please remember (to remember)

i remember the most subtle things…

like how his whole body would shake when he laughed- when he really laughed. or how effortlessly we’d stare at each other as the moon shone on us in our attic bedroom- neither of us saying a word. it didn’t ever matter how angry we were- we could be facing away from each other, even… but every night we’d sleep with our feet wrapped around one another’s. i used to watch him get coffee every morning, too… the way he’d dump some of it into the garbage, pour a whole bunch of cream in it, stir it quickly, put on the lid and press the back part of it down into the cup, take a sip and then woosh it around in his mouth before swallowing and licking his lips- i watched him meticulously every day, and it was always the same. i loved him then. despite everything he’d done and all the things he said… i would catch glimpses of the old him i knew that had never changed; just like my love for him.

he always ordered his eggs sunny-side up, he hated sleeping in, and never really enjoyed television. he cried a lot- always silently. we always kissed between sentences, no matter where we were- angry or not. we were that couple. he rode a motorcycle, he loved old trucks, and he was phenominal artist.

his hair was coffee brown, his eyes were black as night and his lips always had the most perfect tint of rose in them. he bit his lip when he was nervous, he tapped on his knees when he’d talk, and he always had the saddest look on his face- even when he’d smile. eerily enough, i loved that about him. his hands and feet were perfectly manicured. he’d always kiss my belly or grab my bum when i would shave his head. his neck smelled the same for six years. he loved the beach and the sun, he loved our dog, and he enjoyed nature. he had the shortest tongue… he could barely stick it out and he always made the funniest face when he’d try. his name is spelled in french, but only pronounced in english. i never met his father. he’d use surfer slang from the east coast like gnarly, and radical. i really liked his hand-writing, i used to smell his shirts before hanging them up, and his eyes always squinted when he’d look at me.

he loved when i wore red nail polish, he picked out my glasses, and he loved me in skate shoes. he was convinced we’d fall in love again in paris. he hates this city. he used play with my hair until i fell asleep, he’d watch me get dressed in the morning, and he always called me gorgeous. when i was sixteen, he’d leave love notes by the bed if he left before i did. we never showered apart, and he always washed my hair for me.

i once dropped my baby blanket while lugging my dirty laundry to his apartment, and he skateboarded around the neighbourhood until he found it, while i sobbed on the sidewalk.

another time he sent me a text message in the middle of the night saying “dress warm, i’ll be there in 5 minutes”. we walked to the park hand in hand and he laid out a blanket and a bunch of candles. he brought beer and a camera and we laid there for hours kissing by candle-light and taking pictures together.

he wouldn’t check up on me often, but when he did it was because he’d have this irrational fear that something awful had happened to me. and oddly enough, i did the same.

i always wore his hats and t-shirts around the house. sometimes he’d paint my nails, and he always dyed my hair for me. every once in awhile i’d wake up to him crying in the middle of the night- just looking at me- and every time i’d wake up and ask him what was wrong he’d sob and say “i love you too much” and “you’re too good for me”. we watched horror moves together in our underwear, he’d let me sit on his lap and do the crosswords in the morning while he drank his coffee, and he loved to read in bed. he let me pick out and sew his clothes. he built a half-pipe in his backyard. he had rough hands, he always kept loose change in his right pocket, and all of his jeans were ripped. every year for christmas we would decorate the tree at his mother’s house before coming home to make a gingerbread house together. he loved the beach boys. he loved laying together on our yellow tweed sofa just talking and listening to music. he bought our dog a misfits bandana. he gave the best hugs.

he preferred being alone.

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dark, you can’t come soon enough for me

there’s something to be said for clarity;
the only thing that you took from me

– living with lions

most people fear the dark because of the unknown; what they can’t see, what isn’t there.

i’ve always feared the dark based on what i know all too well.

his shadow moved so effortlessly in the darkness of what i casually referred to as our bedroom. it wasn’t ours- i learned early enough not to call anything ours… it made him angry. ours meant permanence, normalcy. it meant giving in.

i don’t know what made me so damn antsy all the time. for a year after he left the first time, i had recurring night terrors. i knew better than to fall asleep without taking sleeping aids or leaving lights on. i was nineteen years old when i started sleeping with easy accessibility to shoes, and waking up in the middle of the night to make sure the door was locked. i took my phone out back when i needed to get my laundry in the neighbour’s basement in the middle of the night. i never left the back door without looking through the peephole, especially after dark.

i would wake up to his hands on me and his breath on the nape of my neck.

and eventually, so did she.

after hours of arguing over our life together, i’d finally had enough. i flushed his drugs, i told him we couldn’t start a family together and i put him to bed. she had already been asleep a few hours and hadn’t witnessed any of the arguing. all i remember is her walking out to the living room and sleeping on the couch in the middle of the night. while i had collapsed in exhaustion, he took it upon himself to do to her what he’d been doing to me for years. he slipped his hands inside of her and breathed heavily on her neck. she pushed and pulled and told him no, no, no.

