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It’s day 13 of being stranded in the middle of nowhere with the family. Chocolate levels are low, tensions are high. There has been no level 10 fights but they brim beneath the surface. There is one day left. Chances of survival seem bright.

I am often filled the absolute terror I will turn into you. That somehow your neurosis and violence sit waiting in my chromosomes, until some unspecific day to be released. I fear I’ll turn into whatever possesses you when you’re full of rage or sadness. I fear I will hold the people I care for hostage, the way you have held me. I’m afraid. I don’t want to be like you, I can’t be like you. But I have reacted to violence with violence. I try to remember that I was trying to defend myself from harm but I still remember the way it made me feel as I reacted. How it swelled and made me sick. I hate the violence you inflicted. But I hate more the emotional sickness you so kindly guided me into. I refuse to be like you. I still have people tell me how nice you seem. I think that makes in worse. I know you can be nice and loving and kind but I also know the cruelty and the pain and the way it has effected who I am. I pray I never become like you.

I love my brother but I find it difficult to be around him when on beach or around the house when he isn’t wearing a shirt. I’m just envious that he can do that, that he’s comfortable in his body. I wish I didn’t have boobs. I wish I could feel comfortable shirtless. I wish I was gendered as male. I wish I didn’t have to wear so many layers at the beach to feel remotely comfortable. I wish I could lounge comfortably. I wish I didn’t think about how people perceived me constantly. I wish I didn’t feel afraid of the consequences of those perceptions.

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