I’ve written plenty of poems about how you can’t make homes out of humans. It’s true. You begin to find yourself wrapped in their warmth and you never get tired of the safety net around you. You build a foundation and all of a sudden there are walls, but they are inside and not out. But see this gives them the power to know you. The power to know every single thing about you. The way you smile differently in different situations, the way you eat breakfast, the way you shower, the way your muscles move, the involuntary movements your face makes. This give them to power to choose not to love those things. You tell yourself it’s okay. Because it is. They don’t have to love the home you’ve built of them. Maybe it’s because you’ve never really had a “home” so you actively search for something to catch you after a long day, that one thing that always sticks. You fall in love with the way their face looks when they sleep and everything is quiet. You fall in love with the way their chest rises and falls. You fall in love with their laugh. You fall in love with every little detail you never would have thought twice about and you start to think that this is the home that you will grow old in. It’s crazy how fast it can all happen , but it does. Unfortunately, you can’t make homes out of humans. I’ve told myself this over and over again. Because at some point they won’t want you there. After so many times of telling people: its “okay” and that their “happiness” is what matters. I start to think something is wrong with me. Maybe I’m not very good at building houses. Maybe I need to build my walls back up before I try being on the inside of anyone else’s. I’m just not sure I want to let anyone in. Maybe I won’t . It doesn’t matte how hard I try to stay I just can’t. So I quit. I no longer want you inside of my walls. I don’t want you to see the beautiful windows and fall in love with the view. I don’t want the creaks it makes at night to scare you at first but then become a comfort. I don’t want you to know anymore. So…. You can go home now.
Sometimes you are someone’s favorite sweater. They wear you all the time. They wear you around the house, out to dinner, to the movies, or even while they sleep. They wear you in front of their friends, and their families, and in front of strangers, because you are their favorite sweater and they want everyone to know. As it happens, whether on purpose or accident, one day they hang you in the back of their closet. Before long, other sweaters are placed before you, and you watch them as they come and go, wondering if you’ll ever be worn again. soon you become not as accessible. The other sweaters are easily seen, touched, and worn. you suddenly become far away. Far away means they forget the color in your eyes, they way you smell, and your voice I the morning. So you hang, collecting dust and watching other sweaters keep the body you love warm. Maybe one day you’ll be pulled from the closet, and they’ll remember how they never felt as warm from all the other sweaters as they did with you. They’ll remember how you promised not to scratch their skin or be stained with lies, and you kept those promises. But as it happens, maybe you were meant to just be a sweater, and you were only ever meant to be worn until they no longer needed you.
I wake up because the beeping stopped. I take a breath to see if I’m alive , and I am. It’s bright because there are huge windows in my room. I stare at the wall for about five minutes. There are carvings in the walls from souls I will never meet. My roommate is asleep on her cot. I didn’t really sleep last night. Most nights I just climb up on my ledge with my journal and use the light from the moon to write to my hearts content. Here I am. Confined in a world within another, the outside I cannot touch. I cannot see his face. I cannot feel warmth. But I can write. This is the place my heart fell in love. I fell in love with writing. I think it took meeting him to fall in love with my own words. I had watched my words wind in an intricate spiral up the back of my throat, full and ready to make a beautiful masterpiece – be shoved back down with a kiss. Yet, After, I was still left speechless. We aren’t allowed to be up late but I cannot sleep. They say I have “insomnia” but I hide the pills in my cheeks so I can stay and watch the moonlight dance over the world beneath me. I sit on this ledge looking out of the window and I wonder where he is. I wonder what he is doing and if he ever thinks of me. I got here because of a pain he didn’t cause. I lost something that gave me hope. Something that brought me to life. Someone I loved unconditionally, all because someone else hurt me first.
