An Ear To Listen

An ear to listen, a hand to hold

My story’s been told a hundred-fold

About my abuse, about my pain

And my mental health that fucks with my brain


~~~

I’ve told of my struggles, I’ve told of my fight

Whatever I do, I can’t get it right

My body is tired; my mind’s been stricken

With thoughts that make my heartbeat quicken


~~~

My mind is a jumble, just word upon word

My thinking is such that the lines become blurred

When will my world stop spinning around?

My head craves silence, please, not a sound


~~~

Yet, the thunder continues; there is no rest

And bedlam moved in as a permanent guest

Is there no respite for one such as me

While chaos reigns but no one can see

~~~

I sit and ponder these thoughts of mine

And watching the clock, eating the time

The mornings are better; not so afternoons

Bedtime can’t come a minute too soon.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Little Boxes

Tie it up in little boxes with a ribbon and a bow
Tuck it all away inside, so nothing is on show
What to do with all the trauma creeping through my brain
Without support, where can I stuff down this amount of pain?


Secure those feelings firmly behind closed cupboard doors
Hide away from peeping eyes; they’re not wanted anymore
I thought I might be winning; I’d almost passed the post
Having to lock it up again while I haven’t got a host*


C* said the time has come now for me to put it all away
Leave sleeping dogs to lie rather than come out to play
Waiting for the next in line could be a year or more
Counting down the days while my brain keeps the score


The bonds we built between us were kind but very strong
Boundaries as they should be, respectful; nothing wrong
I should be feeling tougher, but my heart and soul cry out
I should have trust in myself, but no, I’m full of doubt


She said I could leave notes for the one who’s coming next
Just in case my mind’s in hiding and my memories repressed
I’m dreading the goodbye day; I mustn’t make a fuss
I’ll just be left with me alone and not the both of us.

NOTE: This poem is about a conversation I had with my counsellor this week in reference to my counselling coming to an end. She was suggesting that I try not to explore my childhood trauma too deeply in the few weeks we have left for fear of it becoming overwhelming again, and then having no one to process this with. She described it as putting all the trauma memories in a box until I see the next counsellor, whoever that is going to be. The waiting time could be up to a year. I can’t lie and say I’m not terrified because I am.

I’m so very grateful for all the support I’ve had from my blogging and real-life friends regarding alternative ways of finding low-cost therapy. I’m still searching this out, but at the same time, the thought of starting all over again with someone new is extremely daunting. Time will tell …

Love Ellie xx 💙

(* C and host refer to my counsellor)


(Image source – Pexels Free Images)

#Me Too*

Can’t read
Can’t write
No rest
Hard fight

Can’t hear
Feel fear
All alone
No one there

Big smiles
All day
Great acting
Run away

Feeling pain
Not numb
Silent now
Staying dumb

Giving up
Too much shame
Held inside
Played the game

Being good
No escape
Dirt shows
Child rape

So soft
Weak-willed
Too tough
Justice killed

Can’t see
Don’t tell
Keep quiet
Gone to hell


* #MeToo is a social movement originating among women, advocating for survivors of sexual harassment or violence to speak out about their experiences.


(Image source – Photo by Shamia Casiano: https://www.pexels.com)

Pretence

Being honest here and speaking my truth as I always do, I’m not okay today. I don’t feel much like the success I referred to in my last poem. I saw my counsellor this afternoon. She was going to let me know if I could continue to see her as my funding has nearly run out. I’d spoken with the organisation’s manager on Friday, and she assured me she would discuss my case with C. (my counsellor) and that I’d have a decision by this week’s session. As it turned out, the manager hadn’t spoken to C. I expect there’s a good reason for this; however, it doesn’t help my distress and worry at not knowing where I stand. C. told me she wouldn’t be there next week either, so I now have to wait another two weeks before knowing what will happen. I feel lost and alone.

PRETENCE

It’s tough pretending to be okay
when I’m absolutely not
I find myself smiling and chatting away
to stop others sensing the rot

~~~

I’m trying to write my song differently
I’m trying to appear upbeat
There’s far too much for others to hear
if it’s only the pain I excrete  

~~~

If only they knew what the truth was
that I’m shrivelling up inside
so I stay quiet and keep my thoughts to myself
while my innocent inner child died

~~~

I currently stand on a precipice
I’m looking for a safe way to go
I join in the fun with a crowd of friends
not letting all my pain show

~~~

I’m angry inside with that b******
He’s the one who caused all this sh*t
So, why am I carrying the blame in my heart
when I don’t belong in this pit

~~~

He should have been tried in a court
They asked me if I wanted to tell
but I was far too scared of speaking the truth
I’d already been through hell

~~~

If he were alive, I would prosecute
I’d make him stand facing the beak**
I’d tell all of his vile wicked deeds
as now it is my turn to speak.


