Hard to Break

I am human, with a messy human body and mind

I don’t intend to hurt anyone, yet I have a habit of leaving a trail of broken hearts behind me

I’m gifted at making people feel loved and special

I celebrate their strengths and passions

I serve up what everybody craves

When I cease to deliver their fix, they protest that I’ve misbehaved

I’m trying to shake this old survival skill that used to protect me but now makes me ill

I’m trying to garner new abilities, but ancient habits are hard to break when they are built into your anatomy

Too Much

Are you upset because you feel that you gave too much, darling?

Too much love and affection, only to end in rejection?

Too much energy and time, too much of your body and mind, did you spend too many of your dimes?

Too many gifts, too many kisses?

You were too much for me

I risked my life for you, with every imposed act of unprotected sex

Your arms were prison bars to me, your body was a wall I couldn’t make fall

Finally free with the help of geography, I set to work separating you from me

I told you so many times that your love was toxic for me

You cared only for yourself, I was an object on your shelf

We both gave up the chance to be with dozens of other lovers

I gave you the best years of my life and you riddled them with strife

I thank you for all of that, even though being trapped in an unhealthy relationship damn near killed me

You were my drinking buddy and my drunk enemy

You never kept the peace for long

A loud grievance about how the world did you wrong was perpetually erupting

Despite the fact that you were a spoiled, silver spoon over-fed blond haired, blue-eyed white American male

Honey, your complaining is still ringing in my ears

You gave me the time of my life, never after

Our friends went out of their way to keep us apart because the damage we caused each other was so painful for them to watch

Our approaches to life are opposite

I ask what I can give

You ask what you can take

No wonder you were so fond of me

You want without end

I could never satisfy you

I am at peace now, and I wish the same for you

I no longer feel torn by my simultaneous love and loathing for you

I feel only grateful to have survived our relationship

It was almost too much

Invisible

I grew up in invisible poverty

Not in a city housing project, but surrounded by trees- keepers of my sanity

Unfortunately, I didn’t cling tight to that original green

I left the nature that uplifted me to get swallowed by the big city

I did hard time in the belly of that proverbial whale

I was a natural at drinking at bars and hitching rides from strangers in cars

I ran as fast as I could in the workaholic race without stopping to realize that I was headed away from that which my heart truly desired- tranquility and peace

I recreated the high stress of my childhood without seeing my own role in the process

Perhaps the cycle of trauma is not fully broken, yet I am breaking free

The chains that bind me are invisible, yet I feel them loosen and weaken

I get stronger every day

Doc

My patients come to me and say, ‘Doc, I have pain’

All of life is pain and comfort, my powers are few in the face of this universal truth

We try all manner of pills, topical treatments, injections and various therapies, yet the pain persists

Soul pain lies beyond the reach of western medicine

My patients come to me and say, ‘Doc, I cannot sleep’

All of life is fear and relief, effort and rest, I’ll do my best

I send multiple prescriptions, adjust doses, fill out piles of disability paperwork

I work extremely hard so that my patients don’t have to work at all

Although we share the same afflictions; anxiety with panic attacks, depression, insomnia, PTSD, nightmares

Perhaps my patients are doing more for themselves than I will ever do for myself

They are allowing themselves to be helped, although nothing we’ve tried so far seems to help much

No cure in sight, just a lifetime of refills

I’ve yet to outwardly acknowledge the inner storm that rages below my placid surface

My family conditioned me not to feel my feelings, trained me to exist only in service of others, to live for their benefit

The few times during childhood that I made the mistake of showing that I was human, that I was hurting, I received swift and searing backlash

Perhaps my patients are healing me by showing me what it looks like to be vulnerable, by saying ‘I can’t do this’

Yet I fear that I am keeping them unwell, allowing them to accept the sick role without hope of cure by signing their disability forms, by saying ‘you don’t have to do anything’

How will they ever heal themselves if they don’t have to?

How will they gain meaning from their experiences if their feelings are dulled by the drugs I prescribe, if I enable them to spend their life alone and inside?

I show myself how strong I am by forcing myself to function full-throttle in the world despite my invisible disabilities

How will my patients know how strong they are if their strength is not tested?

