I wish I knew myself before I was clouded by the male gaze. I wish I had seen her before the scrutiny, before the appeal, before she was gone forever. I wish I knew myself before family members and family friends would pinch my butt and tell me how cute it was at the age of 5. Before the mornings where no outfit I tried on would have been enough to impress a boy. Before I was teased and pulled apart, called names by the very girls sworn to protect me. Before I started starving myself and exercising to compensate. Before I gave myself away to a boy who lied. A boy who told me he loved me, when in reality he was a boy who loved my pussy. Who afterwards shaped the gaze of the boys around him. Who said I was a liar- a freak seeking attention. I wish I knew me before I had developed the insatiable hunger for approval. But frankly, how do you find someone you never knew?