Toying With The Tender

People tend to bruise me
from the inside.
I can recover from a punch
over a few days,
but the cruelty of venomous criticisms
sit in the gut,
unable to process
or digest
for significant amounts of time.

The overbearing attach to me,
the tender-hearted.

The initial seductions,
always calculated,
appealing to the kink in me.

And in the beginning,
I am always what they seek.

Generously allowing the sensitivity
to flood like a river,
"look at me, I am real!"

But at some point,
the sadist must damn that river
and block you up with fear.

And the more you quiet within,
the subliminal destruction
begins to root.

In the mirror,
you see what they see.
And you join in the mob mentality
to direct some internal shots
at a worthless vessel.

The perfume of pity
follows you
until the resistance.

An epic dismantle,
that will repeat itself
unless you get the upper hand.
Written by Tenderloin
Author's Note
The struggle with self-esteem has affected my life in repeated patterns. It cropped up again recently, and I had to capture what I was holding back.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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