I don’t polish my halo,
You mean more to me
I can’t disrespect that,
I don’t think you’d care,
when you see
right through me.
I leave everything tainted,
None of it matters.
always meant more to me.
The drugs just aren’t doing it for me,
chemical sleep has lost its appeal
and I confess, I considered tonight
that it might be easier just not to feel.
To slip away, to take a bow,
Admit defeat and fall from my grace
and would you miss me, would you notice;
how long would it take to forget my face?
You forgot me once, you can do it again,
after all, this is only a release
breaking free from the prison we built together
in the hope, of maybe, one night of peace.
I confess, this is serious,
and if I had the strength I would leave tonight
I wish I was brave, that I wouldn’t miss you
that this time I could really give up the fight.
An empty bottle in front of me,
and pills I know I’ll never take
just further proof of my personal failings
evidence of the depression I could never shake.
Another scar to my collection,
a canvas I paint to remind me of you
to prove this reality was never a nightmare
but a waking hell, which I’m still going through.
I confess, it would be so easy,
Just a slip of the hand, just one step too far
but I’m not brave, I feel too afraid
to let myself go, to reopen these scars.
Yet I fantasise of how easy it would be,
for you to live your life without me there
I confess I think of setting you free
sometimes it’s the only way that ever seems fair.
If I left today, would you notice?
Would you realise, I did this for you?
If I slipped away past an exit sign,
would you see it as failure, or something I needed to do?
I try to remember every word you ever said,
the times you loved me, the times you were sweet
I confess, I want to forget
to make this easier for me to leave.
But how can I go when you hold me like that;
when you whisper so quietly only I can hear?
I confess, you keep me from dying,
from collapsing under the weight of my fears.
“Suicide” is a word I don’t like typing. It’s such a final solution, and the word itself makes me feel uncomfortable about the actions I’ve taken in the past. I may occasionally mention my flirts with causing my own death, but I try not to go into much detail because, in truth, I’m ashamed.
I’m ashamed to know I even tried, mostly over such trivial things. New colleges and threats of break-ups. Arguments with my mother. They seem such petty reasons but back then I couldn’t judge whether an incident was serious or minor, and everything felt like a horrific attack on everything I am. The panic and psychosis (for there was psychosis; hallucinations and imagined conversations) drove me into a ball of fear and confusion and, somehow, I decided that suicide was the only logical answer to a world of horror.
Last week, a man lay down on the train tracks between my house and Z’s, and killed himself. I heard the sirens and saw sketchy details appear on Facebook, but I still can’t let myself accept that somebody was in so much torment that they felt the only way to solve it was to climb over the barriers as traffic waited at the crossing, and wait for the train to hit; somebody just a couple of roads away from where I was sitting was going through something most people never – thankfully – have to experience.
I find myself wondering what he was like; why he felt he had to take that step, and do something so damn final. I wish I’d had the chance to know him, somehow.
was a myth I never quite
was a lie, a few
was a story I wrote
and you took it away
I turn the pages
but you changed the ending.
When I met O, I had such hopes and dreams for us; just as I had for every other past relationship. He was to be my saviour, a knight on shining armor to rescue me from every mistake I ever made and every man who ever made me feel worthless. At the time I believed that nobody – not a single other person in the whole world – felt as much for somebody as I did for O. I adored him. Clung to him like a limpet. Demanded his attention 24/7; at the time, I honestly believed I was doing the right thing. I thought he appreciated knowing just how special he was to me.
And for a long time, we wrote a love story together. O was just as attentive and clingy; demanding to know who was texting me or why I’d not answered my phone. We were perfectly destructive for each other, but the constant friction created a passion which kept us coming back to each other, time and time again.
Then it all changed. He broke free of the bonds we’d created and walked his own path. I thought I had the ending all worked out, but he added his own epilogue.
Sitting together and so far apart,
a thousand words unsaid and truths unspoken,
I never felt more alone, more out of place,
as I do tonight,
sitting by your side.
A bottle in my hand and a cigarette in yours,
I open my mouth but no words will form,
it all seems so trivial when I feel this broken,
when you’re sitting so close to me,
yet not here at all.
Writing about 2008 is more difficult than I ever imagined. On one hand, I almost feel uncomfortable writing about my past relationships now that I’ve been with S for eighteen months; I know he probably wouldn’t mind, but it must be weird for him to know I’m writing about my exes. On the other hand, it’s only now that I can see just how low I sunk; I knew I was falling apart but what I didn’t realise is that I’d totally cracked long before it got to this point. I can see that now. It’s difficult to think about. I acted in ways I’m not proud of and damaged my body god knows how much with handfuls of amitriptyline, tramadol, diazepam, co-codamol, small antidepressant overdoses to get me through the night in a dazed drug-fuelled stupor instead of having to deal with the reality of everything in my life going incredibly wrong.
