Kindness is Not Weakness

She looked at me with insecurity in her eyes, as if pleading for sympathy.

I couldn’t.

Much as I tried to muster up a shred of compassion, she had used up the last ounce left in me. Used it up on some medial triviality that was, if anything,  inconsequential to the matter at hand.

For years, I had done my best to understand the root of the issue. For years, I had given a part of myself to her — my ears, heart, time, energy. I had been sympathetic towards experiences far out of my scope. My arms were always open for embrace, my head was always open to another perspective, but my soul was guarding my heart from digesting more than I could stomach.

Then it happened.

One day, I opened my eyes and realized that she was a living, breathing reminder of everything I had already overcome. She had the demeanor of a human, but the behaviour of what used to be my undefeated demons.

I was at the end of my tether, a tether I didn’t even know existed — perhaps very few people had ever dared reach it. Even fewer lacked the cognizance to know where my line lay.

But she, I suppose, fell into that category of “one of the fewer”.

I confronted her, of course, regarding the levels of disrespect radiating like Venus’ sulfuric acid — she didn’t “mean to”, she just couldn’t “help it”. Apparently it was my fault for letting her speak in that manner, for not defending myself.

Well my apologies for choosing to rise above the need to be unnecessarily defensive.

I took her advice, nonetheless, to prove a point. I “defended myself” by not taking blame for other people’s transgressions. This was, incidentally, viewed as “interrupting” and “not letting the other person finish speaking.” (Rambling, honestly).

Well my apologies for having self-respect and guiding a conversation instead of enabling validation. 

My tether.

How did I even let it go on so long?

Simple.

I’ve been there before.

I’ve been in her shoes before. Those juvenile, self-centered, self-indulged, narcissistic, insecure, egotistic, defensive, over-analytical, paranoid, anxious shoes.

I’ve worn something like that.

Many moons ago, but in those shoes I’ve tread those paths — climbed the mountains and rolled down cliffs, drowned in lakes and washed up on shore, broken my bones and worn them casts.

But I am not there now. Nor do I want to go back to any of it.

So when I say that I am out of sympathy, it is not selfish or uncaring. It is not callous or heartless.

It is that I will no longer allow anyone to twist something beautiful into their distorted versions of reality. I cannot fill the voids she won’t admit exist, and will not validate insecurities that are hers — not mine — to fight.

My darling, if you ever read this, I’m sorry that I’d ever let you mistake my kindness for weakness, but I’m walking away because of the strength I’ve mustered up after recovering from this battle. I can’t let you interpret my words to your advantage simply to justify the mistakes of mine you continuously repeat instead of move past. I cannot keep being the buoy you cling to when you get stranded at sea, repeatedly. It’s time for you to pull your own weight — I’ve left you with enough care packages and tools to sift through, but it’s up to you to figure out how to use them. 

You’re on your own, darling, but in a way that you need right now. 

I’ll see you on the other side.
Hope you make it out alive.

Signed with the kind of love you’ve yet to understand, 


MG

Dig Deep

My sense of belonging
Comes from deep within
Buried beneath layers of rock
Unearthed, uprooted, but strong
I wasn’t born this way, it wasn’t choice
From a young age I had to silence the voices
Of deceit, of greed, of exploitative breeds
Of those who take from me more than the ink I bleed
But did I mind? No, that innocence of mine
Had nothing to lose and everything to give to those who’d once crossed the line
Dared to venture to the other side
From shadows we don’t hide
Instead we make a fire to shine
Through the crevices of broken time
Loops, Hiding in plain sight
This illusion of a plight
To take in order to fall
Through the floor
Break down the walls
And dig holes to find what’s in store
For you, for me
For all to see
Whatever it is they seek
Those who don’t search…will never find
The truth behind the lies

MG

-April 2016

After Your Ego Breaks

A letter to you, darling,

Since your mysterious disappearance, a lot has happened and changed. Not just externally, those are almost expected, but intrinsic transformation beyond even my wildest of imaginations.

It has been a year of adventure, of exploration, of growth. A few days ago, these words came to me and many unanswered questions finally found their resting places.

Real love remains even after your ego breaks.

While I’ve always known that ego has been my greatest challenge in life, meeting you is what taught me to stop leaning on it. To stop leaning on my own understanding and perception of reality. You and I had a few brief and deep conversations, we connected on a level that not many can do so naturally. There was definitely a form of chemistry between us, yet neither of us seemed to know what to do about it.

I battled myself for months, deliberating whether or not to make a move or contact you. I wanted to, each and every day.

But I knew that what you deserved, what you needed, and the type of understanding that you required was beyond my capabilities at the time. Much as I wanted to be strong enough for you emotionally, much as I wanted to give you the space you needed to grow, I couldn’t…

…because space is not a luxury I’ve been blessed with until more recently, and thus could not give what I did not have.

For this, I apologize, sincerely. I am sorry that I couldn’t give you what you asked for, that I couldn’t be who you needed me to be, and that I couldn’t see what it was you were trying to show.

Having come to terms with a neurological condition in recent years, learning how to integrate in an overwhelmingly temporary world, and moving past a series of repeated traumas in a few years whilst refusing to be victimized is honestly not an easy feat. Not easy, but still possible.

