Say a Little Prayer

credit: nancytilles.com

My heart needs help

But I was born strong

Natural street fighter

Rough and Tough

Despite my size

Tender with love like my daddy

Mama loves the sweetness

Deep in my soul and prays

That I be made more whole

The world needs to know

Beautiful  Baby Khole

This poem is dedicated to Kellie Elmore’s nephew Khole who was born 2 weeks ago with a heart defect. He is undergoing care at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville, TN.

#FWF Free Write Friday: Special Edition #TeamKhole

Slaying the Dragon

credit: www.levycreative.com

For those of you who have been reading my posts the lately, you may have noticed a theme or two.  Current and past real life situations have informed those pieces. If you don’t know it already, I was once verbally and emotionally abused during my first marriage. When I finally realized that it was happening and stood up for myself one time too many, he wanted out. It was the best gift he ever gave me. Truly, there is nothing more powerful than one’s independence and freedom.

Today I live my life on my own terms.  I have confidence in my career. I cultivate healthy relationships. Love has found me again. I am a whole and happy woman. As I ready myself for the next phase in my life, I am also purging and grieving some things from my past. Writing is at once a great unburdening and a form of standing up to the fight-a means to work through any residual pain. Ultimately, I hope I can help others gain the strength to leave their situations and heal themselves.

Last spring during a home renovation, I came across a series of journals buried deep in a desk drawer. I was giving the over-sized roll top away to a woman who really needed it. I was forced to clean it  out once and for all. So there they sat. Three journals from way back when. Some had poetry. Another contained lists of information that were important at the time. Still another had examples of the verbal abuse that was being hurled at me. I  put them on my bedroom bookcase to sit once again. As I was putting them away, a lone piece of paper fell out of one of them. Hotel stationary. Three words: “I Love You” and the initials of my now fiance’.

I couldn’t figure how that missive had landed in journals filled with negativity and pain.  No matter. I saw it as a symbol of how love exists in the midst of chaos and grief. The man I love came into my life quietly. He loved me and supported me through years of challenges with my children and with my former spouse. His love is a burning fire AND a simmering heat.

The road out from abuse is filled with potholes and boulders and other hazards. But the struggle to be whole and happy always makes you stronger.

So the Hebrew people were freed from their enemy by the hand of a woman.

They danced in the streets and the women were crowned with olive wreaths.

(from Judith 1-15 verses 14 & 15)

Scent of a Man

credit: tribune.com.pk –

She knew it was over when she couldn’t stand the smell of him. The pheromones that had once madly attracted her to him had dissipated. She wasn’t even sure when he turned from being a melliferous man into one who oozed a certain bitter brininess.

His odor permeated the bedroom-an overwhelming form of halitosis-especially in the morning. She remembers how it used to startle her awake. She would be lying close to him one minute and then quickly find refuge on the other side of the bed the next.

It wasn’t long before she arose earlier and earlier each day in an effort to escape the toxicity of him. The raunchiness remained even after he finally woke up and left the room. Then, while he was showering, she would pull down all the bed covers and throw open the windows in an effort to rid the room of his stench.

On the surface, he was a meticulously clean man. He dressed sharply and every hair was in place. But just beneath lay the sewage of his soul. Lately, it had been percolating, bubbling up. He created hazardous waste within their relationship and in their own home.

She knew that his habits were really a manifestation of his need for total control of his own environment at best and an overall inconsideration and disrespect for her at worst. Because he didn’t feel like hanging his jackets in the back hall (where it was cold in the winter), he would pile them up on a kitchen chair. He left his shoes right outside the living room where she or the children inevitably would trip on them.  “Watch where you’re going!”, he would say. He also had his special stack of magazines and papers on one of the living room end tables. She was not allowed to move them except if she dusted.

He seemed to have no problem sitting his ass on the couch while she ran around the house like a whirling dervish cooking dinner and cleaning after working all day either.  A meal and a clean house were par for the course. But she sure was getting tired of cleaning up the toothpaste scum off the bathroom sink’s soap dish. He refused to put his brush with the rest of the family’s. Instead, he would lay it down near the open tube, not caring if he left remnants of saliva or paste on the surface. And he never shut their closet door.  Just left it wide open for her to stub her toe or hit her head in the middle of the night when she got up to pee.

When she called even the slightest attention to any of these issues, he would raise holy hell. Start talking about her bad habits. Tell her, “If you don’t like it, there’s the door.”

She knew she was in a vicious cycle. She was weary and unloved. And she couldn’t stand him or his foulness any longer.  It was time to plan her exit.

“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Tainted*

credit: psychopathyawareness.wordpress.com

Slimed by your words

Blemished by your presence

Soiled by your twisted truth

Diseased by your self-deception

Stigmatized by your need to cast blame

Infected by your manipulation and devaluation

 

You are a parasite that fed off me

Attempting to eat away at my strength

Sapping away at my emotional energy

Draining me

Sucking me dry

Wearing me out

 

My spirit was once corrupted but never broken

I have found another path

It led me to a healthful place

Where I could mend

Reenergize

Feed my spirit

Heal from your wounds

Be free from your disparagement

Today I walk hand in hand

With loving others

On a path of utter truth and righteousness

 Feeling, tasting, touching, smelling, hearing

And being present in a world

Cleansed by holy and faithful words

Of love and peace

*(Author’s note: I found this poem earlier tonight while looking for other material for a story that has been bouncing in my head. It was originally written on March 19, 2008. I have changed a few things-like verb tenses- leaving most of the piece in tact. It was nice to see that I had a poet in me back then and most importantly, to know that I was indeed a strong woman!)