Thank You

Thank you for finding the strength in my weakness.
Where I can only hate myself,
you fight to reinforce my worth.

Thank you for struggling through my stubborn self-loathing.
When I can only make myself bleed,
you find bandages to bind the wounds.

Thank you for picking me up when I stumble and fall.
Where I fail to stand and move ahead,
you’re there to catch and nudge me forward.

Thank you for listening, even when I struggle to speak.
When I’ve lost my voice,
you sort through my tangled thoughts to find the message.

Thank you for being patient enough to out-stubborn me.
Where I refuse to speak,
you ask until you can drag it out of me…even when it takes hours.

Thank you for guiding me.
When others have left me in the dark,
you became my shining light.

Thank you for taking every fragmented piece of me for what it is.
Where others let the shards of my psyche fall away,
you stopped to pick them up.

Thank you for being you without falter.

Thank you for loving me unconditionally.

Advertisements

Ten Days

Sixty-one days ago,
there was an explosion of excitement.
It stretched clear across the Atlantic from the US to the Netherlands.
It hasn’t waned.

Now,
in just ten days,
there will be another explosion of excitement.
This time,
we will be face-to-face.

I still remember the first time I saw your eyes light up,
catch the glow of your monitors and sparkle with amusement.
You were far too pleased with yourself,
watching me blush as you took advantage of the inner foreign language nerd.
Bastard (I know, I know; not born out of wedlock).

I still remember the first time I saw you laugh at the squeak and following, “Fuck off.”
You almost died.
…Though you did, and still do, generally do it to make me happy,
don’t lie and say it isn’t for your own amusement, too.

I still remember the first time I watched you squeak and swear with a gentle murmur of your first name,
a snap comment,
and a shit-eating grin on my face.
Though I, too, do it mostly because I love you,
I admit I find it highly amusing.

…I still remember the first time I saw you look at yourself and tear yourself to pieces.
I still remember the literal pain I felt as you simultaneously tore me apart,
stripping away every one of your strengths,
leaving behind only imperfections.

I still remember the first time I saw you roll your eyes at me as I did the same—
parsing the strengths from flaws,
tossing the strengths aside,
the mountain of failures, and imperfections remaining.
I still remember the first time I actually watched you call me a hypocrite,
spitting back that goddamn psych fact on perception.

We’re still a couple of hypocrites,
for multiple reasons.

No screens this time.

In ten days,
I will physically touch you,
tackle you to the ground in the middle of a busy airport,
kiss you,
and laugh as D yells, “FIFTY SHADES OF GAAAY,” so loud your family hears it back home.

In ten days,
I will drag your jet-lagged ass back to the car,
hand you an energy drink,
and grin.
“Wake up, klootzak. GMT -5. Only 14:00. We have shit to do.”

In ten days,
your American adventures will begin.

Buckle up, bitch.
D and I are driving—
you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Ik hou heel veel han jou, beertje.
I’ll see you soon. 

Seventy-One Days

One week ago,
there was no countdown.
There was no excitement.
There was no talk of, “When you’re here…”
Now,
there is.

In seventy-one days,
I will pick your sleepy, jet-lagged ass up from the airport.
Here, only 22:30, 12/07/17.
There, already 06:30, 13/07/17.
I only get more excited as the days creep by.

In seventy-one days,
I will quite literally tackle you to the ground in the airport,
just settling in for the night,
and jolt it (and you) awake with the squeak of your name.
Your fellow passengers will likely look at me like I’m insane.
Fuck ’em.

In seventy-one days,
I will finally find myself locked in your embrace,
face buried in your chest,
(tall Dutch jackass),
and exhibit feminine, bitch-like behaviour involving tears of joy.

In seventy-one days,
after one-hundred-ninety-three days of unconditional love and support,
I will kiss you for the first time.
I will tell you to your face,
“Ik hou zo veel van jou…, mijn beertje,”
with a shit-eating grin on my face.
And I will love every second of it.

In seventy-one days,
I will sit in the back seat with you as you drift in and out of sleep,
speaking softly to you.
I will run my fingers through your hair,
a stupid grin on my face,
through the entire hour and a half car ride home.

In seventy-one days,
I will drag your tired ass inside,
put you to bed,
and shortly thereafter,
lay down beside you.

In seventy-one days,
I will drift off to sleep at your side,
in your arms,
and sleep peacefully…
for the first time in a long time.

I Am Not

am not cookie dough.
You can’t just find your favorite cookie cutter,
hidden in the cabinets,
long forgotten from my childhood,
and press me into who you want to see—
what you wish I’d turned into rather than what I’ve become.
am not cookie dough,
and I am not sorry that you can’t handle the warped finished product.
You burned the cookie.

am not a quilt.
You can’t just take your favorite fabrics,
your favorite pieces of me,
and sew them into a pretty little blanket.
Crisp edges and bright colors with wide fields of May flowers preceded only by mild April showers.
am not a quilt,
and I am not sorry that you’re unhappy with the aesthetic of a frayed, storm-torn, barren cluster of scraps.
You fucked up the stitching.

am not a military contract.
You can’t sign up for 18 years,
serve your time,
and choose not to reenlist when shit goes south;
decide that you don’t want to re-commit because the state of my psyche has declared WWIV.
WWIII was mandatory—
year 16 or 18.
Damn.
So close, right?
I am not a military contract,
and I am not sorry for the wars you let happen, contributed to.
You were blind to the red flags.

