Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign

 

police-vanIs it a sign of things to come in the uncertain times we live in that, when I saw a Police van parked directly in front of the entrance to our local tube station, I hesitated before entering. I felt myself hold back, just for a second, and it seriously upset me.

In all the fifteen years I’ve lived in London I’ve never stopped living my life because of fear – I’ve deliberately kept clear of certain busy places at particular times because I don’t like huge crowds, but never because of fear. I’ve been here during terrorist attacks, and along with many other Londoners have always just kept calm and carried on, vigilant yet undefeated.

But today it wasn’t the threat of potential terrorist activity that held me back, it was more an awareness of a growing unease across the population as a whole. People are becoming more and more desperate and angry – angry at out-of-touch politicians consistently making decisions that are divisive, politicians who are then highly critical of increasing divisions in society and blame the people rather than reassess their policies.

People who have the least power but the most need are tired not only of constantly struggling but also of being dismissed as unimportant by successive governments who dangle them like puppets, unwilling players in their vanity project political games. This is how riots begin – anger leading to unrest that quickly becomes more and more heated until it all boils over and spills onto our streets, a conflagration of frustration.

Recently I’ve felt that sense of overheated danger spark ominously in the air again, electrifyingly charged, crisp and crackling close to the surface in some public spaces – and it was my awareness of this air of unease that stopped me in my tracks yesterday. It passed quickly enough, and I carried on with my day as usual. But just for that split-second moment, I hesitated, and that hesitation worries me…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Sign

Daily Prompt: Precipice

Precipice…

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…

Daily Prompt: Precipice

Daily Prompt: Bitter

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… 🙂

Daily Prompt: Bitter   

Daily Prompt: Panicked

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…

Daily Prompt: Panicked

Disloyal Daughter?

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 🙂

Daily Prompt: Avid

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…

Daily Prompt: Avid

 

Fight or Flight

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…

Daily Prompt: Unravel

Unravel…

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…

Daily Prompt: Unravel

Stream of Consciousness: Give, Given, Giving

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… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness: Give, Given, Giving