i didn’t even wake up.

you know, i put up with the pain of loving this man for so long because i was naive, and the fear of being without him (for some reason) killed me more than being with him. i was strong enough to endure him. i was capable of putting up with the regularity of his abuse.

she wasn’t.

when she finally confronted me about what he’d done to her in the night, i didn’t say a word. i stared blankly at her, turned and walked to my bedroom and sat on my bed in silence. i shuffled in and out of my bedroom as she stood motionless.

say something, she said. what are you doing?

i was doing what i should have done three years prior. i was looking for some damn pants so i could walk downtown and sever all ties with this fucking monster- for good this time.

you look angry. are you mad at me?

i stopped abruptly, put my arms around her, and told her i loved her. she broked down over how she didn’t want to say anything because she knew i really wanted to make it work this time. she knew how much i’d sacrificed and how strongly i believed he could have changed. she just wanted to see me happy, even if it meant keeping this secret to herself.

moments after she’d told me what happened, we were walking together towards downtown. i still hadn’t put on a bra, my hair was a total mess, and i didn’t even have makeup on.

i didn’t give a fuck.

i grabbed her hand, as we speed-walked silently to his work. she stopped about a block away, telling me she couldn’t face him. i kissed her on the cheek, told her i loved her, and that i’d call her later.

the rest is mostly blurry because i was so hopped up on adrenaline. i just remember my ears ringing and my heart pounding in my chest as i stomped up to him and ordered him to the back room. he thought i was kidding, or maybe taking him to the back for a quick fuck. before i knew it, i was yelling at the top of my lungs; calling him a monster, and a rapist. telling him that i can put up with it… that i can take it because i’ve learned how to, but now he’s hurt someone i love. after twenty minutes of yelling at him, and getting bullshit excuses on his behalf, i told him to fuck himself and walked out of there, smirking at his fellow employees.

i didn’t see him for almost a year after that.

after the years and years i put up with that pathetic excuse of a human… after the agony of watching my family and friends try to help me out of that nightmare of a relationship- if you can even call it that… all it took was for him to inflict that pain he inflicted onto me, onto someone close to me.

at what point does that cycle end? i was beaten down so low that i couldn’t even leave him for hurting ME. i couldn’t leave him for destroying ME. i let it wait so long, he ended up hurting someone i cared about.

i still cringe when i think of that night- when i can pinpoint exactly what was going through her mind as he took advantage of her- as he stole the innocence of such a tender, quiet person. as he ripped from her what he’d been ripping from me for years.

and as time passes, i try. i started turning the lights off to sleep, and i check the doors only once. i stopped taking sleeping pills when i lived with andy, and i’ve been trying to get comfortable in the dark. but still- it’s in the back of my mind.

nothing about the darkness is forgiving.

for awhile i tried, for awhile i won

there’s something awfully painful about tonight.

it’s after two in the morning and i’ve been laying in bed naked in the dark. the only light is the dim of the television and the glow of my computer. i didn’t wash my hair today and i’m wearing my glasses. i can’t remember the last time i cut my hair, my bangs are in my eyes and i used up the last of my gold nail polish. i feel fucking foolish. this weekend was great in so many ways and yet i ache. i ache in ways i forgot i even felt but that’s the point, you know?

i held off dating someone for six months because my heart was elsewhere. i wanted (want) someone i knew (know) i couldn’t ever have. i kiss other boys and i feel absolutely nothing. i’m waiting for something i’ll never have. i ignore the feelings because i know they’re wrong. i’m a big girl and this stupid banter should be left for a young girl’s diary- hidden under her mattress so her mother won’t find it.

i’m stuck.

it’s 2:23 in the morning on a sunday and i’m watching titanic in the dark with my cat. everything feels so miscalculated and i don’t give myself the time to do anything i need to do. my brother’s getting married in five days and i haven’t even written the speech for the ceremony. i can’t write a fucking speech because any time i sit down and write from the heart, the words are so broken. i don’t know how to write anything beautiful anymore.

i remember when i was fifteen… i used to sit in my bed, in my red bedroom, and i pictured my life so differently. i wanted my living room walls to be lined with bookshelves and i wanted to read. i wanted to sit in my underwear drinking coffee and smoking weed. i wanted vintage furniture and an impressive record collection. i thought i’d work an off-beat job at a small boutique and i’d get by on hope and love. i was so fucking naive. i was without work for a month, survived on cans of tuna for weeks, and lived with an angry man. i had to get creative with posters to hide the holes in the wall, and the lies i’d feed my friends and family. we didn’t have money for any furniture, and we stole cable from the neighbours. i stopped smoking weed because my boyfriend was a drug addict and i didn’t have the money, anyway. i got a corporate job for an international company and i got by on the notion that it’d get bad enough for me to find the courage to leave him someday.

