Untitled

She put the house up
For sale

I saw my past life
Flashing before my eyes

The kitchen
Where I made dinner
And that day I made more naan
Than we could eat, but I did it
Without my shirt on

The kitchen
Where she left me notes by the coffee pot
The coffee pot that kept me going on the hardest days

The kitchen
Where I hung that ee cummings poem somewhere I have never travelled gladly beyond

But she replaced it

Twice

The kitchen
Where she screamed at me
That time I had an accident
And melted

The kitchen
where I finally yelled
“I deserve to be with someone who wants to support me emotionally”

The living room
Where she threw that candle at me
And broke my foot

The living room
Where the television
Still holds my face print from when we hung it, and I almost dropped it

The living room
Where I spent days painting
But on the last day made her help
And I didn’t wear any pants

The living room
Where the couch we bought is 
falling apart from the time she fucked that other girl there and the lotion
The lotion ate away the faux leather

The dining room
With the chairs I hand sanded and painted
It took me a week
And cost me a pair of shoes

The dining room
Where I painted the built in cabinets with the wrong color because she didn’t help me that time

The dining room
Where we hardly ever ate

The spare bedroom
She told her parents was my room

And when I made it my office
She complained at the mess I work through

The spare bedroom
Where I painted alone
Again because she refused to help

The spare bedroom

The spare bedroom

And her bedroom
She painted again
The second time I left

She painted again on the day she demanded I come get my stuff

And her bedroom
Where she called the other side of the bed the pssenger side

And her bedroom
That she shared with me
And her and her and her and her

And her bedroom
Where she choked me in the closet

And her bedroom

And the front porch
Where I watched the rain
And read my books

The front porch
Smoking cigarettes

The back yard
Where I read books to her

The back yard
That she refused to fence in

The back yard

That caved in

The back yard
And the driveway
We resealed together
Pulling weeds and filling cracks

She put the house up
For sale
I walked through it one more time

And cried

And closed the door

Without slamming it

Without leaving a key
this time

I guess it’s haunted

I guess it’s time

Love Poem •may 2014•

I always knew. You knew. 

A thousand thank 

yous drowned

in my thoughts. Shoved under

 my pillow 

many sleepless nights. 

I have held fuck yous tight 

between my teeth. Fearing 

always of saying too much 

too soon. 
I have never been one 

to hold in my words, and lately 

I’ve been having trouble 

getting them out. 
I am Finding them, hidden 

beneath two years of guilt and confusion. 
you were the one 

who knew the whole time. 
My pieces were scattered. 

In every palm I traced. 

I collected pieces of you left behind. Wondering always if you held 

the secret that I 

couldn’t grasp. 
Two years and I 

understand. It was never a secret. 

We wear our traumas 

like victories. 
Behind each set

 of eyes we can find 

something new 

about ourselves.

 
You were the bent corner in a book I have been writing. Holding my place. So that I could return to this story, somewhere near the middle and remember how it ends. 

I’m thinking of the line from “Big Fish” when he says, “this isn’t how I go.” 

I’m thinking of the cliché, ” if it’s not okay in the end, then it’s not the end.”

 I have sat wedged in between those two sentiments for over two years. 

The anniversary of 

our breakup is this Sunday. 
I hadn’t thought about that until just now. It doesn’t hurt like it used to. Nothing hurts like it used to. 
I used to stare at her and agony would fill my empty spaces. I lost her long before I left her. That is why I had to go. Does any one understand what it feels like to love someone so deeply, but they are so far from themselves it has become increasingly difficult to even recognize them? That is heart break.

 
Today, I look into her big green eyes with a new lens. It reflects the light through both her and I. That is why we keep our curtains drawn.
I’m sorry you knew before I did. But I am glad, too. Because without your knowing, I most certainly would have never learned.
  So, thank you. For keeping her safe. For letting her grow. For changing our lives for the better. 
Go back. 

go back to December2012, in the garage. After that bottle of Jameson hit her demons. 

Rewind to October 2012. When you were discarded. September 2012, when you Thought she was someone special for you. 

Keep going back. 

August 2012, when she met you. 

July 2012, when we cried together on the couch as I left my key on the coffee table. 

June 2012, when I stayed in our house and she left for a while. That’s how I know what empty means. 

May 2012, when enough had been enough but it still wasn’t enough. 
Go back to December 2013 when fate finally caught up. November 2013, when you thought you might actually have her. October 2013 when being the friend wasn’t as easy as you were trying to make it seem. September 2013, when she finally stood up to me. August 2013 when your broken heart got lost in hers. 

July 2013 when my heart turned to dust and it settled under the love seat where I plead, on my knees, for her to just let me stay. 

