Final Let-Go After My 2003 TBI (audio poetry 4:48)

Stumbled on this piece in some old computer files,
and barely recall ever writing it.
Sharing openly feels like a satisfying wrap-up
to a wee bit of lingering trauma.
Perhaps it may inspire you to do the same?
Today is not yesterday!

and oh, by the way,
this is for never truly acknowledging my head injury,
belittling or altogether ignoring
that a scrambled rewiring took up residence in my brain
for not understanding why i needed the pillows
exactly where i needed them
why i needed you to keep your distance
from my body electric,
how desperately i needed to talk
about the experience
and needed only that someone listen

this is for driving right past the hotel
where i was ensconced,
unable to stand upright without tsunami nausea,
crawling to the bathroom,
my crown chakra rusted open
while I channeled messages from the girl
whose image peered out from post office posters,
i was flooded with incoming information
and illiterate sensations
while I struggled to lift up my head,
while you put thousands of miles
between yourself and the one you claimed to adore

by the way,
i never bought it,
your bullshit rationalizations
your reasons why staying away from me
were the best you could muster,
why it was okay for you to travel to the islands
to lavish yourself with organic lotions
and massages at trendy spas,
while i collapsed in tears at social services, alone
where i couldn’t fill out my name on the forms
where i had to ask a teenager
to help me navigate the paperwork

don’t tell me it didn’t happen that way,
even with a brain slosh
i was more present than you

and, oh, this is for thinking that everything was fine
because my skin was supple and my legs were strong,
for judging my need to sleep 18 or 20 hours at a stretch
for refusing to hear anything i had to say
and denigrating me for not just
pulling myself up by my bootstraps and getting a job

if you could only have seen
an accurate reflection of yourself,
could have honored my pleas for a
quiet predictability and dependable structure
and left your own chaos outside the door,

and oh, 
this is for modeling
your insipid behavior to my children,
while I valiantly did all I could
to engage a shattered sense of normalcy

and, oh, by the way,
this is for spewing your infantile self-absorption
in my direction while I grieved
the death of my father,
for moving about with alacrity
in your narcissistic fog,
for not seeming to have an inkling that
real love would have shown up
and offered a steady touch
and a safe place
in which to juggle cascading emotions set free

and you, the other one,
this is for shaming me for being selfish,
for not caring enough about my mother
while I was being thrown out of my own home,
while I was forced to sleep on the floor
because I had packed my belongings,
while I sold anything I owned of value,
you will never understand what it meant for me
to sell the rocking chair in which
I had held my babies to my breast

this is for your inability to offer even one nano-bit
of nurturance or compassion,
strangers on the street at least showed some interest
in the oft-confused and trembling me.

5 comments

  1. Valerie

    Rachel,
    Transgressions like this are from people that have a mental pathology( how narcissism is classified, literally). There is no comfort in that, only a release of the pain from chosen expectations and trust that crumbled in the weight of grievous deep misfortune. I can share your tears and be awed by who you are today.

    Thank you for a closer look. It is also very important.

    Like

    • Valerie,

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. No more tears around this! When I came upon the poem last week and read it numerous times, I could feel that the people I wrote “to” no longer had any charge or hold on me. Lesson learned. Next!

      Like

  2. When we move into the true self the old no longer fits. We are free to fly. This is poetry month and your gift of sharing the words has always touched me. Yes, together we spread the light.

    Like

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