I don’t have the time

I want to feel angry.

I want to.

But I don’t have the time,

I don’t have the mental capacity,

I don’t have the sanity,

I don’t have the self-control to

bring myself back in

once I start down that path.

It’s not something I can prioritize

anymore.

It no longer consumes me.

I push it to the back burner

because I have to.

I know I could feel better

if I let those emotions come

over me,

if I’d just let them go.

But I’ve got people

depending on me now,

that I didn’t have before.

Because my daughter is

watching me with a careful eye

and I don’t want the only

vision of a strong woman she sees

to be the one she sees on a screen.

Before, I could let

the emotions consume me.

I could fall apart and

nobody would know.

Before, I could hold the anger

until I was ready to release it.

I could reel myself in.

I could take my time sorting out

my feelings and

making sense of emotions.

But now?

It’s all different now.

I don’t have the time.

Contradictory Cups

Some days I feel like I’m on cloud nine.

All of the scenarios I planned in my head

go through just as they should.

I’m flying through the air,

too high to care about the fall.

Smiling and laughing and playing

and hoping and forgetting and dreaming.

And then I get back home and

I realize that nothing had really changed.

The pain hadn’t gone away,

it had just been masked.

My cup was still so very close

to being empty,

even though it was just so full.

I’m still tired and I’m still angry.

I was happy a moment ago,

but now I’m questioning if

happiness is something I’ve ever really felt;

or rather, something I’ve made up in my head

in order to give myself the strength to keep going.

Was that laugh that overcame me

really as pure as I believed it to be?

Was that tug on my heart

really love pulsing through me?

Or was it just my imagination?

How can I have one cup so FULL,

yet so empty at the same time?

Am I allowed to appreciate the happiness,

even though I have so much indignation inside?

I’m contradicted.

Confused.

Dubious.

How can this be so?

Life is so amazing and bright

and marvelous and alluring,

yet so daunting and fearful

and jealous and painful.

Here I am.

Holding one cup,

yet I can’t decide

if it’s full or empty.

The contradictory cups.

Just another puzzle to solve.

Did you know? Or did you just not care?

Mom,

You’ve read my words on this blog and I’ve tried to explain the anger from my side, but I still have received no real apology or any comfort from the idea that you may be remorseful.

Did you know that in three instances the way I found out you were going back to prison was from teachers’ and classmates’ snide remarks at school?

Did you know that I got a blanket from the DCFS worker the day that we were taken from you and I clenched that blanket and cried nearly every night for months? And the only reason the monthly streak of crying out for you ended was because I gave up the hope that I would ever even see you again?

Did you know that sometimes I’d wonder if your death would comfort me so I’d have closure that you were okay instead of wondering if you were out on the streets?

Did you know that the first time I ever saw your mugshot was when I Googled my name in my freshman computers class?

Did you know that every basketball game I played in I scanned the gymnasium hoping that you’d be there? You never were.

Did you know that it’s because of you that my first tendency when experiencing trauma is to get so angry I want to punch a wall? I held so much anger for the greater part of my life that I still have a hard time finding the healthy way to release it?

Did you know I held a handful of pills in eighth grade because I didn’t want to feel the pain anymore?

Did you know I cut my wrist with a broken razor blade just so I could feel pain that was physical instead of emotional?

Did you know? Or did you just not care?