I Loved A Narcissist Once

Our love stopped time for me.

There’s always going to be a “before”

and an “after”. 

Paradoxically “after” is the present moment.  

Therefore having let you go means that you presently monopolize my life experience.

You are no more gone than the sun during a thunderstorm- 

my hope the sunlight and your presence the chaos.

Removed now in the cruelest way, part of me gone but not carried within you. 

As if it cannot exist inside of a foreign vessel.

I had to kill that piece of me to be free of you, 

now I live free but my soul is…different. 

Nobody understands the cost before it’s paid, 

I will never love again without pausing first at any potential lover’s claims. 

I grew back but wasn’t as full as I had been.

I wonder if I’m even making sense -trying to explain what hell life is, having loved a dead thing.

A hope given up intentionally but not willingly. 

Gravity feels heavier,

the atmosphere harder to walk through. 

Every interaction costs me.

It’s cruelly comical that “after” feels a lot like the space before it,

Misery and confusion – a dark cloud ruling it’s sky. 

The deepest truth is no matter this pain,

It was worse pain to be with you.

I was alone more in your arms

than I’ve ever felt crying the toxins from my wounds.

You never knew my dreams,

Or how my heart leapt at library ladders and how the smell of an old book was my favorite.

You didn’t know my preferences after years together,

And your attention was so cheap, any woman could have it. 

You didn’t read my poetry.

You never cared to know me any deeper than what my existence meant to your comfort. 

You did not learn me outside of you.

Though I knew you better than yourself. 

This is perhaps why “after” isn’t so hard for you,

You don’t know what you lost and I will forever. 

I walk differently after the disrespect I paid myself,

having questioned my worth in your rejection.

I move slower because every action must be accounted for if I’m never to find myself

in that space again.

A space that was anything but spacious –

suffocating and alive.

Things taste different and peace 

is bought with deliberate intention.

So far, I haven’t found a romantic love outside of myself that can exist 

in the space that peace creates. 

I wonder if peace feels different for those 

that found it blindly than for ones like me – 

who had to die for it. 

Honestly, I can’t tell if this is peace 

or disassociation at it’s finest. 

It matters not as I claim this space for myself -and never for us. 

What matters is that I continue in spite of it all.

I continue. 

I continue. 

I continue on.

Burden

There’s this space in my chest

that fills me. 

Existing heavily and thoroughly.

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep 

making me crazy. 

My body existing around the abyss,

paradoxically consumed by its essence.

Inside of me but not of me. 

Of me, but my dreams are not part of the recipe.

My dreams absorbed or worn like skin, but just the beginnings survive. 

The ends may yet live in the blackness or just beyond it.

Inside of my hollow chest is weighted nothingness. 

Or inside of the hollow nothingness, I exist? 

How can one know if in the abyss? 

I’ve never known how to point to something

that was formless. 

I cannot wait to breath, yet all I do is wait for the next inhale. 

I want silence, but everything screams it’s presence. 

I want love but would settle for contempt.

I want peace but would settle for adrenaline. 

I want meaning but would settle for the end of it. 

Spitting bars about the end of it.

Whispering I just want a friend in it.

Warrior

The thing nobody talks about is how hard the internal fight is.

The glory of the win is sold but the cost is downplayed.

How badly this disappointment fucked me up is not measured by those that advise me.

I pay for the heartbreak in every movement of my limbs. In every decision I’ve made since,

Every interaction now costs me like never before.

Does that make sense to anybody? Or am I just on an island?

I will never be the same girl that I was before the pain.

The dark night of the soul came as a result and I’m forever…different.

I want to say I feel like I’m not whole, but that isn’t quite what I mean.

I mean to say that I am filled with me.

And yet I do not know myself. I am foreign and therefore overwhelmed with this foreign being.

A stranger on to myself.

I keep living for other people, for routines, for the sake of just living.

I work just for the sake of working.

I eat and taste nothing.

I smile and then forget what happiness feels like.

Nothing sticks.

I read books and I intentionally exist. I create.

There is no relief from this existence.

Nobody talks about that struggle.

Nobody tells you it may be forever, or that forever will live in every moment.

On Healing

There are going to be days where everything seems okay.

Just okay.

There’s hope though because “I’m okay”. If you can get here after how long you spent in the pain disguised as eternity, then hope is an early sunrise,

a chance.

Those days won’t come consistently at first. It’s unexpected and empowering when they happen.

At first it just feels like prolonged drowning:

Have a good day, get a breath of air. Followed by the suffocation of drama and hurt feelings.

Thriving is not even a dream at this point.

As your tolerance for bad days weakens, your breakthrough begins. Almost at the point where it’s change or death, you start to see a solution in changed behaviors.

Choices will be made to save yourself. Therapy will become a want, then a practice. Content absorbed will become deliberate instead of automatic. You start recognizing what you want more and put less focus on what you don’t want.

You start having the opportunity to say yes to experiences that elevate your life.

…Things just start working out again.

I Wander Less

The process of loving

a man

that isn’t good for you

is really the journey of uncovering

everything about yourself

that lay hidden, lied to, and unaccounted for.

