Disclaimer: This poem addresses how I acted as a 5-10 year old child. If you are one of the people this poem is written for, please do not take this as me asking for you to reach out or forgive me. This is merely an expressive art therapy process in the form of a free-write poem. I have written it “for” you as my formal apology for any psychological trauma I may have caused you during our childhood friendship.
[Author’s Note: This poem was written immediately after a PTSD episode. It is very raw.]
I was not a friend to you.
I should have been.
I did like both of you,
I just liked the games more.
I liked the lies,
I liked pitting you against each other.
It made me feel powerful,
When I had no other power. . .
I never saw you as a friend,
I saw you as one of them.
An extension of my pain,
Masking itself, “friend.”
I wanted to hurt you.
The same way I was hurt.
Years later I wonder,
Did I cause you a similar pain?
Psychological trauma is. . .
I have been writing many poems —
Many poems each day and yet —
I have never actually described it.
One thing is certain:
Within trauma disorders,
(Or personality disorders
Caused by trauma),
Once initial trauma occurs,
The brain is altered.
The structure is forever changed.
The brain will never recover.
I was a spoiled, little brat —
But then my world came crashing down.
From 0-4 I had doting parents,
A normal, loving family.
But then — the one thing —
The one thing different about me,
That one thing destroyed it all.
It clinically traumatized me,
So I became an angry child.
Angry and vindictive.
I liked manipulating my “friends” against each other,
Having them fight over me like I was some prize.
What a ridiculous thought — especially at that time!
I hated myself so deeply,
It begs the questions:
Why did you like me?
Why did you stick by me?
Truly, F & T, why did you befriend me?
Couldn’t you see how heartless I was?
Couldn’t you see how broken I was?
Why would you subject yourself to that?
I was so full of pain and sorrow,
I turned it into trauma for other children.
Developing BPD Childhood Signs: Hostile or paranoid worldview, impulsivity, inappropriately intense & unstable emotions, excessively close relationships, and lack of sense of self.
Since I viewed F* and T* as extensions of my initial trauma — they may have even been there — I turned hostile towards them. As typical for early signs of BPD, this was done by being the “ring leader” of our friend group. I used various manipulation so they’d compete for my approval. I do not believe F or T realized what I was doing, neither confronted me within the 5 years.
Author’s Note: This poem describes a common early sign of a developing Borderline personality disorder after the initial childhood trauma. Having an “evil voice,” is a frightening experience for a child. It doesn’t feel like a “voice in your head,” so they think it’s their own thoughts. If the child could somehow recognize what the symptoms were — well, it would’ve at least completely changed this child’s life.
To put it simply, instead of a disorder forming, I thought I was just a naturally cruel child. I always felt guilty about my actions after the fact, but when it was happening I couldn’t seem to help myself. My urges to defend myself from possible abandonment translated into manipulative behaviors in order to make sure my “best friends” were truly loyal to me.
If we don’t talk about how it feels when these disorders are developing, we will never understand them once the full symptoms appear later in life. I’d recommend all parents research personality disorders so you may recognize early signs of it in your child and get them the help they need.
*There is no connection to the real people’s names from these letters. If you are F or T, you will know I am speaking to you. I am truly sorry for any pain I caused you.*