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Shaakiera Schroeder
Johannesburg South Africa

Too Familiar

Today I woke with the all too familiar feelings again. Those never changing feelings, except perhaps always only in its threshold.
The familiarity, like the type of stranger you've known all your life, rattles me every time. Each time it happens I feel something stirring deep inside me, a shift at the depths of my core. The slightest of movements almost like a wisp of air it silently flutters, briefly, then it's gone. Because of the almost invisible touch and lightning speed in which it appears and disappears its easy to miss it. Allowing it to sneak up on me and then break through the surface of my mind. This only ever happens when I'm too exhausted to reason with the other side of me...
Nearly impossible to contain, this is the side that has no problem reminding me how completely obsolete I have become. That neither my presence nor my absence is of any relevance. I hear that side mocking me...she drawls in a wannabe sexy voice "honey..no stress...first they must see you". I have no idea whose voice the other side emulates because women were in short supply in my life, but more importantly, no one spoke to me ever In a tone of voice meant to invoke fear. No frustrated demands shrieked at me like a wild banshee or voices raised profanity flowing freely. I know the lowered voice very well, warnings of promised punishment spoken through gritted teeth. Terrifying and unfamiliar is the whispered rage meant to break not just bruise, its purpose to ultimately destroy. Unrecognizable and so hateful, the concept almost always foreign, at that moment I know I will never be able to fully grasp it. If I can't imagine it how would I ever understand it. Very, very cruel... Complex but why so familiar then?

The other side... Not the dark side no, besides being completely over-rated., it's so 2000 and never and quite frankly, personally it's a fashion that made no sense. Best described... The other side is... cold and empty... colorless...unknown. Its the stranger inside of me, residing there since forever. However, this other side remains to this day an enigma, especially to me. This side takes great joy In taunting me with "I told you so" no regard for the pain it so thoughtlessly inflicts, rather sounding proud even. The rant continues " too busy is not a reason, it is a choice we must make.. We decide if spending time with the people we claim to love matters most or not at all".Behaving as if its the most impossible task you will ever face but feeling in your heart that its the only thing in your life that comes so naturally. Knowing this, yet still choosing to ignore your hearts pleading desire to share your love and give generously of your time, tragically reducing all that love and care which can sustain us, to nothing but a tedious chore."I know you are gullible but are you that stupid or just simply weak..you are...pathetic! I can't stand it." And so it goes. Constantly Tormented by cliches, accompanied by perfectly timed little quotes; not so subtle put-downs intended to inspire and motivate, instead, I'm tortured by the fact that only I ever initiate.
Insecurities and the feeling that I never mean enough, probably not even a little, definitely not enough to deserve a "hey hows it" now and then, all attempts to stay in touch and connected that's me, fearing the other option too much, which is to stop the conversation without the insisted upon required (when convenient for you)communication. In fact let's go nuts, refrain from any and all contact for that matter. Dark night my world, total radio silence... The ships already damaged, hangs on in an extremely fragile state. Clinging desperately to the very last remnants of a life lived...loved in the past. Looking Vulnerable making me question for the first time ever "how much more can it take" two, six, ten blows and still be able to stand up. what if its taken all it can, what if it cannot survive one more hit. What if all It needs is the weakest of pushes and down it goes. Less than a minute, Total demolition, everything...the world as I know it...flattened... ln, its aftermath...just dust! A reminder of what once was. Much like me...and like so many unsaid words, time invested, energy shared, forgotten and left to dissipate like moisture, evaporating until there is nothing left, only dry humid air, thick and stifling around you...suffocating. Ironic how once that which made me feel so Alive and light as a feather, floating through life, so beautiful in its love, the brightest light within shining through, blinding, overwhelming all of your being, beyond powerful. The first wave moves through you like lightning streaks, leaving you physically weak, light-headed. The effect always the same, always so intense, it never failed to render you breathless. I find it unbelievable how that very same thing my heartbeat for, now weighs me down, so heavy, immovable, keeps me pinned to the ground, always struggling to breathe, never getting enough air. Too exhausted to care, I listen as the internal debate rages on...the unknown other side screams at the side who I nurture and have chosen to guide me, who believes that there's good in everybody, analyzing everything to death until it finds a logical reason for how people behave, making excuses for the undeserving. Silently accepting the hurt, disappointments and whatever treatment they so freely hand you, no consideration for your thoughts, even less so for your feelings... Always so understanding and accepting, damaged by the many battles you fought, nothing left inside you, unable to muster up enough, not even a little to fight one more battle, so I choose silence. Snapped out of your thoughts, Unknown screams again, the words clearly heard now echoes in your mind "You are in denial" it says...silence...weakly I nod my head...I know ((whisper)sadly the truth is (I say) ...iv always been in denial...the admission slipping out...silence...perhaps now I'll get some peace...maybe...just maybe...I don't know...we'll see. "Out of sight... Out of mind... No more fight. No...more...light" And for the first time both sides nod in agreement... Together in their certainty, voices confident, they state simply "Right"
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
Topic(s) of this poem: hate,inner voice,love,love and life,self discovery
POET'S NOTES ABOUT THE POEM
this is a daily struggle with depression - the voices inside my head and the battles i fight with anxiety and believing im never good enough.
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