verbal abuse

I tried to drink it away.

I tried to drink it away.

I can’t stop thinking about that line.

It’s a haunting reminder of a past and the person that goes with it. Who I am, who I was, and everything in between. But the way the words linger, I can’t stop hearing over and over.

If I could drink it away, I would. Every last drop. Every thing to keep this memory from forming a nostalgic image in my romanticized past. Everything through rose colored glasses. Everything blurry, messy, vile and perfect.

All I have are memories. The late nights in crowded rooms. The cigarettes I’ve smoked. The countless men I have kissed, just to wish it away. The countless times I tried to drink it away. Nothing worked. Even sitting here going over lines in my head, I can’t keep it away.

I rub my hands together in nervous energy. Running the fingers down the palms of my hands. Thinking of a million things. People I have longed to forget. Everything just keeps coming back. If I say everything out loud it just puts words into the atmosphere. It makes the names disappear but the faces remain. When all I want is to do it take this pain away.

I drink to forget. I drink to let go. I hold the bottle close and wish this away. Years will pass eventually and the nostalgia of you will disappear. Until then, I continue to drink these feelings away. Putting out words in the atmosphere until you disappear completely.

I am going to let you go.
One drink at a time.

 

San Francisco, CA
January 21, 2009
#thisishowIletgo

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It happened to me.

He says he’ll leave me if I cut my hair.
So I wear it longer on the days I see him.
When all I do is hide behind a curtain of hair to hide every scar I am feeling.

He doesn’t like it when I wear that color. It reminds him of her. So he bans me from wearing it in order to please him. I don’t hesitate. I don’t say no. I just do as I am told. To avoid an argument. To avoid the words that he holds still and strongly behind his tongue.

I am afraid to speak at times. The outcome outweighs the lasting effects of anything I could ever say. I don’t know myself at times. I was a smart girl. I was a strong girl. Now I am letting someone else dictate my thoughts and actions.

I don’t know who I am anymore, I tell myself.
I am not me without you, I say out loud.

It’s not the fists I am afraid of. It’s this unseen power a person can hold over you with the mountain of words that follow. How easy it is to say how you feel and mean what you say. How easy it is to cut down a person without giving it a second thought.

I found myself saying that I’d wish he’d hit me. Something to show the world of the vile person he was. Create the villain among the sinners. All they see is my reactions to every one of his actions. All they see is my skin burning red and my tongue lashing out at everyone that defies me. All they see is my anger and his calm demeanor. Because he was always too cool and too good of a person to hurt people. He was always the cool guy in his nice kicks. He couldn’t hurt a fly they’d tell me. How I wish he’d hit me just to prove them wrong. Just to show them that I was right and they were wrong. Then all these feelings would be real not under the surface.

People always say “That would never happen to me”. I hate that. As they see a girl cover her face or hear a story of a girl who just couldn’t take it anymore. They don’t know what it’s like. They don’t know what it’s like to hide from your friends and family. To pretend your okay when your whole world is falling apart. How it feels to cut your arm in places because the words were too big of a burden to keep to yourself. So you punish yourself for being the sad expectation of who he wanted.

I was the dead weight he refused to carry, he’d often said. If I was skin and bones he would love me more. Hold me tighter. I believed him. I was stupid and I believed him.

I used to say “It would never happen to me“. That I would be one of the lucky ones to fight until my hands were red and my throat was raw. They don’t know that sometimes when a man loves too much they just ignore you. Tell you how worthless you are. How every time they see you it makes them sick. They don’t know how sometimes it’s more than physical. That words have a way of leaving bruises and scars on every inch of your skin. But they’ll never see it. They’ll never know.

They’ll never know that the reason you stopped dating is that you hear his voice in the back of your mind. That nobody will want you after he has had you. That nobody will ever love you as much as he had loved you.

Nobody.

It would never happen to me, they’d say.

But it happened to me.

Tracy, CA. 2015
#ThisishowIletgo

Self portrait with Chopped hair.

IMG_4079

We grow our hair like weeds for people that will never love us. To later chop off all the dead weight, once they leave us. This time, I wanted to do the leaving. I wanted to cut the man at the source, and resort to every dramatic episode I could think of. Because it was never his choice. It was my choice, my decision, and it was my turn to leave this time.

If you cut your hair, I will leave you.

How I watched every strand of hair grow to the middle of my back. How happy he seemed as he ran his fingers through it, paid no mind to the person before him. It’s when I think I have him, that he leaves without notice. His ghost that trails behind then lingers once he leaves. It’s when I think I have won, that I have lost everything before me.

When you believe you love someone, you’ll fall for anything. Even something simple as leaving every strand of hair on your head, just as they like it. I loved him, from the deep parts of my soul, to every long strand of hair that fell across my back. I watched as my hair became my shield, my armor from the world. My way of hiding these feelings of doubts and worries. My hair continued to grow into a tangled, tousled, mess. I continued to listen to his threats, as empty as the love he gave me. No matter how long my hair grew, he never came back.

Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Cropped Hair - 1943

I wanted him back for all the superficial reasons I hated. I wanted to stop this numbing suffocated feeling of being alone that drugs nor alcohol could fill. My hair continued to grow and I continued to wait. He said I was perfect and to never change. If I cut my hair, he would only leave me. He would never come back. And I continued to wait. Until the weight of my hair became the weight of my worries. Until my hair became heavy, that I could no longer hold my head up to the sky. We do these foolish things for love but at what cost does it love us back? At what cost do people understand that we are people underneath all that hair? That our hair doesn’t make you love us any less. There were days I wanted to rip every strand from my head. Tear apart the existence of what I believed he wanted. Because for a brief moment I was perfect to you, don’t I ever think of changing.

