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Haunted.

your words are woven into my soul
your voice resounds in my head
at night when i close my eyes
i see your smiling face

a grin of malice
of deceit, pain, decay
i feel your grip around my neck
another sleepless night

you’re behind every corner
the driver of every car
you’re every face in every crowd
the echo in my mind

your pain was liquid in a deadly vile
you have poisoned my whole life
what prayer, or cleanse, or ritual
could rid you from my being

my relentless inner demon
you have burrowed deep inside
a constant painful reminder
of the fragility of life

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Loss – A Poem

I have suffered a loss inexplicable

It hurts too much to recall

When I remember

The material world falls away

And I am left floating in open space

There are days I wonder if it was even a loss at all

It was a decision that I made

A choice

Or a deliberate change of fate

And where were you when I started to break?

When there was no more that I could take?

I was alone.

Alone.

Alone.

I am the only person who knows what it takes

To be brave

The rest of you all hide in your cave

You contemplate and ponder my worth

When it was me who picked you up

When you were thrown to the dirt

Who can I thank?

Who truly was there?

My heart alone has this burden to bear

It is me

It is me

It is me

I am the only one who knows what is real

I crave stars and sunsets

Glistening lakes

Words and art and beauty

Wisdom and answers

Answers

Answers

You only crave the next best vice

Which serves to numb your pain

Stumbling around in your monotonous rage

Not one of you know the pain that I have

Get away from me

I want to run

Into the wild

I will never come back

This is where I am meant to be

I am at home with the land

The sky

The stars

And the sea

His Name – A Poem

The most heart-breaking time of my life

Yet I was honoured to have you by my side

Your eyes tried but never truly met mine

Then you got up and you left me behind

Alone again with my pain

A place so familiar yet strange

I was exhausted

Broken

Insane

I guess nothing matters more than his name

My heart was in pieces, you see

One snap of his fingers and you leave

The story written on my face is there for all to read

Everything matters

Except me

Minimising – A Tactic Used in Narcissistic Abuse

Minimising abusive behaviour is something abusers and narcissists are adept at.  The people who abused me, wouldn’t deny their actions, but would give their reasons for the abuse as if any of it was justifiable.  I even started to believe their behaviours were justifiable.  I believed I deserved what was happening.

According to researchers: “Minimisation is a type of deception involving denial coupled with rationalisation in situations where complete denial is implausible. It is the opposite of exaggeration. Minimisation—downplaying the significance of an event or emotion—is a common strategy in dealing with feelings of guilt.” (Source: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minimisation_(psychology))

For example; there was an occasion where my ex-abuser strangled me.  In the process of strangling me he managed to trail me from the living room in which we were standing, through the hall and into the spare room.  He pushed me on top of the bed with his hands around my neck before collapsing on top of me, and hurriedly left the room, looking visibly upset. 

This was the first occasion of physical abuse in this relationship.  Filled with the naïve bravery that alcohol can bring, and triggered, I confronted him, flailing my arms, screaming and shouting: “What is happening? Why have you done this? How dare you put your hands on me!  I swore this would never happen to me again, not you, never you… Why have you done this?”

He appeared broken, was crying and exclaimed: “I don’t know.  This always happens. I always end up hurting people”.  At that moment, I should have taken those words for what they truly were – a foretelling of future attacks to come, an admission of a dangerous character flaw and one of my biggest sign posts alerting me to get out of the relationship. 

Despite how broken he appeared at that point, the night once again descended into madness not long after his tears.  I do not wish to recall every detail, just simply that I managed to escape and made the long journey back to my hometown to stay at a friend’s house for the night, for my safety.  This sort of thing had happened to me previously by someone else, and I promised myself I would run if it happened again.  So, I ran. I ran to my friend’s house.  This friend just happened to be male.  He treated me like a gentleman by allowing me to stay there, letting me rant and cry and shake and be vulnerable.  He listened.  He was there for me.  For that, I am forever thankful.  And for the unrelenting jokes that were later made at his expense, I still feel solely responsible for. 

When I explained that I stayed at a mutual male friends’ house, my ex became furious.  He started screaming and shouting about how I had abandoned him in his time of need, that I should have known he didn’t mean it, and how could I stay at another boy’s house, how could I possibly have done that to him?  I knew what my ex had been through.  I shouldn’t have abandoned him.  I should not have left to stay at my friend’s house. Today, I agree I should not have stayed there. Not because I have stern jealousy-based gender-role beliefs about friendships but because I should have run home to my mum and dad.  Even then I knew I wasn’t going to leave him, just yet.  I was deep within the web he had spun for me at that point.  I thought I could help him. I couldn’t let anyone too close to me find out what had happened, they wouldn’t understand, and perhaps I would never see him again.  Little did I realise at this point, never seeing him again would have been the best thing to happen to my life.

