Dear Perfect Mormon | Internalized-Homophobia Poetry Therapy

Dear P,

To be honest, 

You scared me.

You were the perfect Mormon example.

You were everything I wanted to be,

Everything I — needed to be.

So I chose to walk behind you,

Hoping you’d show me the way.

Show me how to be a good Mormon,

How to be a good heterosexual girl.

How to be good at all. . .

I intently listened as you discussed boys,

Latching on to every word you used,

Every way you enjoyed their attention.

I imagined that feeling,

That emotion,

What was it like?

Over and over again.

Willing it to be real as you spoke,

As I listened to your adolescent exploration,

The ones I would never have a version of.

As I helped you with “boy troubles,”

I could only imagine caring what boys thought!

I had never considered how a boy felt about:

My appearance,

My actions,

My feelings,

Truly anything about me.

It was difficult to help you,

Coming at an angle of no understanding,

With zero experience in any way.

But I tried very hard.

And if I do say so myself —

I gave you pretty good advice!

Well, I certainly tried to give you good advice,

Tried to care about the boys you were speaking about,

Always attempting to find the same things attractive.

Perhaps if I was allowed to care about girls the same way,

Maybe we could have both enjoyed the gossiping.

Do certain memories make more sense now?

You were the first person I met — 

Where I wanted to get your approval,

Instead of the other way around. 

You were intelligent — you could speak in ways I couldn’t.

You were capable — fully confident in your abilities. 

You were creative — allowing your passions to glimmer.

You were the perfect Mormon girl,

And I tried desperately to keep up.

You strictly followed LDS teachings, 

Positive of the religion you were born to.

It was your life,

You loved it.

You were everything,

And I was nothing.

I was never right about you.

You didn’t have a perfect life.

You had a good life,

A happy life, true —

But not a perfect life.

And you shared pain will me.

Showing me,

Once again,

Your strength.

You were even stronger than before.

You created your own perfect life.

That wasn’t a BPD delusion:

Your strength.

That part was real.

I saw evidence of it,

All the time.

You were a fire burning —

Not one of hate — but passion!

You were never afraid,

You gave anything your all.

You had pains in your past,

But you didn’t let them define you.

I watched it all with such marvel —

And now,

Years later.

It’s comforting to me.

You showed me how to deal with pain,

I did not know I had any at the time.

Hidden behind these amnesia walls,

The memories laid back, dormant.

But I wonder if they watched you —

Observed you dealing with your pain,

Seeing how you didn’t let it kill you.

I wonder if my memories viewed it

From behind those very tall walls.

And perhaps it altered them,

Even the smallest of change.

Maybe a piece of the wall cracked.

Perhaps you did help me,

Perfect Mormon,

In a way I didn’t realize until writing you this poem.

Remember when you wrote me that diary page?

It meant everything to me.

I took multiple pictures of it,

I would constantly read it.

Even today,

I still have it. 

One thought on “Dear Perfect Mormon | Internalized-Homophobia Poetry Therapy

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