Lessons From


oh look it is a song relevant to this post:

1. Trust the feeling, the head-rush when he kisses you – hope without meaning to. Reach for respect and pretend you have it. Fall too quickly for a man who could never, for you.

2. Trust your body when he ignores you forever from the very day after you made him shiver with your mouth: your body has already left you and him behind – you need to find it, find your body and return to her limbs, stroking, asking for permission to re-enter her skin – and it will be painful because you’ve grown used to wearing someone else for a little while, and tongues take time to regrow and hands have to relearn how to reach out, and your skin feels like it’s burning because it is because living with yourself in yourself reminds you that you hollowed yourself out for someone once and it’s painful to make yourself empty for someone else to fill.

Forgive him, not because he couldn’t have helped himself, but because you can’t help forgiving. Learn that shame belongs to you but guilt belongs to him and know the difference between the two.

Do not apologise for the knowledge your body gives you.

3. When he hurts you, recoil gracefully, like a black cat stepping around people who wish she did not exist. Smile with your opaque eyes marked black on a passport. Remind yourself that vulnerability is precious and not everyone deserves yours, that your irises are steeled perfect circles.

Wish him the best for his work and his art. When he returns to your life, stay poised, calm, reserved, gentle, and keep the memory of what he did as a permanent wall between your soul and his, that he will have to peek over, if he wants to ever say salut again. And because you have a tendency to doubt yourself, cement your pain into this wall – make it stand with the knowledge of what happened. When you’re done, gather the words he flung at you – they’re yours now, after all:

Clingy, Adorable, Desperate, Ballistic, Bonkers, Creepy, Brown Sugar

– and graffiti them again and again – splashes of red for anger, black for hate, grey for indifference, yellow for resentment. There is no colour for fear: remember the weight of what he threw in your face so that you will never approach that wall or him without the caution of memory, and a razor blade stitched under your soft pink tongue.

Hope sincerely you never have to use it because good walls make good friends.

Laugh gently and sincerely every time he apologises profusely for the little things; feel his words ricochet, pennies, off the red-brick of your heart, and hear them land with a clink on his side. He will have to clean up his own sorries, find a receptacle for his own guilt; your body is too full of you to contain him in any way any longer and you are remembering you were never tupperware to begin with.

And you forgive him now, for the little things, without a second thought because forgiving has always been easy for you – and your love for yourself is a moat around your castle, filled with creatures too beautiful, too gentle, and too alien for him to traverse without feeling he doesn’t deserve to be in their presence.

Because he doesn’t. He really doesn’t.

And so there is no desperation or naked need to your forgiveness.

And this is why grace is overwhelming to those who stand in it.

And this is how you kill with kindness.

And now. now: Accept his respect, the distance he gives you, the way he holds doors open and says “After you, always”

Accept his respect for what it is which was only ever what he could ever offer you. Value it, this tiny package, like a God might cherish puffed rice from a faithful pauper. Wave from your window, hand decorated in mehendi, signs he never learned to read when he was too busy training your tongue to still into silence – wave, never clarifying if in greeting or in goodbye, because you mean both every time, and remind him that you speak with your eyes and your hands and your body as it turns seemingly with the whim of a Montréal summer breeze.

He will never match your laughter. You will never match his cruelty.

Be thankful for both these things.

And now, slowly, as your tongue stirs to words, every time you say “hello”, make sure he hears “goodbye” echo in his ears.

Not every retreat is defeat. Not every second chance is given freely.

Do not deny the knowledge your body gives you.

4. Learn that the order goes like this: respect –> trust –> intimacy.

5. And that hope eases the heart, but expecting justice makes it bleed.

6. That your recovery always belongs to you. To you. To you.

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This entry was posted in feminism, Mental Health, poetry, Thoughts on Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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