Writing and Chocolate ice cream

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Sometimes writing feels like dipping your fingers in chocolate ice cream

It’s delicious till you can’t stand it

It’s sweet till you can’t eat it

It makes you happy till it makes you sick

It’s happening to me right now as I am in process of re-reading my manuscript. It’s not so much about the story, it’s more about finding the right word, organizing paragraphs, crossing off lines, writing differently. I love it tille I hate it.

So I stop, take a pause, find something else to do, till the passion is back and the paper is not a threat anymore.

And you, how do you see writing? Is it always easy or do you find yourself lost from time to time?

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You no more…

I’d rather die

Bury my feet into the spongy ground

Vanish into the night

I’d rather stay silent

Go blind

Steal the key of the door

Taking to my heart

I’d rather fly away

Walk barefoot on fire

Swim till I can breathe no more

I’d rather escape

Take up arms

Fight against the Lion

I’d rather scream so loud

That everybody has to hide

I’d rather risk my life

Than going back to you

The wedding ring

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The flickering sound of a bird nearby told me to stop listening to old thoughts. It was time, to let go, time to erase the shot:  me and you buying the wedding ring.

Saturday afternoon, crowded place, tangled hair, no makeup, friends all around – your friends, spring is on the way. We are in May.

We haven’t talked to each other for 3 days now. I cry. You call me stupid. You threaten to leave, this place, me. We are engaged. The wedding is planned for July. A tear, just one, a need, simple one, a word, not the good one, could ignite a terrible rage within you. I know. I will smile. It’s better for me. You like it. You like when I shut up and smile. You think I want to please you. You love when I play the good wife. Shut up and listen to your man. you know best. I just want peace. I stand firm against the need to shout and tell the world how messy my life is with you, how crazy you are. Your smile is fake. Mine is a self-denial one.

I open my jewelry box, take out the ring. I am ready to let it go. I sold it for 20€. I don’t want it anymore. It’s the last thing that links us together as husband & wife. We are back being two strangers that will never meet again. The image – me and you buying the wedding ring – is fading away. It’s blurry. I can now say something like this, out loud: you are an asshole, a crazy bastard!

4 years relationship, divorce & a manuscript

Our relationship is already summed up in a big file, full of notes, letters, forecast budgets, solicitor fees, court ruling papers, translations, testimonies. It took 4 years to eventually close our case.

Our relationship is contained into a manuscript of 25 chapters, 165 pages, 68 000 words. I never thought I could achieve this one day. I should thank you for this. You gave me matters to discuss, feelings to explore, emotions to review in details, issues to solve. Your madness left invisible scars on my skin, in my mind. You gave me the chance to heal myself, to reconnect with the “true me”. I should thank you for this.

I need a couple of hours to finalize our 4 years relationship. I need a couple of hours to explain what happened after.

When I left I thought it was over. I was wrong. Another story started, the one that would crushed my heart in pieces but the one that would take me to the beautiful light after the chaos of the thunderstorm.

I always loved jigsaw. You must have known this. You don’t know anything about me. It’s the most difficult one I had to do, putting the pieces of my heart back together. It took me ages. Every time I thought I was on the right path, something went wrong and I had to start all over again. I am still working on it.

At the beginning writing was evidence. I needed to get you out of my head. I needed space to let go. I needed words to get rid of guilt. Healing process – dealing with grief. Ups and many downs. Then writing became a way to free my anger. I had so much resentment in me. There could not be any forgiveness. After a while, anger vanished and I started seeing things a different way. I wanted to understand.

Why you?

Why “yes”, when all my heart was shouting “no”?

Why I let you play with me in such a terrible way?

What happened in me? I had always been a happy child, a dreamer, a girl in love with life, a smiling lady. I had always been surrounded by loving and caring people.

What made me choose you? What made me think I would save you? What made me think you would save me? Save me from what?

Writing gave me the chance to answer some of these questions. Now I know why I want to finish this story. Sharing my experience is key. Sharing the worst before the best. Sharing to help. Sharing to tell the truth about you, about me, about the magnificent light, about the violence of your silences, about the pain inside my chest, about your status of victim, about my resilience, my faith.

