Years away now. Years my life without you near. Years in solitude and just like that you came back into my life. No signs, no hunch. No sting in your gut trying to tell you this is the day. This is the day you’re going to again meet the love of your life. You got rid of him and now the universe is giving you a second chance.
What have I done? I set you free. I have set you free.
You and I moved fast and slow, twisted time to match the beat of our hearts, eyes closed to something no one dared to see. Go on, I said, you’ve made your choice but we breathed and lived for all the wrong reasons and you left for years without looking back and here you are now, bittersweet perfection, sullen and angry like a Cat 3 hurricane too far offshore to be noticed, sad and angry like the hot tears you once cried so long ago in July.
… the overwhelming majority disliked [“childless” and “childfree”], with one being seen as stigmatising and the other gleeful and nasty in its implication that parents somehow need “liberating”.
… that’s one reason why – when absolutely necessarily – “doesn’t have children” is the kindest, most neutral descriptor we can hope for. Though we can also hope to be moving away from one’s parenting status needing to be defined at all, especially for women, who still face this question far more frequently than men. Language matters, and as ever it often says more about us and our assumptions than we realise.
growing up i’d been depressed, hopeless, unaware i was raised abusively thus often mistaken abuse for love. it wasn’t always physical, although it many a time involved violence. i wiped it off, brush it off, renarrate, deconstruct, reconstruct but never the feeling of shame and an abundance of guilt for being simply me. i had questions answered with humiliation. my intelligence was responded with punishment if not embarrassment. it took years for me to realise, i was different. i was ahead of my time. i was in a wrong place, with wrong people. i haven’t found my people.
only by physical distance the pain and burden of being blamed was less intense, but i since long ago have always been aware it will never disappear. i am forever a wounded animal, born to bear resentments of who they were and what they could not achieve on their own, making it easy for people to walk all over me and have no concepts of setting boundaries.
“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”—-Mitch Albom
To me it’s the early mornings that lingered, longer than they should, when I groped and grabbed and nothing. It’s an empty bed, you weren’t there and I let you. I let you be alone, in another room, in the bathroom, the living room, sometimes in the basement, lying near the laundry pile, vomiting. It’s more practical there, you said. You grabbed a sheet, puked, and crawled to the washing machine and threw the wet sheet in. I would never know, for in the afternoon they would be minty fresh laundry. I’d just pick it up and went on with my day.
You never asked me how I felt. Lying there in the dark, I too, alone and torn. Desperate, frustrated, for you to share your pain. But it’s yours, not mine, you said. It’s not for me to take. I wished I had been more understanding than I already were. In my mind I would be more than a lover, I would be something closer, deeper, more meaningful than a companion. But it’s yours, and not mine to take. So I lay there sinking within a surge of my own pain.
Sometimes in the afternoon, when I slowly open the lid of your dryer, I forgot to breathe, for it was not yellow stain on the sheet, but dried up brownish blood. I tried not to wonder. Because it’s yours, and not mine to take.
they say tomorrow might be the waves i cannot see the sheer anticipation of what might have been we’ve grown so old from heartbreaks so young a dream we’re so vast a universe but no words to swarm in this existence hurts my skin it hurts more everytime it doesn’t bleed here in this dark place everything is shameful and unforgiven but there’s a rabbit hole down here and there’s you and i and the world disappears we need to be somewhere else but here we are, bloated up and shrunk down into an instagram post