I balance on this precipice of life
Precarious and perilous in pain
While all around me fear whips raw and rife
Adrenaline rush coursing through my veins
I step towards abyss beyond the throng
Sense shadows in the depths begin to rise
Cold tendrils creeping stealthily along
Enveloping my soulless empty cries…
But suddenly I find myself pull free
Awareness amplified through every pore
I shudder at the thought of ending me
Am shocked at how I felt moments before
Collapsing in a pool of heart-wrenched tears
I cry until the darkness disappears…
I try not to be bitter about past grievances in my life, I try not to let things build up like a huge head of water pushing intensely against an overfilled dam wall, pressured fit to burst. Instead I try my best to be aware of my emotions, to allow myself to feel the hurt and the unfairness and then try hard to let it go, not in a flood but in a steady stream of release. I try to stay soft-hearted in a world determined to harden my resolve. I don’t always succeed in my quest, but I can but try… 🙂
As a life-long people-pleaser I often feel panicked at the thought of having upset or offended anyone, afraid they won’t like me any more.
I worry beyond the point of reason when it comes to conflict, tying myself up in knots in an attempt to soothe and salve and ameliorate scenarios and situations wherever possible.
I find myself fretting to the nth degree whenever conversations threaten to develop into difficulties; to my dismay I hear myself backing off and backing down at almost every critical opportunity.
I’m feeling my levels of stress hormones rising even writing about it, and it makes me unfathomably sad to know how deeply my fragile sense of self-worth is still so utterly dependent on the external approval of others…
Sink or Swim…
What hurtful daughter writes such damning words?
Disloyalty grips tight as guilt unfolds
For years my childhood fears remained unheard
Confused unworthy failings stayed untold
Unquestioning complicity required
I grew up thinking I was all to blame
My fault I wasn’t someone more desired
My female gender always cause for shame…
But now my scapegoat days are gone for good
No longer will I carry all that weight
Two generations further than it should
I leave my parents’ needs to their own fate –
Disloyalty cuts both ways, don’t you think?
It’s time I learn to swim before I sink…
I’m not generally keen on automatically blaming the parents for all the faults of the child, but I’m finally having to acknowledge that however disloyal it may feel and however much guilt it generates within me, I have to accept that some of the continued attitudes and actions of my parents have inevitably caused me (and do still cause me) psychological distress.
Years of therapy for depression, studying Psychology as part of my degree, and the experience of being a flawed parent and grandparent myself have all contributed to the growing realisation that perhaps I was not, after all, the reason for any discord within my family, but rather it may be that particular issues within certain individuals in my family have in fact helped cause the discord in me.
It’s actually quite a liberating realisation, even at the age of 53, and writing (and sharing) these poems about how it feels is really helping me process the emotional turmoil I’m experiencing at the moment. So please bear with me through the introspective doom and the gloom, and hopefully normal service will resume shortly 🙂
Beyond the Pale…
As avidly I read to understand
Why always I’ve felt never good enough
I find myself push further than first planned
Beyond the pale to landscapes raw and rough.
I struggle through harsh sentences revealed
Confront the urge to vent a latent rage
Bewildered I revisit wounds unhealed
Old hurts brought back to life across the page.
Deep narcissistic traits exposed and bare
My mother’s selfish game of life displayed
Manipulating facts; unjust, unfair
Invalidating every choice I’ve made…
I’m learning to let go of life-long guilt
As thankfully my world-view starts to tilt…
Fight or Flight…
Fear binds me close with suffocating hold
Heart thumping in my chest with echoed beat
Squeezed tight my halting breath grates sharp and cold
My struggling soul enveloped quite complete
Nerves jangling loud like mocking jailor’s keys
My self-made chains pull taut in fresh alarm
Tied up in knots, unable to break free
Imprisoned by my own strait-jacket arms
But life cannot be lived in such a state
Forever trapped in fear and constant fight
I know I must release this death-shroud weight
Stop trying to control with all my might
I need to learn to trust life can be kind
And flee this taunting prison of my mind…
We found ourselves in Clapham Common last week, and I’ve had ‘Up the Junction’ from Squeeze (1979) in my head ever since! So this week’s Song from the Past from me comes complete with a couple of very recent pics for added atmosphere 🙂
Hope you enjoy the song, as someone who became a teenage mum myself back in the day it’s always been a kind of bittersweet favourite…
I try to keep a guiding hand on life
Prevent myself from blindly stumbling through
I minimise all threats of future strife
And wearily defend my cautious view
I draw up plans and carefully adhere
To rules that fairness states should bring success
I try to keep emotionally clear
Hold back potential tidal waves of stress
But sometimes life reminds me that control
Is nothing but illusory at best
However hard I fight to reach my goal
The real world intervenes and thwarts my quest
So sitting here in anguish, head in hands
I feel myself unravel, like my plans…
Given my current stress levels – we’re in the process of selling our flat here in London in the South of England, with the intention of relocating lock, stock and barrel to Inverness in the North of Scotland – it’s a wonder I’m not imploding with the enormity of it all.
I know some people move up and down and all around the country all the time without giving it a second’s thought, but I’m definitely a home bird and I like to keep my daily habits and routines (not to mention my immediate environment) intact as far as possible, so this feels like a big emotional upheaval for me to be caught up in the middle of.
There’s been a lot going on for us for a while now, long-standing work issues and ongoing health issues and financial considerations and a very frustrating legal process dragging on in the background forever and a day, each on their own more than enough to be dealing with long-term, but cumulatively almost too much to bear. Almost, but not quite: I have to give us some credit for sticking to our guns, because we’re not giving up on sorting out any of it.
In spite of it all of it all – perhaps because of it all – we’re choosing to move to the other end of the country, so right now we’re just focusing on the future and looking forward to settling in to our new life, in our new home, wherever in Inverness that home may turn out to be… 🙂
Hmmm… I was planning to write a list: Things I am in Denial About.
But almost immediately I hit a snag – if I already know something is an issue for me, then I’m not really in denial about it, am I? I may be deliberately ignoring it, refusing to deal with it, actively going out of my way to avoid it – but denial? Doesn’t the act of acknowledgement kind of refute the denial part?
I mean, I know I have an emotional eating problem – I’ve had it for years. When I’m stressed and/ or upset, I tend to comfort myself by overeating. I’ve tried lots of different approaches to dealing with it over my lifetime, but here I am at 53, still with an emotional eating problem. Unfortunately, simply knowing it doesn’t always fix it.
I learned a long time ago to swallow my disappointments in life, and habitually I swallow them down with a little sweetener along the way – my reward for being a good girl, for keeping quiet, for not rocking the boat, for being ‘nice’, and sadly I still find that old habits die hard…