It's complicated

Content Warning: Self-harm

If I had a dime for every time you’ve called me stupid,

I’d be a millionaire by now.

If I had a dime for every time I’ve believed you since,

I’d be a billionaire by now.


But I know you never meant it,

that it was all just pent up frustration:  

you’ve got so much shit going on in your own life,

your love was just lost in translation.


Vivid memories of me sitting in your lap

by the bookshelf in the corridor upstairs:

you read me all my favourite childhood stories.

I felt so secure,

so protected,

always without a care.


But you changed all of a sudden…


what did I do wrong?

Since when did everything I do

make it so difficult for us to get along?


You’ve never had the intention to hurt me,

or so I think…

because that’s not what parents do,



Parents are

supposed to love,

supposed to nurture,

supposed to show their children that they can conquer all,

supposed to help them dream up a wild future –

or, at least, that’s what I’ve been told.  


But if that’s the case…


Why did you make me feel

so unlovable,

so burdensome,

so powerless,

so futureless?

You pushed me to be the best out in the world,

but made me feel so insignificant at home.


Home: where I should have felt safest,

but I found myself no longer wanting to go back,

trying to find any excuse to stay out,

in fear of your unpredictable wrath.


I know you didn’t mean it,

and you probably don’t know to this day,

that the bumpy marks on my wrist,

were my attempts at feeling okay.


When you saw the fresh cuts, you shrieked at me,


But all I wanted you to see was past my skin,

the lashes on my heart

made by



Again, I understand,

you tried the best you ever could,

that the version of love you now show me,

is the only love you ever understood.

Mother, now I ask only one thing:

please, reconsider your hurtful behaviour.

Maybe then you’ll finally understand why

I ran away from you as a teenager.  


All that seems left of my crippled soul

is a lifeless, hard, thick callus.

But I’m sure that under it all there’s still

my childish,


love for


We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.