Tag Archives: failed relationships

A letter to my 19 year old self

hands

Source: worldfiled.tumblr.com

Hello my darling,

I know you’re tired. Look at you, you’ve had the marrow sucked out of you by a parasitic force, you’ve spent 5 months trying to piece yourself together and you’re exhausted. My God you’re exhausted, but honey, you’re also so beautiful.

You are so much more than those nights you spent clinging on to a relationship that only gave you grief from the beginning. Remember how you’d run after his chaotic emotions, trying to make sense of the dark corner he stuffed you in? Remember the nights you spent in his bed, your knees tucked to your chest, your skinny frame shivering in his t-shirt, waiting for him to start making sense? Remember sneaking out of your house at 2am to race across the road and climb through his window, because you felt guilty for how much you thought you needed his embrace?

Sweetheart. He’s not the one. I know you think he is. I know he’s got you trapped in the toxic little universe he’s structured around your insecurities. I know you think you’re going to stay with him forever, that you’re going to get your degree and he is going to get a job and maybe he’ll stop freaking out if you forget to text him and he’ll let you go out with your friends every once in a while and maybe he’ll stop yelling. Maybe, maybe, maybe, he’ll stop yelling and shooting wine glasses with metal BB bullets and standing over you as the shards slip through your scarred hands. Maybe he’ll stop blaming you for everything that’s out of your control. Maybe you’ll stay with him forever and you’ll be happy because he’s got you convinced that no one else could possibly love someone as strange and as wild as you. Maybe he’ll stop yelling.

He’s not it my love. You know he isn’t. You know that with every icy word, every bite of his temper, every snarl in your direction that you’ll just get smaller and smaller. You know if you carry on you’re going to disappear. Rip out his claws honey, rip them out of your skin and start running, because your flame can only grow brighter from here.

You are going to burn all of the empty letters he ever left on your bed. You are going to start a mini bonfire in a tin can in your garden and you are going to belly laugh wildly and dance around the carcass that was the past 5 months of your life. You are going to kiss your scars and run your feet raw as you tear down boulevards. You are never going to be afraid to raise your voice ever again.

You are going to beat your pillow with a hockey stick until all the rage and regret  that he spoon fed you, explodes in a flurry of feathers and relief. You are going to change all the locks to your heart and then spend the next 2 years simply loving yourself. You are going to snip away at every single toxic relationship that eats into your spirit until the only people who are left are the ones that carry you to bed and bundle you up when you cry. Prepare to have your face stroked and your soul held and your forehead kissed my darling; prepare to feel confused and tentative about all these gentle gestures – I know it feels foreign, but this is what you need and deserve.

Then prepare to have the breath knocked out of you by someone who exudes sunlight and warmth.

I know you think you deserve locked doors and acidic words, it’s going to take a while for you to break that cycle. But when you finally do, when you finally look up and realise your own electric disposition, you are going to free fall into the arms of someone who makes your entire body burn.

He is going to take you to parties and introduce you to fellow wild things. He’s going to take you onto rooftops and sit and listen while you animatedly chat about everything important to you. He’s going to let you bury your face in his chest while he strokes your hair and tells you that he is never going to contain your spirit or lock up your happiness. He is going to look at you like maybe you are magic, and he’s going to pour golden words down your throat.

And you, my love, you are going to realise that the people who try to extinguish your flame are the ones who don’t deserve any of your warmth.

You will detonate into a plethora of water-colours and wild flowers.

I love you with all my heart.

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Brain Poetry

My god, please stay.

stars

My head’s a little fuzzy from all the positive reassurances I’ve been feeding myself since 11 last night. They’ve managed to fill my cranium with white noise, bumping into each other every few seconds, trying to squeeze themselves into tight spaces to make room for the demons who are hosting them.

Hello. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy, trying to fill my days with as much thought-numbing joy as possible before all the monstrous thoughts come back. I’ve been happy, so happy. I’ve shaken my fists at gremlins and run down stormy avenues in rain boots – shaking poetry out of my hair and out-sprinting every anxious pang I’ve ever held captive in my chest.

But happiness has a nasty bite. It roars and shakes it’s dreadful mane, daring me to beg it to stay.

