I called them mom and dad. They looked like all the other parents, they wore shoes and made breakfast on Sunday mornings. They got dressed and drove to work. They were just like the others. But their teeth were sharp- and their anger was always in their throat. They snapped and snarled at the slightest of sounds.
They taught me to be strong, tears were for behind closed doors. They taught me how to be brave, fear was driven away by fists. They taught me that to trust only brought pain. They taught me how to build a wall and never break it down. They taught me how to seal myself off from anything that might hurt me.
They taught me to survive.
But they couldn’t teach me love, for it was never in their hearts and I never felt it. They couldn’t teach me compassion for they never knew it. They couldn’t teach me hope, or how reach for my dreams, because theirs had never led them anywhere. They couldn’t teach me joy, laughter, honesty, confidence, or how to forgive.
They taught me how to survive, but they never taught me how to be alive.