Apologies that just aren’t coming

I’m sorry
I wasn’t there for you
I’m sorry
my absence
taught you that love is universally unreliable.

I’m sorry
I ridiculed you, publicly
for something that could
never have been your fault.

I’m sorry
I didn’t tell you about your Grandma
who could’ve given you some answers
before it was too late for you, too.

&

I’m sorry
for what I did
what you saw
I’m sorry
for what you cannot unsee.

I’m sorry
I treated your love as disposable
when it was actually irreplaceable.
I’m sorry
I took your kindness and forgiveness for granted.

&

I’m sorry
I let you believe I loved you
unconditionally
I’m sorry
I didn’t recognise
you were just my summer girl.

I’m sorry
I treated you like a getaway car
and only loved the good bits of you.
I’m sorry
I let you let your guard down again.

I’m sorry
I lied through my teeth when I said we had a future.
I’m sorry
I took the sweet ripe fruit of your heart
and pulverized it for all it was worth.

I’m sorry
I let you down.

Do you forgive me?

(No.)

why are you still crying?

I want to know
is it okay
to still feel this way
after all these years?

When I let go of your hand
at the terminal
oh I knew
that would be the last time
I ever saw you.

And it’s like part of me has died,
like you took the good parts of me with you
when you left
and left me with the messy bits,
the broken bits,
the parts-that-nobody-wants bits.

Oh it still hurts
because you cut me so deep
to parts of me I thought were healed
parts of me I thought were untouchable.

You promised me the world with one hand
and snatched the earth from under my feet
with the other
the very next morning.

And I’m not crying because you broke my heart,
I’ve cried myself dry over that.
I’m crying because
when I left you at the airport
I knew I was leaving part of me too.

I’m crying because
your actions and your words
shrunk me down to a half
no, a third
of who I used to be.

You walked all over me
and got away scott free.

So when I grieve now
It’s no longer for you
but for the old me
rest in peace.

.

I thought you were my full stop.
The ending.
To all my heartbreaks.
To all my upset.
To all my frogs not princes.
To my unhappiness.

It turns out I was just a comma to you,
a clause,
a throwaway line in your explanation,
of your mistakes.

maybe I’m not even that to you anymore.
maybe I’m actually (in brackets)
.

the little things

It’s the little things
like
the lipgloss you bought me
because you know I love sparkles
and how you say you still love me
when I’m at my darkest.

Like
it’s 3am and we find each others’ hands under the duvet
how you’ll kiss me in public
and we won’t care what who says.

Like
it’s the texts that say
“I want you forever”
not that I know what that means any more.
Trust me, I’m not that clever.

But if forever means
that you’re my last kiss
my last hand hold
my last wish

Then all these little things will have meant something deep
when for the last time
you’re the one who tucks me in
for one last sleep.

X

it was all me.

All the amazing things we did,
I look back on fondly
and I think,
“Weren’t we a great team?”

Doing all those things together.
The cycling, the hiking, the travelling.
I look back and think
“Didn’t we accomplish such great things?”

But we didn’t.
Give me a second whilst I ready myself,
because I’m about to finally be kind to myself…
But it was me.

Whose idea was it to go travelling to Nepal?
Mine.
Who suggested cycling to Brecon in a day, just on a whim?
Me.
Who challenged us both to climb Pen-y-fan ten times in 24 hours?
Me.
Towersey festival?
Me.

Who decided enough was enough at our old school, and we should jack it all in and go teach abroad?
Yep, me.

Who was it who got the job in Thailand first, and subsequently got you your job?
Need I say it again?

The job that you’re still profiting off, in a beautiful country that you never would’ve travelled to
if it wasn’t for me.

And yes, you did acknowledge it,
once,
a few months after our break up,
when I was back in the UK.
When you were high on acid, and floating in a villa pool in the middle of a rainstorm.
And you told me, and everyone you were with too,
that all the great things you’d done
were because of me.

I wonder, do you still feel grateful
for all those adventures I gave you?
Or does your gratitude only show when you’re having some sort of
hallucinogenic epiphany?