My god, please stay.

I don’t want to be left alone with this terrible wave inside me, let me cling to you for a little longer.

I’ve had this pounding ache since 11 pm, a precariously explosive bubble of emotions that I’ve weighed down with an iron anchor.

Don’t you dare escape, do you want to expose us? Stay still and quiet, don’t erupt, don’t scream, don’t show him or anyone else how much you’re hurting. Shut up.

“I am spectacular, I am smart, I have worth, I am not falling apart, I am going to tackle this with the tenacity and stubbornness of a mother-freaking grizzly bear.”

No matter how this turns out, whether the raging winds and torrential rain tear me apart or leave me just a little battered- there is still life within my veins. I will rise, I will eventually thrive, I will guard my heart with an iron casket next time something like this happens because I can not afford to let hurricane emotions whisk me away again.

If you’re going to go, then go. But if you want to stay then please, please do.

2 Comments

Filed under Brain Poetry

Unconventional romanticism and why Valentines Day is a farce.

image

Valentines Day is this Sunday, hilarious.

I’m not a fan of that holiday, in fact, I actively do not take part in it (mainly because no one loves me enough to actually be my valentine, but let’s not get technical here).

I’ve always been an unconventional romantic. I used to have debates with my best friend about the merits of receiving multi-coloured shoelaces instead of flowers (he, who writes thoughtful letters like they’re crack, does not agree) and there’s a dinosaur toy perched on my bookshelf from someone who also revels in the delights of unconventional romanticism, what a gem.

image

Maybe it’s because of this quirk that I’m averse to the holiday, maybe it’s my background as a child of divorce that has made me cynical about unnecessary, clichéd and relatively meaningless displays of affection such as giant pink love bug plushes and commitment-scented bath salts. Perhaps it’s just because for me V-day is also no-D-day (get it? Cause I’m dreadfully alone…haha…love me)

Whatever it is, I’m pretty much doomed to spend the most commercialised and capitalist holiday of the year eating pizza in my bedroom and trying not to listen to my housemates getting it on with their respective lovers, yay.

So Happy Irrelevant Consumerist Holiday, everybody. The most action I’ll get is probably a fist-bump from the drunken car guard on Prospect Street, but at least it’s something.

Someone drop a fast food menu on my doorstep will ya? I have a lot of feelings to eat.

Leave a comment

Filed under Romance or something like it

Break-up Season and The Art of Being Perpetually Single.

Source: weheartit.com

It’s September and with it comes along one of my favourite seasons; no you over – enamoured festival girls with your flower crowns and misappropriated Native American headdresses, it is not Spring. It’s break up season.

Aaah, break up season. The undefined amount of time when couples decide they need to start making alternative arrangements for New Years. It’s either that or the pollen has some kind of effect on assholes revealing their true colours. Either way, in breakup season my status as the perpetually single, professional third wheel is promoted to veteran. I become the newly single girl’s independence guru and it’s my favourite thing.

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again- I have been cursed with experience. As my mother once aptly introduced me “this is Harriet, she has the WORST taste in men”. Right you are Lori, and don’t I know it. A miriad of philanderers, future strippers, batshit rockstars and one rather questionable character armed with a pair of roller blades and a spiked collar have come my way; and, because I like a good story, because I appreciate it when my life takes a turn for the bizarre- I give them the time of day.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me pretty good at getting rid of weirdos. In my experience, there’s two ways break up season can happen to you;

1. You cry, you ugly cry. You end up looking like Kim K eating a salad, or just Kim K crying. You binge on something – be it food, cheap box wine or love quotes on pinterest, you fill your void with something other than that person. I voice note my friend Chris at ridiculous hours of the morning after watching Pride and Prejudice for the third time and sobbing because Mr Darcy is the perfect ratio of socially awkward to adorable. Chris is a real trooper. Hi Chris!

2. You get over it quickly. You never liked them that much anyway. I always get a drastic haircut after a breakup, one time all I got was my nails done. It’s all relative, it depends on whether you’ve acknowledged yet that you deserve more than locked doors and explosive words. It’s about whether or not you’ve given away so much of yourself already that no fucks can be given. That’s cool, your favourite kind of no should be no fucks!

