Page 147

Why Me, Though?

You keep asking me why I chose you
and it is a hard question to form an answer to,
but all I know is that when I think of my future
it’s always your face that I’m staring into.
Baby, it was always you.

We share pieces of the same soul
and letting you go would mean a lifetime
of parts of myself being gone
that no one else can ever replace.
You are a collective of what’s missing from me
and I know when you look at me, you see the same.

It’s you because when we’re disconnected, I’m not strong.
We’ve wasted so much time when it was you all along
and spending more time without you just feels wrong.

How do I explain being in love with you?
How does it make sense the things that your voice can do?
How does anyone explain needing another person?
How can I make you understand
how all of your flaws make you perfect?
Or how my hands hurt
when I think about touching you and I can’t?
You want to know why I chose you
as though this was part of my plan.

It wasn’t though.

How do I explain to you what it feels like to cry myself to sleep
because the thought
of living a life that doesn’t include you is agonizing?
I want to be with you
because with you is where I’m supposed to be.
We are the same person,
and we’re better when our hearts share this beat.
I didn’t choose you, baby.
You were made for me.
You’re my other half and no matter how whole I am on my own,
I’m a different level of complete when I’m inside your arms.

Page 127

How Wrong I Was

I thought I didn’t care so much. Now I’m sliding down the wall in this hell where I’m stuck. I’ve always loved hard, but I could always walk away leaving a trail of forgotten lovers whispering pleas for me to stay.

I never got attached this way. I’m at your mercy. You’re my grace. I close my eyes and I can see you. Goddamn, I love your face.

I guess I didn’t recognize the impact you had on me.

My past left me indifferent and I truly began to believe that I wouldn’t be hurt by losing anyone. I felt I didn’t need you so I was good to carry on. Do you know what it’s like when you feel completely numb, but there’s a dull ache inside and you don’t know where it’s coming from?

You came along during a time when that slight pain was all that I could feel and you were like the perfect drug, so I had to let you in.

The downside is that eventually you aren’t numb and you realize the extent of your injuries so you start to just succumb because recovery is overwhelming and life seems so much colder. Now that you’re gone, my soul is in shock every moment that I’m sober.

How wrong I was to believe I’d be okay after you and I were over.

Now I’m left to figure out how I’m supposed to get past the loss of you. I should have just kept the heartache I had when you first came through. I’m somewhat indestructible, unbreakable; I’ve been called heartless by a few…

… but until I gave myself to you,
I had no idea how much damage healing could do.

Page 99

Triggers

I want more for you than where you are and I know you won’t listen until you’re ready, but you need to hear it. The most tragic part of spending your life in volatile, violent, or otherwise toxic relationships is that after a while, you become toxic because of the ways you’ve changed in order to cope and survive.

You become toxic because of how you’ve been conditioned.

You become toxic because of your triggers, the things you have been wired to expect. You become toxic because of the way your patience has been impacted by your experience and because of the way you now refuse to learn reasonable sacrifice or practice healthy degrees of compromise.

You become toxic because chaos has been normalized.

You become toxic because of your tendency to overcompensate in your pursuit of self-preservation when a situation exists that reminds you of such familiar pain.

I’ve been where you are and I don’t know if I’ll ever fully heal from all the things I’ve allowed. My heart is full of landmines. Most places are safe to walk but if you let your guard down, you’ll step right into an explosion that I’m not able to control.

I wish I could start over, but the damage has been done and now this is life – watching myself force people to walk away even though I want them to stay, and realizing that no one is strong enough to love someone who’s been fucked up this much or lost for this long.

You do not want this life. Be careful. What you’re willing to give up and what you’re willing to accept are things that only you can decide. I’m just concerned because I see the way that you’re already starting to lay down and die for your pride.

Page 31

Vacancy

You processed every emotion into an extension of anger.
Each time you raged out of control I became less afraid of danger.
Your insecurities formed the rope that I kept hanging myself from,
always trying to identify where it was that we went wrong
until eventually I realized we’d been wrong all along.

When I found you, I’d been looking for a haven that felt safe
– a place where I wouldn’t feel the need to run, hide, or escape.
You’ll never fully grasp the type of damage I sustained
before I fell into your arms in an attempt to hide away
from the pain of being abandoned and the shame of being raped.