 Come here, May 2014. Where all those dust particles have come back together into a cohesive whole.

In japan, they mend broken things with melted gold. 
For the past two years we have been making Japanese art of our hearts. In the last five months we have really figured out the trade. And today, we have mastered the peace. And that is love. 

The End

Poem

I’m losing water

I’m losing heat

Creating steam

Changing states 
The sea dried up

Waves no longer crashing

Below, but shifting 

Up reaching the cosmos
The sea crawled up 

And caught herself steady

Magnamonious

As a mountain stable

And sure 
In the spring there will be 

New life in these branches
Elemental transformation

Liquid, solid

            Aghast. 

No longer daring people into my depths

No more diving into the wreck
This earth supports

Rooted in truth

Saved only for those 

Determined to climb. 

Letting Go is So Hard When You Really Want to Hold on to the Illusion

I’m sharing this text of the last time I tried to break myself free from a very toxic relationship. I am my own most destructive force. I know this. I give my power to her and then blame her when I have given too much. I know this, too. She came in and I did not listen to my inner knowing. My mind always screams “STOP”, and my heart whispers “just one more time” and we hash it out until my ego takes over and says-“you can control this.” 

The cycle has shortened to about two weeks before I can’t resolve the inner conflict and I absolutely have to cut myself out to regain some semblance of my own sanity. 

I’m learning to listen to myself, to articulate clearly, and I am trying like hell to take responsibility for my own stuff and not spread my pain like the disease it has become. There are more than a few entanglements in this relationship. The final one being the woman she always goes back to in between in our “had enough” spaces. They claim friendship. My gut tells me that there is something more deeply twisted about it. I don’t know what. I just know I want out of the entanglement. 

Always, in an effort to save myself I cut her off from me. If we are in contact, I will try to get her to change her behavior to fit my needs. She won’t. This clash between pride and jealousy has eroded both of our sense of self. 
Her: I’m not taking the easy way out. You’re cutting me off again. 

Me: That’s true. We can agree on that. Whether you see it or not…you’re choosing her in a way that I can see is not taking you anywhere good either. I know you the best, remember?
Because you “don’t think” I can’t control that. I can’t help you. You don’t need my help. You definitely don’t want my help. That’s my ego issue. And my desire to say I want better for you. My control issues. My desire to see you say-oh fuck-I want better for me, too! To look at the gross stuff. And to grow. To start to think from one thing to the next. 
But ultimately you end up putting me in a position where I feel forced to remove myself. 
Because when you “don’t think” it hurts me. And you haven’t figured it out yet. Which means….you hurt me. And I haven’t figured out yet that I can’t want “better” for you than you want for yourself. I can’t want you to be different for me. I just have to go find different. 
I wish I didn’t care. I really, really wish that. But I do care. And because I care, and because I care about my own happiness, and that alone is within my realm of control-I have to go away. I HAVE TO CUT YOU OFF. not because you’re a monster. Not because I don’t like {sic}. Not even because I feel like a secret. 
But because I have to learn to choose myself. And every time I choose you, I’m not choosing me. Because you “don’t think” but that’s how relationships actually work-we consider the other people in our lives. And that’s why this one never does. 
You choose me when it’s easiest. And I’m not easy. That’s what I see. You choose me when you miss me, or you’re lonely. Because I’m always there. Because I haven’t learned how to say no to you and protect my energy and my space. And then this happens because I didn’t just say ENOUGH. Because I didn’t just say “no more”. 
Because I’m still in love with you. Because I haven’t let go of the hope that you will grow in my direction. 
You can choose {sic} in this way because the depth isn’t there that we have. I get that. But I can’t continue to exist in this chaos that you create and I perpetuate. 
You always ask-what do you want me to do??? And i always say I want you to do what’s best for you. And you always pick the option that moves you away from me. I get it now. I’m letting you go. You have shown me that I am not your best choice. And I receive that message with gratitude this time. I accept it. But with that acceptance comes a closed door. Because-choices. And this is mine. 

The Reasons I Will Never Be Over My Ex

How long does it take to get over a long term relationship? You mean, that 8 years? You mean, like, my whole twenties? 

How long is it going to take you to get over your twenties? Do you even really want to? Probably not. So, I’m not going to “get over” my ex. 

Getting over her would be the equivalent of stripping me of half my identity. Taking away all the lessons. No, I don’t want to get over her. I want to integrate all that into a new way of being. 
If you didn’t get spend your twenties in a relationship, or in my case, a slightly different version of the same relationship over and over and over and over again…then maybe you won’t understand this answer. But it’s the only one I’ve got. 

