You

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Your words give me the courage to find my own words. Your encouragement gives me the motivation to turn the page one more time, to write down those thoughts that create themselves in my mind, one word at a time, like this post. I wrote this post because of You. I thank you.

Your dreams shine light on my nightmares, chasing away the darkness and illuminating a way out, through writing and words and images. Your courage lends itself to me and I find myself unafraid when I usually would be. Your touch is soothing and smoothes away the anxiety, it replaces the stabbing pins and needles with goosebumps and shivers. It sets me free.

Your scent is my security blanket, it’s what I reach for when the world is upside down and moving backwards instead of forwards. It reminds me of home and makes me thankful that I have somewhere to call home, that I have somewhere to go. You make me feel as though I belong.

Your determination reminds me that I can never give up, no matter how much I might want to. You remind me that my dreams are achievable if I want it bad enough. Your perserverance is admirable and I find myself observing you, trying to find a way that works for me as well as it works for you.

Your friendship and love remind me that I am never truly alone. No matter how out of place I feel in a situation, in my life, in this world, I know that You are here with me and I can reach out and remember that I am loved. Your love makes me unafraid to show my own love.

I never understood love until I met You. I couldn’t fathom anything lasting, I never really even desired it. Until You, I was comfortable being alone, sitting in silence for hours at a time, doing nothing, seeing nothing, thinking and feeling much the same. I was okay with that. And then came You. You turned my world upside down and I haven’t been right ever since.

And I love it.

 

 

 

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

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Sitting on this couch, half amused, half disgusted, a lot less hurt than I think I should feel, I survey the situation with incredulity. How the hell did I get to this point? I tell myself the answer is at the bottom of that bottle, but I’ve never been one to appreciate dark liquors so instead I hold shot after shot in my mouth and spit it back into my chaser. I watch my two other drinking partners become lit, their tanned cheeks tinged pink, their eyes slowly losing their focus. The woman is attempting to make her way to the bathroom and is walking in a slanted line. The man is absorbed in whatever is on the screen of his computer. Talking to yet another woman, I’m sure. I want to laugh aloud but I think they both think I am just as inebriated as they are so I hold it in. After all, it could be detrimental to my health to laugh when no one else is.

I cannot understand how I have ended up in this position. I used to be such a good person. I worked eight, nine, ten, twelve hours a day. I paid my taxes. I went to church. I helped out friends even when it probably wasn’t morally right to do so. I had a big heart.

Yet here I am, sitting cross-legged on this couch, praying that these two find themselves laying in a pool of bloody vomit after an irreversible case of alcohol poisoning. How did it ever come to this?

I used to love him. I used to write to him every day when he was in prison and before that I used to take care of him. When he lost his son, I would come over and do the pile of dishes that had steadily built up over the week. I would take his laundry back to my parent’s house and wash it to save him a trip to the laundry mat. I used to go and pay his bills for him, with his money, not mine.

I used to love nature. In my hometown there was a park less than five minutes from where I used to live. I would go down there and sit on top of a park table, writing, sometimes drawing, watching the ducks and geese searching for food. Sometimes I would bring bread to feed them. The water wasn’t all that clean. Barges used to dump oil into it, it’s a miracle the birds and ducks could skim that water, but they did. I can’t remember the last time I saw any type of nature other than the stupid Toyota that he has parked in the backyard because he’s too selfish to get the tags and insurance renewed. Instead, he’s bought himself a new computer monitor and custom made tower including six fans, complete with a new chair so he can message whomever has caught his attention this week.

I used to make ungodly amounts of money, ungodless amounts to me at least. I used to spend it on clothes and shoes and clubs and drinks. I used to spend it on my son and books and journals and pens. An endless amount of pens. Sitting on this couch next to this dumb, drunk broad I think of all the times that I’ve had to scrounge together some change leftover from grocery shopping just to buy necessities- things most people take for granted. And forget finding a pen, these days I’m too afraid to write anything too personal before I pay the consequences later.

