The Way Out

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Sometimes I write frantically,

in an attempt to fill the silence,

sometimes to silence the noise

in my head.

I pour the words out,

scrawling on page after page,

not because the words are coming too quickly,

but because I am afraid of what will happen if the words stop altogether.

 

I try to write around

the dark images in my mind

that fill me with apprehension and sadness,

I try to expel them before they start to

fester.

Sometimes it works,

sometimes I become tongue tied

and the darkness consumes me

before I am able to break through.

Warrior

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On nights like tonight I’m filled with the need to push out the words just so I can avoid the ugliness that lurks in the silence. Those infected, poisonous thoughts that would rip a person’s soul to shreds should they slip from between my lips. In the shower I was thinking about my appointment tomorrow with my counselor and how I would unleash all of the proverbial rubbish onto her, let her be the victim of my brutal backlash, afterall, isn’t that what she gets paid to do? But no, that isn’t fair.

The last time I spoke with her she told me that I need to be more firm when I feel as though my needs aren’t being fulfilled and I’ve been chewing on this thought ever since. She makes it sound so easy, even after I voiced my concerns about whether or not it would all sound mean once I let it out. She says there’s a tactful way for everything to be said but what she chose not to hear me say was that once I have reached my breaking point, tact goes right out the window.

There are times when I don’t care who I hurt with my words, I just need to release them. I feel them tumble over and around each other in my head for hours, days, weeks, months, sometimes even years, before they explode from inside me onto some poor, undeserving soul’s ears.

I try to turn to my writing and it helps for a period of time, until the next episode. And that’s what it is really- a neverending cycle of sitcoms in which I am the protagonist, made out to look like the antagonist. I swear I’m not though. It’s not as though I want to feel these things, this way. I would love to still believe in fairy tales and happy endings and pots of gold on the other side of the rainbow, but I’m just always far too busy battling my demons to find these magical things.

The Other Side of the Lens

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I love you, he tells me and I wonder what he is expecting me to say in return. I pretend not to hear him and keep scrolling through my Instagram. I wonder if the people who follow me think I’m narcissistic from all of the selfies I take but they don’t understand that I’m trying to capture something in those photos.

I look through each one and analyze the look in my eyes. Do I look happy? Fulfilled? Genuine? Sincere? Because most times I feel like a fraud.

I am not that person in my pictures, yet the smile is so convincing. I am on the verge of shattering and I try to blink the reality into focus yet my pictures are so deceiving. What emotion have I captured here? Was it the light, the angle, the filter? Why do I look so complete?

The picture sets my mind off track and then I start to question myself- my motives, my personality, my credibility, my everything. What do my words mean? Am I only filling the silence in my head? Or am I trying to silence the chaos?

I scroll through picture after picture and suddenly I’m staring at a stranger. It’s frightening and disheartening and makes me want to smash my phone into a thousand tiny pieces.

I try to find something in each of these pictures that will help me to understand what it is about me that he loves. I try to believe that he is being truthful when he says that I’m beautiful. But I do not, because it’s not how I feel on the inside and what is on the outside means very little to me.

I snap picture after picture and try to convince myself until I feel myself on the verge of breaking down. Picture after picture after picture and yet in all of them I still look so complete.

Flashing Lights

She smiles for the camera as she walks down the path on the arm of that gorgeous, bearded man whose last name she is struggling to remember.

Birch? Beck? I think it’s Bryan…

She waves at the crowd that has gathered and tries to focus on not falling apart. She’s ready for the night to be over, her feet hurt in these too narrow shoes and she hasn’t taken a single breath since he zipped up this ridiculous dress. The mob of people seems to swell and inch closer to her, their hands stretch out to touch her, everywhere are screams and cries and she becomes confused.

She pauses for a moment as her date stops to pose for a picture and answer nonsense questions about what he’s wearing, who designed it, who cares? She wants to be back home in her comfortable, oversized bed, not in some ritzy motel with things so delicate she is afraid to touch them.

“I heard she does a line every two hours, she’s snorting his fortune right up her nose.”

She hears the whispers and sees the accusations they try to cover up behind fake smiles and insincere waves and she self-consciously glances at Him. He looks so calm and cool and in control but she knows him better than that and so she knows that inside he is a nervous wreck. She knows that his stomach is tied in knots and that he’s pouring sweat underneath that four thousand dollar blazer. She knows his feet are pouring moisture inside his fancy shoes.

She’s loved him for so long even though she sometimes forgets who he is. They’ve lived an eternity together yet sometimes she awakens in the middle of the night, terrified to see who it is sleeping beside her. In the darkness he is not himself. In her hazy, sleepy mind he is that monster and she shrinks back from him.

Every time the cameras snap she feels herself losing another memory. There goes  their first Christmas together. And next went their first vacation. Where exactly did they meet? Yet she maintains her cheerful smile and her laugh sounds like wind chimes blowing softly in the wind.

The next week she reads the articles in the tabloids about how she has been admitted into a mental institution and how he is filing for divorce and she gnaws her bottom lip as he holds her close.

“They just need something to talk about,” he whispers. “Everything is fine.”

She feels the tears burning behind her lids and she stares at him suspiciously. He sighs and hands her a plastic bottle, shaking it gently.

“You need to take one of these, you’re on edge.”

And as she swallows it down and wipes her tears, she hugs her pillow tight and tells herself that she is fine. They don’t know who she really is. They don’t see what is in her heart. But He does and he knows she is good and that is all that matters.