In my disillusionment, I somehow let myself consolidate
all of my past and future traumas into one solitary place,
knowing you would hurt me but also knowing you would stay.
Over time, your uncertainty infected my power with your fate
until self-doubt fossilized into mind
bringing condemnation instead of grace.

You felt small so you wanted me smaller,
but I was grand and you couldn’t understand
why I wouldn’t shrink for you.
Over time I characterized you by the way
you needed me to think for you.
I saw inside your eyes that you believed your lies
and needed me to drink your truth.

We’re back to anger, rage, and danger when I say I’m leaving you.
I tell you I’m not happy, but I’m not sure what that means to you.
You envied my will to swim and needed me to sink for you.
I have no capacity to live a life
in which all my dreams slip through.
I’ve done a lot of things for love,
but I won’t do these things for you.

Page 4

Float

I am an addict of falling in love, but you had me.
You had me, but you didn’t know what to do with me.
It was not flattering,
the way your whole world revolved around me…
and now you don’t know what to do without me.

I tried to make myself feel. I tried to make myself heal.

But it was dark and you made it darker.
You had me, but you brought a sadness.
When you had me, I kept myself contained.
I made all the right moves.
Yet now you are confused by my natural madness.

I tried to make myself fit. I tried to make myself float.

But it was deep, and you drowned me.
You had me and because you had me, I couldn’t swim.
I was engulfed by your savagery
and pulled apart by waves I never saw coming.

I tried to make myself bend. I tried to make myself not do this again.

But I loved hard and you couldn’t love me enough.
You had me, but you couldn’t take me as I was.
You needed to keep me pressed underneath your thumb
and I never felt the freedom to control who I’d become.
Always eggshell-stepping, always smiling through your storm.

I tried to make myself calm…
in denial about the harm I endured inside your arms.
When you had me, I tried to believe we somehow belonged,
but my wishful thinking was never powerful enough
to make you feel like home.

My Name is Rage: Page 149

Loved Right

Nobody has ever loved me right, including myself.
It wasn’t until I learned to love myself
that I realized how inadequate the love was
that I had been so quick to accept.
I tried to fill the voids I felt with everything outside of myself
until I found that I was enough to complete me
and my need was never for someone to teach me how to be whole
but rather for someone to contribute their presence to my life
and compliment my soul.

They say hurt people hurt people.
I’ve come to realize this pain is never intentional,
it’s a naturally occurring byproduct
of someone not knowing their own worth.
It’s the result of the way that they respond to all those hurts –
the experiences that drain the life from all the lies
they tell themselves to believe
and all the promises they know no one ever really keeps.

Poison is me, trusting too much and loving too deep.
Poison is me finding myself on the floor,
letting you make it to where I can’t even breathe.
How do you kill my spirit without ever touching me?
How does it always turn out that I end up
having to prove myself to everybody?
The child within keeps her eye on the prize –
she won’t beg, but she will bite.
Her mind’s sharp and her thighs are tight.
She still sees the light through my darkness
and she’s got all the trappings of a goddess.

And’s she’s just waiting on the day I learn to love us.

My Name is Rage: Page 14

In My Face

I lose sleep at night thinking of him…
The man that I need, the man of my dreams.
The man my man never seemed to need to be
until the day came when he realized he could lose me.
I answer I love you texts with emojis
because I can’t bring myself to say the words.
I can’t reconcile the way you want me to feel
with the way I’ve been hurt.

What do you do when your art is offensive?
When it reminds someone of the someone they used to be?
When your truth is the truth they don’t want to receive
because their truth is a less self-abrasive belief.
When suppression makes it so that you can’t breathe …
and censorship of your expressions
makes your heart forget how to beat.

Why do you feel it’s okay to suffocate my essence
and penetrate my space?
How do you not owe me after everyone you’ve put in my place?
You don’t know me
no matter how many times you woke up next to me,
lying in my face.

So I lose sleep at night thinking of him…
The man that I need, the man of my dreams.
The man my man could never bring himself to be.
He’s terrified to unlock my cage
because his biggest fear is that I’ll fly away.
Afraid I’ll find what he could never give me
while entertaining the her after her,
so it’s no secret that the odds are stacked in anyone else’s favor
and he’d rather have me empty than have me leave
because he prioritizes my wholeness
far lower than he prioritizes his dependency on me.

His need of my presence in order to survive
is far greater in his eyes
than my need to feel alive.