that, or he’d change.

my self-respect means more to me than you do (or at least it used to)

i remember the beer caught in my throat
and the lonely comfort of my only winter coat
i could tell you exactly when i fell
it was back when i did not know you so well

– pony up

i have felt stuck for 6 months; trapped in what i thought could potentially be a healthy, fruitful relationship. i stood my ground mostly, i foolishly gave in occasionally, and i ignored my gut from the start. and finally, finally, i’ve let go. luc has the potential to be a good person- i know it because i’ve seen it. but he also has the ability to be a negative, mean, and rude person to me, and i’ve witnessed it more than i would have liked to. i stuck around with the hopes of positive change, maturity development, and paved paths for something i thought could be great. but i was sorrily mistaken, and i was obviously let down.

and what kind of person am i- to have strung him along during my indecisiveness? granted he knew where i stood on the matter- that’s not the point. i’ve made a decision for him, for myself, for our friends (who have been waiting as patiently as he has), for our family (who all had faith this would pan out into something greater)… i’m letting go for everyone’s sake. for my sanity. for my peace of mind. for my freedom.

i’ve always been a boyfriend type of girl. i spent my years in junior high kissing older boys at arenas, holding hands under desks, writing love letters, or having “boyfriends” over when i wasn’t allowed. i stumbled into high school and instantly fell into a life of drugs, sex and alcohol. i remember stealing cars with biz, or drinking 40s of beer in a friend’s living room in the projects. we’d do graffiti at the skate park, drink vodka in alleyways, sleep in the parks. it wasn’t glamourous, but i had the time of my life. i met m when i’d calmed down from that stuff- and it seemed the sight of him made those feelings of danger and apathy resurface almost instantly. being with m made me feel so fucking alive. in the beginning, we’d party all night, and lay in bed together all day. it was the perfect mix of teenage rebellion & young love. i had it all.

and when i wasn’t with m, i toyed around with older boys, had flings in different cities, and genuinely couldn’t find it in me to give a shit about anyone who wasn’t m. until andy- and with andy came a mixed feeling of relief and resentment. i missed the danger, and i missed the feeling of not knowing what came next. and by the same token, i couldn’t be happier to wake up to the same person everyday- to someone who lived to make me happy. i had never been in a better, more stable place in my life.

i’ve gotten over the lifestyle i had before and during my relationship with m. living that lifestyle now is only rebelling against myself- i’ve lived a life with andy that opened my eyes to what i want in the future. and since leaving him and our beautiful home, couch hopping and drinking myself into oblivion and fucking B. so i could feel something- anything… i’ve finally figured out what i wanted.

maybe i stuck around for luc and i’s bullshit rollercoaster of misunderstood emotions because i was lost. i saw something in him i thought i wanted, and i was stupid enough to let it lead both of our lives. i should have known to trust my gut from the get-go; to not give into feelings i know are superficial.

he’s an idiot if he thinks for a minute i never cared. i spent every waking moment talking to him, about him, or spending time with him. i was hoping so badly that i could have a change of heart, accept him for who he is, and just be with him. and although his heart of gold helped me realize how selfless he can be- it also made me see a side of him i wish i’d never gotten to know at all.

i can’t count the amount of times he told me we were ruining each others’ lives. it may have been a joke at the time, but deep down i think both of us knew it was true. i’ve been holding back when i meet new people- refusing to let my emotions with them get the best of me because of the man at home who was waiting for me, so patiently. maybe down the road i’ll kick myself for letting go the one person who stuck around through everything in hopes i’d give in. maybe i’ll kick myself for giving up a chance at building a family, again. another chance i had at letting someone in and seeing the real me- the me that has feelings and enjoys kissing and waking up next to someone- sharing my life with someone.

maybe…

but i’ve been sticking to “maybe” since i was a kid, and i’m sick of basing my life on what if’s… the last time i used schrödinger’s thought experiment as a means to making my decision, i got horribly burned- needless to say, the cat was very much dead, and i’ve never been good at quantum mechanics anyway.

my point is this: i’m moving on for me. i can’t keep tip-toe-ing around people’s feelings trying to save them, when all i need now is to save myself. i need to be alone (for once), and let the chips fall where they may. i’m not looking anymore… the best things will happen when i least expect them to.

that being said, friday will be my last day working for the company i’ve been with for 3 years. they offered me a position i couldn’t possibly take, and thus have no choice but to leave (with a heavy heart). i’m trying to stay positive though- working here has taught me responsibility and proper business etiquette. i’ve been fortunate enough to have participated in out-of-town business conferences in which i got the opportunity to step outside of myself and interact with other business associates from across the country. i met the president of the company, and have built a a fabulous working relationship with the VP of sales (who wants to reference me to other businesses looking for a young firecracker like me). i worked with some pretty energetic and positive people, and i was lucky enough to be part of the most amazing sales team, and built a special relationship with each of the representatives. i’m sad to leave, but this is such a good opportunity to look for something else and thrive. i can use these tools to be a better me, and build a more stable future.

