Free

So, I had this moment (yesterday), where I told my mom I loved her….and she said that I shouldn’t love her, because she caused me so much ache….

I cried. I truly wept. It was if a hole was finally patched up–I can only explain what happened in a poem-

Free

To forgive
is to give
Myself permission
to step back, waaaay back
22 years—

I was pulled out of school early in 8th grade (during 8th period class)
My mom and step-father picked me up-
We rode in the car for 6 miles,
An awkward silence permeated my senses-
fear invaded my gut,
The weight placed upon my shoulders, doubled-

We finally arrived at the house and exited the car-
Ironically, I tiptoed next to each of the Christmas stockings
And walked up a hundred stairs (or just 22)
and entered my bedroom.
At first glance, I saw–
my bed-sheets were gone,
I quickly checked all my hiding places–
Clothes neatly folded in drawers
Closet organized (all of the hangers faced the same way)
Even the book shelves were neatly displayed–
What in the hell, did she find?
I walked down the stairs,
through the dining room
and sat on a stool in the kitchen–
She unfolded a piece of notebook paper
Time scathingly obliterated my outer-shell,
she accusingly read my secrets
(my abuser stood by her side or she stood by his side)
I felt his gaze piercing my existence;
His threats pressed nails into my spine-
Tears finally escaped through ducts
previously cemented by terror-

And my mother set me free,
While the floor completely fell away
She called me a “bitch”
And recklessly let me go—
And I never returned.

She told me that she wouldn’t leave him
(I want to believe that her mind
was violently petrified by his control).

In other words,
She abandoned me and I was placed into foster care.
As they say, The rest is history. (scratch that)

Until now-
I’m opening my heart.

To forgive
is to give
Myself permission
To step forward
Fully accessing
The present moment—
To hold her hand–
Not because I am completely healed
(Because I still have scars).
Not because she contributed to the cycle of abuse
(Because I am a survivor).
Not because I am a Christian
(Because I am filled with hope and a purpose).
Not because she’s dying
(Because she’s still alive and can hear my words, when it matters).
Not because she has brain cancer
(Because she’s my mother).

To forgive is to give
Myself permission
To love her—

And finally set her free.

Without Explanation

I close my eyes

And exhale-

Squinting through shadows

Focusing on a bright light

A source of relevation

Increasing the capacity to be

Fully present

In this moment

Even though life is

Fully chaotic

Unclear

Full of knots and cannot-

Squeezing

Fists full of ache

Twisting

Enveloping

Questioning

What is and what is not

Nothing changes quickly enough

An uncomfortable space is born

And expands into undecided

Peripheries

Continually battling-

In a knock out fight

Brutally revealing

Resistance

The pull of gravity

Unravels years of turmoil

Increasingly

Full and empty-

Leveraging the pain

Teetering between

The past and present

Memories

Inexplicably divided

Revealing

A breaking point

Or merely a pinnacle

of strength

Only to be reinforced,

By letting go–

Gaping wounds

Exposed in the light of day

Carve ornate inscriptions-

Within caverns

Leaving behind indentations-

Messages designed to communicate

An evolution of becoming authentic

Vulnerable just enough,

to listen–

Formally addressed

By truth-

Resonating deeply

Rising against

and

Breaking through

Misunderstandings

Unveiled by

Faith-

I don’t know about everyone else

But I press my ear to heaven

And it happens,

Just like that

In a blink

Before it’s too late

A heart realigns itself again

How sweet the sound-

A handwritten note

Suddenly makes me

More aware

Unequivocally declaring,

I am

In need

of a heart

Filled with peace–

I retreat and

Fall to my knees,

Promising not to go back,

the way in which I came–

Learning  to become

all over again.

Pieces of Paper 10/30 (NaPoMo)

my baby book says,

my first word was” good,”

but trauma shut down my lips

I couldn’t speak-

ironically,

I was held back in third grade

but won a 4th grade spelling bee-

I fell in love with words,

I felt liberated-

but that’s when I was given my first diary-

words of hatred expounded

I  described everything until

my mother found it

and

threw it away,

she denied it’s truth-

but she couldn’t stop me-

I started writing on pieces of paper

and

hid them in my room-

under furniture,

in pockets of jeans,

beneath my bed-

any place where

she could find them-

I fought for a voice

in silence,

she never heard me speak,

fear choked me daily-

she was caught up in her land of make-believe

I was too young for reversal of roles

I was already an adult at 14-

In seventh grade,

during reading class,

we began reading,

Not without my Daugher

and

I started a journal,

and kept it safe in my locker at school-

I wrote for clemency,

for a right to life-

I was kidnapped in my own home

ignored, forgotten, abused,

words were my comfort

they offered solace-

It finally happened

in eighth grade,

December 11, 1991-

she found a note

and forced me to read it-

tears released themselves from prison-

words burst through my spirit like lava,

leveling a path to freedom-

I finally spoke what I had written a million times over-

but she still didn’t believe me-

It didn’t much matter,

I became a survivor-

and

continued to inscribe my story

one page at a time–

poetry month

is more like a celebration of my life

words linked together,

connecting chapters of my journey

reminding me,

to not give up,

to keep progressing,

aspiring,

writing,

and

*speaking…

(*eventually, at  an open mic)