Finding expression

A big part of writing, for me, has always been about having a way to express myself. I’m a pretty outspoken person when it comes to my opinions and thoughts, but getting me to discuss feelings — especially ones of hurt, anger, resentment, sadness, anything negative — can frequently feel like playing tug of war with your dog. All that effort to drag it out of me, and as soon as I give it up, I want to take it back.

I was in a Situation (yes, capital S) a few years ago that I refuse to refer to as a relationship. My involvement with this person only spanned about four months, but my physical, emotional, and psychological well-being took much longer to snap back — and there are days where I feel that it hasn’t, not completely. The occasional nightmare is the least of it; the bigger issues stem from my inability to trust in anyone (which wasn’t strong prior to the Situation, and only got worse following it), and my unwillingness to share things about myself. Some of these traits are simply learned caution; others lean heavily towards paranoia. I’m self-aware, though — I do acknowledge that these traits are not particularly healthy or normal.

I so very rarely want to discuss this Situation. There isn’t another person on earth who has heard the full extent of it, partly because I can’t express myself and partly because there isn’t really any way to explain it.

Once I started writing this, however, I felt like I could discuss people and events in less direct ways; the average reader would just see it as a piece, and not necessarily a piece of me, written down for the word to review and criticize.

This is still probably both my most personal and most vulnerable piece I’ve ever crafted. The last lines were the first to write themselves. After writing it, I felt like I had let go part of something that I’ve been carrying around with me, and I could finally take a breath. There’s something so freeing about leaving the past in the past, where it belongs.

do it – you won’t

My body was your artwork, my skin your canvas
you cut me and colored me as you saw fit
Purple handprints in a web of tattoos
webs, like all the lies you used to sew yourself together
Bloody ribbons of shredded flesh,
thirty howling lashes for betrayal
Shadows of your teeth pressed into my neck,
bruises blooming like dark petals
through cracks on shattered walls

And I’m back to That Night
the night you never said goodbye
Your knives thrown into the backseat
because you needed your scarred fingers
It smells metallic and your scarlet hands seem
black under blue moonlight
From the beads of dark blood in a sharp thin line
across my collarbone where
and you taught me never to say it again –

– hands on my throat
you were fury, you were outrage
howDAREyou howDAREyou howDAREyou –

I couldn’t see through the fog
just a breath away from vanishing
until lights flashed on the rearview mirror
your hands gripping the neck you said you loved so much
but those lights flickered, blue-white blue-white
a siren screamed for me to draw breath
and all at once there was no one there
from a murderous shadow to nothing but smoke

They asked why I was gasping for air,
alone in the dark with blood on my collar
There was no way to explain
that you were burning me to the ground

you were ruinous chaos,
and I was dying for your art



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