(** The word ‘beak’ is an English slang word for judge or magistrate)












Audience of One

(Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash)

I thought I might be on the road to healing

Well, it’s about time, too, they say

Questioning me with persistence

As I died a little more that day

~~~

Do you think this is simply a drama

Played to the audience through neon lights

Just a show for your pleasure, ma’am

While I instantly freeze with stage fright

~~~

Where are those skills you’ve learned

The ones that are meant to help you cope

You really ought to try harder, they say

As I turn away, giving up all hope

~~~

You’re no spring chicken; get on with your life

Don’t you think you’ve wasted enough years

Dragging up the past; c’mon, time to move on

Wipe away those crocodile tears

~~~

But I still have flashbacks; they haunt my mind

I can’t tell you how they scare me so

You don’t understand where I’ve been in my life

What d’you mean, you’re now ready to go

~~~

I’m angry now for those harsh words spoken

But I can’t get allow myself to scream and shout

I am choking back salty tears of utter despair

I just wish I could let go and cry it all out

~~~

Perhaps, it’s better you depart now

Go, get in your car if you must

Don’t come back here asking questions

My lips are sealed; ne’er again will I trust.

Scarred

(Image source – Phoebe Kay – Pinterest)

NOTE:
Just to reassure my readers that I don’t self-harm anymore. Unfortunately, I have scars that will never go away, which I have to live with for the rest of my life. It’s not easy – I carry a lot of shame for them, although I appreciate that was my way of surviving the intensity of the agony at that time. My scars are sadly worse than those in the image. I get judged by strangers who stare sometimes. It makes me want the ground to open up and swallow me. I can’t say I’m never tempted to do it again at times when I’m desperate, but I know that I won’t. I owe it to myself, my children and my ever-curious grandchildren. I have a tattoo across some of my scars – it says, “THIS TOO SHALL PASS,” and I know it will in time.

I want to heal and my writing is my way of beginning that journey. Thank you for bearing with me and supporting me with my recent outpourings of grief.

Tramlines embedded

permanent reminders

in soft, yielding flesh

disguising the pain of existence

~~~

The beginning of the slippery slope

the agonising journey

following tracks

side by side by side by side

~~~

Ensuring her instruments

gleaming in the moonlight

spotless from the flame

as she attacks with ferocity

~~~

Pearls of crimson gathering

on her lily-white skin

offering relief

from the shame and guilt

~~~

Never speaking of his sin

holding it all within

brain freeze

a blade on the skin

~~~

Silenced with threats and blame

memories, flashbacks abound

cutting the evil and torture out

of the time when cries went unheard

~~~

Child of her child’s curiosity

she tells of a fall on broken glass

submerging her truths

hoping the child’s thoughts will pass

~~~

No surrender of life or sanity

She needs no permission to write

expressing her pain in words

she’s not giving up on the fight.


Rage

Image source – http://www.peakpx.com

I thought very seriously about sharing this poem. I originally wrote it several years ago, but I’ve updated it since then. It’s about the internal anger, which I feel now that it’s no longer possible to be angry with the appropriate person. Not knowing how to deal with my rage, despite my therapist’s suggestions of punching cushions, screaming into pillows, yelling to loud music etc., the only outlet I have for my feelings is my writing. I hope you will understand my reason for sharing this somewhat uncomfortable and sombre poem, and please know that I don’t wish to offend anyone who may read this.


How do I shield my mind, my darling

from the wrath, I have towards myself

or the tongue, as sharp as a blade

that spits bitter words with every breath?

~~~

My soul shrouded by secrets untold,

whipped by the wind in a hot desert storm

beaten against fresh, fair skin;

sour, narrow eyes, blinking.

~~~

My spirit dances with hollow sighs

and its shadow falls and tumbles

into the darkest of clouds;

tears flow freely into the midnight sky.

~~~

But now, my scarlet demons

run screeching from the hills

and the steep mountains rage;

 and then forever hushed.

AFTERTHOUGHT …

Dancing in the Shadows

Reality she feigns so well

Till the closet doors slam shut

A sureness of the truth becomes

A feeling from the gut

~~~

She’s dancing in the shadows

Tar running through her veins

Weaving webs of gossamer

Till nothing pure remains

~~~

Just then her hushed emotions

Tucked carefully away

Go screeching to the hills

As night follows on from day

~~~

The darkness wears disguises

Where her heart and soul had been

Closely guarded secrets

Always clever, never seen

~~~

And the devil burns so brightly

When the skeletons come out

The enigma slowly surfacing

Until there is no doubt