O and I… we stopped speaking one day. Conversation turned to bitter arguments and shouting matches. Slammed doors and a smashed laptop. Midnight chases down the street; it was always me doing the running. I just couldn’t face any of it.
I remember sitting on his swivel office chair, gulping from a bottle of cheap peach schnapps and watching him smoke cigarette after cigarette, sitting on his bed and brooding. He threw me out that night.
Of course, we got back together. We did a lot of getting back together.
A victim to my every failing,
inner demons shape my life story,
a convenient lie,
something to hold on to,
but I haven’t changed
… nothing has changed.
I choose every word so carefully,
I never thought I could pull off,
and do those who point their fingers, really believe
that I could have changed?
… nothing has changed.
A cliché of the highest order,
I became everything I didn’t dare dream.
this has never changed
… I couldn’t change.
I spin these lies,
build up my wall,
nobody will reach me and know where I’ve been.
Nobody will know I’m just a sad retelling,
a sorry-ever-after story
… and the ending never changed.
Stars hung low in the sky tonight
Suspended by threads less fragile than ours
Street lights flicker and tobacco burns
A single light glowing in the dark.
The moon covered by a cloud
But hung by a rope, stronger than anything we could have made
Skin deep promises count for so little
On these nights by the windowpane.
A burned out joint in the gutter
A feeling of being anything but high.
Standing smaller in the dark than I’ve ever felt
In the dark, beneath the night sky.
The wind chills my fingers as I watch the road
Waiting for cars, but nobody comes
Just flickering night lights to pave my way
An illumination on all that I’ve done.
Lighting the shame, the guilt and the doubt
A spotlight upon my every move
Why can’t they see, this was only about me?
This was never about my feelings for you.
Stars hang low above my head
On threads made of promises, kisses and sighs
Threads hold us together, attached at the hip
Built of deception, coldness, heartbreak and lies.
A watered down version of myself
A person you never knew before
With shadows fading and colours shading
Head in my hands, heart on the floor.
A paler person than I used to be
A half-hearted attempt at someone like me
I threw all my colours into you
Sold my substance, because selling’s all I knew.
I thought I could change
That I wouldn’t fade
That I could use kisses
To block out the shame
But I lost all my colour
My inks are all dry
Today I crawl
but tomorrow, you’ll fly.
An unfinished drawing
An unwritten word
Running on empty
Running so scared
Shades lighter than I used to be
A lesser version, a shadow of me.
Always the darkness
Bleaching my skin
Always your distance
Wearing me thin
I gave you my colours
I gave you my word
I gave you the truth
But you never heard.
An unfinished story
An unwritten line
Brightness now fading
Disappearing with time,
A colder heart
Filled with your disease,
You took all my colours
But you never saw me.
I was scared. O and I had been walking in a local park, after an argument had erupted at a vehicle rally. The same rally I first met Ally at; as she stuck out her hand and looked me straight in eye, I disliked her instantly. Didn’t trust her. I may be paranoid, but more often than not I’m right when it comes to a girl moving in on my boyfriend.
When O told me he wanted me to sleep with other people, I didn’t understand what he meant. Did it mean he wanted a get out of jail free card to have sex with somebody else? Was it a test? It seemed so unlike him – O was a very jealous boyfriend, just as I was a jealous girlfriend – that I was totally confused by his sudden change in personality.
I don’t know why I thought O might love me more if I followed his instructions. At the time I was called a lot of names – slag, whore – but honestly believed I was doing what he said out of love. To please him. To be the girlfriend he wanted me to be. And I wanted affection; I’ll never deny that. Even the affection a fumbling, horrible shag with a grunting older man gave me. I closed my eyes and went elsewhere. Pretending it wasn’t happening. Just trying to make sense of it all.
I will always regret it.
once again I am alone tonight,
a sleepless wish, a dreamless prayer
needing nothing more than for you to be there.
A broken heart, a forgotten vow,
the realisation I dont have you now,
I leave the cold tears on my face,
because I know I’m alone in my disgrace.
Cigarettes burn, ashes fall,
tonight I feel impossibly small,
my limits are pushed and my hands aren’t my own,
under constellations, entirely alone.
A pen in my hand, blue ink on my fingers,
I try to push it away but this image of you lingers,
I can still feel your body, I can still taste your breath,
I can hear your voice telling me how you loved me to death.
But the satellites no longer guide me home
I dont hear your voice on the telephone,
just a memory
of your kiss,
I loved you too much.
