Mediation

“Just like your father!”
Words that chill me
to my core, bile
and self-loathing
follow

I abhor ego –
its need
its pandering
its petulance

Would skin
and exile
the beast
but, alas

Self absent
interface
cannot deal with
what remains

So I wrestle
with the father bits
and bolster the tried –
ego negotiation

(Image my own)

Hiding Shame

When did guilt obviate
the need for sustenance?

This deipnophobia paralyzing
heartless stares dredge up

my truth: insatiable hunger
need to stuff down emotion

the certainty that I deserved
the abuse – endless shame

My fork traces the outlines
separates food groups

My mind makes mental notes
of what I’ll gorge on later.

(Deipnophobia is the fear of dining in public. I watched my older sister avoid eating when with others, and then gorge afterwards. I had not known there was a term for it until I came across this prompt. Image my own.)

That’s What I Fear

“A woman in harmony with her spirit is like a river flowing. She goes where she will without pretence and arrives at her destination prepared to be herself and only herself.”
– Maya Angelo

I fear living.

No, that’s not it.

I love living…
…but I fear engagement…
…drowning in engagement

Except, I love engagement…
… but only when I dip my toe in the waters
and feel the thrill…
and can still maintain control.

I fear losing control. I fear no longer being able to call the shots, life demanding more of me than I’m willing (or able) to give.

I’m willing to give…
… to a certain point…
…can no longer afford to be sapped dry, wrung out
and discarded… so much hurt
so much betrayal…
such lack of appreciation

I have given.
I have loved and sacrificed and cherished and
given…
…up…
…self

It’s self I’m afraid of losing
and why not?
I am only just able to touch her

She and I, still hesitant
building a certainty
a mutual admiration
respect…

And should I be called upon
to give…too much…well…

I could lose her again.

This is what I fear.

(Two separate blog posts hit me this week. The first offering the Angelo quotation (sorry, I can’t remember the blog’s name) and the second from my friend Dr Andrea Dinardo, who offers the question: What’s Under the Fear? Dr D offers a five step process for self-discovery. This is my response. Image my own. The poem also fits with my weekly challenge theme: except)

Turning Point

Played host to insecurity –
catered to bullying
undermined by warped
agendas, butchered by
provincial minds –

Retreated, convalesced,
sanitized lost vitality,
believed in phantoms
haunted by compulsions
deflected attempted rescues
ignored counsel to let go.

Shell-shocked
aftermaths
incoherent
self-judgment
inescapable.

Where do I go from here?

Ignore criticism
disarm cruelty
sanctify privacy
detach, discern
redefine boundaries
embrace enlightenment

Focus on caring
be receptive –
choose life.

(Turning Point first appeared here December, 2015, a year and a half into isolation imposed by illness.  I offer an edited version here with the intention of demonstrating the psychological toll of unexpected isolation.  The loss of our routine, life, connections affects us all on many levels. Be kind to self and others.  We all respond to that loss differently.  Linking up with Eugi’s Causerie weekly prompt: enlighten.  Image my own.)

Return to Center

Centred, I project merit
directed by routines
grief securely stored

Anxiety, not so compartmentalized
reveals that I am outsider, pliable,
pursues a validating response.

Perfectionism despises vulnerability
balance embraces contradictions
complexity overwhelms – I breath.

(Image from personal collection.)

The Pawn

Of course she is away
caught in the schism
of her parents’ divorce
played like a pawn

She is emotionally numb
incapable of articulating
wants and desires – broken
though no one notices.

(Poem originally appeared on Twitter.  Visit me @Vjknutson.  Image from personal collection.)