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For Womxn With Shattered Hearts

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Mujer, who told you that you were born to endure heartbreaks?

1. Was it my biological father? (Does he even deserve the title? Un padre cría sus hijos. You left me before I was born.)

You broke my heart before I took my first breath.

As a child, I used to have nightmares that you would come into my house and take me away from my mother and the man who chose to raise me as one of his own. You would break down the door, reach in and no matter where I hid, you'd find me. You'd always carry me away. The first time I met you, I was surprised that you didn't look like the monster in my dreams. We have the same curls. We have the same nose.

I didn't turn on the lights in the bathrooms for weeks, wondering who my mother saw when she stared into my face.

I haven't seen you since I was eighteen and I think that if I saw you walking down the street today, I'd be caught between throwing my shoe at you and ignoring your existence the way you ignored mine. The gulf of history is too deep between us and I'd be lying if I said that your abandonment doesn't sting on rare days. It's like a wound that has stopped bleeding, but hasn't scarred. The scabs are constantly falling off. There are days where I don't think about you, and I can go months without having your face invade my dreams.

How curious that I am the daughter who looks the most like you. Fate has cruel punishments.

My Papi, the man who chose to raise me, kissed my skinned knees, brushed my hair, and has been at every graduation screaming my name; he stitched my little beating heart back together before I even knew it was broken.

Papi, I'm sorry I haven't kept my heart in better conditions. I'm sorry I don't take better care of the second chance you gave me.

2. Was it the abuse?

Probably. Breaking my heart wasn't enough, you had to go and claw your way through my skin too, splitting me open and leaving me for the vultures.

3. Was it you?

I'm at the casino with you.

I've called you, after being drunk and so alone, I felt my insides collapse on top of each other. Maybe it's the grief, but with you, it's always something else. It's the nth time I've deleted your number. It's the nth time I break the promise I made to myself. You laugh and tell me, "this is how you know I'm not the crazy one." Yeah, I guess so. But what else can I do? Cause you already know the answers to the questions we're asking each other, already know the answers to the questions I'm avoiding. It's written all over my face.

Shit, I always do this to myself. End up loving men who can't and won't carry me in their hands. So, I'm writing and I don't want a text back from you. I don't expect one. Don't want one. Don't send me that unwanted gift. I'll read the message and drink. Liquor always has a way of loosening up my tongue, making bad decisions seem delicious.

Mujer, I hope we survive our twenties. I hope that our hearts continue to beat strong and on the days where it falters, there is a community to pick you back up. You are still soft and vulnerable. What else do you need to prove that you are a miracle?

You are fire and resilience. But, you also need the quiet moments where you mourn. You don't need to be strong all the time. Today, stop carrying the world. Cry it all out until you fall asleep. When will you be selfish with yourself? Take a step back and learn to love yourself. The fire inside of you needs to be protected. Your resilience can only last so long. (Haven't you survived enough?)

You are your own world. You are the world.

Mujer, this is your rebirth.

You are more than heartbreak.

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