I touch the carvings in the wall and before long my peace is broken up by the minds and bodies around me awaking. My nurse comes in. He tells me he has a question, so I tell him I have an answer. He asks me why I don’t sleep. See, there are speakers in every room and at exactly 11 p.m when everyone is asleep, they turn on music. So I dance. He asks me why. The only answer I had for him was that if i stopped writing, dancing, and watching the moon dance – I would die. He assured me I wouldn’t. But i told him that I would inside because aside from the love i had found, those were my happy places.
I spent weeks in that hospital because I was dealing with traumas that i could not surpass. But the truth is, I was scared of loving again. That boy i fell in love with is now a man. The day i looked at him and realized he did not love me the same, was the same day i stopped dancing. I do not stay up to watch the moon anymore. I barely write…. See he doesn’t know that I know. But I knew the moment his eyes went dull when he saw my smile that I had lost him. I have spent two years trying to get him back. I don’t think there is another soul who could make my skin want to melt with the moonlight and dance across the skies like his. I don’t think he will ever know just how hard it has been without him. How hard it was. If I could tell him anything , I would tell him how much he means. But it would sound weird coming from me I guess. I want my happy back, and technically he is here but not like he used to be. I can’t explain how much I need it right now.
So here I am, Staring out my old bedroom window. Looking at the spots we had never ending hugs. Looking out the windows we snuck in and out of, who knew we would be here now? The place we had our first kiss and the places we made so many memories. I miss it. I miss him. Now they are just places, just memories, just windows.
“I swear I’m fine” as I smile and shake my head. The pain becomes jokes and “laughing it off”. I refuse to let the people around me see the pain I suffer through. Because if I tell them one thing, the rest will follow. If I tell them that I feel like crying I will have to explain why I was up until 2a.m grasping for more covers to shove into my mouth so that when I wake up screaming I won’t wake anyone. If I tell them that my jokes have a deep-rooted seed of pain, I’ll have to explain that the seed became a thorn-bush whose sharp needles are pushing through my skin until it isn’t just my skin breaking anymore. I tell myself I’m fine. I tell myself I am figuring it out. And the truth is, I am. Slowly I am learning to get into the shower and only shower. Sometimes I get in and i focus on the bubbles, the way the soap glides down my forearms. Sometimes I look at a razor and only think about shaving my legs. Sometimes I close my eyes and I don’t imagine drowning. I used to look for help, until it finally hit me – No one can save you. There are people who can help but i got tired of the, “I’m sorry” line. I got tired of hearing the same empty words. There came a point when my tears turned into jokes and laughing. Not in the way you think. People have looked at me recently and said, “you look happy”. The truth is… I’m more broken than ever. My life is a series of tragedies and no amount of liquor slipping down my throat, no high can fix it. I turned pain into laughter when there are people around. I’m not happy, but I am? See my problem is that i know the worst kinds of pain there is on this earth. I know death better than my friends, I know what looking in the mirror and seeing something you hate with you core and starving yourself so that maybe one day .. you won’t , I know what it’s like to lose everything, I know homelessness, I know what a dead bodies look like right after death and their kids are holding their father begging for him to come back, I know what its like to see crows picking at their eyes, I know heartbreak, I know what it’s like to kick and scream and cry and still get beat every night, and I’m not saying i have felt more pain than anyone, because I haven’t. But I am telling you why it is so damn hard for me to look someone in the eye and tell them I am hurting. Because they wouldn’t understand. I mean that in the best of ways. I simply could not bear for a soul to have to see the things i have seen. I have lived a million lives in the short time I have been here and it hurts. When you care about everything and everyone you start to stop caring for yourself. I start to believe that God only put me on this earth so that I could mend and help the hearts around me. When I say this I don’t want you to imagine a superhero fixing everyone up. Instead I want you to imagine a girl with blood down her forearms and mascara running down her face with a mask put over the top. The mask is perfectly done makeup and a wide smile. The mask tells jokes and laughs while the girl underneath reaches out, the “front” slaps her away and insists on helping someone instead of herself. Tragic really. I could write you a thousand stories on what it is like to feel pain, but you already know. So now I will work on ONLY showering. I will work on cutting my roots instead of my arms and I will try. My problem though is that I’m only trying for you, not for me. When i say “you” i do not mean a boy. I mean the little kid i saw crying in a walmart when their parent hurt them. For the woman sitting in a doctors office parking lot. For the man crying in the cemetary full of little american flags. For the girl staring at the mirror and downing a hundred pill because she doesn’t feel loved. I am not here for me. I am here for you. I am here because I know that if I die I cannot help you. So I stay. Oh, but anyway, yeah I’m fine.
