When my ex husband left me, it should have been a wake-up call. But it wasn't.
He left me with $3000 in debt to the electrical company, and a house we were being evicted from. I had less than a month to come up with the money to move into a new place. I found a 2 bedroom apt for Caden and I, in a bad neighborhood, but I made sure it wasn't far from his dad. I found the baby sitter and paid her myself. I'd get to work late 2 days a week so I could go to food banks. I worked 3 jobs just to pay the bills. Sometimes leaving Caden tucked into bed alone, while I walked down the street to waitress at Dennys, hoping I'd make enough in tips to have gas money for the next day. I bought Caden's clothes, shoes, drove him to my Inlaws house for weekends away, bought the school pictures, took him to every Dr apt, you name it. I did it and I paid for it.
But I was so worried, so concerned, about my ex. That every gift I gave Caden, included his dad's name. I sent him the school photos I paid for. I would buy him food when he'd tell me he couldn't keep Caden for the weekend because he couldn't afford to feed him. I'd help him with gas. I made sure his things were packed nicely and even stored some of his stuff at my house at his request. I obeyed every request, jumped through every hoop, and I spent my time wondering what else I could do to make him happy. I'd even text him when he was missed, when friends asked about him. When I had memories of good times. When I felt he needed a hug or just to be told he was loved, I did it. And I did it for over a year.
Until the bank called. They were shutting down my bank act and credit card. I didn't know I had them. Apparently my ex had opened them up in our names before he'd left and then he ran them up. I asked them to send me the statements for every month. It was a heart breaking, soul crushing, eye opening experience.
He ate out at nice places 3 times a day. He took his mistress to hotels. He went on trips. He would spend a couple hundred dollars at the mall. He'd blow a hundred bucks on sushi dates every week. Trips to the movies. He paid for Tinder Plus and Match.Com All the time I'm struggling and fighting to take care of Caden and be supportive of him, I even went 2 weeks eating nothing but Squash and tomatoes from my friends garden, and he was treating me like the doormat I was. Shortly after that I filed for divorce.
I allowed someone, who had cheated on me and told me I was ugly and worthless and stupid, to use me up completely. To drain me dry. All because I didn't want them to feel unloved. I didn't want them to feel as though they had been given up on, or forgotten.
I knew that pain, exquisitely, and I could not handle another heart feeling it. Especially if I could stop it.
The problem is that I have not stopped. I haven't learned the lesson. And I still allow people to take and drain me.
I go out of my way to help people feel special. To feel loved. To feel thought about, needed and wanted. I'm the friend everyone calls when they need a ride, or advice, or a meal, or clothes to borrow, or just a hug. But it ends up being a draining and painful experience when I'm done.
I have to stop chasing after people who are not chasing after me.
I have to stop giving love to people who can't offer me simple courtesies.
I need to only invite people into my life who match my effort.
I need to stop accepting less for myself.
And I'm going to.
Call it a resolution, or a realization, or a defining moment. But this is what my new goal is.
And its going to be hard and it will hurt.... But I'll be better for it.
One carefully measured step.
I can feel it.
Even though you think I can't.
It scares me.
Please don't make me fight for you.
I think too much.
We both know it.
I over analyze it all.
But only I know how much that destroys me.
You think I need you too much.
I think you don't know that I'm what you need.
I tell myself it doesn't matter.
We have time.
But I feel it when you pull away.
And I wonder if you will take the time.
You pull away.
And I doubt you.
Then I hate myself.
It doesn't matter, we have time.
I repeat it till I believe it again.
Just as I am now.
So when you finally see that it's always been me
You get beauty you can adore.
I want you.
With eyes like the sea after a storm.
Eyes I can drown in.
You're the words I play on repeat at night.
The ones I whisper with a smile.
Your voice keeps me safe while I sleep.
Ever anticipating the next time a wink will be aimed in my direction.
You've always managed to knock me to the ground with the light in your eyes.
You put your arms around me and I'm home.
I'll drown in this feeling.
I hope you'll climb over all my walls, and catch me soon, for I've fallen.
Your heart, my compass that points North to home.
You made your choice, and I'll move on. Trading one heartbreak for another.
Pain has such a beautiful edge when you're in love with someone who sees themselves as broken.
You were never going to tell me you loved me, and not for any of the romantic reasons I had in my head. Simply because I scare you.
And so you'll sink and settle into someone familiar, who's kiss isn't fireworks in your skin, but who's good enough to mostly kill the sting of loneliness.
You're scared and you're closing the door.
