Shame and love and shame.
My awareness of sex came with traumatic memories of abuse,
connecting love with lust with touch with pain.
His gentle love I want to want,
but love and shame and love and shame.
I’m filling quiet,
won’t stay silent.
Here lie my addictions; may they rest and leave me peace.
Externalizing the internal,
painting pain where pain can live its course.
Cut, bleed, scab, scar -
a life birthed in pain and killed in silence.
I practiced my breathing,
an act of vitality, nothing more.
Hand on my diaphragm, I measure
how much life I breathe in,
how much I breathe out.
For certainly there is more to
the moment but it is not without its
my lungs are full of air
and they tell me I am alive.
I might not ever know how I got here. If I’ll ever know where I came from. If I’ll ever even know where I stand at this present moment in time with the kind of conviction that says, “I exist.” Stagnant, I stand in hesitation, in utter fear and trepidation because who wants to move forward without the luxury of finding comfort in the what-should-be-permanent nature of the past? I walk ahead softly, look behind and close the door as if I could love what is coming without loving what has come before.
I will not be afraid of happiness.
Broken homes and my sins to atone.
I fight the words that rattle my bones,
that creep through my cartilage and in blood build their homes.
What shall I call in my body my own?
Fear and its ink claim my flesh;
To take advice.
I’ll package my words
with a bow and curl the ribbon,
cut loose my emotions
with a few deep breaths
and a shiny red balloon;
I don’t have the words to
speak or the means to leave
my burdens, but I can
let myself let go
and trust they’ll find
Anonymous asked: Write the poem on an actual balloon and take a picture! Then set it freeeeeeeeeee
I kind of love you.
I hold my fist at my side when
friends comfort me with soft words
that try to cushion the hurting but can’t
even come close. I crave some quick fix
but understanding is in short supply and pain
comes in multitudes. Circumstance feeds hope
and breaks it again; when I seek, empathy only hides.
100,000 steps to what some call “recovery.”
I am an addict in recovery, holding my hands away from my face, washing. Always washing. I close my eyes when I face the mirror, ashamed of how my skin keeps tallies of every moment of regression, forgetting myself in a fit of impulsive depression. And I try to escape the remembering, but my legs have inscribed every step I took backwards and tell me to walk in the wrong direction.
I am an addict in recovery, trying to escape the urge to cover pain with pain, to numb feelings with sharp edges and too many pills. When I lose control of my inhibitions, my mind escapes to trains and bridges and how high would I need to fall. I’ve been taught to breathe, to deconstruct lies, to identify feelings that remain foreign to me. I’ve been taught to grab the phone instead of the razor, to take a single pill instead of twenty. And I follow these rules to the letter until the singular scar down my right wrist reminds me that I am only going through the motions of being “better.”
Things tend to look up until they’re looking down. I smile until something insignificant triggers nervous hands that snap rubber bands against my wrists until they swell with anger - is this what they teach you in therapy? It starts with rubber bands and ends with bandaids; sometimes I confess, sometimes I fall into lies of omission I like to call “truth.”
I am an addict in recovery. Pain is my temporary fix. When life starts looking happier, I fall into withdrawal, missing the depression that brought me down, firmly secured to a miserable ground. When I start laughing, I start doubting; the years have jaded me into wondering what price I will pay for my happiness.
I want to think that everything they say about recovery is a lie, but my therapist tells me to stay away from black and white. Eight steps, twenty seven steps, how many steps are there?
When you make up your mind, come live it. There are no steps. Recovery is a lifetime.
Painting dried roses.
Sometimes I sit and grieve for myself;
I am in the eighth stage.
Grapes and dates and ever too late.
I know a boy who told me that one day,
he will be sitting on the edge of the fountain,
drinking cheap wine with a pretty girl.
I don’t know why he had to specify “cheap”
because expensive seems more romantic to me,
but I wished him well, told him
“You let me know if that ever happens.”
Even though I knew he was talking about me.
It was the first time a boy let me know he liked me,
be it cheap wine on a sunny day,
and I thought about what it would feel like
to be that girl.
But I went back to my room and found the razor,
broke skin and didn’t put the pieces together until now:
I am scared of being loved so I masked it with pain,
told myself it hurts to trust - look, I have scars to prove it.
And these scars continue to remind me
how far I am from deserving -
they whisper in my ear,
this is what happens when you love.
I am probably your average, broken New Yorker. Not only is it weird to make physical contact with other people, but it scares me too. I don’t like making myself vulnerable enough to get close to strangers.
But of course, Jon asks the crowd to put an arm around the person to either side, to be connected. And although I was hesitant to, I did and it was okay. Because I knew we were all there for the same purpose and we all shared one thing - we were all broken. But a lot of broken people coming together like a family make a whole.
I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true. That’s what it felt like. I wasn’t just a scared New Yorker. I was the whole crowd, singing along…
"Our love is a puzzle that can’t be solved."