A Dead Escape

By Wen Hsiao

I’m terrified of silence.
I’m terrified of the unknown.
I’m terrified of the world losing balance.
I’m terrified of what the quiet would be if it had grown.
I’m terrified of the things that silence contains,
In my eyes, there is nothing but pain.
The things that could hurt me:
The fear of rejection.
I feel like I have sunk to the bottom of the sea.

I’m terrified of silence,
yet I cover myself with it.
This visible skin,
even the flesh within.

I let silence overrun me, 
every single inch,
I let it roll in quietly,
every single inch,
I let it take away the words I wanted to say,
every single word,
I let silence overrun me.

There are a handful of things I want to speak of,
they all become what I was afraid of hearing.

I don’t want to hear rejection,
I don’t want to hear the painful truth,
I don’t want to hear that they don’t feel the same,
I don’t want to hear what could hurt me,
I don’t want to hear all the things people say,
I don’t want to hear what would make me afraid to love again.

I am so small compared to this world.
If I let the silence swallow me,
I’ll feel bigger.

Bigger than my fears,
bigger than my worries,
bigger than my nightmares, 
bigger than who I am.

I let silence take over me when I am terrified,
I let silence do its work.

When the silence grows,
I grow,
because to me, if I didn’t know, 
maybe the bad things that could happen
will never occur.
If I don’t ask,
maybe it’s just not true.

This became a habit through time,
silencing myself,
keeping things to myself,
with the sole reason of being afraid.

I could feel myself sinking lower in my chair when others spoke,
I could feel myself vanishing when others looked,
I could feel myself disappearing.

Every time I silenced myself,
I lost a piece of me.

The jokes my friends loved so dearly,
the way my eyes shined when I discussed what I enjoy,
the way I sang along to all of my favorite songs on the radio,
the way my voice flowed when I talked to the people I love,
the way my thumbs drew circles in the palm of the boy I love.

The more I was silencing myself,
the more I was building up inside of me,
I felt like I could explode like a time bomb.


I wanted to tell my mother that I want to become a writer, not a lawyer.


I wanted to tell my father I’m sorry I’m not the daughter he wanted.


I wanted to tell my brother I’m sorry I was never supportive.


I wanted to tell my grandfather I loved him the time we visited before he died.


I wanted to tell my friends I want to be heard.


I wanted to tell my friends that my opinions are valid and I’m allowed to hold them.


I wanted to tell my friends I am who I am and I wouldn’t change it for the world.


I wanted to tell my ex-boyfriend that I would’ve lived for him.


I wanted to tell myself that all pain is temporary.


I wanted to tell myself that nothing I want will ever change if I don’t speak up,
I’ll be forever stuck in the cycle of suffering if I stayed silent.


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