When I was small, I would watch you say something,
And then change the story and say something else again.
I heard you try to make me doubt the things I knew to be true.
Things I saw, things I heard, things I read, they were are all up for grabs.
Anything to fit the idea that served you best.
And I learned, bit by bit, not to trust anything.
And you kept me around people who each had the same plan.
I watched them be cruel and desperate.
Unconditional love was something I would never see or understand.
Every pattern created would break
Every tale would turn upside down
Every time was a time for doubt
Everyone could be an enemy
And you would act like it was all natural, normal
And I was wrong for not wanting the same things as you.
And I was wrong for not wanting the same people as you wanted for me.
People like you.
People who make the truth out of the wind instead of the facts and reality.
And I couldn’t dive into love with my whole heart
Always holding something back
Always unsure of myself
Always checking the story again
Always listening to the tone in the voice for a fraction of a change
Debating what that might mean
I see me at 13, 14, vomiting before a date
With a harmless young man
I see me at 15, telling the truth about you
No one believing me
I see your angry hating eyes
Looking back at me, knowing that I would be my own person someday
Hating that you couldn’t control all of me forever
Hating that you couldn’t make me be like you
Not understanding why I might want something more
I see you and all the stories that I heard
I see you and what I overheard about you
I see you what you won’t ever know about me
And now I still double check every word.
I still verify everything I hear.
I still hold part of myself back.
I still can’t dive headfirst into love.
I still check everything again and again.
I doubt the very ground I stand on, knowing one day it may too collapse.
I doubt the stars in the sky because they fall.
I doubt the moon and the sun, snow and the rain.
I save every email and haunt just the right places in case someone tries to contradict themselves.
I mount up proof and evidence just to feel safe.
Just to know for once, it’s not happening again.
Any bump in the road is a sign that the bridge is out ahead,
And that I am an idiot for trusting anything.
And I sit and pray that I’m not an idiot for trusting.
And I carve out my insides and grieve.
I don’t know how to dive into love.
I don’t know how to trust myself enough to trust someone else.
My heart is littered with the thousand times
That I didn’t realize what I was trying to heal
When I trusted wrong because I didn’t know any better
Or when I heard one wrong thing, and ran like a frightened witness
Or when I dated the ones that you liked that were always so fucked up because you don’t know how to like anyone worth a damn
Running and pushing away, like the mafia was after me
Knowing how to sneak out of the party quietly
I see my 20’s, my 30’s…a series of self-destruction
Wasted time wasted heart
Dating men that I couldn’t truly love
Keeping myself safe, never playing the fool
Where does it end?
When do I get enough security?
When I do save myself?
Where is the ladder?