In his fury, he alerted all his friends to my rebellious act of leaving and sleeping at this friend’s house.  Nirvana once did a cover of a song called “Where did you sleep last night?”, which since has been a trigger song that causes great anger and pain anytime I hear it.  The reason for this, is my abuser’s friends would often play this song – sometimes even picking up the guitar and singing “my girl, my girl, don’t lie to me. Tell me where did you sleep, last night?”, solely to make fun of the situation.  To minimise it.  To make a joke out of it.  I was devastated.  I was a laughing stock.  I had been strangled, screamed at and spat on.  The police had even been out at the house. I was physically moved by the force of his hand through the flat – and all his friends knew this but decided to ignore it and focus on making a joke out of the whole situation.  So, me being strangled was quickly forgotten about, and Nirvana’s song cover quickly became the soundtrack to my pain.  It didn’t matter what happened to me.  It didn’t matter that I was abused. All that mattered was that when I escaped and made the journey miles back to my hometown – I stayed at a male friend’s house.  That was all that remained. Everything that my ex done and said was swept under a large carpet, jokes were made at my expense and my ex held it against me for months.  When I pleaded my case with him and his jury of friends, he mockingly said: “It wasn’t even that bad, I mean, you didn’t have any bruises on your neck”. No bruises on my neck but I did have a black eye… And my heart had been shattered. It didn’t matter.

This is just one example of minimising.  It didn’t matter what happened to me, all that mattered was how my abusive ex felt.  I had embarrassed him by leaving, I had abandoned him, I should have known not to leave him, how DARE I sleep safely at the house of a male occupant. This is how it always goes with narcissistic abuse; how you feel, what has happened to you, what is said to you – it doesn’t matter. All that matters, is the narcissist.  I never mattered – only what I could do for him and bring to him was what mattered.  I was his possession, he was in control and I should never step out of line.  I had to be obedient, never speak up, out or against my abuser.  I must never defend myself.  I must never say that it was abuse to have strangled me – because he refused to see it that way.  He said it was my fault.  He said that I deserved it.

And “my girl, my girl” echoed throughout the rest of our relationship, haunting me as an ever-present reminder that I was not safe.  I was not protected. I was not listened to.  I was not cared about.  I did not matter. His friends never made any of it easier.  Often finding the explosive happenings in our relationship amusing.  They often added fuel to the fire. I was a laughing stock.  The whole situation was toxic. You often find that the abuser and their “circle” are just as toxic as each other. 

You cannot win in an abusive relationship.  You cannot break through their distorted perception of the world, their defensive mechanisms which are dangerous to your well-being; you are simply just a pawn in their game, and they will do and say whatever it takes to convince you that what they are doing, isn’t abuse.  They will minimise everything they do and maximise what your response or reactions to their abuse are.  My reaction to being strangled, chased about the flat, having things thrown at me and broken around me, having my mobile phone ripped out of my hands and the house phone ripped out of the wall so that I couldn’t phone my friends for help – my reaction to go and stay at my friend’s house, was the most offensive thing I could have done.  It didn’t matter what my ex had done to me.  It didn’t matter that I was scared of him. I should have stayed.  I should have withstood his abuse.  HE was all powerful.  Within abusive relationships, you end up a ghost of the person you once were. Except… You are not.  You are a human being.  You are powerful.  You deserve more.

If you have found yourself in an abusive relationship; it is likely that you have a light and warmth and a power inside of you that is beyond imaginable.  The abuser notices this in you, and they want to take it from you.  They will suck all your positive energy and take it for themselves.  You are not worthless, you are not nobody, you are SOMEONE and you are powerful.  You have a voice.

If you are being abused, bullied, targeted, put down…. Or simply, if people are making you feel like shit – It’s probably because you have something deep within that they want. You have light and warmth, and they are cold and dark.  Do not allow hurtful behaviour to be swept underneath a carpet.  Do not allow your pain to be ignored.  Do not lose yourself to these people.  Do not let them drain you of everything you are.  Run from these people.  Keep them far away from you.  Love yourself, nurture yourself, cultivate a life for yourself that makes you happy and protect yourself.  You are precious. Never forget this.  Escape. Free yourself.  You deserve more.  You deserve to be happy.  You are more than someone else’s emotional, verbal or physical punching bag.

YOU are power.

Someone Else – A Poem

How could you

Gaze upon my open wounds

Raise your scythe

And gouge some more

I was bleeding

You could see me

Was it not enough?

Did you need to see more blood?

