Category: Voice Dialogue


To my former boyfriend:

I apologize for calling you with every single epiphany I had following our breakup, hoping I could somehow patch us up so I could go right back to my comfort zone. I’m sorry for holding you responsible for my unhappiness and absent sense of self years ago. I apologize for my neediness, petty jealousies, and insecurities. Like my role models, I poured every ounce of me into you instead of filling myself up, then blamed you when I felt empty and joyless. I was so uncomfortable by myself that I couldn’t stay out of your grille, had to stave off the silence so I wouldn’t have to feel the painful and confusing emotions threatening to rise up and break on the surface. I couldn’t let you see them, I was afraid you would see my scars and be repulsed with my imperfection. I couldn’t just be with you. I couldn’t just be in my body with you when we had sex, I couldn’t give up that control or allow pleasure or deep connection because you might find me out if I showed any vulnerability. I believed I was broken but I couldn’t admit it to you, so I projected my fears onto you as a distraction and wore my Ice Bitch face when you gently mirrored them back at me. How could I have known it wouldn’t kill me to dip my toes into that sea of pain in me if I couldn’t see the bottom? I didn’t know who I was without it or what I was here for, so I couldn’t possibly trust who you were, even though you demonstrated your integrity time after time, your kindness, patience, commitment, Love. I am sorry for not knowing what I didn’t know, and for injuring you from my lack of consciousness.

I understand now why you had to leave, why you couldn’t allow yourself to be absorbed by my pain. It must have been crazy-making; it must have taken so much out of you to marinade in that with me for so long, to be my friend while I treated you like the enemy.  It must have required incredible resolve to stand on your right to be happy and free and not wrong because I was incapable of meeting you where you were. What torturous bullshit you endured just trying to love me.

Your leaving shattered me.  On that day the tide came in and pulled me out with it. I was lost at sea.  I treaded water for most of a year, barely keeping up with my obligations at work, avoiding my friends and family, taking care of the bare minimum at home. There was nowhere I looked that pain wasn’t. I cried every day for eight months straight. I wrote, I screamed, I beat up my couch, I sought out a counselor. I forgot to feed myself for days on end. I couldn’t sleep, the bed was too big without you in it. I felt discarded, useless, forgotten.

The pain seeped in through the cracks and I finally grieved my father after eight years; the one I no longer had as well as the one I never had; the one who wasn’t there to protect me or instill a sense of worthiness in his little girl. I made my family talk about painful memories and answer pointed questions until I understood why and how. I received an apology I never expected. I howled at the walls and my abusers, my neglectors, and myself. I heaved great gulping sobs, and when I was done I gagged and threw up until I felt like I was turning inside out.  I studied my ancestors. I read old letters.  I read new books hoping to find a key that would unlock the door to joy again.  All I found were broken pieces, fragments floating.

On my counselor’s advice, I adopted my inner child and took her everywhere with me so I could see my world through her eyes again. I cradled my innocence gently and felt her tiny heartbeat. I watched her progress on wobbly legs.  She showed me the things that threatened her, the things I’d endured because I didn’t know I had a choice, the unconscious actions and projections of the adults around me, the times when her best interests weren’t respected.  I learned to recognize her tug on my sleeve when something didn’t feel right. I came to understand why I’d spent so much time with a sore throat as a child… I wasn’t allowed a voice. I vowed to create a safe environment for her by not taking unnecessary risks with myself and my resources, and I protected her fiercely this time. I fed her nutritious foods. I cleansed and purged toxins from my body. I drank life-affirming water. I allowed her to express all of her emotions; her deepest sorrow, her exuberant joy. I let her sing at the table if she wanted to, and I stood witness to her unbearable pain. I forgave her for being smaller and weaker and for not knowing better and she in turn forgave me for abandoning her. I rocked her to sleep and was humbled in the silence by her resilience, her sheer strength of will. I honored her right over her body, and my own. Together we practiced saying ‘No’, without guilt. I discovered new-to-me memories that changed old story lines, I presented her with new evidence from a more mature perspective. We learned to trust each other. She conceded Brussels sprouts weren’t that bad.

