‘Tapping in’ by Jonathan Solter
I’m nearly fifty, but I feel nigh
on ninety on a bad day.
This past week has been absolute
Hell on earth.
I’ve been triggered back
to being a child.
Losing her felt like losing
innocence; myself years ago.
Traumatized, I thought
about ending it all.
But to my credit, my common sense intervened, giving me a serve.
My man became a man in my eyes.
Not just another man.
Not just any old man.
Trauma has an ugly side;
it brings people to their knees
where they may as well be pissed on while their down there.
I am so worried for her…
How to reach me in that state, is almost futile.
I hear them knocking, butting their heads up against my wall, the double
thick English brick kind; multiple layers of insulating red.
I pretend it’s nothing more, nothing less.
“I don’t care”, I resign.
But then my beautiful man drew,
drawing me a shoebox.
Explaining how pain lives, dies
and re-lives inside my brain.
Overwhelmed with grief, I lift the lid
crawl inside and relive my dark past
over and over. Ashamed.
He lifted my chin, to meet his gaze.
He held me. Loving me more
in that one single moment, I trusted.
“It’s no good” he said.
At the 11th hour, we failed. Let down, we had no voice. Mute
blind, deaf and dumb in one single sentence.
The system of things is definitely flawed.
That would be making an unjust statement.
For those in the hot seats, forced
to call the shots, know many lives
are at stake. It must take its toll.
But I have no sympathy.
Our truth was not heard.
Our fatal flaws not even our own; her
actions (or lack there of), denied.
A resounding ‘NO’ echoes through
my shriveled neurons finding dead
ends. My synapses have nothing
left to ignite.
My family are in shock.
My family was slit right down the guts; entrails threatening to turn us inside
out. We were split.
Here in our beloved home away from home.
He said, “you cant carry the torch
all on your own”.
He said “I can’t watch your fire fade to black, your candle flicker in the wind”.
deeper into that hole; my abyss dragging me into its darkest depths.
I could no longer hold my fractured pieces together.
In my mind I dispersed like a million stars on a clear night.
My self died a little bit more that day.
In my room with four walls,
no windows, no doors and no light
my world ceased to exist
and everyone in it.
It’s time to let go, heal.
He gave me hope.
understanding beyond anything
I have ever experienced
through years of therapy
1. PROBLEM: Being torn.
I think of my beloved stepdaughter.
2. INTAKE: Its difficult
coming to terms and all that
that entails I cannot reconcile.
3. PROCESS: Grief
Pain \ Anger / Trauma \ Up / Down
bracing \ myself for a hell ride.
4. STRATEGISE: Break –
down my past, hurt and forge ahead.
Gathering strength, wisdom and hope.
5. EXECUTE: Eat.
Drink (water). Rest. Cry. Garden. Bathe.
Write to heal, even when my body
wants to heave.
I look after my family.
Nigh on three years now in my own
special way. Not in a traditional way.
I’m a hopeless cook.
I don’t appreciate housework.
I’ve been neglectful at being
the proverbial ‘good’ housewife.
My desire to grow flowers, fruit
and vegetables is my compromise.
Growing something edible to put in
the kitchen – for someone else to cook.
I hold us all together in many ways. Focusing on her safe and sound.
Loving, gentle kindness; watering
our gardens together.
Our home is beautiful.
Everyone finding that remembered
piece of themselves there; a sense of
belonging my own children lack.
I want them to say, “I’m coming home”. I want my beautiful, bitter, twisted
naive, angry children to come home too – to me and my family.
It’s ever too late to love
and to be loved in return.
Finding trust again – she is as resilient as I am loved, unconditionally.
We watch the sun rise and marvel
at the light that shines on all of us.
I will learn to forgive but never forget.
I tend the earth, ripening my fruits
finding pride in nurturing my love.
I read. A cuppa, kiss and a cuddle regenerate my dreams.
I wake with no nightmarish thoughts,
finding only more I can do to make
my garden grow. Knowing she is being
loved all the while.
Right now I need peace.
I love my family. Jason, Madison
La Donna, Whisky, (Carmen), Karmin
Leisa, Seth, Harken and Ronan.
Still too young (bar one) to see
the wood for the trees or realise that
not all flowers smell delightful – except the Rose.
The world doesn’t owe me a God damned thing.
My children will learn a much harder lesson than I.
I forgive them, and I always will, over and over.
The thing about trauma is that it can only hurt us if we let it.
(Myles will remember he said something similar.)
I hope you are smiling wherever you are my friend.
© Copyright 2015, Jodine Derena Butler, ‘Poetry Out West’. All Rights Reserved