I’m A Sly, Manipulative Woman

Words are said

with that stupid laughing emoji,

as though they aren’t going to impact all I do

for the next six months.

My heart is broken yet we laugh about it.

Chocolate hair has visited my dreams since

tormenting the way I treat my friends

because someone I grew up with,

decided I was no longer worth it.

I know I’m not a good person

but surely even I deserve to be told.

The last time I saw you,

you hardly said two words

then shut the door in my face.

I drove home shaking,

my best friend in the passenger seat

was afraid we were going to crash.

how dare you do that to her.

The last time we spoke, you didn’t.

I sent messages and watched

as you left me on ‘seen’.

You said I should reach out

but ignored when I did

“goes to show how much

ten years of friendship means to her”

I’m sorry you feel that way.

I’m sorry you feel the need

to burn such a reliable bridge.

I’m sorry you couldn’t realise

that you walked all over

the people who would have

made the world turn backwards,

just for you.

I’m sly? I guess I have to accept that.

And I guess I’ll warn people of it

when they make moves to be my friend.

I’m sly, whatever you mean by that..

Don’t worry, none of this was supposed to make sense, just like none of what she’s doing does.

 

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Too Much Sadness

The numbers are piling up,

of people telling me their secrets.

Maybe one day

I’ll see them in my dreams,

the ghosts of my friends.

Maybe they’ll tell me things,

things that should not be said

by the dead.

And as they tell me,

“This is your fault,

you could not love me,”

their cold, skeleton hands

will wrap around my throat

and silence my sobs

and thicken my grief.

My mind will play

like a broken record

the life fading out of their eyes

and realisation

that I can’t save

those who have decided

they’re already gone.

I have not seen the last girl

who told me she wants to die

since we were sat on that couch

three weeks ago

and I held her as she cried.

My tears now carry

the weight of not knowing,

of wishing there was something I could do.

It’s been two days

since my fears were confirmed

and I saw those dreaded red lines

on my best friend’s arm.

I did not realise the pain

and I did nothing to prevent it.

Because a smile does so much

and I spend so long

feeling sorry for myself

that I consciously ignore the signs.

I can’t handle more phone calls,

telling me goodbye at 3am.

I can’t withstand

another boy there in front of me

with a plastic bag over his head,

begging me to save him,

only to punch my face

when I tear the bag in half.

My head feels clouded these days

and my clothes smell of alcohol

because I’d rather bathe in vodka

than other people’s second-hand sadness.

I’m not saying I don’t care,

maybe I care too much,

I think I just need a break

from things that make us all numb.

Because I can not save them

when I am only just managing to save myself.

still healing, always will be

there is a thing in my past

that has been hurting me

that no one knows about

that i don’t think i’ll ever get over

that i can’t manage to speak of.

it makes me want to cry

every second of every day

and it upsets me more

to know i was not strong enough

to willingly live knowing it happened.

there is someone i want to punish

for the way i have lived

in the past three years.

for all the pain they put me through

for all the problems that stem from it

for the normality of life they took from me.

i wish i didn’t think of it as much as i do

i wish it never became such a huge part of my life

i wish i didn’t blame myself for so long afterwards

i wish i had cut that person out of my life sooner

i wish i told someone.

i wish it never happened.

I Can’t Go Back

Lately,

eating has been getting hard again.

Everything I put in my mouth feels wrong,

my tongue treats food

like a foreign object,

I don’t want food.

My teeth tell me I’m in pain

when I try to put them to work.

I’m not in pain.

My throat is overwhelmed

with act of swallowing.

It’s not that hard.

Lately,

As I unwillingly consume

the things I once loved,

my mind becomes a calculator,

counting calories and thinking

of reasons I should not be eating.

I know how many extra kilometres

I will have to run

because of a single chocolate bar.

And how those three pancakes cost me,

in the form of 200 sit-ups

and a guilty conscience.

Maybe you would have flat stomach

If you cut down on the cake.

Lately,

I’ve started painting my nails again,

because they might start turning yellow.

And then people ask questions,

I don’t want to answer those questions.

And I can’t seem to get warm,

I’m shivering all the time,

my toes turned blue the other day.

but I can blame that on winter.

And I’ve noticed things in hind sight

that should have been clear warnings.

Like when I started replacing meals

with stolen alcohol,

because at least that gives

the illusion of a filled stomach.

Or when I started to enjoy

the hunger I feel when I first wake up.

Lately,

I’ve been terrified.

Of the things happening in the world.

And I think my stress

makes me happier chewing my cheek

rather than an apple.

Also,

I’m terrified of what i’m doing

to myself.

The way I seem to have no regard

for my health and wellbeing.

Even as I write this I shake from hunger.