A city of bones, and not the first time I've cried in that airport.
Not the first time I've moved out of a heart I thought was a home.
I was happy in this harbor, and now I'm cut loose. Floating alone and confused.
The winds are whipping waves up.
But the harder they hit me, the less I seem to bruise.
Adrift, I had no idea you had become an anchor to me.
I'll pretend this doesn't hurt, and you'll pretend you don't care.
And we'll both pretend to move on.
A fortress, steep and mighty
That none may penetrate
I have no need of friendship
Friendship causes pain.
I am a rock
I am an island
And a rock feels no pain
And an island never cries
You set fire to my skin while placing my heart at peace.
I see your value, even through your darkness. The darkness and light that fractures across your body in a beautiful mosaic. All of the pieces that hold you together and pull you a part and create a human I adore.
And so, I try to prove to you that someone can show you loyalty without even being asked, by holding a space for you until you choose to make it your own.
For you have taken my dreams and breathed life into them. Making them shine with the passion of an authenticity more bittersweet than any illusion could allow.
You honor me by unraveling your secrets in pieces and corners. And I will wait while you venture off path, and retrace steps, to heal yourself. You are still in progress—the transient phase between sleeping and awakening—and I have no desire to rush your journey, because I accept all of you.
Because I understand that sometimes we have to be taught what love isn't, before we can see what love is.
For all of these reasons, plus more, I will not expect more than you can give and I will not attempt to change you.
Maybe one day you will see me, the girl with gleaming eyes and stardust dancing under my skin. The woman who could love you not only for who you are, but for what you can give me. Knowing that it’s not a matter of whether it will ever be enough—because in reality, there may never be a feeling of having enough time with a man who sets fire to her skin and her heart at peace, but a matter of daring to love you exactly as you are.
This isn’t about ultimatums—it’s about the reality that comes with loving me.
I don’t compete, nor do I come in as a savory consolation prize when what you really wanted remains just out of your grasp.
This isn’t to say that I plan on placing you under lock and key—because I don’t.
I don’t know what tomorrow’s sunrise will hold, and I remain unsure about where our journey will lead us and if that means we will someday choose to belong to each other. But, what I do know more certain than anything, is that you have a choice to make one day: to either be with every woman in the world or to be with me.
I’m not meant to be one of many, and in truth you’ll never fully know the wonder of my world unless you choose to step into it with me. I’m not meant to be taken in small doses, in moderation, so as to not overdose and lose your bearings in a futile attempt to play it safe. Whether you see it or not, I’m the kind of woman that men spend their whole lives looking for. I’m the urban legend, the stuff of tales between fathers and sons, and the irony that the woman their mother told them to be wary of is the very same kind their father told them to find.
I know my worth, although perfection is not a word that will ever be used to describe me, or my behavior. But I wasn’t put on this earth to be flawless, but to be so real that I could bring you to your knees with just a single look. I want you to feel me from the roots of your hair to the tips of your toes. I want my energy to dance through you and send ripples through your muscles, reminding you that the only people that find magic are the ones who are crazy enough to believe it exists.
Perhaps you don’t see any of that though—and if that’s the case, then you should choose everyone else; anyone else but me.
The only man who deserves to share my bed and my life, is also the one who knows this. The one who loves me as much as I bother him, but who sees my value every day, regardless of what it might bring. I’m not going to convince you, or beg you, or wait for you, or even chase you. All I am saying is that I’m not meant to be shared and the only way for you to really understand what life would be like by my side is to actually stand with me for a bit and see what way the wind blows when we come together.
Life is a riddle, and the punchline rarely makes sense.
Yet, whether you are in my arms or not, you’re still with me each evening. Too much has transpired between us, and in truth, I don’t think will ever be the same again. You changed my life—you came in and helped make it possible for me to fall in love with myself. My life is better because you are in it. Maybe it doesn’t add up that I’ve never questioned my place in your life, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t wondered.
Just because I don’t ask for something, doesn’t mean I don’t want it.
Perhaps that is my problem all along; I never ask for anything from anyone. I never ask you to love me, or to only be with me. I never ask you to do anything—but one day it will be time for all that to change.
I think that you could have a perfectly wonderful life without me, and you could spend your nights with different women, sharing your bed and fantasies. Maybe there’d even come a day when you forget about me all together, and I become nothing more than a faded memory that brings a smile to your lips.
But wonderful doesn’t always mean worthwhile.
As much as I think you would be fine without me, I think you would be even better with me—I think both us would be better for it.
