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The Girl at the Coffee Shop Who's Trapped in Her Own Mind

Imagine you are sitting at a local coffeeshop. You’re sipping your favorite latte, laughing at a really bad joke your sister just made and furiously flipping through a textbook to find the answer to #26.

Seems normal, nothing out of the ordinary.

Now imagine the same situation, except you’re sitting next to the girl who stops flipping the pages of her textbook and quickly scribbles down an answer after shaking her head at her sister’s weird sense of humor.

Once again, normal, and nothing out of the ordinary.

You won’t think the girl is in pain.

You won’t think the girl feels trapped in her own mind.

You won’t realize the effort she is putting in to keep a smile on her face.

You won’t notice how that smile doesn’t truly reach her eyes.

Over the years, she’s become an expert at hiding the ache inside her, the ache she couldn’t explain to you even if she wanted to.

She will try. She will try so hard to help those around her understand how she feels.

She’ll tell them she’s at the bottom of the Marina Trench, shivering, surrounded by the pitch black depths of the ocean, unable to swim up to the surface, unable to breathe.

She’ll tell them how there are flames engulfing her. She can flail her arms, she can run, she can dive into the coldest water there is, and nothing would work.

She’ll explain in ways you wouldn’t think are possible.

Then she’ll stop. She won’t say anything else. She’ll say she’s feeling much better now. The bright smile will return.

She won’t tell you how she cries when she’s alone.

She won’t tell you she only lives because she knows her loved ones need her.

She’s been told she’s the most caring person one could meet. She’ll appreciate the comment and move forward. As she does, she’ll think the only reason she can love others this way is because she has no love for herself.

Day after day, month after month, year after year, she’ll lock her emotions away.

When the emotions finally come out, they won’t be expressed in words. They’ll be expressed in silent screams of anguish. The agony she has felt for so long will come pouring out through her eyes as her entire body shakes. She’ll wrap her arms around herself and squeeze, trying to hold the broken pieces of herself together.

She’ll stay that way all night.

The next morning, she’ll get up, dress and grab her facade on the way out the door.

Then, she’ll go to a local coffeeshop, order her favorite latte and sit down. She’ll open her textbook and begin her work, as she does every day.

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Getty photo via MangoStar_Studio