Little do I know at the time, this woman and I, we will soon be family. In a sense. In this time period, I’ve had more bruises and broken bones than I have written words. I’ve had more nightmares than I have had dreams. I’ve had more warrants out for my arrest for unpaid moving violations than I have received recognition at my job- both over a five year time period.

I watch her for a moment and then stare down at this half-filled shotglass in my hand and tell myself that if I would just give in and swallow down the drink I could let go of all of the pain and self-loathing and confusion and hatred and worry and fear I have been allowing to control me for too long. I could be free for even a short period of time. I fill my mouth with the amber liquid and hold it for a moment before tipping the cup with the mix of chaser and whiskey shots and letting another shot mix in with it.

 

Untamable

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Sitting in the warm sand, hugging my knees close to my chest, I watch the waves crashing onto the shore. The breeze is much stronger this time of night and it makes the water choppy, almost violent, but it’s beautiful. Tiny fish jump and leap, disappearing once again below the surface and I am envious. Who knows where they came from? Who knows where they live? I cannot see the opposite shore and I know these fish have such an immense amount of vastness to explore. An entirely separate world to call their own.

The sun shimmers off the surface of the water, the waves crash against the jetties, foaming and frothing, never stilling, not even for a moment. There’s nothing calm about these waves. They are wild and free and I long to be consumed by them in a way I cannot explain. There is freedom in those waves, a freedom I am always seeking.

Seagulls dip low, barely skimming the top of the water, coming up with their catches. Their call is beautiful as they soar through the fiery skies. I imagine them flying back to their nests, on the highest branches of the tallest trees, to feed their young before gliding back through the clouds. I spread my arms and feel the wind tickle my bare skin and wonder what it must feel like to fly. I want to fly.

A couple of hermit crabs carried in by the tide nestle into the wet sand and I watch for a moment as wave after wave flows over them. I wonder if they will come out of their shells to retreat back into their watery home and I worry that they will become stuck. Standing, not bothering to wipe the sand off my skin, I walk carefully over to them and pluck them up. Walking barefoot to the water’s edge, I put them down and watch the waves carry them away. I stand for a moment as they are carried further and further out by the almost violent, yet absolutely beautiful water, sinking slowly with each wave that washes over them and I feel a familiar longing and wonder when and if it will ever be satisfied.

 

 

 

Thunderstorm

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Lying in bed with the blankets over my head, my hands pressed over my ears and it does no good because the booming of the thunder vibrates straight through to my bones. The room lights up as the lightning crashes and I squeeze my eyes shut as tightly as I can. I hate it when the weather is like this, bad things happen when the thunder sounds and no one can hear you scream. But this isn’t then, and there’s nothing out there. That’s what I tell myself anyways.

I hum quietly to myself and with my hands still pressed tightly against my ears all I hear is the tune I’m using as a distraction. I don’t even know what I’m humming and it doesn’t really matter so long as I have something else to listen to. Outside the lightning sets the sky ablaze and I can see the flash behind my closed eyelids, underneath my blanket. I could just go hide in the closet but I’m an adult and the children are sound asleep. If they can sleep through this then I can endure it while I’m awake.

He lays in bed next to me and tries to comfort me, wrapping his arms around me and running his fingers through my hair but I cannot help the tears that start to well up. I should be able to handle this, it’s just an act of nature. Thunder and lightning can’t hurt me and those bad things that happened in the past are just that- in the past.

Thunder cracks through the sky, a bolt of lightning hits seemingly right outside the window, closer than comfortable for me and the power goes out. By this time I am shaking in terror because bad things happen in the dark. Terrifyingly, horrible, life-altering things. Things that leave mental, emotional and physical scars and no one can hear you scream over the thunder. I try to steady my breathing and count down from a million while all around me the storm rages on.

