A look back at my angsty teenage years

Oh, Lord.
I was looking for an old picture and stumbled across a gold mine.  Albums of old photos, scripts, and…poems.  Yep.  Poems written by me, circa (mostly) 2002-2004.  14-17 years of age.  Prime angst years.  And so, I share some of these “poems” with you, dear reader.  Completely unedited.  Try to contain your excitement.

The Beast

 

There is a beast that lives inside me;

It tells me what to do.

It calls me short, it calls me fat

It calls me stupid, too.

 

There is a beast that lives inside me;

It tells me what to do.

It says she’s mean, it says she’s cruel

I should break her arm in two.

 

There is a beast that lives inside me;

But I’ll learn to ignore it all.

I’ll learn to love myself

To stand proud, stand true and tall.

 

There was a beast that lived inside me;

It told me what to do.

But one day I finally told it;

The stupid one is you.

 

(2002)

Carry On

Each day I come home

Should I call it home?

I crank the sound and drive the ax

I am so alone.

I play it loud and play it clean –

I want to inundate the sound

The yelling echoes in my head;

It impels me to the ground.

The hell I’m forced to live in,

It’s encompassed in the hate.

The drinking and the screaming…

Is this what is my fate?

I found my name in the book

It’s Welsh and it means strong

So is this my test to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

The euphony is my escape;

I can close my eyes and fly.

I break out from this life,

And soar off through the sky.

She drinks and does not stop;

He screams and does not care.

I compose and drive the ax –

It’s a truth I cannot bear.

I deny and act okay;

Only I know that’s not true.

Her depression overwhelms and

Maybe I have it too.

I found my name in the book

It’s Welsh and it means strong.

So is this my task to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

But I cannot leave;

I have no place to go.

I have offers and suggestions,

But I recognize I cannot go.

She needs me here and I know –

She tells me every day.

I am here to save her life,

I know that I must stay.

So I drive the ax and echo the sound;

It answers in my brain.

The thoughts, the swirl around…

Jumping off the train.

I found my name in the book

It’s Welsh and it means strong.

So is this my trial to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

The euphony is my escape,

The sound, it is my stage.

Maybe someday the dreams of freedom

Will act as my wage.

I am strong I will pull through;

There is another side.

If I grit my teeth and make it there,

Forget the tears I’ve cried.

The music is my barrier –

From the world in here.

It protects me from my enemies;

It blocks out the fear.

I found my name in the book;

It’s Welsh and it means strong.

Is this my quest to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

I drive the ax –

Connected to the sound.

The beat’s my pulse;

It lifts me from the ground.

People act as if they care;

They try and help me out.

They pretend they understand,

That they know what I’m about.

I deny and act okay…

Only I know that’s not true.

Her depression overwhelms and

Maybe I have it too.

I drive the ax;

Connected to the sound.

The beat’s my pulse,

It lifts me from the ground.

I found my name in the book;

It’s Welsh and it means strong.

So is this my pursuit to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

I found my name in the book;

It’s Welsh and it means strong.

So is this my race to get to heaven?

To try and carry on?

(2003)

 

Boys

 

Boys      suck

                lie

                cheat

                pretend

                tease

                leave

                break hearts

                break me

(2004)

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A very important list

I love lists.

I do. I write lists constantly.  It helps with my anxiety to see things on paper in front of me.  To-do lists are everywhere in my world.  Organization is beauty for me; it’s one of the reasons I love my job.

I also apparently love choosing the wrong guy. I am really good at it.  I find someone that seems so good for me, and then…they aren’t.  I need to break out of the patterns I have created for myself.  I need to be specific.  I need to be picky.

So, in true Brianne fashion, I have created a list of qualities that a potential partner must have. No settling.  Not anymore.  I’m too old to settle and I have two amazing little girls that don’t deserve to have someone in their life that isn’t going to be there long term, or isn’t going to be a positive role model.

There are some incredibly random items on this list, but trust me: they are all there for a specific reason. I am an open book – if any items need clarification or explanation, I’d love to provide it.

