At nineteen, I have both been told I don’t have to take off my shoes at the airport, because “12&under don’t need to.” And been asked how old my children are whilst babysitting. I can’t win.

"The next time you feel you have to defend something about yourself, ask yourself, why am I feeling I must defend this? Be willing to let your heart and wisdom smile upon people, sending them your love and acceptance. Do not feel you must say anything. Be who you are. Do not try to be perfect all the time."
"the thing that no one tells you is
that love should have conditions.
the thing that no one tells you is
some people need to be given up on.
that love isn’t an all-access pass.
that it isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free-card.
you can have the best of me but
you can’t have all of me.
i’ve made this mistake before
and you cannot have all of me.
just because i love you
doesn’t mean you’re Superman.
when you leap tall buildings
in a single bound, you forget that
i’m waiting at home and this isn’t love
like the storybook. this isn’t love
like my mother said. what they forgot
to tell me is that love should have conditions.
that if there ever comes the day that you press
your fingers to my skin and it blossoms purple,
i should run. that if you ever open your mouth and
what escapes is as cold as snow swirling into a blizzard,
i should leave. i’ve watched the women
in my family love until they are broken,
until they are small, until
they are nearly dead and because of this,
there are conditions.
my mother told me the secret to love is that
at least one of us has to keep fighting for this love
and i promise you i will fight
until the end of me,
but there are conditions."
Fortesa Latifi - [un]conditional love
(via madgirlf)
"I wasn’t your first and we both know this. She had your heart before you knew my name. He had mine before I ever looked twice at you. Most of your stories have her in them and it makes me wince but they’re coming less often and this is something to smile about. When you remember that you met him back when he was the one holding my hand, you try to remember what he looked like but you can’t because it didn’t matter then.
They were first and we both know this. They were the first ones to make us say this is what everyone has been talking about. They were here and they were everything and now they’re not and we are something. I want to thank her for leaving you so softly. You want to punch him for leaving me in pieces.
You weren’t my first and we both know this but that’s okay because maybe I learned all the hard lessons with him. Maybe you learned how to love with her.
I guess what I’m trying to say is there are so many different kinds of love in this world. He was my shot of tequila on an empty stomach and she was your monsoon after the sky forgot how to cry for the entire summer but you’re my bed waiting for me after a long day and I’m your glass of red wine that warms you from the inside.
So what if they were first? This doesn’t make me sad anymore. We both promise to do better this time and I finally believe us."
Fortesa Latifi - second (via madgirlf)
"I am not brave like in the movies.
My fight sings like surrender
but I swear if you look closely,
there are bullets in my teeth.
My fingers are shaking
but my feet won’t stop
dragging themselves forward
and it’s slow
but we’re moving.

I am not brave like in my dreams.
I haven’t yet learned to stand up tall
but if my spine is stacked
anything like my mother’s
then that day will come.

So maybe I am the trembling kind of brave.
Think leaves in autumn dancing on branches.
Think wind whistling between cracked ribs.
Think held breath passing a graveyard.
Think a hero’s heart.
Think a poet’s angst.
Think a father’s fear.