In Between…

When you’ve been through abuse, when you’ve experienced bullying and harassment and /or emotional violence (sometime much more), it takes time to realize that all men are not like the one you’ve been with for « x » amount of time.

It’s hard to hear your friend complaining about her boyfriend or husband and to decide whether (or not) what they are dealing with is just “normal” argument between two people in love.

It’s hard to acknowledge that some people are really happy.

It’s hard to trust men again. It’s hard to open your heart.

It’s hard to be confident about you, about the power you have to set up the limits you need for your next relationship.

It’s hard to see friends happy and in love, always wondering “what if”?

It takes time to get over the past, to let go of all the feelings and emotions you experienced.

It takes time to realize that some men are good – good husbands – good friends – good dads. And that what they want is just the exact same thing you want.

It takes time to let love fill the space in your heart and rejoice for others happiness.

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I’m still “in between”…

Acknowledging that some stories are good

Some meant to happen for a reason…

Others must be forgotten…

And many are complicated but beautiful.

Being a woman

I forgot what it meant

Being a woman

I forgot what it’s like

Being looked at

***

He said things

I did not want to hear

Lack of confidence

My body is a mess

Inside

I feel scared

Trusting again

***

He told me

It’s time to let go

To let love knock at the door

Of my heart

***

I am so good at listening to others

At helping them

I am so bad at letting someone take care of me

Telling me how fabulous I am

***

Images are rushing in front of my eyes

Being naked is scaring me

How to be myself when deep down

The scars are still bleeding?

***

I want to scream

How can I forgive myself?

How can I let go of something that is killing me?

How somebody will see behind

My broken femininity?

***

I forgot what it meant

Being a woman

I forgot what it’s like

Being looked at

***

I forgot I was loveable

I forgot I was beautiful

 

This poor little guy

I want this

I want that

I want you to do this

I want you to agree

I, always I

It’s all about you

Always was

Still is

***

I remember

You were this poor little guy

Accusing the world to treat you badly

Accusing me to not be good enough

Accusing your sisters to argue

Only to cause you pain

You were this poor little guy

With a sad childhood

In demand of happiness

But doing nothing to make it happen

Accusing others for your sad little life

***

Nothing changed

You did not

You are still the poor little man

The victim of a mad woman

Living far away from your child

You are still the poor little guy

Trying to make me change my mind

To fit your wishes

To simplify your life

***

You want me to change the deal

To send out the cards again

So you can get a chance to win the game

***

There is no victim

No persecutor

I chose Life

To be happy

If you choose death

It’s your mistake!

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She is this kind of woman

She got hurt, badly hurt

With fist punches and words

She lost touch with the earth

***

She is a healer

A wise soul

From across the border

***

Continents

Oceans

Between them

***

One cry

And an ear

To receive

Her story

***

She escaped

Risked her life

For a better one

***

She is this kind of woman

Strong

Beautiful

Brave

***

She is this kind of woman

She touched her heart

She helped her to survive

She is raising her voice

Today

Come and join to support N and her kids.

Leaving takes courage

Leaving is a way to say “no more”

Leaving is tough when around people don’t get you, don’t understand your choice, when loved ones ask you to come back to your abusive home.

Time for you to shower and send love / prayers to N.

She deserves the Best of the Best.

She is this kind of woman

A role model for all of us

Go and read Jodi Post HERE – Domestic Violence Survivors

And Kim‘s one HERE – Why Would My Daddy Want Me To Go Back To My Abuser?

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Crazy mind

His silence takes it all

The space in between

Silence takes its place

Inside your heart

Under your skin

You are searching to escape

No exit sign on the place

Something keeps you waiting

A hand keeps you from moving

A strange voice in your mind

Takes all the energy out of you

Bury your dreams

With one morbid smile

You lose track of time

Behind closed doors

Only dark hours

Madness around

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In his crazy mind

You are his prize!

Face to Face

End of the day. They are stopping there every night for a milkshake after work, a good way to unwind and talk a bit. They don’t have much time during the day. Lucy just left. She went back home.