Am I secretly as callous as my parents, though I act with compassion?

Should I be more like my patients; take it easy and ask for help, or should my patients be more like me and tow their own weight, accept the normalcy of adverse human experiences, work even though they haven’t slept in days, like I do?

I have PTSD, nightmares, insomnia, panic, crippling anxiety and depression, but I carry on because I have to, or so I believe

Maybe I don’t have to do this anymore

Even though I work like a dog and pay my own way through life, even as the taxes I pay in part to support my patients’ disability benefits bleed me dry, I prefer the freedom to create my own life to dependence on a system that provides too little too late to survivors of child abuse

I want to stop asking my patients what is wrong and start asking them what is strong

We are all warriors

May I be a warrior of peace

May I heal myself in order to light the way for others on their healing journey

Shipwreck

I walk the lonely beach which holds the shipwreck of my ego

Despondent, grey, cold, wet

I feel innately flawed because you are once again upset and it is my fault, or so you would have me believe

All these years I was so overwhelmed by your feelings that I didn’t get in touch with my own

I was so busy internalizing your complaints that I didn’t externalize mine

Old habits

The ringing in my ears doesn’t stop

I pick up a small shell of divinity and hold it close to me

I hear eternity

The sound of All melting into All

One endless sea

Gloomy Sunday, I feel sad and uneasy, afraid of the future

Seasick even on land

Disoriented by the drama of my mother’s recent disownment of me

So far the future has been more bearable than the past, even with occasional outbursts from my family which are reminiscent of my hellish childhood

I am no longer that helpless little girl

I am the captain of my ship

Repairs are in order

First, I sit on the shore and listen

Lines

Communication lines cut

Like my teenage forearms, in an attempt to let the pain out

Communication lines cut, if they were ever up and running to begin with

The first lesson you taught me was to communicate inauthentically

Communication lines cut

Through the deafening silence I imagine

The antagonizing and agonizing thoughts, words, and actions you are firing at me

In our power play, who will yield first

You make a mess and wait for me to clean it up

Furious that I’ve failed, yet again, to read your mind

I’m done living pathetically

I used to think that my life depended on keeping you content

Now I realize that you need me more than I need you

I don’t want to enable the toxicity of our relationship anymore

Given that our relationship was only me acting to please you, it isn’t much to lose

I don’t know if I will ever drop a line to tell you

May you experience deep healing on your journey

Spelunking

What if I stopped caring about pleasing you and everyone?

What if I felt safe even around people who are upset?

How much energy would I free up, and what would I do with it?

How much lighter would my body feel, would my breath flow easily?

Would I be able to sleep at night, without feeling hunted by your animosity?

Would my pounding heart simmer down, and my jaw unclench?

What would I think about, if I weren’t worrying all the time how to make you happy?

What if I told you that your feelings are your responsibility?

What if I liberated myself from unrealistic expectations?

What if I let go of expectations for others?

If you love me, it doesn’t feel like it to me.

I want positive, supportive, unconditional love from those who practice humility, humor, and curiosity.

I radiate those qualities when I’m not lost in a cave of depression.

When spelunking, bring a helmet and a light.

A helmet to protect you so that thoughts of suicide don’t become acts of suicide.

A light source as a spiritual anchor to remind you not to take yourself too seriously.

Harder

The more I try to keep the peace in my life, the more wartime volcanoes erupt.

Why do I try to appease assholes, even if they are family?

Lord, let me focus on the people who are a source of positive support in my life.

Let me soften into self-acceptance instead of trying to force my life, instead of coercing others into accepting me by acting the way I think they want me to act, live from authenticity instead of fear.