I am not brave like in books
but maybe bravery is
chattering teeth,
screaming heart,
staggered breath-
maybe it’s all of that
and putting one foot in front of the other anyway."
Fortesa Latifi - I am the trembling kind of brave
(via madgirlf)
""Dear Pianist, I love you more than you’ll ever know. I swear your smile saved my life. I swear your touch made me whole. But there is not an end to the self-condemning lies that I have believed, and there is no depth that I have not known in attempts to drown myself (or: set myself free) – to the point of pushing you away from me. I drove the country on my own in an attempt to break my heart, and I’ve opened my heart to every fleeting hope in an attempt to fall apart.” She said, “we fall apart and into our gods, but God meets us where we are! (and) Oh what a thought! (To live a life that’s free!) But we are such a self-destructive bunch, aren’t we? Writer, you are a part of me and there is nothing you can do to set to flame the fabric that has woven me to you. I will not be your broken heart and I will not be your empty oath, o! with our hands laid flat in surrender I swear we will both let go of the chains that choke us, that wrap their hands around our throats, and I will play you a new song and the lyrics that you wrote will accompany the melody” and every word she spoke was a land of milk and honey that I thought I’d never know.”"
Levi the Poet, Dear Pianist (via voyageetlaventure)
"I will not be your broken heart and I will not be your empty oath. Look with our hands laid flat in surrender I swear that we will both let go of the chains that choke us. That wrap their hands around our throats."
Levi the Poet; Dear Pianist (via all-goes-onward-and-outward)
"And it took a long, long time to get here, but I’ve heard rumors of rest for the heavy-laden, and you do not have a savior unable to sympathize with your weaknesses. There are liars inside your mind that you lay claim to control your life, and there are monsters inside your heart that have dug in their talons and become a part of you; but there is mercy every morning, and to the burdened, there is rest, and that promise overwhelms the deepest bouts of doubt and consciousness."
Levi the Poet || Leviathan Grew Up Inside Of A Broken Home
"I might flinch the first time you try to touch me-
this doesn’t mean I don’t like you
all it means is that there was one before you who
was not nearly as gentle as you are
and so we must take our time now
we must take our time"
Fortesa Latifi - To Whoever Is Next (via cattedrali)
"Dear future child
If it’s 3am and you find yourself in a world of complete despair
Please do not turn to strangers on the internet for solace as I did
Please climb onto my bed
And I will hold you until the demons sleep
If it is Thursday morning and you are too sad to move
I won’t force you
I will buy ice cream and we will watch your favourite tv show and I will remind you of your importance
If you feel as if you have no purpose
I will remind you that you were created entirely with love and every pain you feel, I feel too
When you’re sure you can’t go on anymore
I will tell you that when I was 21 I searched for peace at the bottom of a vodka bottle chased by a bottle of pain killers
But that five years later
When you were placed in my arms in the delivery room
I realised that you were why I had been holding on
Without realising it, you saved me, do you know how amazing that is?
So if you ever feel like grabbing that vodka bottle, put it down, we will get in the car and I will drive until the sky turns magenta
I will show you how the sun rises every morning to encourage you to rise too
Sweetheart I refuse to be unaware of your sufferings
As other people were to mine."
Your mental health is my priority. (via be-fearless-brave-and-kind)

Most days I don’t really think about all the things my friends and I went through in middle & high school. Call that a sign of recovery. But every now and then I revisit those things, and every time I do, I am reminded how many miracles I saw in those times, dark though they were. We were all so unstable, so fragile, so easily torn open. We were scared, scarred, beaten down and beating ourselves up because of it. But we survived it.

I once was friends with an anorexic girl who weighed 70 pounds and was given a week to live. She survived, went through years of treatment, and today she’s alive, progressing, and doing better.

Another friend cut herself every single day for two years. She went to therapy and now she’s two years clean instead, in college, doing better.

Another tried to kill himself after trying unsuccessfully to drown out his self-hate with a razor blade. A year later he went to an ivy league school and has an apartment in New York City with a job and a future.

Another spent months in and out of the psych ward trying to heal, bipolar, bulimic, cutting, and generally a disaster. She moved away from her abusive family, met a boy who loves her, and is now one year away from her college graduation.

Another whose mother emotionally abused him to the point that he dealt with suicide and self harm for years. Then he ran away, found people who gave him true, loving community, and two weeks ago he just married a girl he’s been in love with since high school.

Another who was called fat as a child and then years later still couldn’t eat with panicking. She saw a therapist, found better coping mechanisms, and now works with kids, giving them a better example of how to live.

Another was haunted by past abuse. Then one day she spoke up. Asked for help. Found people who helped her understand what happened wasn’t her fault. She got married two months ago and now works with abuse victims.

Another was trying not to hate himself for being gay. Who tried to bleed out his homosexuality via veins in his thighs until eventually deciding he’d rather be alive and gay than straight and dead. I agree.

Another whose boyfriend attacked her. Who thought she couldn’t leave because he also held her when she was bleeding. Until she realized love is never abuse, and walked away. She’s getting married next year to a guy who treats her like gold.

Another who felt God could never love a lesbian and tried to take her own life because of it. A few months ago she decided God cares more about whether she feeds the hungry and cares for the broken, than the gender of the person she feels affection for.

And me? I thought I could find relief in self-harm for years. I’d been burned by so many people so many times I didn’t see much of a point to life anymore. But time, love and grace can heal a lot of things and now I’m studying biology and psychology and one day I’m going to be a social worker.

Let our stories be a reminder: the difference between pain and healing is time. Life takes time. And if you feel trapped in something, give it time. Everything has an end. You will get through this and you’ll find better community and you’ll do something amazing with your life and have an amazing story to tell for it too.

You need to hang on tonight. If you’re looking for a sign, this is it: time heals all wounds. I promise.