a birthday card i’ll never send

(context: it was my ex’s birthday yesterday, and i still can’t forget the date, as much as I’d like to. This is the birthday card I’ll never send him. Writing it last night was beautifully cathartic, even if it still made me shake with rage.)

HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY
(I HOPE YOU ROT IN HELL ♥)

Oh, there’s no need to be so rude, is there?
People know, you know?
Maybe you thought I’d told everyone immediately, but I had a lot of therapy to get through first.
(Just let me know how best you’d like to pay. I’d take PayPal.)

No, but people know now.

I only told two people at first.
No, three.
No, actually, four.
But people talk. And a rumour like that isn’t going to stay a secret.
Guess it’s not a rumour though is it?

I mean, I had to give a reason for having you removed from that group chat so quickly.
And yes, I could have lied but
I have no interest in protecting you anymore.
I don’t give a fuck about your reputation.
You deserve what you get.

I hope it plagues you everyday.
I hope you lose sleep over it.
I hope you’re terrified of bumping into our old college friends.
I hope you’re wracked with guilt.
I hope it’s a secret that’s destroying you from the inside out. The way it did me.

I hope your new girlfriend finds out.

Raise a glass to the birthday boy!
And many
many
happy
returns.

hospital flowers

This poem was born out of my complete frustration with the way mental health issues are dealt with, by friends, family and professionals. Bizarrely, or maybe not, i really enjoyed coming out of hospital after my appendix burst – i received cards and well-wishes, and i was cared for and looked after. I felt like it was making up for the previous 7 years of my life where i had no sympathy at all for my severe issues with mental illness. It might be twisted, but it makes sense to me.

break my leg and bring me flowers
let me be hit by a train
or car
not for the want of death
just pain
or diagnosed with some strange malady
or whatever will provoke your sympathy

take me to hospital and bring me cards
let there be
wounds on my body
casts on my limbs
hurt in my eyes
and pain when i breathe
and you will know my suffering when you see my scars

where is the proof of my sickness?
no marks are left by ocd
depression causes no limp
anxiety no wounds that you may see
or may grace with all your empathy

ocd leaves no marks unless
you class the skin worn
from my hands and wrists
from scrubbing with green scourers
and anti-septics

or the crack in my jaw
from grinding my teeth 49 repetitions at a time

depression doesn’t give me a limp
other than that when i attempt to
pull my unmade self from unmade sheets
to stagger downstairs
to try to eat
and it certainly leaves no marks
other than those you’ll find on my legs
and my arms

anxiety causes no open wounds
unless you see me shaking
in a crowded room
eyes frantic
hands clammy
and searching for you

“you’re faking it”
“there’s nothing wrong with you”
“snap out of it”
would you say the same had i’d a
bump on my head?

are the only sicknesses worth your sympathy those that leave scars?
if so,
then break my legs
take me to hospital
bring me hospital flowers and hospital cards.

c • r • e • a • t • i • v • i • t • y

I listened to an episode of The Guilty Feminist about creativity. Our lord and saviour Deborah got the audience to participate in an exercise of creativity. They simple had to make a sound and see what word came out of their mouth. Not planning the word, just trusting that the right thing (that being anything) would come out. So I did it myself. In alphabetical order, and I wrote it down.

apparently it’s difficult to come by
but maybe the problem is him, not you
could it be that maybe…
doesn’t matter anyway…
even if i tried to explain myself…
for fuck’s sake
get on with it
how about we start over again?

i never pictured any of this happening
just try and put yourself in my shoes
kids
let me get it out of my system, please
much of what i feel always comes back to that night
never a day when it doesn’t come to mind
oh, if i could go back and shake myself
perhaps things would have been different
questions like this always circle around my mind
radiating out from me
shall we go back to it?

text message. teens.
underpinning, undermining, undervaluing
visceral hatred and shivering skin
what happens now?

x‘s at the end of our messages still
you’ve won.

things i can’t say out loud

there was a box of my things,
that i completely forgot i was missing.

some thing didn’t make sense; a set of children’s animal pens.
some things did. my garmin watch.
and a bag of gold glitter.

you’d kept it all. neatly in a box. and as soon as i challenged you, called you out in the middle of the street, you just ran away and left it there.
like you didn’t even want it in the first place.

i can understand you keeping the useful things.
but why did you have to keep my sparkle for yourself too?

stop blaming women for how you chose to mistreat them

i saw the title quote embroidered on @kingsophiesworld instagram page. it struck a chord with me. and i started to write. if it sounds like i’m still hurting, it’s because i am.

do not blame me for how you chose to mistreat me.
i was crazy, obsessive, up-tight, emotional, needy.
or maybe you were a disloyal, manipulative, disingenuous, pathological liar? a using, cheating narcissist?

the words that came out of your mouth were
“this is your problem. the way you have reacted is your fault, not mine”

even my “friends” protected your behaviour. because you were the good guy. the sensitive one. “you totally over-reacted to the way he behaved.”

no.
you lied.
repeatedly.
to my face.
paraded her around in front of me a week after we’d broken up, like a fucking trophy and then lied. said “no she has a boyfriend” and “she’s staying in my spare room”.

YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A SPARE ROOM.

you then pretended like i’d made that part up. said “why would I say that, my new house doesn’t have a spare room?”

WELL YOU’VE SUMMARISED MY BONE OF CONTENTION PERFECTLY THERE.

but no, you’re right, it was my fault.

you played the boyfriend card very well. you must be proud.
taking me out for dinner.
cooking for me.
inviting me round spontaneously but telling me i didn’t need to bother getting ready because i was beautiful in my leggings and big jumper.
telling me you missed me.
letting me cook for you.
watching harry potter with me.

but then,

refusing to show affection in public.
because you’re not
that type of person. 
well, you were
that type of person
a week later when you couldn’t keep your hands off her.
i expect you didn’t think your boyfriend game would be so effective.

but sure. it was my fault for falling for it. my fault that i thought you cared. my bad. wrong end of the stick. crossed wires.

i was just tiding you over, wasn’t i? i walked straight into your trap and all you wanted was someone to fuck until you made the move on the girl you really wanted. isn’t she lucky.

don’t make me collateral damage in your endless quest to massage your augmented ego.

i should’ve known,
the moment
the word
“fuckable”
fell
from
your
lips
thinly veiled as a compliment.

Do not blame me
for how you chose
to mistreat me.

ashamed

i am ashamed
that i cared so much about someone

who cared so little.

i am ashamed that i put my entire self-worth in his hands
and that i was naive enough to be shocked when

he broke it.

shattered it into tiny little pieces and then stepped back as if to say

what did you do that for?
look what you’ve done now.
clean it up then.

i thought i desperately needed his confirmation
but what i really needed

was my own.

i owed him
absolutely
nothing

and somehow, i still ended up with a debt to pay