i never thought i’d go from being the young naive little girl i was, to the strong, outgoing, business woman i’ve become. it stings sometimes, to catch my glance in the mirror and see that i’ve totally given into the man- that i’ve bitten the bullet and become a slave to my bitch- but that’s life, right? that’s growing up.

i crashed and burned into 2010 like a rocket on fire spiralling to the core- and i was so scared i wouldn’t make it out alive. i’m a victim of my own demons and i get lost sometimes, but i’m working on that. in january 2010 i was boyfriendless, virtually homeless, and teetering close to unemployment (because of my drinking habits), but i pulled through. with the help of friends and family, i made it out of this again, and only good things can come from this wreckage.

i need to take all of this and start fresh- learn everything again with a new, open heart.

i’m a single, independent woman looking for new beginnings- in relationships, employment, and life in general.

bring it on, motherfucker.

they’ll never hurt you like i do

damn it all, i am just sad
everything’s staying as fucked up
because all that i used to have
burned out in jar like a lightning bug

– the polar bear club

i’m not sure i can pin-point exactly when i fell in love with m. i don’t know if it happened when i was watching him boil pots of water on the stove and carry each of them up one by one to draw us a bath after our long winter walks back to his mother’s house. i’m not sure if it happened while watching him pick out his clothes and dress himself every morning. i can’t remember if it happened while watching him light every candle in his bedroom and put on our song before he laid down to kiss every inch of me. i do remember though, that after a few weeks of dating, he bought me a card with a picture that said “you are my sunshine” on it- inside he thanked me for being me, for absolutely no reason at all. he did that a lot- bought me cards for no reason, drew me pictures while he was at work, and took me on dates. i can’t quite put my finger on when it was that i fell out of love with him, either. i’m not sure if it was watching him cry alone on the sidewalk as he told me he’d cheated on me for the first time. i can’t remember if it happened every time i saw the plaster from our walls crumble next to me as he put his fist through it over, and over as i cowered in the corner, crying and begging him to stop. it may have happened moments before everything went black as he pushed onto my throat, with his thumbs. it may have happened after stepping out of a hot shower and catching a glimpse of my reflexion in the mirror for the first time in days- black bruises on my collar bones, eyes red and swollen, face drained of any real emotion. i do remember though, when i stopped giving a shit, when i stopped having nightmares, when i stopped giving into him.

there are many memories i have of m stored in the back of my brain- but there are so many more things i can’t dig out. so many things have been partially erased, as if to save me the pain of remembering. it’s frustrating: trying to put the pieces back together in order to remember clearly enough to forget. how do you forget something you’re missing pieces of? how do you put those demons to rest if you’re forgetting the worst parts?

i’m not sure what my mind has decided to keep from me- and as frustrated i get, these past few days just proved to me how grateful i am to have that ability; the ability to block certain details and memories from my brain enough to try and move forward. these past few nights before finally drifting to sleep, i remember the smell of a stranger’s clothes- and the twisted knot in the pit of my stomach when i woke up to that scent, and realized he’d been in my home. i remember how gnarly the whiskey tasted as i pounded it back, shot after shot. i remember the confident smirk plastered on his face as i danced. i remember, i remember, i remember…

i don’t know what the fuck i remember.

these past six months have been more blury than any memory i have. maybe leaving andy was harder on me than i’d lead on. not because i miss him (which i do sometimes, for the record), but because andy sheltered me. not in an over-protective, jealous boyfriend way… but because he protected me from myself. the people who know me best have told me repeatedly that i have a destructive personality; i don’t just do bad things and live with the consequences… i get lost in my emotions and my mistakes, and completely destroy everything in my path. andy had so much good in him it over-flowed, and filled me with that positive need to be better. he pointed me in the right direction without even knowing he was doing it. and when i moved out of our home and needed to build myself from the ground up again, i got lost. i left the best part of me in that house, i left the best parts of me with andy- and that’s finally clear now.

my mother remembers things for me, sometimes. when i decided to find another place on my own after moving out of me and andy’s house, she remembered what happened to me the last time i lived alone. she remembered visiting and finding weeks’ worth of dishes piled on the counter, the cat box over-flowing in the kitchen, the bottles of empty liquor scattered in the apartment, the clothes all over the floor in my bedroom… she remembers how easily i disconnected from life. i mourned such loss, alone.

i’m trying so hard to dig myself out before i get there again. i’m trying not to beat myself up for what i can’t remember. i’m trying to be a better version of myself, but so much of those memories have been erased.

memory is funny like that.