Not one of my favourites at all, but this poem was written – like others in 2008 – during a time when I was falling apart entirely. I don’t know how much of my relationship failings to blame on BPD, and how much is just the result of me being entirely incompetent. I have always loved too much. Too strongly. I love with an iron grip; twisting my way around a person entirely so they can never escape. Each boyfriend has been The One, without a doubt. I’ve loved them entirely, with every ounce of my body and soul. Handed over money to fund their habits, because giving gifts means receiving more love.
Shrugged off affairs and one night stands. Forgiven each and every man who cheated on me. Accepted it, so long as he didn’t ever leave me. It hurt – oh, it hurt like hell – but I simply couldn’t stand to lose somebody so close to me. Even if it meant sharing them.
I needed. I wanted. I grasped. There’s a song by James called Tomorrow, which has lyrics which sum it up perfectly:
“Now your grip’s too strong, you can’t catch love with a net or a gun”
I’ve attempted to catch love using any means possible. Self-harm. Starvation. Begging. Tearing chunks of hair out as proof of my distress. Clinging to his arm even as he walks out of the door. Refusing to leave. Refusing to move. Refusing to get out of bed. Refusing to accept it’s over.
I’ve destroyed a lot of lives.
Sinking to the depths again
the ones you never quite reach
heart in my hands and head on the floor
wishing I was anyone but me.
Falling for my weakness again
and welcoming it like a friend
crushing my heart between my fingers
- that heart you tried to mend.
Sad, tired eyes searching for you
but my hands can’t seem to grip
aching head and swollen fingers
and the shame because I slipped.
sick in my skin and dead to the world
it’s cold on the bathroom floor
smash all the mirrors and hide the pieces
I don’t want them anymore.
Bulimia, unlike many of the things I’ve experienced, is strangely easy to write about. The reason for this is most likely because when I think of myself as being “bulimic”, it’s like stepping into somebody else and watching myself from the outside; almost like a movie. It isn’t real. Even after fifteen years of binging and purging, something inside me still refuses to accept that I could possibly have an eating disorder.
ED’s happen to other people, you see. Not me. I simply… have a little trouble with food. Since I first made myself sick at eleven years old it’s all been a sort of blur to me. I know it happened, but it may as well be somebody else’s story because I can’t ever quite accept it’s not all a big lie I concocted to get attention.
You think that these are only words,
a shameless outpouring you don’t understand,
you thought that this meant nothing to me;
those feelings I offered you in my hands.
The truth should never have been so clear
in black and white, in printed ink,
you should have known what I was saying
but you didn’t see, you didn’t think
that my words could be my only way;
that just perhaps, I’m as confused as you,
you didn’t see that I could also be hurt -
that I could be feeling the same pain as you.
You held the world in your hands,
but they were just words, you just couldn’t see
that those pieces of paper, now thrown away
were everything I had of me.
Once, I showed O some of the poems I had written about all the problems we were going through together. He’d read my poetry before and praised it, and I felt it was my only way of reaching out with any real honesty. When we sat face-to-face, glaring and spitting out cheap insults, I couldn’t speak properly. Couldn’t get the words out, because I was so afraid of saying the wrong thing.
I said things I didn’t mean instead. Anything to hide what I was really thinking. I messed up so many times, saying the wrong thing entirely rather than the truth. Things which only made O shout and sulk more.
I showed him my poetry. He knew I was falling apart.
He read it, shrugged, said he didn’t understand it and threw the piece of paper on the floor. It lay there, half under his bed, for months. All I wanted was for him to see the truth. He refused to see.
Posted for dVerse Poets, with the prompt:
It’s not fall yet, but the promise of autumn seems to tease us from around the nearest corner, and offer us something better to anticipate.
The very real but difficult to express level of delight this caused me made me stop for a moment to think about the nature of amorphous concepts like anticipation, hope, despair and so forth, and how, like so much of poetry, they express something enormous that is neither physically measurable nor concrete, that only exists in the mind and spirit.
We have science for facts and process, philosophy, metaphysics and religion for the questions of existence, but for defining and expressing our own most elusive internal constructs of emotion, we only have art, poetry and music.
That’s the coded message behind the most analytic and dry poem as well as the most saccharine pop song, conveyed with varying degrees of skill and effectiveness: that we have only these tools to try to communicate a vast reservoir of fluid intangibles we all experience but have difficulty defining or expressing any other way.
As for me? I’m doing okay. Yesterday afternoon was spent tidying up in preparation for moving; today was supposed to be an exercise in extreme cleaning (my furniture is filthy from hundreds of spilled coffees and months of dust) but yet again, fibro strikes.
Food… I’m trying. I ate a small bowl of chips last night with some bread, and a pack of bread sticks. Nothing eaten so far today, but there’s time. I’m incredibly grateful for the messages of support I’ve received over the past few weeks; I know I haven’t always responded to comments but that doesn’t mean I don’t read them and take the words on board. It’s just difficult to reply when everything is so up in the air.