  • Tall (5’10 or above)
  • Well groomed
  • Smells good
  • Has post-secondary education
    • Doesn’t matter what type of PSE
    • Doesn’t matter if they graduated or with what degree/diploma/certificate
  • Has a stable job
  • Owns a car
  • Lives on his own (not with parents, roommate, etc.)
  • Owns at least one suit
  • Good grammar/spelling
  • Smart
  • Good sense of humour
    • Is funny
    • Thinks I’m funny
  • Can participate in witty banter
    • Sarcastic
    • Appreciates my sarcasm
  • Good relationship with parents, but not overbearing
  • First date must be an actual date
  • Friendly with wait staff, store clerks, etc.
  • If he has kids, must see them on a very regular basis
  • Likes at least one sport
  • Can recognize at least one Matthew Good song
  • Punctual
  • Swears, but not every other word
  • Doesn’t vape
  • Drinks but not every night, and not to excess
  • Does not speak negatively of any exes
  • Self-sufficient
  • Smiles in photos
  • No earrings
  • Treats me with respect
  • Trusts and is trustworthy
  • Not sexist/racist/homophobic/anything douchey

It all ends up hurting anyway

Think of the goal.  The endgame.  Typically when you’re dating, you’re looking for the one person.  Your forever person.  Your home.  The one person with whom you want to grow old.  The one that you want to wake up next to every morning for the rest of your life.  That is what we’re looking for.  That’s the objective.  That’s why we put ourselves through the torture of dating.  We want the happily ever after: that’s our definition of a successful relationship.

But…if you are with someone until you die…you’re with ONE person until you die.  That means that you can only have ONE successful relationship IN YOUR LIFE.  Think of how many relationships you’ve had? Maybe you haven’t had many.  Maybe you were really lucky and you met your soulmate in preschool and you will die in each other’s arms at 102.  But probably not. 

I’m not even asking how many RELATIONSHIP relationships you’ve had.  They don’t have to have been defined, or exclusive, or long term.  It could be an ongoing flirtation at work.  It could be someone with whom you went on three dates and called it quits.  It could just be someone you admired from afar for years before realizing that they can’t put together a coherent sentence to save their life.

My point is, you’ve probably had a few.  And let’s say that you DO end up with one person for the rest of your life.  Your success rate is still incredibly shitty.  I don’t mean to be pessimistic here, but I’m going to say that 99% of relationships are going to fail.  I think that’s a generous percentage.  It’s really probably more like 99.9999999999999999999…%, but I don’t want to seem cynical.

So what’s the point of getting emotions involved? I’d much rather keep one foot out the door and protect myself.  That way the second something goes wrong I can run.  I mean, yeah, maybe it’s an overreaction to someone switching the radio station when it’s a song I really like.  They don’t know I secretly love Duran Duran.  But ultimately the relationship is more than likely doomed from the start.  So if they tilt their head to their right to kiss and I tilt my head to my left, it’s just not going to work.  Why try.  It all ends up hurting anyway.

It’s my fault for being happy for 30 seconds

When you’ve been a victim of abuse, you build a pretty strong wall to protect yourself.  You learn quickly that expressing emotion can get you punished, so you hold it in.  If you’re lucky enough to get out of the abusive situation, that wall stays there.

When you meet new people, the wall strengthens.  Or at least it does for me.  I could meet the nicest person in the world and it will go one of two ways:

Scenario 1: There is no way this person can be this nice.  It must be an act.  They’re going to charm me and disarm me.  I better run before I see their true colours.

Scenario 2: There is no way I deserve someone this nice.  I’m not worth it.  It’s only a matter of time before they realize that I’m not good enough for them and they leave.  I better run before they see my true colours.

 

Unfortunately, I succumbed to a new scenario.  One that I didn’t know existed, and instead of ending with me running it ended with some serious heartache.

Yep: I’m talking about you, Coffee.

The self-proclaimed “nice guy with asshole tendencies.”  I tried to keep my wall up and I did a good job at first.  You didn’t pry, which was so wonderful.  I felt safe with you, and special.  You kissed my forehead and you tucked my hair behind my ears.  You told me that you hoped that eventually I would let my guard down with you.

The first time I relaxed a little around you, you said how nice it was.  You would text me all day, telling me that you really liked me and if we hadn’t seen each other in awhile you would say you missed me.  I actually felt this going somewhere.  I’m an idiot, I guess.

Last weekend you invited me to stay with you.  This was a huge deal for me.  Since leaving my husband, I’ve been with people but I’ve rarely slept with them.  There are very few people with whom I have actually spent a night.  Of course my first reaction was to run.  Alert, alert, too nice.  Scenario 1.  Get the fuck out.

