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Laila Cooke-Campbell: “Laila”

Tomorrow's Voices Today

Laila

A name that was meant to give strength
Became my greatest weakness
It’s just a reminder of pain, loss, and fear
The 5 letters that leer over
me as if I am a disgrace

The L- it shows me the unconditional love
I received from a father that is no longer here
A reminder… that everyone leaves and
I’m just a waste of space
That lonely L
is followed by the avenging A

The A- that serves as a reminder
of the alcoholic mother who always made me feel alone
And gives me the never-ending Anxiety
about things I know I didn’t do wrong
The I-
Is my inability to realize my self-worth because I-
I hold so much self-hatred and insecurities and feel that using that letter too often
makes me a selfish prick so I put on a smile and say “’I’m fine”
That same insecure I
is followed by another L
And yes, it stands for love
but it’s one I’ll never receive,
because it’s for the parent
I always try to please…

No matter how hard I tried I was never enough
Never appreciated and always valued myself on how she valued me
But at Last I see! I see the letter A the last letter of this cursed name
The letter, although last, gives a new meaning to the name
The A- It means AT LAST I can breathe!
I am adapting and changing and will soon set my mind at ease…
Because I know a name is something I can’t change
But it’s something I can and will change its meaning…

NO longer will I let these letters affect me
The L will be not the love I have lost but the love I will gain
The A will not be me being alone, but it will be me adapting to change
The I will bring light to myself and focus on what the actual letter means… me
The other L is going to represent not an unrequited love,
but it will be self-love and falling in love with
who I am meant to be
And Finally, a breath for the A AT Last but not only can I breathe I can live
because this letter represents me overcoming adversity and learning to love
ME.

A name is something that is given
But it is up to me to determine how I leave it written
Because the letters don’t make the person
I DO!

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