Life as a Poster Child

Ever pay attention to those posters in your doctor’s office and say, “Glad that person isn’t me!”, Or , “Wow that’s sad, I should Facebook that”.

You never really stop to think if that person is truly like you. They could be talking about starving children in Africa, and all of a sudden you forget you are in that office due to an eating disorder, brought on from constant malnutrition as a child.

You forget it all because they seem worse off . You suddenly have your crap together, despite dying inside, because someone on that poster is suffering.

You will never see yourself as that child. Never see yourself hunched over in pain with overly watered eyes. Will never see yourself covered in bruises, crying in a dark corner as someone yells at you…again…

You will never see your scars as you stare at the poster of the child with scars on Their wrist.

You won’t see it because they are suffering more.

You will strive to get better, sure, but there is always someone out there that has it worse than you do.

It is like you invalidate what to have been through. Because you are…

It is easy to care about those poster kids. So why can’t we care about ourselves?

See, I am a poster child for mental health. Not the good kind but the one where the homeless kid in a beany (why are they always wearing beanies) is sitting on a bus stop (again why always a bus stop) looking at the people around them with vacant eyes. I am that girl ( cause it’s nearly always a female in these posters) who is homeless and clutching the hand of child. A child who may or may not be crying (usually not crying because that defeats the purpose of the unhappy mother. Always put lost mother next to somewhat better dressed and vacant eyed child. There lies the money-maker). 

Always surrounded by those who are better off.

In some shots she is smiling with her child and others they stand as if they are drones.

I am that poster child who is holding out a broken bowl for food

I am that child who covers their bandaged wrist.

I am that mother whom begs on the street corner for help.

I am them and I still believe that their suffering matter more than mine ever will.

I am a poster child who can’t help but view the posters of others and try to figure out the best ways to help them.

I know what my picture means, I will not ignore it, but at times I find myself forgetting all about it.
My suffering is no where equal to that of others.

My favorite poster to ignore is that of a single mom. Mainly cause there are not a lot of posters on the subject. At least not many attempting to seek help. 

Just success stories of those who rose up from the life given to them and raised children who is turn where successful. 

The “Thanks mom, Thanks dad” posters.

The ones littered around some community colleges.

They are there though, go, take a look. You are bound to find at least one or two posters, maybe just a pamphlet, stating something about single parents support-group. If you don’t find one I will make you a special gold star made of real gold and the tears of a very hangry dragon. A very hungry…very angry…dragon.

It is my favorite to ignore because I tell people that being a single parent isn’t that bad all the time. I tell them that I enjoy the solitude. That I am perfectly fine being single and alone. I like eating pizza with just a toddler. I hate going on dates anyways. That it eventually gets easier to tune out the most basic cartoon noises.

It is not that bad.

But it is.

It is that bad.

But I won’t tell anyone why. I won’t tell them that some days I go into my room and cry. How there are days when I washing the dishes and have to fight the urge to “accidentally” slice open my arm. I will never tell them of the days I resent my child. Of those times when I want to run away. See I can’t tell them that I go days without adult interaction and the reason I am so silent is because I forgot how to talk to people my age. I can’t tell them how my daughter is my best friend. They would think I was strange but she is the one person who has never left me. She has never abandoned me to the wolves and instead tells that I am the best person ever.

I talk to people online. They keep me insane more than they know.

If I died do you know how long my child would sit here alone? Days…maybe even weeks before someone started to worry about us. Even then it would be because I haven’t posted a video or picture of her.

I am the Poster child of a single mom.

But it is one I will greatly ignore. I will share pictures to the world about how single parenting can be fun. Every once in a while I will reach out for help.  Only rarely though.

I will lie to the best of them but am also willing to help others in the end. Other single mothers that is. The posters always meant more to me then my very own. I will seek help, I will not ignore, but I will invalidate my own poster for the better of others.

Cause I am the perfect poster child of a broken home.

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