But you know what? I really fucking liked you.  With an exclamation point.  And I thought you liked me too.  So I agreed.  You sounded excited to have me stay over.  You bought mugs, and a kettle, and coffee.  You made me breakfast.  I was with you…maybe 20 hours? 22? I had such an amazing time with you.  I loved the way you made me feel.  I fucking opened up to you.

I guess that was my mistake.  I talked about my ex.  I talked about my dad.  I’m not going to lie: I verbal diarrhea-ed all over you.  It’s a lot to take and I get that.  My life is not perfect or wonderful; it’s been shattered and poorly glued back together.  But it’s my life and it’s part of me and I thought that you liked me.

When I left your house, I was happy.  I was fucking happy.  This should have set off warning bells, but it didn’t.  I went home and I talked to my friends about you and I smiled like an idiot and gushed like a teenager.

It wasn’t until the next evening that it came crashing down.  An innocent text to you asking if I would get to see you this week.  An innocent enough non-committal answer from you.  A jokey response from me, poorly disguising my disappointment.  A sinking feeling that the end had come.

It’s been a few days.  Communication has slowed right down to nothing.  I wish you would at least tell me that you don’t want to see me anymore.  I know it’s hard to hurt someone but saying nothing hurts a lot more.  It would take you twenty seconds to pick up your phone and say something like, “I’m sorry but I don’t see this going anywhere.”  Or, “I had fun but I think we should stop seeing other.”  Anything, really.  Just something to provide some sort of closure and to make yourself a little less of an asshole.

I was talking to my friend about ghosting yesterday.  When someone ghosts us we should know that they are the ones with the problem.  They are the ones who are too cowardly to send a simple text.  It really takes no time out of their day to be a decent human being.  But instead we blame ourselves.  We wonder what we did wrong.  We wonder if we aren’t pretty enough, or funny enough, or smart enough.  We wonder what part of us isn’t enough for them.

I hate this feeling.  I hate sitting on my couch crying.  I hate feeling bruised and broken and alone.  I hate that you made me feel like you were worth it.  I feel like I was a game to you.  I was closed off and it was a challenge.  You got in and therefore you won.  Game over.  I’m left in pieces behind you but you won.  Congratulations, I guess.  I’m not sure how many times I can glue myself back together, but I’ll try.

I’m just too damn funny.

I got fired from therapy again today.

Let’s deconstruct that a little bit.  My therapist decided that we have reached our goals and that it’s time I take a break from therapy.  He created a discharge plan for me, which includes the following: I will know I need to seek help again when I sleep with more than two people in a week that I know I won’t see again.

What?!

Alright, I know I’ve been making some poor choices in life.  But did he really just put that on the plan? So what, two random hookups in a week is fine and dandy? But three? Whoaaaa…hold the phone.  That’s too much strange, missy.  Zip it up and back to therapy you go.

He wrote on my paper that he enjoyed working with me because I am able to find the joy in life and laugh at the little things.  Ummmm.  I’m no therapist, okay? I dropped out of university after I went broke and compensated with college.  As a result, I only took first year psych.  But even I know that my humour (while amazing) is a thinly veiled attempt at protection.

I suck at emotions.  They’re hard and they hurt, so I hide them and crack a joke instead.  Nothing like a little self-deprecating comedy to lighten the mood, right? If I’m on the spot maybe I’ll add a little “jig d’Ashlee Simpson” and make my exit stage right.  But I definitely wouldn’t say that means I’m fixed.

I was in therapy less than two months.  It takes me the better part of a year before I’m even comfortable using someone’s name in conversation.  For real.  If you know me, think about that.  How many times have I actually used your name in daily conversation? Probably not many.  How many times have you seen me cry? How many times have I shared something intensely personal with you? You could be one of my best friends and it’s entirely possible that you’ve only seen the funny Bri.  Definitely more than biweekly sessions over the span of two months.

Oh — and we were deconstructing, weren’t we? So I suppose we should get to the end of that thought.  I was fired from therapy…again.

That’s right, folks! This is not the first time that a therapist has broken up with me.  Again I sit in the chair and I tell my life story and I shove down all the unhappy and I smile big and I laugh loud.  And I get the same story of how well I’m coping with what life has thrown at me, and I get sent on my merry way.

Would you like to know how I reacted when my therapist broke up with me today? I laughed.  I got to my car and I cracked up.  All I could think of is what a great story this will make.  Yes, friend, I have tried therapy.  Multiple times.  It’s not my fault my therapists keep breaking up with me!

Ah, well.  At least it’s a good story.