I think that sometimes, something special comes along and proves why every tear, every hardship, every challenge is worth it. To me, you’re that something special.
I’ll never pretend that you don’t mean anything to me, because I can no longer imagine being with anyone else. But I don’t know what the future holds or if someday I’ll have to do just that.
But I am here, in this shaking moment, and as terrified as I still am at having my life changed and broken—I am ready to be yours.
I’m ready to throw the dice and lay my heart on the table because there isn’t anywhere else I would rather be than with you.
So, you can have any woman in this beautiful world or you can have me. My heart, my life, and my body—all of me. No pressure though. For the man who truly sees me, this will be the easiest decision in the world. The thought of me kissing someone else other than him would be too much to take, and so whether he knew all the answers or not, the one thing that he would be sure of is that he couldn’t let me go.
And so maybe you will decide that I’m better off with someone other than you—but I’m kind of hoping you don’t.
In reality you could be with any woman in the world, but why choose that, when you could be the one who has me?
The shadow of what we had haunts me.
I remember you, and how you'd hold me.
Always keeping me safe.
Reminding me in all of the little ways, that I was too naive to notice, that I was loved.
I ache to make you understand how sorry I am for breaking you.
For breaking us both.
I don't regret leaving.
I regret that it cost me you because I crave you in a million ways.
You don't need me, you learned that lesson, grew stronger.
But I still wish you could see in side my heart.
The memories I cherish,
The way I view you,
And the happiness I feel at being your friend.
If you only knew, you'd never doubt yourself again.
It'd be an Irreplaceable gift.
Like the one you gave me.
Of being my first love.
1. I am difficult to love, with impossibly high walls, but I am worth it.
2. Being a mother will always be my first priority. Love me as a mom. Love my kid, he is worth it too.
3. I won't give out chances like candy. Life is too short to be miserable questioning someone's honesty. And I'll pick my own happiness over you every time.
4. Don't be afraid to talk to me about how you're feeling. I can tell when I'm being shut out, and I don't like it.
5. I am here to enhance your happiness. Not make you happy, or save you.
6. My insecurities don't define who I am, but they do haunt me. I need you to respect that.
7. I am damaged. But I don't need you to fix me. Be gentle with me while I fix myself.
8. I'm scared of how you'll hurt me, and that makes my walls extra high.
9. I won't need you. But I will want you. If I am with you, it's because you enhance my happiness and I want to create a life with you. But I will never allow myself to need another person again.
10. Show me what you're passionate about. I fall in love with passion.
Try as I may, I never seem to learn.
My mistakes return to haunt me.
Reminders that I'm still not good enough.
They stand before me with judgement in their eyes:
"You're the reason no one stays. "
It hurts and angers me that I can't let them go.
They carry the faces of the ones I love.
The ones I've lost, and who haven't left yet.
I know one day they will.
I only have so long to love them, before they dissappear.
One day I'll be completely alone.
An island of my own making.
Will I even feel pain by then?
Will their words even ache my soul?
Their angry eyes, able to shatter my heart?
Maybe I'll be a rock, withstanding the ravages.
More than likely I'll be a puddle.
A fresh start is never possible when the past comes back at will.
Maybe one day I'll learn.
I know I'm not the only one, who regrets the things they've done.
But sometimes, it feels like it's only me, who hates their face in the mirror.
I never became who I thought I'd be.
I'm still trying to love myself as unconditionally as everyone else.
Build me up and I fall apart.
This heaviness in my heart a constant companion.
Waiting to remind me, that try as I may, I never seem to learn.
Not all of my scars can be seen.
But close your eyes and you can feel them.
They pulse like rain under my skin.
Haunting my bones and all of the lovely corners of my memories.
I'm staring at a thousand little pieces,
each one is needed.
How to make them whole again?
I no longer know if I am worth rebuilding this time.
Looking ahead, and all I see are lack luster efforts of starting over.
Walls are either falling a part or getting thicker.
How do I let go without losing myself?
My life lays smoldering in front of me,
leaving behind more scars for me to try and explain away.
A haunting ache that trails behind me always.
Not all of my scars can be seen.
Some pale in comparison to the big gaping holes that never heal.
But I know them all.
They pulse like rain under my skin.
An attempt to feel alive.
An attempt to feel.
A luxury I can no longer afford.
Not all of my scars can be seen.
I never counted the cost to myself, of what it meant to stay.
Continuously trapping myself in a cycle of pain.
I was too busy trying to convince you I was worth staying around for.
I never stopped to wonder if you were worth it.