Home. Emma does not want to think about home. Where is home? Can we call home a place where you are not safe in? Some days she feels that the coffee shop is her home. She knows Breda, the owner, very well. Breda is kind and always has a nice word for her. Breda is like a mum. Emma’s mum is too old now. She is sick, her head does not answer anymore. Emma’s mum is losing track of time, she does not even recognize her when she comes to visit. Emma talks, until it’s time for her to leave.

Breda is about to close the coffee shop. It’s late. Nobody’s left but Emma. Emma looks quite sad today. Or maybe she is just tired, wishing to get home, but having no energy to stand and walk. Breda thinks it might be fine to sit down for a chat. She does not do this often. She does not have time during the day. She likes Emma. She reminds her of her daughter, who left home long time ago, without a word. Breda does not know where she is or what she’s doing. She does not know why she left, what was so wrong with her life. She tried for many years to recall memories, to question herself on what she may have done the wrong way. It’s not easy to raise kids. Maybe her daughter would have liked a brother or a sister to play with. Maybe her daughter did not really cope with her dad accident, maybe Breda did not talk enough about it, reassuring her enough at a time she felt the need for it.

Breda and Emma are now facing each other. In the space between them, there is a secret nobody really wants to share. Emma does not know whether she wishes to talk to her. Maybe Breda will judge her. Maybe she’ll tell her words she does not want to hear. Like the doctor the other day. She knows him well enough, for years. He is like a friend.

  • Three broken bones and an infinite number of scars. Look. Do you still think this guy is good for you?
  • He does not know what he is doing. He is just a bit jealous.
  • He is crazy Emma. He is killing you every single day. You know this?
  • He just does not know how to deal with me.
  • Deal with what?
  • Deal with my crazy side. You know, sometimes I am a bit pushy. I don’t know what I want. I want more.
  • This is bullshit Emma.
  • You don’t understand. He does not want to hurt me.
  • Really?
  • I mean he always says sorry after it. You get it? He is a bit sick too. We are both sick. So we get on well. And he does not do this every day. It just happened. These things happen.
  • You’re joking Emma, right. You must be joking. We had this conversation many time already. You are not safe with this guy.
  • He’ll change. He promised me he’ll change.
  • He won’t Emma. You know it. These guys don’t change. He is telling you this for the past 6 years. Six years of violence. Do you get it?
  • What can I do? What I am supposed to do? An idea to share? You’ll keep me here? You’ll forbid me to leave this place? What you’ll do about this?

Same old story. People don’t have a clue what they are talking about. Emma is alone. She knows something is going wrong but when he is nice, life is so special. No more insults, threats or punches in the face. He is all tender and sweet. He brings her flowers and takes her on trips around the country. She believes it’s all good, life will change, they’ll be happy then. Lucy does not like him. But what Lucy knows about him? She thinks something is wrong with him. Too nice to be true. Lucy is a friend but she never shared anything with her on this. It’s none of her business. And surely she would come with her own set of perfect advices, that won’t fit Emma’s life.

Emma is alone. Who can understand anyway? Who can even believe that she is staying? She tried to contact a women group a year ago, to see if she could talk about all this, to get a clear figure, to see whether what she was living was crap or whether everybody was dealing with the same kind of issue. Over the years she learnt to anticipate the crisis, to stay calm when he started screaming, to cope with the beating without complaining or crying. But last minute she got scared. If he ever heard about it…

She is now looking at Breda. She is realizing she does not know much about her life. Is she married? Does she have kids? What is she doing the rest of the time, when she is not stuck in this coffee shop? Does she know anything about violence, about pain, about coping with disaster, about recurrent nightmares? Does she know anything about self-hatred, guilt, lack of confidence? She is older. She looks wiser. It’s what age gives you, wisdom and some sense of peace, of accomplishment; even if life did not go the way you wanted.

Emma put her head inside her arms, set her head on the table in front of her. She can’t carry on like this. Something is wrong with her life. She feels like she is dying. Each day seems to take her to death too fast for her young age. She is not even 30 years old and she is a mess. Breda is still looking at her. She seems to be willing to say something. Will she say something? Emma wants to believe that she will. If she does, Emma will empty her heart, will let the words flow outside of her, let the pain go away, let her tears draft a pool on the table, let the scars burn under the sun till they disappear into the night.

  • Emma…