(m) INP [October #1] How Could I Have Known?

“You want to throw your life away for some stupid conversation we had? Like we’re the first people ever who talk about people we want dead.” – The Good Girls, by Sara Shepard (#2 of The Perfectionists series)

 

*SPOILER ALERT*

 

(Poem for resolution)

How Could I Have Known?

 

How could I have known

that the pressure of being perfect

was slowly tearing down my walls.

Brick by brick they fall,

laughing, mocking me on the way down.

 

How could I have known

that the murderer I was looking for

was always right next to me-

memories that froze in time.

 

How could I have known

that society was stripping me of my sanity

until it hung on its last thread

humiliated and battered

from the unending tirade of my mother’s demands.

 

How could I have known

the people who detained me

were the ones I trusted,

yet all they told me were lies.

 

How could I have known

that I was the problem,

the odd one out,

that could never fit in.

I escaped into the woods-

gone,

with her forever at my side.

 

*CRAZY SPOILER ALERT! TURN BACK NOW IF YOU WANT TO READ THE BOOK!*

 

This poem is about a girl called Julie, one of the main protagonists in The Good Girls, by Sara Shepard. The first stanza of this poem talks about how much stress Julie is under to be perfect. She doesn’t want to admit it, but she knows that it’s slowly making her lose control. Life starts to feel like a chore and even though she tries to hide it with a fake smile, she knows that day by day, it gets more difficult to conceal.

The second stanza is about when she finds out that Parker, one of her best friends who was driven by protectiveness, killed the people that Julie’s newfound friends despise. However, what Julie doesn’t know is that Parker had died two years ago from abuse, and due to the loss, Julie suffered from a severe case of D.I.D (Dissociative Identity Disorder). In her mind, Julie recreated Parker, thinking that Parker survived. It is revealed that all the times Julie thought Parker was talking, it was actually Julie talking and everything that Julie thought Parker did, Julie did. “memories that froze in time.” represents that Julie is still stuck in the time when Parker was alive.

The third stanza is about how Julie was so worried about society finding out about her mom, who was a hoarder. Julie was scared that her mom would ruin her life and force her move to another area once again, Parker was the only one to know about her mother’s condition. However, Julie’s mother verbally abused her if she didn’t do what her mother asked, so even more stress was added to Julie’s life.  Julie acted as if she was perfect so no one would suspect anything and made sure no one ever knew where she lived. This slowly damaged Julie’s sanity, because of the constant stress and fear she was under.

The fourth stanza is about her friends, Ava, Mackenzie, and Caitlyn, who in the end, told Julie that Parker was dead. Julie, still believing Parker was alive, was confused as to why they kept trying to ask her why she murdered those people, since she thought it was Parker who did it. She felt very betrayed because no one believed her.

In the last stanza, Julie felt like no one understood her and gave up. The story concludes with Julie pretending to accept the fact that she had D.I.D, in order to escape the metal facility. She runs away, believing that all she needs is Parker at her side.

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