So willing to pay any cost, no thought to my own needs.
I bought every word you read me with pleasure.
Begging for more, not caring if the script was believable.
The result was that I got so caught up trying to save you,
That I lost myself.
I existed invisibly.
Eventually even you stopped noticing me.
And you didn't stay.
I sacrificed everything.
And then you broke the last of me as you walked away.
Now that I've swept up the last of the mess you made,
All I can see,
Is that you were never worth me.
I'm glad I didn't stay, waiting on a soul who was never here to begin with.
My checkered past has made me who I am. It has made me more interesting, possibly more appealing.
It has given me my unfathomable depths; full of mysteries that have yet to be fully revealed, even to myself.
So, I have no desire to take find a man who is flawless, who has no baggage, because I always want to know, what living have they done?
What have they experimented with?
What have they failed at?
What risks has their heart taken?
Instead, I know that I want someone who is messy, dirty and not at all perfect; someone who understands my wild impetuous gaze and who would never mind getting down and dirty with me.
So I simply ask any potential future to bring it; all that which is stained and imperfect.
Bring me deep scars and epic battle wounds.
I want his untold secrets, with enough baggage to fill a cab headed out west into the blazing setting sun. I dream that his stories will keep us awake late into the night—the meanderings of “Oh, I should have never….” and “I wish I had known…” while I am anchored against his side, his strong hand tracing the shadows of the burning fire against my bare hip next to his while we travel the darkened allies of his past together.
Bring me grit.
His most buried mistakes, especially those that he shakes his head in disbelief and still physically cringes at. I want to see not the man that most of the world sees, but the one whose good intentions are stitched together with hope, mistakes and maybe a little bit of glistening luck. I will believe in the part of him that questions life on a daily basis, but will still rise with the sun and try even harder tomorrow. I want to see the side of him that he’s put effort into hiding; into disguising as someone that actually walks the line.
Bring me a calloused heart and skepticism.
All of it; unlock that tightly woven chain and let it all out. His heartbreak and pain; tears falling, staining my skin, tasting of warm Jameson and a loss so deep it still leaves ripples upon the surface. Memories that bring him to his knees on the dusty road, and that faraway look when he drifts off to that other time…that other place…the one that is filled with the handfuls of things that he wished he had gotten to do, the sunrises he wished he had seen, and the kisses he wished he had taken advantage of.
Bring me honesty.
Truth is but a deception according to perception; instead I will ask him to drop the act and lay it down like he never has before. Misconceptions and fears don’t matter much to me, and neither does what may have come before this moment. I hope he has made a million bitter mistakes; I hope he’s been hurt and I hope he’s done the hurting. I hope he’s been so wild, he thought he’d never be tamed (because he probably won’t be).
I hope he danced along the edge one too many times, and I want to hear it all. Every crazy story, every mistake, every regret; because I too have a woven basket full of the “I wish it had been different,” but yet I will understand that every single thing that has happened on our separate journeys will have made us who we are in this moment, and I wouldn’t want to change a thing about it.
Bring me real.
Bad days, and long nights; his morning stubble against my soft skin, his strong confident hands, and the deep kisses that will make my knees weak. Life unscripted; unglorified. If he and I have been doing it right, we will have a collection of experiences and memories that make up the story of who we are. He and I may have pain, fears, even trepidation; the key to all of that will be the ability to have learned from where we have been so that we can determine where we want to go.
I don’t just want messy, and dirty, but the knowledge and intelligence to find the meaning in all of it. I want real; the ability to admit mistakes or to be able to say that there is no such thing, if we were able to learn from it. I want uncomfortable honesty that will make me shake down to my bones, because I’ve had enough skipping through shallow puddles to last a lifetime.
It’s ironic that the very parts of myself that I’ve gone to great lengths to disguise end up being the very same qualities that others fall in love with. I am intense; crazy at times, complicated at others; honest and loyal to a fault. My bare feet are often dirty, my messy hair smelling like sunshine; dreaming far too much, and speaking from my heart probably more than I should.
I’m about as messy and imperfect as they come.
So bring it. All of it.
All I will ask of him is to bring me his messy, dirty imperfections; his scraped knuckles and his good intentions.
To just bring it.
Have you ever received a compliment that you don't feel as though you deserve? I get told I'm brave. I hear that one often actually.
