she spends her days
   in silence, stillness,
   content to be alone.
  she longs for contact
  acknowledgement that she IS.

  she knows where she stands
   and is content, even - when she feels it -
   she longs for something else,
not sure what, but something.

  she's adult
she's a child
   wild and silly
  capable of going so far
   that she gets smacked down.

she's loving
 unafraid of showing her feelings
she's silent
   and fearful of being
  so vulnerable
  with anyone.

she's terrified
  of everything
 but makes herself pretend
  to be brave
  because sometimes
"Fake it til you make it"
  actually works.

she doesn't ever want
  to hurt or upset anyone
 she cares for
   she can be a total
   pain in the ass.

she needs no approval
   no "Good job" or
  "good girl" or pats on the back
  from anyone
  to feel good about herself.
But if you want to see her
   when the right people
  use one of those phrases.

she forgets to say
  to anyone
  for weeks;
  she talks incessantly
   and can't remember
how to be still.

she is entirely
  she feels
like she cannot survive
  without that ring
 around her throat.

Take her apart,
  and you will find
  equal parts
prickly bitchiness
 and open love,
  and impulsiveness,
  something beautiful
 and strange
entirely accessible
and entirely beyond
anyone's grasp.



 physical and mental healing
   don't go well together.
Giving my body
   the time it needs to heal
  has given my mind
   time to turn in on itself
 and i can't get to the surface
   some days.
 Some days i'm fine,
  vegging on shows and
   cuddling with the pup and kitties;
 others i cannot escape my own brain
   and where the hell do you go
   to escape those insidious
  whispers at the back of your
   The constant anxiety,
   waiting to be told you're annoying
    or slapped away
  from everyone you know,
  the insistent voice that says
 you trusted your instincts
  and he fucked
 so don't get too comfortable now, bitch.
  Do it.
It isn't safe.
  i feel like a kitten
  curled up in a ball
  waiting for the petting hand
  to slap it
  this is so much more
 insidious than the physical was.
i have to reprogram my own brain
  remind myself that i DO have worth
 i'm worthy of being loved
 i'm a good person,
  i'm an interesting person
 i have been
into my brain for eight months
  and it's still hard to remember
and some days
 i want affection in the worst way
 but how do i ask anyone
  say "hey, i need reassurance"
  when i'm curled in a ball
 in a corner
 somewhere safe
 not reaching out
 because hey,

it's safer here.

The Dichotomy of Being an Introverted Empath

i get the funniest looks
 when i say "i'm an introvert."
  "i need alone time."
  "i'm shy."
No one seems to grasp
   that the outgoing friendliness is,
    for me,
  a defense mechanism; that every contact
   comes with a cost in bravery at
  opening up to anyone else.
  That the fight between
   the needs of every
   i meet
   and my own needs
   exhausts me, some days.
   That any time i open up
    and let another person in
  some part of their life,
   their story,
   their pain
 echoes in my own heart,
   that i choose
   so carefully
 who i let in
   and who i hold away.
No one sees
  that the inside of my head
  is a landscape made up of
    and mountains
   wild forests
 and all of it empty
   save for me
   and whomever i allow
   to enter.
That my emotions run on
   and whomever i let in,
    be they friend
  or lover
   or random stranger
 those people are so carefully
  because i cannot
   hold the pain of the entire world
but i can hold the pain of a few people.
  Never feel sorry
   for me.
 There are things in my head
  more beautiful and strange
 than most imagine exist
  inside of me,
  and the choosing i do
   is never a burden.
It isn't a question
   of who is worthy and who isn't,
  but of whose pain
  i'm strong enough to bear
  without once feeling burdened,
  who i can spend time with
   and not need to run home;
   who feels safe, trustworthy,
  and who
  It's a question
   of whose motivations i understand,
    not whether or not i am hurt.
   It's a question
   of where i choose
   to let my love go,
   regardless of whether
   that love is ever returned
    in any measure.
i once had a friend
   tell me
  that i was too patient, too understanding,
    too nice.
  i let in
   the people who need
 what i'm capable of giving.
The people who won't
  walk over me and then away,
   the ones who don't hit my flags
   in ways that tell me run away,
   the ones who need those
  moments of safety
    and i can't explain
  what makes me let one in
   and shut one out.
All i know
  is that if their lives
   are in any way improved
 through that contact,
   it is worth everything.