Don’t assume anything about me based on anything.
You don’t know what I’m thinking just by seeing
if my face is screwed up or if I look happy.
You don’t know my happy.

Don’t assume you know me and damn sure don’t tell me
what I think
How I feel
What my motivation or intent is
What I can do
What I cannot do
Who I am
What I am
You’ll always be wrong.
It will always be abuse.
Because only I can decide or define those things
about me to you.

And they can change every second and I am the only person
on the planet whose responsibility it is to define them
to decide them, to label them.
You don’t decide
You don’t define
You don’t redefine
You don’t label me
You don’t paste who I am to you
onto my face and then criticize it.

Don’t pin your idea of me on your mind’s wall
to throw darts at
to evaluate, to devalue, to label as something
only you want me to be.
Or as something only you don’t want me to be.
What’s written on your mind’s wall about me
isn’t reality.

You know nothing about me
What I want you to know, I will tell you.
Your job is to listen
Your job is to understand
Your job is compassion
Your job is not to decide, define, redefine, label, criticize
some image of me that only lives in your mind.
Because doing that is a form of emotional rape
And I won’t tolerate it.

I have boundaries. This is a boundary.
Don’t cross there.
My moat is full of alligators.
You’ve been warned.
Cross it, and you’re out.
It will only happen once.

©2016 Seven Bowie

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