1. I'm brave because I left home at a young age and took care of myself.
2. I'm brave because I live 2000 miles away from my family.
3. I'm brave to have stayed married to a liar and cheater for 12 years.
4. I am brave to be a single mom.
5. I'm brave to travel across the country with only my Son.
6. I'm brave to run races alone.
None of these things depict bravery in my mind. To me, a brave person is someone who sees danger coming, and faces it. I am just a survivor. I cope with the difficulties life throws. But I rarely see them coming. I just survive day by day. Baby steps.
I know, for me, what it would mean to be brave. And I have not done it.
I doubt a kiss can predict the future, but if our lips should meet I'm sure I'll taste the next chapter of my life.
I know that people aren't medicine, but when we talk, I can forget I'm sick.
I've been warned not to write of a new love, but when my pen touches this book, my words find a way out as though they've been imprisoned.
I don't know if I believe in soul mates, but I have faith my head will rest comfortably on your chest.
After all the time I spent dancing out of tune with another heart, it's you who will help me find the rhythm again.
And I should tell you.... I should.
Wood. Tea. Cars. Water. Dogs. Books. Spoons. Cushions. Socks. Rain. Toast. Wind chimes. Children. Everything has a connection to you. The way you might feel about something, how you might look at something, what you might say to someone... You are everywhere. As if my mind was not consumed enough by you, your essence is everywhere outside of me too. When I say I miss you, what I mean is, I stare.
I catch myself after a minute or two and am never quite sure what I was thinking about. But I know it was you. Maybe it wasn’t even a thought. Just a feeling.
I look forward to your eyes seeing mine. Clear, easy love with none of the torturous thoughts that once barraged my mind. I look forward to me not caring about the negative, harmful things I have cared so much about. And I look forward to being able to love you, just as you are, with all of me. No hiding, no denying, no judgement, no fear. I look forward to us.
When I say “I love you,” I mean I trust you. I respect you. I admire you. I adore you. When I say “I love you,” I mean my life is better with you in it. I’m a better woman because of you. And the more I come to know you, the more I want to know. I miss you when you’re not around. I’m grateful for every moment we’re together.
When I say “I love you,” I mean I want to be the one you turn to when you’re hurting. I want to be the one who listens. I want to hold you in my arms. I want to take care of you. I want to give you something to stand on in this crazy, constantly changing world.
I want to wake up next to you in the morning. I want you beside me when I close my eyes at night. In a universe of infinite possibilities, on a planet of seven billion human beings, I want only you.
I love you. And not a day goes by that I don’t tell you.
But the silent poetry that throbs in my chest cannot be uttered in three little words—or 3,000 for that matter. Whenever I try to describe the way I feel for you, every word seems trite and hollow; the whole English language insufficient. Because how do I explain a feeling that encompasses every piece of me?
And I don't know what I'm seeing.
All of a sudden my dreams seem perpendicular.
The world can't hold me in.
You have a dark edge that calls to the predator in me.
Maybe I'll let it consume me.
Revel in it.
Or walk that fine glittering line that defines the darkness and the light.
My imagination tires of wandering the world for my amusement.
I'll paint my eyes in shining golds.
All the better to catch the sun with.
Make her whisper all the secrets that lay within her folds.
Then scatter them like ashes on the wind.
Laugh in the face of her tears.
Because I can.
Because it gives me a false sense of power,
and falling through the floor feels so much better when it hurts the most.
I could give myself to you, inspire my imagination for a night.
But it's so cliche.
I'm so much more mysterious when I walk alone.
I can pretend that you can't read me like sheet music played down my spine.
"So I will hum alone, too far from you.
All that I say now is nothing to you.
We will lie under different stars.
I am where I am and you're where you are, you're where you are."
Different Stars -Trespassers William
The way my hair curls and frizzes and becomes a tangled nest by morning's arrival?
How I lay in bed each morning, stretching like a cat in the sun, until I'm awake enough to get up for coffee?
The scars and tattoos, cutting in and out of my body, describing my life?
How about when I'm book hungover?
Or when the urge to discuss a medical journal is bursting out of me? (Would you fall in love with way my eyes light up and I talk too fast while I'm desperately trying to learn and explain it all?)
Would you think of me as a flame or a hurricane?
Would you love how my house stays cold so we can cuddle under the myriads of blankets?
If I asked you to build a doll house with me, would you be thrilled or annoyed? Would you love that time we spent together, or would it be a placation?
Would my love of hiking, pink, nature, sweet tea, writing, learning, animals, cleaning, singing, flowers, and making love, be too much of a contradiction for you to want to stay?
Or would these little silly things be what makes me matter?
I'm just a silly little bit of whimsy. Looking for a safe harbour.