I will never be “over” my ex. I don’t even really know what that is supposed to mean. I know that “we didn’t work out” and I know why. I know that we didn’t really have “relationship problems” we had unresolved childhood wounds that drove a necessary wedge between us so that I could finally heal. So that, hopefully, she could, too. I love her more for this than any of the memories that we created in our eight years of on again off again passionately toxic relationship. 
I won’t put a time stamp on my grief process. I’ve had months of anger, broken up by weeks of bargaining, I’ve hit the wall of acceptance just to swing back into denial. 
I’ve believed that she is my twin flame, a karmic soul mate, a false twin flame, a demon, a dark spirit, the only one who really knows how to love me, and that she never really loved me at all. 
I’ve believed that I wasn’t good enough, that I was too good, that I couldn’t make it work, that she wasn’t willing to make it work, that fear got in the way, that she resented my progress, that she would never face her shadow self or her true self, and that I actually had. 
So, no I won’t ever get over her. She wasn’t a goddamn speed bump, she wasn’t a hill or a mountain to climb. She was and always will be-the one who cracked me open, but couldn’t look inside. She couldn’t stay, so she asked me to go. I don’t blame her. I begged her to let me go or meet me where I was. I want to say she chose the easy way out, but nothing about this has been easy. 
I love her. Today, differently than I ever have before. Today, I love her the same way I am finally able to love me-for all the cracks and deficits, and for all the laughter and smiles. I love her for everything that she has been through, and everything we have been through together. I love her for everything that she brought to me. 

I love her because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t really be ME. 

So, I won’t be getting over her. I have placed her gently outside my pain. I have put her in a pocket of my heart where I will carry her with me always. Sometimes, you might see me drifting. It is her voice I am hearing-sometimes as my inner critic and I will still tell her to shut it, and sometimes as my cheerleader and I will thank her for finally understanding what we couldn’t seem to grasp back then. 

I don’t plan on getting over her, because I will not commit myself to an impossible task. I let her go. Cut myself free of the bondage that the toxicity of our relationship bred. But get over her? That just wouldn’t be fair to me. 

Excuse Me, There’s A Reason For This Madness

She was right in thinking that turning our past wounds into excuses isn’t healthy or good. I actually made a lot of excuses for her because I knew her history. I wanted her to feel safe. Ultimately, it wasn’t as productive as what I can now understand to be the truly loving work that happens between two people. 

The primary difference between a reason and an excuse is accountability. 

A reason is a logical and objective explanation of cause and effect. An excuse places blame on something external. 

To break it down simply: 

reason=responsibility 

Excuse=escape

Excuses add bricks to the walls we build. Reasons carve out doorways. 

To relate that to some of the situations that WE have encountered I would argue it as a temporal thing. Of course we are shaped by our past. But if we bring up the past as a justification as to why we are behaving a certain way in the present-that is an excuse. If we are able to identify the current problem objectively and take accountability for our contribution to the current shitty circumstance then we have found a reason things have taken the turn they’ve taken. With this, reasons help find solutions for better actions in the future. Excuses keep us tethered to old patterns of behavior by handing our power back to the painful circumstance that shaped our world view. World views are allowed to change, and I think they should often. This is an indication of growth. To be clear, there are many indicators of growth in life, but I am speaking specifically of emotional growth. 

I have been doing a lot of work to understand my old childhood wounds, and working to heal them. In other words, I have been thinking about this a lot. 

They say that nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to learn. I guess I knew there was more learning to be had with her. So, I’m grateful to re-open the door, and the pain. 

I’m not going to say that I have never made excuses, or that I won’t do it in the future. However, I do find a certain sort of liberation in understanding the critical difference between these two modes of thought. 

I’m trying to decipher which of those were reasons or excuses. It still ends up being a temporal thing to me. As children we are easily impressionable, and it takes a lifetime to come back into our true selves. My goal in this life is to unlearn all the negative bullshit that has been projected on me from external sources, and people who can’t or won’t be honest about their pain. 

She said that she doesn’t understand how it [love/relationship] could work with someone else if it didn’t work with me after being together for as long as we were. Time invested doesn’t mean shit if the walls are still there. 

We can’t change our pasts, but we can change our reaction to it. Listening to her last night showed me that she is still in the victim role. We are often victimized as children. But we don’t have to stay there as adults. She said that she doesn’t mind being the hardass at work because as long as she can justify the value for the greater good, then she’ll do the thing that other people don’t necessarily want to do. I think that is totally fine, admirable even. Yet, it ultimately comes down to motivation. 