I take a deep breath that reaches every corner of my lungs. I close my eyes and feel the sunlight hit the skin on my eyelids through a dirty windshield. There are hundreds of people around this car right now, maybe more. But do they have any idea? Do they know that the girl in the car beside me is yelling into a phone as her baby cries in the backseat, she hung up the phone and has been gripping her steering wheel for about 10 minutes and looks like she could use years of sleep. And it’s crazy because it isn’t the same situation, but at many points in my life I was her. I was the girl who’s knuckles were turning white because that steering wheel represented my life and I was pleading for myself to hang on. I’m taking a deep breath because like she will, I got through it. But did I see that? Absolutely not. No , in that second I was trying to find a will to live, I was trying to figure out why my life has a purpose and then one day- without even realizing it , it got better. And slowly my grip relaxed and I had the strength to put the car in drive. Here I am, some time later and I can’t even tell you all of the reasons I was crying (if one at all) but I do know I broke. My life is like this clay pot that keeps getting shattered; however, every time I have to fix it I fill the cracks with gold and that tiny clay pot became bigger, stronger, and worth so much more. So yes it will hurt. It may drag every inch of life out of you , you may feel like just completely giving in but remember that these are the moments that make you. I sat here for about thirty minutes praying for that girl that I don’t even know. What’s even crazier is that she had no idea and all of the people surrounding us has no clue what she is going through and neither do I , really, but I do know the feeling. So be kind. And if you are in a situation that makes you feel like throwing your hands up and putting in your two week notice for life- don’t. Don’t quit right before the promotion you’ve been waiting years for. Because it never seems like it but all of those things you never thought you’d get through? Well you did. And you’ll keep doing it. I believe in you. And so should you.
The air smells sort of rusty, the grass is bright green and droplets hang from the blades edges, the sky is a dull gray and fog fills the atmosphere. It’s days like this that I think about everything. I think about how many days were just like this and how many I spent thinking about where I’d be years from now. Well, here I am. My surroundings are the same but everything has changed. Nothing has been the same. On those days I had a drunken father passed out on the couch in the living room, I had tons of schoolwork that I cared too much about, I had bills to pay as a child, I had worries about whether or not I would have food that night, and I had a runaway mother and a dead brother. This time around I have a future, I have a man I’m madly in love with and plan on spending my life with, I have a nice car, I have a little sister, I have family (even though we aren’t perfect), I have a job and I no longer worry about whether not I will be able to eat. Life is crazy and God works in crazy ways. But days like this make me damn grateful.
Truth is, no matter how strong you are, at some point you will hit rock bottom, and it will feel like the world is collapsing beneath your feet; but darling, the only person who can get you back on the surface is yourself.
This is what I whispered to an empty car. The cold newly autumn air rushed in the windows and blew my hair around, for such a busy street it really was quiet. I don’t remember the drive. The feeling of loneliness gripped me tight around my chest, but it was comforting. Instead of the sadness that usually fills the hole that is there, I felt stronger. Like I was finally realizing that the person I wanted to be there so bad, would be if they wanted. I realized I can succeed with just purely me. Right now I barely drag myself to work and its hard to even clean or eat or even do much of anything, but I push myself. I get out of bed and I work my ass off and one day I will be on top again. I do not need someone to get me there. I am powerful and strong, I’m just down right now.
I’m not really trying to convince you, if anyone ever reads this, but trying to convince myself. It’s the best I can do….. for now.