I’ve got my own diseases to cure

Starting with anxiety and depression which resulted from being crushed by drama giants all my life, leaving no room for me to be- I survived my formative years barely breathing

I am bigger now, though I don’t yet believe it

I feel thunder clouds roll in

Lighting cracks my core

Embodying tragedy and comedy, I’m not sure which will win in the end

Secretly suicidal my whole life, struggling through- expression of my emotions was not allowed at home

I scurried to pick up the shards of my parent’s and older sibling’s emotions like so many pieces of the dishes and furniture they broke

I thought it was my fault, if I could just be more perfect all of the time, if I could more accurately read their volatile minds…

It was a smash

Glue couldn’t hold us together

I swallowed my truth and am choking still

Jesus, Great Spirit, I find peace in your warm light

Please be with my family, may they know peace

May they stop shouting at me long enough to consider how I feel

I know that is too much to ask

They were never interested in me, only in what I could be in relation to them- conform to their demands or die

I never had an identity of my own to lose

I existed purely to please those around me

I feel an energetic shift and for a moment I crack open

A million butterflies pour out

The battle within me rages- fighting for my energy against the vortex of my human family

My tiger has been caged too long and is ready to roar, to chew out instead of get chewed out, speak instead of exclusively listen, insult instead of receive insults, dish out what I have been served

But I don’t want to be like them

I want to set my tiger free, transform my energy, practice forgiveness not to condone but to reclaim my energy as my own

My healer recommended that I meditate on the image that I am a fly on the wall witnessing their meltdown

In my meditation, I am a butterfly

This is a lifelong practice

The burden is massive and heavy

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders

I bow in gratitude to ancient wisdom

I want to defend myself without attacking, state the facts without accusation

The grinches who stole my life don’t have to steal it anymore, I alone hold the key to my jail cell door

When will I run out of people to hurt?

Perhaps when I run out of people to hurt me

I feel crushed by a ton of rocks- the blows of their words

I meditate on the image of the rocks floating above me, dissolving into sand and falling to the floor

Maybe if I blast you out of my head I can finally be free from this family when I’m dead

I feel deflated but not defeated, battered but not beat

No matter how much self-work I’ve done or awareness I’ve gained, no matter how many workshops I’ve attended, healing sessions I’ve received, supplements I’ve swallowed, books I’ve read to stop taking on other people’s energy, to empower myself as an empath and a highly sensitive person, I am still destroyed by energy vampires- my old survival mechanism to read the room and right the wrongs, but I can’t make you happy, fam. Why do I try? Why was this ever the expectation?

You say you are unhappy and hurt by me: welcome to my world, welcome to life as a human

It is OK to feel hurt- I feel hurt by you most of the time

Do you have any idea how much unhappiness and hurt you’ve been the source of that I didn’t express because I’d only get more beat-downs and rejection if I did, Mom?

It comes to blows, and I’m home

Full-blown crisis mode, no longer communicating by phone

You say the disrespect is unforgivable

I don’t need you to forgive me- that is your burden

In my life I’ve got plenty to forgive you for

I’ve learned many sacred lessons from the pain you inflicted on me

Maybe it is time I return the favor

Alan Watts asks what I would do if I had the power to dream any dream I wanted to

Just like when I’m sleeping, I will escape this nightmare about you by lucid dreaming

I will practice sending your energy back to you, again and again

Even if it takes my whole life

I forgive you, for you know not what you do

Up until now I’ve felt sorry for myself for having you as my mother

Now I just feel sorry for you for being trapped inside yourself your whole life

Walk your path- I’m not gonna stop ya

I’ll keep shining love like a bodhisattva

I’m OK with no longer growing fat from your toxic larder

Staying angry is easy, forgiving is harder

Dreamboat

I dreamt my father piled his toxic masculinity on to me, the way he does

He found my secret stash of poetry and mocked me, reciting what I’d written with harsh tones of ridicule

Unlike real life, in my dream I confronted him

I told him I didn’t appreciate his critique of my truest expression of myself

He tore in, told me I was crazy

I felt pushed to my edge, the way I easily do

Still dreaming, I contemplated suicide, the way I readily do

Then I realized that I am ok with walking away

It felt liberating like a bell ringing, like a sunrise on the horizon of my mind after a lifelong night

If he wants to die alone, that is his prerogative

I’ve got my best life to live- no more will I give my power away to those who throw me away

What is this false belief that I could ever make anyone else happy

I became very unhappy trying to make everybody else happy

Growing up in a home of violent depressives, I didn’t stand a chance

I’m ready for a second chance at life- I will fall many times, but I will always get up

In my dream, I walked away

I climbed into a little boat with the man I love

We floated down a beautiful river

We were as happy as two people in a dreamboat can be

And we are