as a mirror

Maybe in a relationship, the thing that keeps it from going anywhere is the fear deep within ourselves that we are imperfect beings capable of hurting others; capable of feeling hurt; capable of destroying; capable of being destroyed. When we become intimate with another imperfect being, tensions do arise because building intimacy requires that we reflect as a mirror to the other person both how we see them and how they truly see themselves, deep within. And sometimes we do not like what we see; we loathe what we see whenever how we feel inside isn’t congruent with the reflection of ourselves in the mirror that is our partner. We feel hurt. We feel destroyed. We feel the need to hurt. We feel the need to destroy. And so it goes; an endless cycle between creation and destruction.

We create stories in our head that we tell ourselves to hold on to; we replay them over and over in our minds. We eat these stories; we drink these stories; we dream these stories, over and over and over. They become us and we become them. But what if there is more to the story than what we are allowing into our self-narration? What if there’s another truth of ourselves? One that’s deeper, and richer, and more fulfilling? Wouldn’t we want to follow that, to use our mirror’s reflection to better ourselves? Wouldn’t we want to create ever more of this type of dream, instead of destroying our only hope for everlasting redemption?

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Bones

The pain is settling deep into my bones

I ache for you.

To enrapture me as though

I was all you ever wanted.

True love is all I ever wanted.

Not meant for me.

The reality sinks heavy into me

And I cannot think

to want to breathe

without you there

to fill my air

no space unfilled

no distance between

I want you near

Yet you remain

unseen.

Runner Up

I’m not the kind

You’ll find online

Parading herself as a prize

Merely for your eyes.

I’m the real fucking deal;

The kind you can touch and feel.

I consider my body sacred

And I’m sorry but I don’t get

Why you need for them to be naked

When I’m standing right here, 100% real;

None of the fake shit

You’ve dreamed of in your past.

No…

My love, not my body was built to last.

Callused

Sometimes you’re just too angry to cry.  I keep trying to wrap my head around it: How did we get here?  I suspect true honesty was lacking, finally leading us astray.  Why couldn’t he tell me about her?  Was it just too painful to accept her ghost?  Yet she was always there.  In the back of his mind, whispering his name.  Her face. Her body. Kept calling. His heart. His desire. Kept growing.  I threatened to take her away. That’s when I became impossible to take.  And so it is that he left me with this skin too callused for another to touch.

 

The One You Can’t Get Over

I’ll never be her. Ms. Melissa Lee. I’ll never get him to say the things that he says when he’s wished for her to come his way.  Cannot match the beauty he sees when he looks at her, not me.

I can only be this. A woman so afraid to be cast out. As the unwanted, unneeded thorn in somebody’s side. A shadow to another’s light. Not worth one’s whole heart. Or the ultimate fight.

Mountain Gorilla

I think that perhaps the hardest part of breaking up with someone you put all your faith in–so much so that you trusted you could invite them into your children’s lives and into their home–is the feeling of having failed. I let not only him down, I let myself down and most importantly, I let my kids down. It’s hard to hold your head up high when you feel ashamed for being deserted. I guess that means I’m assuming blame but how else am I to interpret his leaving?

Maybe it’s the fact of having kids that I expected him to be more careful, but it’s also the reason that I should have been more cautious. It’s hard to trust yourself to trust another when I keep making choices that end up hurting not just me, but the two most important people in my life.

Every time I am around other families…or really just, breathing… it is a reminder that I am a single mom failing at love and life.  There is an indescribable sense of shame and embarrassment in this, even with all of the single parents out there.  There is shame in being naive enough to allow someone to convince you that they’re strong enough to make it through the tough times with you; that to them you are worth it.  There is embarrassment in admitting to the world that none of this is so.

What ended our relationship was nothing that couldn’t be worked out… Had he kept in mind any of my redeeming qualities. I certainly was able to recall his, despite doing things at times that made him feel like nothing more than a whipping horse. While he didn’t hesitate to share those feelings with the world, I guess he forgot to include all of the small, day to day things I did do and say to remind him of his worth: Extending gratitude and words of praise; offering up back and belly rubs; watching movies and shows that were of interest to him; having conversations about things I knew nothing about, but were important to him; and just generally doing things to express warmth and love, kindness and consideration…

But… We see what we choose to see. And to quote one of my favorite songs of all time since it has become a theme in my life: “you don’t…see…me.”

**Just an interesting fact about the song from which it came, 3 Libras, Maynard James Keenan had this to say in the liner notes of the song: “Up until the mid twentieth century the mountain gorilla was considered a myth. Oddly enough, a legend not unlike Bigfoot or the Loch Ness monster. The chance of actually seeing/experiencing this elusive shadow was as likely as finding one’s soulmate. Rare. Precious. Even once discovered they seemed unapproachable. The only way to get close to this magnificent creature was to become empathetic. Abandon all pretense and preconceptions. To bare an open throat. To collapse into the arms of vulnerability. All but extinct, these beings/moments are threatened by the black hearted. The cold and oblivious. The empty eyed profit seekers that overlook these Rare. Precious.”

I am that rare and precious being, seen only for what frightens people away.  They are the black hearted…cold…oblivious.

 

Fool me once… fooled again

You made a fool out of me.

Now all these people won’t let me be.

I never asked for a handout,

Nor do I need their sympathy.

Sometimes people just…  leave.

 

But I can make it on my own,

Alone I might have a fighting chance

Of learning to love myself again,

Since asking anything of you became a sin.

 

And my biggest transgression was

trusting that I could let someone in.