I am not your “smiley baby girl.”
Not anymore.
You can’t just stick your head in the sand,
watching the clips of the past in the recesses of your mind.
She’s dead;
she has been for ten years.
What’s left is the husk of the creature she wanted to be.
I am not your “smiley baby girl” anymore,
and the only thing I’m sorry for is the burden you place on others in picking up your slack because you can’t face the truth.
You let her slip away.

Three-Hundred-Thirty-One Days

The building pressure along several faults finally forced the slip.
Ravines split pale earth wide open;
vermillion rivers rushed forth from each canyon,
converged,
flowed downstream with the pull of gravity.

As one large mass,
it slowed.
Akin to jelly,
it crawled to the ocean.
Eventually,
it dumped into the ocean,
dispersed,
immediately followed by the aftermath of the secondary and tertiary waves of destruction.

When the ground stilled and the dust had settled,
the stains of the disaster were slowly washed away with the rain.
The cracks in the ground filled with the crimson goo unable to escape,
now solid,
forever more scaring the soil.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
The last round of earthquakes had stopped.
The pressures of the plates had eased,
but built again.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
New craters to heal,
lighten,
fade from the landscape.

Three-hundred-thirty-one days.
Only thirty-four days shy of one year earthquake-free.
Three times prior,
they’d returned.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
No warning.
The faults just slipped.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
Again,
dealing with the aftermath.

Only thirty-four days shy of one year.
Why did the earthquakes always return?

You’re Worried?

You love one whose thoughts slither from a mass of tangled,frayed,
stripped,
severed,
bent,
and warped self-loathing;
one whose dreams dance around the idea of (and sometimes seek out) the allure of an eternal abyss long before one her age should,
as if it were normal that anyone should.
You’ve traveled through the recesses of her mind, only injuring yourself in the process.
Tch.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

You bear the scars of chemical burns,
evidence of the chemical combustion of her mind spitting acid in her words.
You wear your own wounds of the past,
of which she has,
though unintentionally,
dug her claws into and made bleed further,
causing you unnecessary heartache—
unnecessary pain.
And though she is sorry,
she questions your forgiveness.
She does not deserve it.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

She cringes at silly things,
flinches at uncontrollable human reflexes,
withdraws,
hyperventilates,
trembles,
freezes,
and in the past,
even cried,
at the most basic of human needs,
desires.
Yet here you remain beside her,
refusing to leave.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

The majority of her heart is dead,
smothered and beaten,
abused,
neglected.
What little remains is shoddy,
spotty in functionality.
“Condition: mediocre at best.”
She can be cold,
far away in her own mind,
unfeeling.
She fails to find words,
to give meaning to the emotions smoldering in her thoughts.
Only short,
repetitive syllables.
Nothing intelligible.
And you’re the one that’s worried?

She’s worried.
More than you can imagine.
She never knows when that last admitted thought of the end,
that last injury to you,
that last chemical burn,
that last bloody talon torn out of past wounds,
that last shutdown,
that last cold,
unfeeling night,
will drive you away.

She’s worried,
above all else,
that you will one day disappear,
but she will understand.

And you’re the one that’s worried?

Again and Again

When you first said,
“You make me happy.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could some pessimistic,
worrisome,
neurotic,
clusterfucked,
disorganized,
self-loathing,
son of a bitch like me make you happy?

I ask why,
remembering every time you tried to be optimistic,
tried to tell me,
“It’s going to be okay.”,
keep me from losing it,
only to be shut down—
remembering each time looking in the mirror,
seeing the jagged,
gnarled,
wounds that have only physically scarred,
thinking of how it will pain you to see those for the first time.

And yet here you sit,
sighing to yourself though with the same jovial lilt in your tone,
still saying,
“You make me happy.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was once more,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
are you the lucky one?
You put up with the tangled,
frayed,
fucked up little ball of crazy that is me.
You put up with the breakdowns,
the ASI,
the PSI,
the mood cycling,
the periods of unresponsiveness,
because I just… shut down.

I ask why,
remembering every night of silence,
every morning of sleepless panic,
every tear I’ve shed,
every tear you’ve shed at my own fault,
every medication rollercoaster,
every manic high,
every depressive low,
every mental break,
every frantic call,
every anxious question.
So tell me,
why are you the lucky one?

And yet here you sit,
chuckling a “For fuck’s sake” under your breath,
still saying,
“I’m the lucky one.”,
again and again.

When you first said,
“I love you.”,
my gut reaction,
my initial response was still,
“Why?”

Why,
how,
could anyone love… this?
A broken,
angry,
tired,
empty,
scarred husk of a… human being.
Am I human?
Who am I?
What am I?

I ask why,
seeing every character flaw,
looking at every physical imperfection,
remembering every shitty thing I’ve ever said,
ever done,
to you especially.

And yet here you sit,
shushing my protests,
still saying,
“I love you.”
again and again.

However,
you can’t shush me permanently,
Schat.

So, no
You make me happy.
Before you,
genuine smiles and true laughter…
Those were but long faded memories.

So, no.
I’m the lucky one.
Before you,
I hadn’t known what love was,
or what it was to be loved.

So, no.
I love you more.
Before you,
I was a lifeless,
shell of a creature,
merely going through the motions—
but you were a jolt of electricity,
striking a cold,
dead,
black heart.
You did the impossible:
you got a pulse.
You showed me that I am,
in fact,
still human.

You make me extraordinarily happy.
I am the luckiest person alive.
I love you very much.
Please don’t ever forget that.

~Little Bird