Absence.

Standard

I hate that you are away.

I hate that you’re not here.
I hate that I can’t reach you.
I hate that I couldn’t make you stay.

I hate that you’re somewhere else, and the absence of you reminds me of the absences within me.
Of the reaching hand left unheld,
Of the grazed knee left unwiped,
Of the breaking heart left unseen.
I hate that your absence is a physical reminder of the
Fucking Great Big Gaps
Inside me,
That I know I will never fill.

I was on the beach,
Thinking of you,
Lost in the sound of the waves.
The sea will always remind me of you.
Your relentlessness, your strength,
And the way I can’t quite understand you.
I can’t quite know you.
I can’t quite contain you.
I was walking, picking up pebbles,
Throwing the perfect ones away,
Attracted to the imperfect.
The cracked, the chipped,
The broken.

Some had holes. Carved away,
Months or years of erosion.
Of abuse.
Still strong, but missing a part of themselves,
Taken by some animal or some force,
Some thief.

It made me tearful that some of these rocks had smaller stones,
Wedged into the holes.
It made me think of you,
How you are plugging the hole,
Filling the loss,
Stemming my arterial purging.

I brought lots of them home,
The rocks, with their stone plugs.
I was comforted by them.
By how maybe the parts of yourself that you give me
Will become permanently wedged.

Now, I want to throw them.
Through windows,
At cars, at people.
At a mother and daughter holding hands,
At a person falling asleep without fear,
At you, holidaying with someone who
Is.
Not.
Me.

I hate that you are away.
Your absence reminds me of the gaps,
Around the stones,
Which makes the rocks feel
Still a little bit empty.

Your absence reminds me of the gaps that can never be filled.
Those carved out by silly irrelevancies,
Like how her eyeballs would shake when she was mad, when I was bad.
Like how she never wiped away my tears, not once.
Like how still the house was, in the aftermath.

Silly irrelevancies – they should mean nothing.
But they mean everything.
Those gaps remind me of what was lost.
And of the ultimate loss,
That I cannot be yours.
Which means those gaps
Can never be truly filled.

x

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18 responses »

  1. This hate that your absence is a physical reminder of the
    Fucking Great Big Gaps
    Inside me,
    That I know I will never fill.”
    describes how I feel, so often. Thank you for sharing. I hope this pain passes soon. xx

  2. I saw myself in this post. What a sad thing when a child grows up without the love and care of a mother. That is what I got from this piece anyway.
    I think I am being strong for not allowing myself to ‘go there’ in my mind or heart. But maybe I’m too weak and scared of the anger, the hurt, the feeling that I wasn’t a good enough reason to stay.
    I applaud you not only for allowing yourself to feel these things, but also for your efforts to heal.
    And yes, once again … This too shall pass xx

    • Thanks love. Sorry you could relate, wouldn’t wish this feeling on anyone.

      For what it’s worth, it’s taken me a lot of therapy to know that no matter what I did, I would never have been ‘good enough’ for my mother to stay – because in reality it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her. I think this would be the same for you. X

    • Just really hope there actually is a ‘one day’. It terrifies me that this is what it’s like when she’s on holiday. What’s it going to be like when we end therapy?!

      • Just take one session at a time. Skipping ahead is your anxiety trying to hijack your mind. I used to be so afraid of that same thing… and now, years down the line, I feel more different about it than I ever would have believed possible.
        When you are a small baby, the fear of losing the mother is incomprehensibly consuming. It is unimaginable.
        When the child turns 16… Not so much! (Ask most teenagers!!!)
        x

  3. Completely felt every word of that poem. My therapist said something to me yesterday about ” no one else can be your mum” awwwwww-ouch!!! I hate that the bottom line is exactly that, I’ll never get what should be taken for granted. And the pain comes from that undeniable fact that there’s no do over, no second chance. I was denied something and no one can be my mum. I know that to be fact but inside my body hasn’t caught up. You’re not alone, not that that help you. But at least you know there’s a ton of us standing by your side. A legion of motherless daughters. And we are stronger together and we will prevail xx

    • “A legion of motherless daughters” – so true. So painfully true.

      There is no do over, there is no second chance and that is absolutely SHIT. I ache.

  4. “I hate that your absence is a physical reminder of the
    Fucking Great Big Gaps
    Inside me,
    That I know I will never fill.”

    Who is to say? I hope your thoughts and feelings are a snapshot, not a permanent record. It is unfortunate enough that you feel them now.

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