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By Darlene Cunningham on May 13, 2024

Diagnosed with ADHD as a child in a critical era, “rational dreamer" Darlene sought validation for her struggles, realizing the issue lay with a world she seeks to shape. Darlene, a gifted woman who despises the label, likens herself to a mix of Skittles and M&M's—risky, rewarding, and self-amusing.



They


They say cracks are where the light comes in,

Forgetting that meant to see the sun, I had to first be broken,

Forgetting that the world will spin and my view will again darken

Forgetting the light I have within that only pain can dampen.


They say they’ll fill the cracks with gold

Claiming that gold will give me beauty, make me sparkle, make me glow

Claiming the cracks make me precious, give me value, that they refine.

Claiming they’ve given me a gift, promising that I will one day know.


They say so many things to deflect blame for their own comfort

Disregarding I had beauty before the cracks, no need to preen

Disregarding value I always held, these bonds of gold given for no reason

Disregarding the light that shone from me, no cracks needed to be seen.


They say that passing time heals all,

Ignoring the need for healing means harm first had to happen

Ignoring that memories are scars that remain when healing’s done,

Ignoring dreams and plans and hopes for life, leaving only that which I am trapped in.


They say that now I’m beautiful, I’m valuable, I’m strong

Saying that they didn’t break me, they just helped me see the sun

Saying that the cracks they made caused me no loss and being shattered didn’t unmake me

Saying I am complete and whole, that bonds of gold meant that I had won.


They say so many things to deflect blame for their own comfort

Denying parts of me were lost, since the breaking was begun

Denying that scars are often painful, keepsakes of each and every breaking

Denying from behind the cracks, who I might have been is gone


They say what doesn’t kill me will make me stronger,

Believing that these cracks are why I am here existing,

Believing they gave me the will to survive, the armor needed for survival and

Believing that being alive equates living.


They say so many things and yet I’ve never heard

Why they chose to break me so that I could see the sun

When they could have chosen instead to love me and been the sun that lit my path or

Why they chose instead to shatter, to make me break and come undone.


They say so many things and yet I’ve never heard

“I was wrong” or “I’m sorry” not once have you chosen to grow

You say instead that I’m ungrateful; that I’m ugly and unknowing

Why you believe you define me, when you’ve got no cards to show.


So I say I am beautiful, that I am valuable, that I am strong

You see, despite your willful blindness, I have been all along.

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