Never

My mind spins
And over and over
The words thump in my head
Not. Good. Enough.
Not. Good. Enough.
Not. Good. Enough.
Never Good enough
I do not deserve to be loved
I do not deserve to be valued
I must simply scratch and scrape
And be satisfied with scraps
It is my fate
To always be the one
Who waits in the background worrying
Who tries to please
But never pleases
My words are useless
Actions more so
My destiny is sealed
Alone
Unloved
Lacking
And
Never
Ever
Ever
Enough

skipping

I don’t know why they say,
romantically,
“My heart skipped a beat
When our eyes met”.
If love was the reason,
I must have fallen
a million times
as my pulse
skips,
flips,
cartwheels in my chest.
It isn’t love or lust or crush,
it’s stress and fear
anxiety
fluttering in my chest
buzzing in my ears
and the pain dragging at my limbs
And I am so tired
Of this merry-go-round
So
very
very
tired

How did I end up here again
Sat alone in a king size bed
High hopes dashed
Over and over
Not for me the happy ever after
No rosy glow
No souls entwined
Is there something broken
In me?
I remember once
Standing in the sea
Drunk and sad
Thirty years ago
You’d think by now
I’d have it all worked out
But still inside I’m that same girl
Just desperate to be loved
Longing to be cherished
Trying to be
Who I thought I should be
To catch their eye
To make them think
I was worth their time
But each time
I thought I found
The one
The person
My one true love
It was only a mirage
A faded empty dream
I was never enough

Sometimes I dream

Is it bad choices
or just bad luck?
I may have rushed in
but I crawled out
s l o w . . .
and after
much deliberation.
Both times
I thought I knew,
I thought he was the one.
But is there really such a thing?
I haven’t met
my soulmate yet
and as I rebuild my walls,
retreat into my hermitage
I don’t see how
I ever will.
I don’t need a person
Just need myself
I am fine
on my own
But sometimes
I dream…

3,248 days

8 years,
10 months,
22 days
between first
and last

I thought
it would be harder.
Why don’t I miss you
more?

I know, of course.

We ended long before.
A slow decline.
Lost trust,
lost love,
lost touch.
Housemates.
Barely even friends.

But I loved you once.
You held my heart,
painted it with ink,
now faded.
We traded words,
a courtship
of letters.
And we did,
we did…
We loved
much more than too

42 days
since that last look
since that choked goodbye

And I’m still here

anxiety

there is a heaviness
a weight pinning me down
I can’t quite fill my lungs
bone weary I stare
into nothing
and the words go double
on the screen
eyes too tired to bother
focusing
it’s just
too
much
effort
as I battle this
monster
who wants to
consume me

Remember to Breathe

Missy likes to hide in cupboards. She stifles giggles as her mother looks for her, impatiently stomping, size 1 shoes in her hand. She squirms, a can of baked beans is pressing into her back. The cupboard is quite empty, which makes it good for hiding in. Missy’s smile fades. ‘Ugh, beans for dinner again‘ she thinks. She’s about to emerge, looking forward to her mother’s face, half cross, half laughing, when she shows herself. But. There’s a noise. It’s the kind of noise that makes you freeze and concentrate all of your mind on listening. It’s the kind of noise she remembers. From before.

“Missy, stay in the cupboard!” her mother commands. Missy is half upset that her mother knew where she was all along. But it only lasts a moment. Then she feels the fear trickling down her spine. She bites her lip and tries to breathe long and slow like Mama taught her. In two three four, out two three four. It makes the nightmares go away. She quietly moves the can of beans in front of her feet so she can press her back tight to the side of the cupboard. With her arms wrapped round her knees and head down, she waits.

The noise is still going. Banging and thumping. Shouting voices. She can hear her mother muttering under her breath, “What do I do? What do I do? I don’t know what to do!”. “Mama, hide!” she whispers. There’s a big crash. A really big one. And the voices are louder. They’re right outside the cupboard. Her mother’s voice, high pitched and afraid “Please, no, I’m sorry, I will get the money! I promise, just wait!”. “That’s what you said last time” comes from a deep gravelly voice “and the time before that. No more waiting!”. Her mother gasps as the men push her against the wall.

Missy puts her hands tight over her ears and tries to breathe. She’d like to hum or sing to try and stop the other sounds, but she knows she must be silent. Eyes closed, tears seeping out, in two three four, out two three four, in two three four, out two three four. Nothing can drown out the noise. Her mother screams and thuds to the ground near the cupboard. “Please, no, no, don’t!” she begs.

Missy tries to imagine it nicer. “Mama fell over from dancing and laughing too much, she was spinning and singing, that’s why she fell” she tells herself. It doesn’t work. She wishes she was big and strong and could stop them. She is too small. She knows she must stay quiet, she mustn’t scream or cry, but it burns up within her, bubbling up and up, until she can’t stop herself from screaming out “Leave my mama alone! Now!”.

And suddenly all there is is light. There’s a whistling sound, someone screaming, all the cupboard doors fly open, the can of beans shoots out and smacks one man in the head. The others are yelling silently as the light swirls around them. Missy is standing now, staring right at them. They step back from her, but something is holding them there. Missy’s arms spread wide and she hums. Her fingers shine like sparklers. She hums louder and lounder, takes a deep breath… then she hears it, a quiet voice, so soft and tender. “Stop love, stop, you’ll kill them, stop, don’t let them make you do this!”. She pauses… “Mama? What’s happening?!”. She feels a touch on her ankle, and looks down. It’s her mother, she’s ok, she’s still there, she’s even smiling.

The lights fade as Missy stares down into her mother’s eyes. “Mama” she says with a smile, “you’re ok”. “Yes love”, her mother replies, “We’re both ok, now remember to breathe love, remember?”. “In two three four, out two three four” they chant together. Missy closes her eyes and breathes in deep, then she blows out the breath, letting her arms fall slowly to her sides. When she opens them again she sees the men run, they run like little frightened kittens, freed from her hold.

Her mother reaches for her hand “hey, love” she says, “thank you my darling girl, now come here and let me wipe your tears”. Missy helps her mother to sit up, leaning on the fridge, then snuggles down beside her. “Will they come back?” she whispers. “No, love, I don’t think they’ll ever come back now they know what you can do. But we need to go. Who knows who they’ll tell, it’s not safe.” Missy feels her body relax into her mother’s. “But first” says her mother, “we’ll just take a minute to catch our breath”.

Fat

It’s a mystery, she thinks, as she licks her lips.
I don’t know how it happens, she wonders, as she brushes crumbs off her boob-shelf.
How did I get this fat?
But the pastries are so tasty
so she doesn’t care.

And as her father used to say…

I’d rather be fat and happy
than skinny and miserable