Sinful

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His love makes me believe that I can do anything. I could reach out and pluck a feathery cloud from the sky, if I wanted to. I could exhale a whispery breath and extinguish the sun. It makes me want to give him the stars, even though they aren’t mine to give. I could crumble mountains and cross oceans, without ever moving.

His love makes me invincible.

His love makes me feel beautiful, like there was no one before me and will never be one after me. Not just an accepting type of beauty, but like I’ve exceeded the standards that I’ve always held myself at.  His love makes me feel confident that what is inside of me is far more stunning than anything anyone has to offer on the outside.

His love makes me radiate.

His kisses are like a gifted box full of chocolates when I’ve only just given them up for Lent.

I crave them.

His love is like committing arson,

when I knew there was a drought,

leaving me burning with the desire to be quenched

with more fire.

I find myself doing everything with him I always swore I would not do.

I let walls down that I’ll never have the time, nor the strength, to rebuild.

With him, I am vulnerable.

And I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Replay

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Lying in bed, thinking I must be tossing and turning but knowing I am probably paralyzed from fear, behind my closed lids I know what is about to happen next. Sometimes the faces are different but the heartache is not and something in my mind screams at me to wake up. I repeat his name over and over hoping that one of these times I will somehow let the word slip through my lips in my sleep, that I will say it loudly enough to wake him so that he might wake me but it never happens. Once again, there’s his face, smirking and uncaring, his eyes as cold as a fresh snow and my heart starts to clench, I know it’s about to shatter into a thousand pieces because I’ve had this nightmare before, too many times before. I want to wake up. Heart pounding, broken out in a cold sweat, it feels like something is squeezing the breath out of me, I know what happens next and I cannot relive it. It’s been so long since the last time, I thought my mind had forgotten, had let this nightmare go. Yet here he is, his eyes so accusing and hateful yet uncaring at the same time and he says the words I fear to hear from him and I cannot wake myself, just like every other time I’ve had this dream. I cannot wake myself and I must let the nightmare run it’s course. And after it’s over and my pillow is soaked with tears, this puppy climbs on my chest and licks the tears from my face and I remember that I am loved. She stays there on my chest throughout the rest of the night, watchful, and I tell myself this nightmarish pattern has been broken because I didn’t have her before, she wasn’t there before to remind me of the the truth.

Quiet

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I told myself I could finish out this challenge.

I told myself I was going strong.

I told myself my words mattered, to me if to no one else.

I told myself I would listen to the stories inside of me and share them with the world.

But tonight, my mind is quiet.

 

Earlier today I said I would distract myself when my coworker started sharing details about her relationship.

We’ve worked together for about six months now, maybe less, and she’s always told me such beautiful things about her daughters. It’s obvious she loves them very much.

I never really noticed that she never speaks of her husband.

Maybe I should’ve noticed that when does, she only speaks about the times in the past when he was abusive.

She says he’s changed now.

Until today, I never noticed the moments of silence that always follow these particular conversations.

But today, I listened when she was quiet.

 

On my way home after picking the Little People up from school, I thought about my favorite bloggers and wondered what they were thinking about.

I pictured one typing out words on a laptop, maybe drinking something fruity, maybe a tea. I don’t know her preferences. I imagined the other smoking a cigarette, leaned against the window of a skyscraper, looking out over the city. I don’t even know if he lives in a big city. I like to think he does.

I wondered what I would say if I had the opportunity to say something to them. I would want it to be something meaningful, I would hope it would be something meaningful, but I’m not the best at spoken conversation.

I wondered if these two people would listen when I was quiet.

 

Tonight as I was jotting down ideas about things I might write about I thought about all of the written words I’ve read in the past couple of months and I told myself once again that I would write something equally beautiful, or at least attempt to. I told myself that all good writers think their words are absolute rubbish but that doesn’t mean they truly are. I told myself I should just allow the words to flow from my brain to the paper.

I sat and let something be born onto paper, I watched something blossom and suddenly, my mind went quiet.