And I know I should do something,

get help,

talk,

or just fucking eat.

But being back in this place is hard,

and I swear I’m fine.

I have to be fine,

there’s no other option.

Because I can’t go back.

I can’t go back to therapy.

I just can’t.

The Op Shop Raiders

I have a friend. He writes. He writes about a girl. I haven’t met her but I know she’s made him a better man. Not in drastic ways, it’s subtle, he smiles more often and it’s more genuine. He’s a musician too, this friend of mine. It inspires me and I picked up my guitar for the first time in years because of it. He loves his God and I hope he’s loving himself. I’ve written about him before. He’s part of a trio, they’re always together.

Another friend. He also writes about a girl. But he doesn’t show anyone the words he strings together for her. He’s never met her, but he cares about her more than she could ever know. Sometimes I hate her, for the way she disappears off the face of the earth without any warning at all, it’s as though she doesn’t appreciate him as I feel she should. But he tells me there’s more than meets the eye. He talks to me and lets me talk; about the friends who we can’t stop giving second chances, about the things we watch, about whatever is on my mind. He shows me that one bad friend does not mean all friends are bad. He encourages me to open my heart. I hope that heart allows me to write about him soon. He’s part of that trio, the ones that are always together.

A third friend. He is always seeing the world through a view finder. He captures moments that I want to live in forever, of beautiful things. He brings out that little bit of asshole in me. It’s refreshing to not have anything expected of me. He brings feelings of spring, surrounded by people I wouldn’t have called my friends but enjoyed spending time with more than with those I did. I’m not sure of our friendship, mistakes were made in November, we have not spoken in weeks. But I still trust him with all I have in me. One day I hope I can call him my friend again. Or rather he can call me his. I wrote about him only once. He’s always with the other two, completes the trio.

These boys who I love with all my heart. I don’t tell them how much I appreciate them anywhere near enough. Or how I know I can trust them with almost anything I like.

Their friendship means the world.

Last Night

Last night at 10,

I sat

on the edge of my bed

with my chin on my knees

and stared at the wall.

I thought about last years winter.

There weren’t enough sweaters

in the world

to warm the heart I had frozen.

Because thats the best way

to preserve meat, to stop it going bad.

But the icy shards stabbed

at my lungs and made breathing painful.

Made laughing painful.

Made living painful.

I thought about the way

I wouldn’t let the love I was shown

thaw my sadness.

At 11,

I reached

to the back of my wardrobe

where lives the onesie I used to curl up in.

I hoped it would warm me

but it smelt of year old tears

and only served as a reminder

that I don’t know how to cry anymore.

I’m not as small as I once was.

And it can no longer cover

the entirety of my blues.

At 12,

I glued pages of positivity

over journal entries from

a year ago, two years ago.

In some desperate attempt

to rewrite the past

and give the illusion I was happy.

I sat on the floor with a lighter

and tried to engulf my written history

in flames.

Thinking it could turn back time

and warm my heart.

I watched the smoke curl up

and settle a foot below my ceiling

without bothering to open the window.

At 2,

I stood in front of my mirror

with my fingers hooked around

the corners of my mouth.

Because the scientists say

smiling in turn makes you happy.

Something about endorphins

and tricking your brain?

But I don’t think scientists

have much experience with

feeling so numb you can’t cry

and so exhausted you don’t bother trying.

And I don’t think I can trick my brain

because my brain is me

and must know I’m trying to trick it.

At 3,

I swallowed two sleeping pills.

I lay spread eagle on my bed

quietly singing Hannah Montana

in one last futile attempt to cheer myself up.

Because you know what else the scientists say?

You shouldn’t go to bed upset.

But for three years of my life

if I didn’t go to bed upset

when was I supposed to sleep?

It’s not socially acceptable

to sleep at parties,

which was the only time I could smile.

As the chemicals forced me to doze off

I wondered what it would be like

to be neurotypical.

To not have most of my life experiences

moulded by chemical imbalances

and all my milestones associated

with how close I was to killing myself.

At 4,

My subconscious

showed me what I needed.

My dreams were filled with tears,

body shaking sobs that hurt my chest.

But my eyes were dry when I opened them.

And the only thing that hurt

was my lungs from the smoke still floating around.

So at 5,

I got up.

I opened the window,

and stripped my bed,

and took a shower,

and made an energy drink

that was ninety percent syrup

and ten percent water

to hide the fact I had barely slept.

Because lately I’ve been doing really well

and I don’t want my parents to worry.

I don’t want my friends to worry.

I don’t want you to worry.

But I’m allowed to have bad days.

Even bad weeks,

as long as they don’t turn into bad months.

They won’t turn into bad months.

I promise.