I watch as the strands of hair fall to the ground. Inch by inch. The memories of you and the ghosts before you. If you cut your hair, I will leave you.  I try to keep myself composed. Hold the tears back. Love was never what held us together. The strands of dead hair that laid before my feet; bear witness to this change that comes over me. I am more exposed to the world without my shield. I am showing the world who I really am, beneath the hair.

 

When the final strand of hair falls, I will forget you. Someone will come in and sweep away the memories scattered on the floor. It won’t be me this time. For the first time, I have stopped listening to ghosts.

 

Some place good.

People have a funny way of disappearing. Coming in and out of your life as seasons change. I met you in the summer, and you lasted through fall and winter. By spring we couldn’t run away fast enough. We were so limited in our time together, and some days I feel like you couldn’t leave fast enough. You disappeared and expecting this all to go away. That leaving was easier than the need to stay. The winds of spring blew you away and the only thing I have left to show for it, are these scars of the coldest winter.

You weren’t suppose to leave, I was. I was suppose to tell you everything I felt and walk away from everything. You were suppose to have your heart frozen to stone and unable to sleep for weeks on end. You were suppose to replay my words until they become a recurring dream to you. To feel these words long after I have left. Haunting you like fog and disappearing through the clouds. You were suppose to be left with the corpse of who I used to be. But you left. You left and didn’t hesitate to look back. Here I am haunted by every word, as your face comes across every person I meet. You didn’t love me. As much as you implied it, you never once said those words. You seemed warm like fall but you were cold like winter. Never said a single word, unless it was to hurt me. I realize that now. After all these years I realized that what we had wasn’t love. And as much as I thought I loved you, in the end I knew deep down I didn’t. And it tore me apart. Because I wanted desperately to be with someone, to have that comfort in someone, but I knew it wasn’t you. I just wish it took me sooner to realize than later.

You were like all the seasons. Changing leaves to adapt to the ever changing weather. You only like someone for the moment when it’s convenient for you. Until you fly away and find someone new. I was a fool that believed in summer love that would last through fall, winter, and spring. I was stupid to believe that you would stay, when all you do is change color to who ever you want to adapt too. But this time I leave you in the summer. In the blistering sun and the swelling heat. Leave you begging for the fall and holding on for the winter. I can change just like you do. Only I change for myself and not anyone else. Thats something you haven’t grown accustom to yet.

You can watch the leaves fall. Changing colors from green to gold to brown to rust. Watch the winter rains swallow up the valleys and leave you gasping for more. I am not coming back, just so you know. I am not coming back. My summer skin has healed, now all I am left with is gold.

7/2/2011

What’s wrong baby?

Why are you single?
Why haven’t you dated anyone?
Why aren’t you dating?

So on and so forth.

If I had a nickel for every time I have been asked the above questions. People make it sound so easy. Falling down, dusting yourself off and then trying again. I know everyone means well. At the risk of sounding crazy, I just let people assume what they want to believe. Its easier for people to believe what they want about me, then having to tell them how I really feel. Because how I feel people seldom understand. I feel scared, I feel crazy, and most times I feel completely broken.

Broken in the sense that my past has broken me into a different person. Instead of shaping me into a better version of myself. I find it harder to trust people, because the past has a funny way of coming back to haunt me. When people have hurt you, it takes a while to come back from. I watch how easy it is for my peers to jump from relationship to relationship. Meanwhile, I watch myself still haunted by the past, with it’s broken words and promises. Hurt does that to you. It breaks and bleeds everything you touch. It claws at your insides, until the raw emotion eats at your soul. I was never like this before. I loved this illusion that love gave you. I loved the sappy love songs, the cliche films that remind you what love should look and feel like. I loved this idea of love and the beautiful orchestrated soundtrack it came with. Now I feel like a completely different person. This illusion of love has broken up my insides and rebuilt itself a different person.

How do you tell a stranger you feel broken? How do you describe it in a way that doesn’t scare off the other person? That pieces of you are slowly going back together again, but the pieces have left you shattered and cynical about love. When people ask you the same questions, how do answer truthfully without sounding tragic?

I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to tell a complete stranger that someone broke me down completely. With words that are still tattooed on the inside of my heart and creep out onto my skin. The past is the past, but how can you be honest with someone, when you can’t be honest with yourself. Some days it hurts like hell and I want to claw every piece of flesh on my body. I want to scream out every obscenity until it doesn’t hurt anymore. Because thats what hurt feels like. Even after six years, the words don’t feel so vividly anymore, but they still haunt me. They’re faint insignificant words that still linger after the smoke has cleared. I know that not every one is like that. I know people won’t hurt me as bad as my past was. Still, it hurts and I can’t pretend that it doesn’t.

I feel as if these fingers continue to point at me, and I haven’t a clue what to say when people ask me why I don’t put myself out there. You might as well just state “What’s wrong with you?“. I don’t know how to answer those questions without being honest. Then at the same time, I have this need to keep guarded about my feelings. Trusting people is hard. Especially when your heart has been through a lot. I don’t know how to start a conversation with a stranger and not feel completely broken. People want the truth. People want you to be open and honest.  I know that. Deep down, I know that. I want to be open. I want to say everything I have in my heart. I want a level of trust to return, where I can feel open to be honest. It’s hard for me to be open. It’s hard for me to say how I feel, and instead I change the subject completely.

I am not asking for anyone to pick up my pieces. I just want people to understand that its not easy. It just takes some time to feel like myself again. If it takes me a day, a month, or a year, I know I will feel like myself again. Some days are easier than others. I am not sure if this answers anyones questions or judgments about me, but here it is. These are my cards on the table. Take it or leave it.

12/7/2015