Either way,
it was all me.
Because I am capable of great things.
And you know it.

gaslight

i turn to alcohol now.
i wonder if they all know what they’ve done.
it’s death by a thousand cuts.
not one instance bad enough to do any real harm.
but thousands of off-hand comments,
of lies,
of nasty looks,
of berating me every morning,
of commenting on my personality or appearance during the day.

of course i’m not talking about one man alone.
father.
would-be-sweet-heart.
boyfriends.
ex-boyfriends.
one night stands.

lies.
manipulations.
guilt trips.

you’ve fucked everything up.
i already had
OCD, MDD, GAD
how many more can we add to the list?

BPD?

is that the final nail in the coffin?
i think it is.

because now it’s alcohol. or valium. or cutting myself.
just to get through.

and i can’t do it anymore.

it’s ruining the one thing that’s ever meant so much to me.
it’s ruining me.
and i am lost.

how was i ever to find my way out,
of this dark tunnel,
if the only source of guidance,
was your gaslight?

greece

We walked along the pebble beach,
and I forgot
that I’m a teacher, who has responsibilities
who has a job to do.

We kissed in the cold but crystal clear sea,
and I forgot
temporarily that just a few weeks before
I’d been put on one-to-one observation, and sent home from work.

We watched the sunrise over the Aegean
from our balcony,
and I forgot
that I’m terrified to step a foot outside my house now.

We drank beers and read books by the pool
and I forgot
that my anxiety has gotten so bad
that I can’t see a way forward anymore.

We fell asleep in each other’s arms every night,
and I forgot
what it’s like to exist inside my own head,
just briefly.

We parted at the station again,
and now it’s back to reality
and I’ve already forgotten
the feeling of your hand in mine.

slow motion

I think it’s slowly hitting me
not in the way a wave hits you
washing over you
rushing up to meet your skin.
An old friend.

No, not like that.

I think it’s slowly hitting me
the way an HGV would
slowly
hit
you.
All of a sudden.
And in slow motion
at the same time.

I’ve been anticipating this impact
for so long now.
Bracing myself, muscles tensed,
that I almost don’t believe it’s over.

That I can relax now
drop my shoulders
unclench my jaw
let go.

Yesterday,
when I eventually put the phone down,
I could finally
pick myself back up
from where I left myself.

Those 11 years ago.

2020

I would prize Wildwood Kin, from your little sweaty palms,
I would eat more healthily,
I would dance more often,
and refuse to let you talk over me.

I would shake my former self
look her straight into the eyes
and say, is this what you think you’ve been searching for
all your goddamn life?

I would remove those tinted glasses
and see you for what you are,
an emotionally-stunted man-child
who just happens to play guitar.

I’d take you off your pedestal,
where you’d comfortably made your nest.
I’d tell you truths like, I’m not sure I want to have biological children
and bathe in the disgust your face expressed.

I’d stop hiding my truth to please you,
unafraid of causing upset
confidently proclaim my moral views
and calmly watch you sweat.

I’d grab my former self,
lace up my running shoes,
take her by the hand
and run far away from you.

fairweather

Your not texting back,
was a stab to the heart.
But you were drinking cold liquor, with new friends
so you didn’t see that part.
You were already planning how our story would end.

In our story, from my side, we had endless pages.
But I guess you were just filling in the blanks,
until you thought you could escape this
and it came as a suckerpunch when I realised you’d pulled a Shawshank.

Too cowardly to tell me the truth,
that you lied when you said we had the rest of our lives together.
You kept me, like Dogtooth,
hidden from reality.
You were nothing more than a boyfriend for fairweather.

And when the storms rolled in,
and the thunderclaps boomed,
things headed the way they’d always been,
and you ran scared into the other room.

Away from my crying eyes
and into the arms of another.
Out of sight, out of mind,
safely beneath the skin of a different woman to hide under.

Someone sweeter,
someone breezier,
someone who wouldn’t call you a cheater.
A fairweather girlfriend,
and altogether
easier.