Then my warrior came to call, and he was offended and disgusted that I’d had him out fighting petty wars and dramas for me. He deserved a legitimate cause to campaign for; he wanted his dignity and honor back. I acknowledged his grievances with humility and gave him some well-deserved time off until I could find a crusade worthy of his skills. I dreamed terrible dreams of being stalked by shadowy men in trenchcoats. In the light of day I looked my fears in the face and asked them why. Their answers seemed weak and insignificant against what we’d already come through, so I sent them to find something more substantial and they haven’t come back.

I looked for myself in the mirror every day until I found her and thanked her for sticking by me all these years even when I didn’t see or acknowledge her. She assured me we would always be alright – even when we didn’t think so – and she would always be here for me. I softened. I spent time with other wounded women who were searching for themselves and discovered I was also worthy of my respect. They offered me validation and lent me their courage and their stories for perspective. I let down my defenses. I embraced being female and stopped carrying it like a burden, found my rhythm and learned to use my cycles to my advantage. I went to introduce myself to the Goddess but she knew I was coming. She met me at the door holding a severed head and offered me tea at her table. I accepted her invitation, offered my allegiance for taking vengeance on my enemies, and accepted her sustenance with relief.

I wrote, and I dreamed, and I cried until exhausted, I washed up on shore. I awoke with hunger pains deep in the belly of my soul and searched around for something to feed it. It was good to be on solid ground but I found no nourishment.. I combed the beach scavenging scattered bits of my Self and took stock. It seemed hopeless. I curled up and cried for some kind of relief. I held my head and screamed at the injustice of it all. I jumped up and threw stones until my body ached. I slept, exhausted, defeated. At daybreak I stood facing the waves and asked why I would have chosen this experience.  At sunset I heard the answer come back on the wind, “This isn’t happening TO you — it’s happening FOR you.”  My soul digested that and it was satisfied.

What a game-changing perspective! I needed a sturdier vessel that could withstand any storm. I took ownership of my new project. I enlarged my search and discovered stronger and better materials for the frame. I retrofitted some old ones for the sake of nostalgia and continuity. I fashioned new tools. I reevaluated my inventory and set everything useful to one side. In a frenzy I gathered up armfuls of broken fragments and threw them into the waves, letting the tide take whatever didn’t fit my plan.  I cut myself on sharp pieces and doctored them myself with salt water. I forgave. I let go. I bled. I honored each piece like an old friend as I watched it hit the water. I found reasons to appreciate all of it. I said my goodbyes and then I started rebuilding. I remembered my weak points and reinforced them with greater integrity, picked up joy and gratitude whenever I found it and used it to patch holes. I framed in portholes to let in the Light. At night I danced with my demons on the beach under the full moon and I was not afraid. I used sand to knock down the rough edges on the bow. I stretched every part of my body in the sun and allowed Light to flood my cells with new awareness. I bathed in the healing waters and floated on their surface, and was not swallowed by pain. My confidence grew. I stood back and admired my work. I talked to the moon at night and stared into the sun when dawn came. I experimented with my creation and made adjustments as necessary. I tested her integrity. I built a more secure wheelhouse when the rain poured in. I laughed into the wind. I honored the process and all the pieces -even the ones I threw away – knowing that all of them contributed to the outcome of my design… and I was grateful for the opportunity.  

I have a fine boat that I’m still finishing. Sometimes I have to scrap some and start over, but I’m not afraid to put her on the water, and I’m no longer concerned with losing myself to the sea.

In deepest gratitude,
E

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In the accepting of my darkness, the forgiving of my humanness, I am taking back my power. If I am loved and accepted by something so much bigger than myself, who am I, to hold my imperfections against me?

Instead of policing your thoughts and impulses, try being a witness to them. Do not judge them right or wrong, don’t analyze them, just notice them.We all live in this maze in our minds, where a thought is like pushing a pig down the alleys of a barn and blocking gates when it threatens to stray into areas we’re not comfortable with. We are our own mind-control, based on how we want to see ourselves. We only allow that which matches our mental image of who we are, and many of those ideals were put there by someone else, they may not even be your own. But how will you know unless you let the pig go where it wants? Stop censoring yourselves and discover who you are when you’re FREE.