You became terrified

To lose me

You tried to make amends

I am wiser now

The chance to once again

Break my heart

Is gone

See, you didn’t know I was power

When I was hidden in the body of a coward

Here’s the thing about cowardice

It will flee when confronted

When you face fear like I do

There is nothing that can hurt you

So, go on

Raise your scythe again

I dare you

It will be you who misses me

Not me who misses you

There is not a single human being

On the face of Mother Earth

That I need

Only, that I love

My power and all I desire

Comes from within

Trust me

Never again

Will my insides bleed

At the hands

Of someone else

Nightmares – An Exhausting Effect of Trauma

Last night my subconscious was plagued with a series of nightmares. I spent the entire night and early hours waking up suddenly, scared to drift back to sleep, to eventually drift back to sleep and fall back into the same nightmare. Without going into the gruesome details of my trauma (I want to wait until I have received therapy before diving all-guns-blazing into my past), the nightmares I experience are regular and often have the same theme. I am either being chased, attacked by a group of people, or I am being attacked so badly I need help and the people closest to me (in real life) appear in the dream with me, to help I always assume, but then they leave me at the mercy of my dream-land tormentors. My nightmares are a painful reminder that I am still haunted by my past.


I have decided to write about this as the effect these nightmares have on me is palpable. When I wake, I am immersed in the feelings associated with the dream; I wake up terrified and upset. The quality of the rest of my day is flavoured by the previous night’s dreams. Today, for example, I feel exhausted. I had been running, pleading and begging all night. I feel great sadness (which I can only compare to the feeling of grieving), I feel betrayed, scared, wary and I feel alert. I feel very much that I have gone into “protection mode”. I want to stay inside and do very little. The effort to even type this now feels too much, as I don’t want to live and dwell in my nightmares, but I also feel the overwhelming urge to articulate these feelings; to be able to bring life to them and present them in a way that is understandable and relatable to others. I want to raise awareness. Complex PTSD and other mental health issues are not straight forward. They are not easily understood. Trauma is not a simple thing to recover from. It infects every area of your life.


I wake up after nightmares depleted of all energy and usually spend the day thinking “when will this end, when will I get over this, when will I manage to sleep for a full week without having even just one nightmare?”. There are many days where I am plagued with questions. In the absence of therapy (I am still on a waiting list for trauma therapy), I am not entirely sure how to stop these nightmares, but I know that after having them I must approach the rest of my day and endeavours gently. I am usually on edge, irritable or teary-eyed, or I am simultaneously all of these things. The weight of the trauma I have experienced can make me want to retreat into my bed and spend my day under the covers, hiding and pretending life has been paused for a day, just so that I can try and collect myself before facing the day again.


Today I am not putting pressure on myself. I will take the day slowly, I will do things that bring me peace and comfort; writing for example, escaping into the novel I am reading, meditating, a short and gentle yoga practice, burning incense and having a bath with essential oils or spending the day in front of Netflix watching something light-hearted, as a distraction from the deep ache within. This is what is needed on a day like this. I will not be rushing around, tidying and cleaning, or even forcing myself outside, I won’t be exercising and training as I have been – today is a self-care day. I will be gentle, loving and caring towards myself. My mind has been through a lot, and my heart and body are carrying the after-effects of my nightmares.

Healing involves feeling, feeling the pain and doing what you can to alleviate that pain (in healthy ways, if possible). There are days where my confidence is sparkling and so are my eyes, and then other days are like today and my eyes appear dull and my demeanour, sombre. The difference is always noticeable to those around me.


These are the effects of trauma. I need to take things day-to-day, one step at a time because I can be making terrific progress and then be hurled back to square one as soon as I have a nightmare. I strongly believe that by accepting there are not-so-good days and by applying self-care techniques whilst awaiting therapy, eventually, the nightmares will stop. The pain will lessen. It is already happening. It just takes time.


Self-care and self-love are “techniques” everyone should be practising. If you feel low or worrisome – do something for yourself. Do something you enjoy. Give yourself permission to slow down, to take a nap, to throw on your favourite sitcom and binge-watch it until you feel a little better, take a bath, read your favourite magazine… Do what you can to take time for yourself, to carry and care for the pain you are feeling.


It is not selfish to love yourself. It is essential. Take the time you need for yourself.

Sophia

Divine energy flows from within
the feminine
SHE is me
I am her

We dance together in circles
my heart aligned with hers
She is love, beauty and joy
She protects, She defends

She is my warrior
my honour
my love
my kind and patient mother

Never alone am I
I never have been, never will be
I have always been her
SHE has always been me



Machiavelli – A Poem

my mind is plagued with questions
about this current conflict
and i wonder why
we are enemies at war

i feel attacked
and the reason
escapes me
you have hated
alienated
lied about and blamed me

so vicious
such poison
it’s unnerving
put yourself in my position
ask yourself
am i truly deserving?

my authenticity scares you
truth makes your blood run cold
how long before
your closet of skeletons
swallows you whole?

the suffocating fog finally ascends
a thought pierces
and i wonder

am i just a mirror?
do i reflect what you don’t want to see?

do you reflect my pain
back onto me?

i know you have scars
a multitude
like stars they glisten and gleam
with a blinding sparkle
of painful deceit

yes, i know you were broken
just like me

so i will throw down my sword
but keep up my shield
we both know that pain
is a skillful enemy

i will keep you at a distance
we’ll stay far apart
but i know that the wounds
are the same on our hearts