Fathers Can Leave

If a man were to say to me that he was wanting to be a father, I would encourage him. “Children are a joy. Their innocence gives hope.” 

If you were my sister, however…and for that matter a woman at all, I would give you something more fair in response. I would like to tell you that if you choose to be a mother at all, do it under the assumption that you will be a single mom. I would like to say, dear god choose yourself instead because over here isn’t for the faint of heart. Alternatively, I would probably lead with a story of how I almost let Walmart take my dignity and sanity, again. Shopping with children is the worst. Especially when you are shopping on a nearly broken budget. Telling you the truth in a parable. Don’t be an idiot, I will passively declare.

I would never try to teach you the presence that my child’s smile brings or how hugs from babies who need you are the best. 

I wouldn’t lead with how my children save my life. 

I would just share with you on how they steal it. Little thieves of time. 

I tell you that you must choose the worst or nothing at all. You must be all in. The price is your dreams and your youth. 

If your heart still calls for motherhood when you rationalize how bad it can and probably will get, then I say, “Children are a joy. Their innocence gives hope.”

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Solution Driven Mindset – Moving Toward Joy

Dear Self,

I must always go in the direction of joy. 

Minor setbacks, obstacles, and inconveniences are – at the end of the day – just tasks that must be completed. If I could just look at each task as an end unto itself, and not the building blocks to a bigger conspiracy theory, then I would be at peace while handling those tasks. I must remember to be grateful for what I can do. Being lazy and letting tasks go unfinished is not a good indication that I am grateful. 

I should know that I must do everything I can to cultivate peace and prosperity in my life. Not prioritizing that is madness. I must always go in the direction of joy. This pertains to everything in life. A clean kitchen brings me joy, so I must clean it. While doing the task of cleaning, I cannot allow myself to feel bitter about spending my time on that task, even as other tasks call for my attention. In this mindset, it is actually madness to hate doing the dishes, or folding laundry, or bringing calm to your child who cries when it isn’t most convenient for you. The correct response is to feel gratitude. Gratitude that the dirty dishes were a result of consuming delicious food and laundry a result of having clothes to wear. Being able to bring calm to your crying child is proof that your presence is important, your body a temple. To leave those tasks, without completion, brings anxiety. Peace cannot be found in a dirty home. 

This applies to my opinions of other people, places, and things. Can I stop attaching negative feelings to life experiences? If my ex doesn’t show up for our child or if my son used seven different cups to drink milk today, it is not proof that my life is terrible. It can only overwhelm me if I allow it to. If I could just release the anger and resentment, I would be able to identify things as being a neutral experience. I can let go because no other way will serve me. Now I can look at every reaction, every question, every experience and answer it with, “What action or reaction will make me most joyful? Most grateful? Most at peace?” Once I indentify what next move will bring me the most joy and peace, I must act. This allows me to let go of any situation and be non-committed to the end results.I am only focused on the tasks. One task at a time. One action, one move, one step at a time – and always towards joy and peace. Should the results be unfavorable, I can look at it as a task and again move towards joy in completion. Though soon this process guarantees mostly good days, months, and years. Happiness must exist because it is chosen. 

Love You Forever

I’m still in love with you. I may have to bear that cross for the rest of my life. But, what I won’t do is give you even one more opportunity to prove to me that you lack the capacity to love and honor me to the level and consistency that I deserve. You may not be able to comprehend my value, but I know it. And I will NEVER allow you to make me forget that again. I will not dishonor my divine power as a woman just because you choose to disregard your responsibilities as a man. I will continue to chance living each day with a broken heart – being separate from you – because, while it’s almost unbearable, it is still less painful than the disrespect you’ve shown me. For the rest of my life, my answer to you will be “no”. I choose me. My boundaries and what I deserve will not be compromised for, even if it means losing the person I love most.

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.