Once you’ve reached this Land of NSource: weheartit.comope, it gets easier, it gets interesting. The Land of Nope is my favourite place in the entire world – it’s the land of tequila and nachos, incredulity and cynicism. All hail the Land of Nope!

One of my best friends is going through break up season. She’s acknowledged that a relationship isn’t worth it if the other person doesn’t make an effort to make her feel safe, or special. She’s figured out that although it’s nice to have someone to cover her eyes during a horror film, it feels even better to have the strength and sense of self – preservation to walk away from her own. I love her for it, I think she’s so brave. I acknowledge how terrifying being alone can be- you don’t want to go back to pub crawls and batting off club goblins. Being single sounds like the worst thing right now, but let me tell you kids something from your friendly neighbourhood future cat lady: being single lets you be selfish, and sometimes you need to be selfish to figure out who you are and what you want.

October marks a year since the last break up I was an active participant in. After being single for almost a year you figure out some things:

1. Sweatpants are my best friends. My other best friend regularly jokes about how when I go out I make an effort, yet when I come to campus then everyone is forced to deal with the wild beast that is my naked face and unbrushed hair. I don’t care, because sweatpants are my best friends and you can’t deny the kind of love they wrap you in at 3 o clock on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by empty pizza boxes and watching Adventure Time. Sweatpants are love, sweatpants are life.

2. You don’t need a significant other to make you feel important. You don’t need someone tracing the outline of your lips every night to feel heard. There are people in your life who will still be able to tell how your feeling from a single flinch. Chris has my hangover routine memorised, he has no need for it, but it’s nice to know that when I order chicken chow mein and spring rolls from Kung fu kitchen and then lie in bed watching Archer for the rest of the day, that there’s someone on the other end of the phone just as concerned about my liver as I am.

3. Freedom is the gift that keeps on giving. Once your tear ducts dry up, once your chest feels a little lighter and you’ve reached the Land Nope and No Fucks, you will start to smell the sweet scent of liberation, my friend. Turn off your phone, go exploring for a few hours, spontaneously kiss a stranger – or don’t, because germs are a thing; whatever you do it can remain unjustified. You never have to explain a single thing to anyone ever- you are a sentient human being who deserves to be wild.

4. You learn to love yourself; and kid, you gotta learn. Every stretch – mark, every split end, every out of place freckle. You can’t lay the burden of self – appreciation on anyone else but you, and once you learn to stand by yourself, once you establish that you are strong enough to be able to walk away from any relationship at any time, you will understand why none of your previous love affairs worked.

Breakup season sucks, for everyone, even experienced wise sages like myself. But the journey to occasional loneliness is worth it, my god it’s worth it.

Bring on the tequila and the nachos. I feel a one – man movie marathon coming on.

Leave a comment

Filed under Average Advice, Romance or something like it

I Contain Multitudes.

Sometimes I need to remind myself of who I am, or at least, of whom I want to be. Sometimes I need to remind myself to actually be myself.

It’s weird. I’ve always felt so solid in my identity, a rock in the ebb and flow of euphoria and misery, order and chaos- the hysteria that is human existence. I have always been Harriet. I like ironic t-shirts and unintended puns, I like people and the world and the way the sky smells in the summer time. I fall asleep in the foetal position every night and I wake up with my legs tangled together in a mess of duvet and bliss every morning. I like going out and dancing on tables and telling too many people that I love them too often. I used to sing in class.

On my own, my identity has never been a problem.

But then I meet someone and I forget to ask myself if I like them, instead of “do they like me?”

I’ll find out their values and their morals and how they like their eggs in the morning, I’ll add their favourite songs to my iTunes playlist and listen to them more than I should, regardless of whether they’re good or not. I’ll read books they might be impressed with, or go on diet regimes they might appreciate, or make sure I stop doing anything that might particularly annoy them.

I spend days, weeks, months in a state of attempted perfection; don’t eat too fast, pretend to be cynical, read Edgar Allen Poe, don’t drink too much, don’t swear too much, don’t breathe too much.

I’ll meet someone and I’ll forget to smell the sky and to write and to take my human encounters with a shot of enthusiasm instead of scathing criticism, because they hate people and therefore I must too, right?

