by being myself.

Their voices echo in my heart, broken, lost, betrayed.

I question how we got here, how it all fell apart so spectacularly but there are no good answers. The reflection in the mirror always changes, yet in their eyes the perpetrator remains the same.

They say authenticity is the key to happiness and yet my own simply wounds them more, what if one cannot be authentic unless it is at the expense of their other selves? Alas one cannot release their selves without said authenticity, and here we stay.

Locked in a stalemate, huddled in the dungeon shadows where it seems the key to my cell was lost years ago.

They cry that they wear the guilt from my shame, they curse they carry my heavy burden and yet I cannot free them as we are all tethered by the weight of a million regrets.

We breathe as one yet we cannot connect, we cannot understand nor tolerate each other’s pain.

No one can be free, until we are all free.

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