Have patience with the girl who stays silent during class, staring down at her algebra paper as if it were some kind of rocket science.
Have patience with the boy who sits alone at lunch, eating and talking to no one because “oh he’s away so he must think he’s better than everyone else.”
Have patience with the girl who constantly wears jeans and jackets and refuses to go swimming or do any activities without being completely covered up.
Have patience with the woman who—god forbid—says no when a man continues to flirt and make advances on her at a bar she went to to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
Yes, have patience with that silent girl because the bruises along her body cause by the only Father she has ever known distract her mind and screw everything around, keeping her thoughts from running in a straight line.
And yes, have patience for that boy who eats alone because his extreme anxiety and depression are so toxic, weighing him down like tons of bricks attached to the shackles on his arms and legs, keeping him from talking to strangers.
Have patience for that jeans and jackets “kill-joy”, for hiding her body because of her insecurities, and the marks and deep scars that almost cost her a life when the knife brandished by herself cut a little too deep.
Have patience for the woman who says no to that man with the lust-filled eyes and snarling canines because she doesn’t want to get raped a second time in her life, the memory of when she was fifteen still filling her nightmares.
Because that man standing in her bedroom door with a belt and harmful, shameful words poised on his tongue as if he were a human gun ready to spew bullets of hatred at his child.. won’t have patience.
The kid who has the nerve to bully and harass a boy because he doesn’t see the pain and fears within him surely won’t.
The kids who constantly bother that girl for covering up and never showing the skin that isn’t her frowning face never will.
The man with those piercing, disgusting eyes and grotesque smile, making moves on a woman who is terrified of him won’t.
Nobody is yours to put down and make fun of for seeming dumb and distracted.
For seeming far too confident.
For wearing what makes her most comfortable because of the self harm she pulled herself out of.
For taking control of her body and her rights.
These things, horrible things, occur and still people wonder
“Why do kids kill themselves?” “Why are teenagers so moody?” “Why are women so reluctant to have sex sometimes?”
Because the people like you who ask those questions with an annoyed, offended tone are part of the equation.
Your words and actions become wrecking balls that destroy the buildings that are people’s confidence.
And you wonder why they fall down.
The way you look at people are those poison darts made to paralyze, but you still find a way to complain that they collapsed.
In searching for a reason to find out why this all happens, pretending like you actually care, you skim over the facts that show that you are part of the problem.
So have patience with that silent girl who is abused.
Have patience with that lonely boy with his anxiety.
Have patience with the girl who overcame one of her many demons.
Have patience with the woman who says no.
Have patience. Because if you don’t..