And every night I’ll come home and I’ll feel empty and cheated and confused- because I can’t separate myself from the person I am and the person I think they want me to be.

There are a handful of people in my life who I never change for. They’ve seen me shove a hamburger in my mouth without breathing, they’ve taught me how to play pool and how to be selfless and how to love unconditionally. And every night when I come home from emptiness and failed perfection they’ll squeeze themselves into the same chair as me, wrap me up and say

“Stop making yourself so small- you are so wonderful and smart and beautiful, and if you ever try to be somebody you can’t be I will remind you of the girl who wishes on clocks and kisses everybody on the forehead. You were raised by wolves- you will spit out anybody who destroys the people you love, yet you won’t get rid of the voice inside you saying you’ll never be good enough.”

So I’ll start breathing again, I’ll sit on library floors and read anthologies, I’ll take my coffee with extra cream and two sugars, I’ll start to love people again because that’s the person I want to be. I’ll remind myself that I’d rather be alone than a diminutive of myself.

Because like Whitman, “I am large, I contain multitudes”. I was born into a world of sunlight and summer skies, I refuse to be anything less than what I am.

I am not a shadow of someone else’s ideals, I am my own.

Leave a comment

Filed under Average Advice

Tasting the stars and planting flowers in my chest.

I often wonder if we both stare at our phones, waiting for the other person to text. And then when nothing happens we are forced to accept the reality of our own inadequacies – an emotional stalemate.

I don’t want you to touch other girls with your smile, I don’t want your hands to wander to their hips the way they once wandered to mine. I don’t want to see you hanging onto their every word, plotting how to make them taste the stars. I don’t want to see you covering them with kisses and empty promises.

If I were to choose anyone to break my heart, it would be you. I would lean against that hostile brick wall until oblivion calls my name, and listen to you telling me I’m not enough all over again if it meant I could listen to you talking to me.

Just talk to me.

You planted flowers in the cracks of my heart and you had no right to do that. Every night I water them with my tears because I just can’t bring myself to let them die.

The thing is, I will lie in the dirt next to you and pour poems, instead of whiskey, down your throat. I will kiss you sober and stroke your head until sunrise. I will shiver by your side and plant my own seeds into your lungs until you realise that I am the only substance you will ever need. 

Leave a comment

Filed under Brain Poetry

A letter to you about the universe I almost suffocated in.

universeHi,

It’s been a while. Not since we talked but since we’ve had a non-superficial conversation about how we feel, or used to feel. The last time was standing in a drunken courtyard and I was looking up at you trying to remember what your lips felt like. You said “sorry” for forgetting me the way you did, for not replying, for treating my heart like a rugby ball and I swear I almost forgave you. Almost.

There’s a lot in that almost, a lot of what you did and said, how you suddenly stopped and left me with screaming feelings and unspoken words. I spent months trying to wrap my head around the enigma of you, how intangible you turned out to be, how broken you could make me feel. I’ve never been enough, I’ll never be enough. You were more than enough- you were sunlight and darkness and happiness and despair, you still make me feel like the best and worst person on the planet. Brush my skin, stroke my hair, look at me. Look at me, I dare you, there it is-the universe, the sick, dark universe that you can conjure up with one nod in my direction. It’s frightening. I hate it. It’s like my feet still point towards you, I still wish I could bump into you and feel that confusion all over again, but it’s not healthy, it’s not even exnice.

I heard about her; actually you told me. You felt about her the same way I wish you’d felt about me. She got beautiful pictures and sincere promises of forever. You did everything you could to hold her tears in your hands and then kiss them away. She was enough, more than enough and you were happy. She probably made you feel like a king and a wreck at the same time until one day she got tired and she stopped replying, started forgetting and then she threw your heart across a field so it could shatter in pieces.

I’m so happy for you. I’m so happy for every tragic word you howled, every suppressed moment of heartbreak you’ve had to control. I’m sure your heart feels like it’s about to claw it’s way out of your chest and start sobbing with every beat. I am so happy you’ve been destroyed, because the next time you torment a girl with the universe you won’t be so quick to watch her drown in it.

Leave a comment

Filed under Brain Poetry, Romance or something like it