I thought I healed months

after it was over

and still I find myself

leaning into the suffering

that comes with

having loved a man

that did not love himself.

In our interactions,

I’m still triggered

giving weight to another’s opinion of my worth.

Allowing the opportunity of my memory

to what might have been – had wishes come true,

serve as a reminder

to the pain I had to embrace

in escape of broken soul ties.

I run towards future

but find myself looking back

in hopes of surrendering.

Always – it is energy mistaken

leading me to wonder if

I can ever trust myself.

To what end is my sacrifice?

Will I never know love outside of solitude?

Can this memory pain ever lay to rest, in peace?

Or will I always find it tasting bitter on my tongue?

Will my heart ever stop seeking validation

in the arms of those who

found my worth left wanting?

I wander in the black abyss of my soul

searching for the end of growth pains,

panicking for light

in short breathes and outstretched fingers.

There is so much healing to do.

It is hard to image

that I came into this world whole,

once knowing the way innately.

I daydream of starting over.

Finding myself claustrophobic

in a town that bared witness to him

breaking my heart.

The last deep breath I took

was when I traveled alone

and allowed the sea water

to kiss my wounds with salt.

I yearn for the chance to matter

less than a stranger

but I also reach for the kind

of love that is all consuming,

aligning the universe

to exactly where I stand in love.

I waiver in this journey and

know not where I will find

the strength to continue.

I falter to my knees,

not for the first time,

though this time I don’t get back up

with conviction.

I stay in hesitation

with the anticipation of what

another hope would cost me.

Phoenix

I wanted to be with you 

more than I wanted to be myself.

I craved your appetite for me.

Longed for your love expressed 

in compliments.

The feeling of your lips against my forehead.

Your arms around me a promise kept. 

Daffodils and slow dances in our kitchen. 

Nights out with friends,

our love familiar and comforting. 

A choice as simple as

choosing you. 

My home in you. 

I wanted to be with you 

more than I wanted the truth. 

My idea of us continuously ruined 

by the reality of who you were and weren’t.

There was never a single daffodil.

I spent more and more time trying to cover 

lies with hope and my tears with pillowcases.

My body trembled but not with passion.

Your lips spelled hate,

insecurities and rejection projected. 

I wanted to love you

less and less.

It became more about 

why you didn’t want me. 

I would wish it all away now, 

if there was an easier path. 

I had to die to find me.

Perhaps I was reborn in the fire. 

It took therapy and long hours at the gym.

Lengthy journal entries and self help books

for the win. 

Months passed before I started to feel free

from all that had happened.

Now it feels confusing 

to have loved you.

A memory of a memory. 

A stranger with an air of familiarity.

When I think of you I can’t recall your face

nor any of the love 

that made me forget who I am. 

The End is Just Ahead

I micromanaged my happiness

and was dead set on only enjoying life

if it worked out with him.

Our relationship made to be the conduit

for energy spent.

I left no space for miracles

and placed a ceiling on my growth.

Life got harder and harder,

I held on tighter.

My tunnel vision grew.

There were life wraths thrown,

exit signs pointed out,

words of wisdom throw up at the mouth.

And still I said no to peace

if I couldn’t have peace with him.

I want to end with some revelation,

to make it all make sense.

A deep exhale of my breath.

But it’s just a trail of lessons

I leave behind,

and problems to solve ahead.

Learning myself to no end.

There’s no standard set,

just endless wars

and big deep breaths.

My self-worth just ahead.

I will keep pushing for failure

until I am dead.

Rope

I keep daydreaming about the rope 

and how each thread would feel against my skin. 

The image of hanging myself

has replayed in my head again and again.

This isn’t a cry for help,

it is just truth spit into the dry pavement. 

It is chalk images washed up on blacktop

and dead leaves swaying to the ground. 

It’s grey heaviness even when the sun is out.

I keep picturing myself hanging

and wonder if my feet will kick.

I see my limbs dangling. 

How high would I have to climb 

to snap my neck?…

And this isn’t a cry for help,

I’ve learned that for me,

living will have to be done for others.

It is just the truth in the empty drink

and the dirty dishes sitting in the sink.

The truth of a broken heart 

and wishful thinking. 

It’s that overstimulation which comes from emptiness in crowded spaces,

It’s knowing I have to stay

even if I am sick of “spaces”. 

I take a breath because I have to…

For Zane and Zade. 

They keep saving me day after day

even when I can’t find the strength

to want to stay.

You Were the Ocean

I was the raindrop

and you were the ocean.

I lost myself

in cascading waves of emotion.

I could not breathe

and did not know it.

My soul pouring from my throat

in a fluid motion.

I could not stop myself from dying.

I COULD NOT STOP MYSELF FROM DYING.

I was the raindrop

and you were the ocean.

I did not save myself

for lack of trying.

I said keep me but I was crying.

I loved you

but lost my way in time.

I was the raindrop

and you were the ocean.

I died again today

but not for lack of trying.

I could not keep myself from dying.

My cup was empty

but yours was flowing.

I wished for love

and was found wanting.