You may surprise yourself and be better and more than you imagined.Not all of you will understand this analogy. 😉

I’ve known Money for a long time.  I met him when I was quite young and impressionable.  He promised me freedom and independence and contentment if I would just work hard at being with him.  I spent all of my summers putting in long hours just for a chance to spend time with him (interesting play on those words, don’t you think?), he would show up and then leave just as quickly.  I had an impeccable record, worked lots of overtime, gave them my best, never missed work, hardly even took the vacation time I earned because I never knew if Money was going to be around long enough to enjoy it.  Sometimes it would pay off and we could enjoy some time together before he would leave me again, but then I’d have to work extra hard to get him back.  Money chooses the kinds of jobs I can do too, he insists that I have a ‘real’ job most of the time, one that pays better but expects me to be completely submissive and unfulfilled while I’m there.  He seems to like it twice as much if I have a nagging, jealous or monitoring boss and if there are other people there just taking up space and oxygen for their paychecks.  He loves it when I go home and work after hours late into the night for him too.  When I’m not working, he loves to scare me about losing my house and not having insurance.  He doesn’t want me to be creative and happy, he wants me to be stuck and afraid so he can manipulate me.  It’s like he enjoys torturing me.

I see him with other women all the time.  ALL the time, out shopping for clothes and shoes, having dinner with friends, or partying on a pontoon boat in Breckenridge all weekend.  He acts like I’m not even there, never acknowledges me when I notice.  He flirts with them and tells them how nice they look and how much they deserve him, he seems to always be wrapped around their fingers, listening intently to their desires, no matter how common or exorbitant, and then seemingly snaps his fingers and makes it happen for them.  The time he and I spend together doesn’t look like that at all, in fact, just the opposite.  If I consider going out of town for a weekend, having dinner with a friend, or going to a movie or the track, he threatens to LEAVE me.  He goes as far as following me through the grocery store asking me, “Do you really need THAT?!  Come on now…”  He’s judgmental and cruel too.  When we get a chance to go shopping together for me, he says nasty things like, “Why don’t you wait and buy that later, after you lose some weight….  Oh THAT’S right, you’re never GOING to lose that weight, are you?!”  His remarks are like acid to me, eating away at my self-esteem.  He’s constantly watching the fuel gauge on my car telling me that I could save 45 bucks if I’d just stay home and call my girlfriend instead of driving up to see her for the afternoon.  Long ago we stopped going out for coffee unless it’s a special occasion because it’s so wasteful.  He’s stingy and controlling.  When I do buy something for myself, he looks down on me and makes me feel selfish and irresponsible.  He’s happy when he can make me feel vulnerable and not quite sure of myself.  It keeps me loyally working for him so he can go out and spoil someone else while I’m at work banging my head against the wall.

Money’s friends are, let me put it bluntly, assholes.  Well, he thinks they’re friends, but really they’re just associates, and they’re criminals.  All they’re doing is using each other to get what they want.  They plot together to make terrible things happen.  They start wars with no reasons, and create  ‘natural’ disasters that kill and injure thousands of people.  They taunt humanity and gain their trust and then pull the rug out from under them and LAUGH!  They cause desperation and then punish people for it.  They take away jobs and security, they poison oceans and sea life, they kill honey bees, and ruin farmland.  They sell things that aren’t theirs to sell, hike the prices up and then kill the people they stole it from.  They’re destructive, calculating, cold liars.  They laugh at us as we struggle.  We only want to have enough of what we need and some PEACE and good health so we can enjoy our lives without worrying, but that apparently is too much to ask.  They don’t care about us at all. For some reason Money doesn’t see that as a problem, he’s complicit.  I can’t love someone like that, he represents everything I hate about society.

The worst part is he’s not even my type.  He’s short and wiry, arrogant, cynical and rude.  He doesn’t care about people or their circumstances, has no sympathy, isn’t interested in making the world a better place, he seemingly has no heart.  He has a sharp tongue and is not afraid to use it and shows no remorse when he does.  No matter how deep his comments cut me, I have to get over it myself because I need HIM, not the other way around.  He holds me hostage and I resent him for it.  When I’m around him, instead of feeling loved, safe and protected, I feel big and clumsy, desperate and embarrassing to him.    He’s like that arrogant jock in high school who is so taken with himself that he walks around snubbing all but the most popular girls.  He’s all about the show.  All talk and no substance and more worthless by the day which makes him all the more hard to stomach.  He’s a bully. I don’t care for him and clearly he’s not concerned with my outcome, I should end this.

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