The work persona and the personal life persona are slightly different. When the “love of your life” tries to explain that they are not happy in the relationship it is not an attack on you, but a demonstration of love; a person who really cares about wanting to make things better. I know I put a lot of things on her-thinking if she could do something different then we would be better, and this often kept me from taking responsibility for my own shitty (codependent) habits. 

I don’t want to be codependent anymore. It is self destructive, and it keeps me in a constant position of powerlessness. I am not powerless. 

Those walls we build to keep us protected from the threats of the external world are not safe heavens. They are prisons that deny us the true freedom that comes with real love built from vulnerability. Each brick in that wall is an excuse. Reasons are what will pull them down. We can hide and run for as long as we would like. I know that I am finally ready for something different. 

I wish her the best in all that she does. No matter how much I still want it to be her that I share my life with, I’m FINALLY beginning to understand that no matter how much she has to offer someone, she does not have what I need. 

I came to this life to face and conquer fears. This is not easy, and it often leaves me in a state of anxiety and frustration. I’m learning that this energy can be used to propel me forward. I don’t always know what steps to take, and she’s right, sometimes I just need someone to tell me where to go, or what step to take. I’m looking for the person who always wants that first step to be toward them, and if they can see that I’m too scared to take it, then they step in closer toward me. I’m looking for the people who want to stand next to me when those arresting moments happen. The people who want to encourage me to take a step and do so by stepping toward me and not away. I want a person who isn’t going to look at my discontent as a fault, but for what it really is-a yearning for something more. Because this is the kind of person I want to be for myself, and for my partner. 

Comfort zones are great, but nothing ever grows there. I don’t want my comfort confined to a zone. I want safety. I want to be uncomfortable so I know I’m moving forward. I want risks and failures and movement. I want more and always more. 

I have been stuck for the past year. Sure, I moved to another state. Sure, I got into a phd program. Sure, I’ve done a lot of growth internally. I’ve retreated into my quiet space. I’ve wrapped myself in a cocoon. I’m ready to emerge from it, and I have no idea what the next step is supposed to be. What I do know is that I can’t be with someone who sees those cocooning periods as withdrawal. In my mind, they are not that. It’s about growth and understanding. I suppose I can admit that it would be helpful if I could articulate this process a little more clearly. Self-awareness usually comes from mistakes. 

Part of this creatively analytical mind I have brings forth a whole lot of daydreaming. As I work through the possibilities of where I want to go and what I want to do, I take my time. When I decide what I want, then I will take the action steps to get there. I’ve spent the larger part of the last year hung up on her. No matter how many people told me not to be. I asked her about these things, and she made excuses as to why we could not have those things that I thought would bring growth and togetherness. “I just can’t see it happening.” And “When do you think you’ll actually have time for a kid?” Were the excuses she offered. And even, “You talk about these things like they’re something you want in your own life, but you’ve never said you wanted them with me,” like, who else would I be talking about? See, external circumstances blamed for her own inability to create something new. The reason was fear. To be fair, she’s admitted that, but it didn’t change her perspective. 

The facts are there, and pretty clearly laid out. We aren’t compatible people. My primary hang up was that I had decided the direction I wanted our life to go, and she all but denied that possibility with no wiggle room. This threw me into a tailspin of uncertainty and disorientation. Although I wrapped my mind around it BEFORE I left-the mind is a tricky place to be. There are things I left behind that I associate with security and safety. Our home. Our home life. Dual income. Comforts. And of course, my dream of having a family. Ultimately, she WAS right; I don’t need her, specifically, to achieve those things. I just need someone who is ready and willing to take that risk with me. 

She told me that she felt like the only reason I wanted her to move with me was for financial assistance. But we never even merged our finances. Her money was hers, and my money was ours. She is the one who told me to just take out the loan, and be a normal student. She never, ever indicated that this would be something WE could figure out together. Then, more recently, she said that after she got the first paycheck from her promotion, she wished she had her “spouse” there to share it with. I got hung up on the shift from accusation to celebration, but that’s a moot point. This is just more of the same. Her narrative shifts, and makes no sense in relation to the previous plot points. 

Ultimately, none of this about money for me. It’s safety and security. Emotional support. Comfort. I realized that I have those things on my own. In fact, I have those things built with a much more solid foundation here than I ever did there. This is the reason I left, and took responsibility for my own life. I needed something different. Something that did not exist in that space. I don’t need to beat the dead horse. We both know I’m not going back. 

I’m finally finished with the push and pull. I can see how that whole game was fueled by excuses. I pushed when I was triggered. I pulled when she didn’t react the way I needed her to. The reason I left is because she does not have what I need-openness, vulnerability, strength, and emotional security. Just excuses piling up bricks in a wall that I will never be able to break down.