When we met, I was coming out of a dark hole, still crawling back to life. You met me when I was battered and bruised, torn and tethered. When I was nothing but a shriveled up patient in recovery who had just taken off a cast and had yet to relearn the functionality of those decayed muscles.

When we met, I was still in metaphorical rags.

I can understand why you left; I must’ve looked like a zombie coming after your brains. Maybe I was, figuratively speaking…

It was your soul.

It was your beautiful soul that drew me to you in the first place. I’d been living without one for so long that your radiance was an inevitable magnet to me; that bright light you see as you leave the tunnel of darkness.

I followed the light. I followed you…

By the time I’d finally made it out of the tunnel, you were gone!

Lost and displaced I was for a while, calling out to you and reaching out, not knowing why you’d disappeared.

Until now, I never figured it out. But I do love you, in the way you asked me to…

You wanted to be loved like the sun: from a distance, your light is lasting and appreciated. Up close, your passion burns so hot that you accidentally hurt those who overstep those boundaries. You pull away to protect the ones you love, not because you’re avoiding them, but because you want to keep them safe.

You, more than anyone, know your passions like no one else.

For that reason, you live your life the way you do, nomadic as a passenger. You don’t want to burden others because you know you can’t take on theirs either, yet you want to be loved nonetheless.

You deserve to be loved.

It has taken us this much distance for me to finally understand that. To understand how you want to be loved.

That, darling, is the love I can give you, because I don’t love anyone with the intention of ever “getting over” the person.

If I choose to love, then that love lasts; it doesn’t disappear, it merely transforms.

I do love you in the way you asked; it may not be what I had expected of myself, but it is what it is.

From the soul,

MG

 

Real love remains even after your ego breaks.
MG

I’m Not Lost, Just Displaced

When I lack direction
They give me religion

When I lack discretion
They squelch my questions

When I challenge regimes
They corner me into the mainstream

When I seek advice
They tell me to sacrifice

When I ask for help
They tell me to save myself

When I offer my assistance
They react with resistance

When I show my presence
They criticize me for pretense

When I grace them with absence
They sense the suspense

When I try to improve
They ask me to move

When I try to take a break
They shower me with headaches

When I act like myself
I’m a demon from hell
But when I embrace civility
I’m denying reality

When I fail
They silence my wails

When I succeed
They start to proceed

When I decide to just “be”
They tell me I’m bored and lazy

When I assertively take action
They want a piece of the faction

When I talk to humans
They sense my commotion

When I disengage
They become enraged

It is not that I am trying to please
Each and every one around me
But if I am to admit, honestly
It’s that I can’t find my place in this city

 

MG

 

Reality

They won’t know where you’ve been
Nor where you’ve going
All they know is…
Where you are.
~Anon~

Judge all you want
What I say or do
For you know nothing of what
I’ve gone through
Who I’ve been
What I’ve seen
To get to where I am
I’ve done what I can

I’m a nobody to many
And a somebody to few

You decide
Which side
Of the fence you stand
I can only hope you’d understand
That the choices I make
I’ve learned from mistakes
Once made

I’m still moving toward

Destinations forward
Learning along the way
Growing every day

For now, this is how it’s going to be
If you want to be with me
Then accept that it’s my journey
I’m doing the best I can already
To hold onto sanity
Can’t you see?
So if you don’t like my reality
Feel free to write me down as a memory

MG

It’s Good to Be Back

(Disclaimer: If this post causes emotional discomfort, please confront your demons by heeding wise advice.)

I was spontaneous yesterday.

Now, for those of you who know me — it really does depend which era of me you know, now, doesn’t it?

Let’s try this again. For those of you who have known me in the past couple of years, maybe three, you’ll probably gasp when I, of all people, say “spontaneity”. And I know exactly why; I know the reasons for your surprise probably better than I let on, as I do with most things in life, to be honest.

So why was being spontaneous a big deal for me?

Because, mates, it’s good to be back.

You look at me and think, “but you didn’t go anywhere”. Physically no, but in the past two years I did go down a path I once promised myself to never venture. I promised myself I wouldn’t because of how many people I lost to it — the cancer of the mind, eating away at the soul, leaving behind a mere shell of a human body to remind us that yes, this living, breathing, entity is our responsibility.

So I left. I couldn’t leave physically — I had too many commitments out here in the city, a life I’ve spent a decade trying to build and am still dissatisfied with my efforts, knowing how far I’ve fallen when I look at how much I achieved once upon a time.

I couldn’t leave mentally — no, my brain is generally over stimulated due to intelligence, which, unfortunately for a lot of people, means I have no off-switch. I notice things. Then I understand concepts because I’ve seen it somewhere before, so I associate that and make a connection. That link tends to be more logical than emotional because I like being objective, studying the facts, understanding the patterns.

Logic is my comfort zone.

But I left, emotionally. It was one of the longest journeys I’ve ever taken — to be completely void of emotions and shut down, tuned out from the world around, still hearing details but feeling like everything is meaningless. Sometimes, this can be a good feeling, like if that emptiness is actually contentment and peace. If that emptiness is actually silence and solitude. What I felt though, was far from that.

At first.

It was a lonely emptiness, where not only did I feel like no one could relate to me, but that I hadn’t found a way to relate to myself. I was so far gone, so different, so…unfamiliar to myself. Most people think I had it done to me, that I was a victim of victimless crimes; that I was subject to whatever abuse had led me down that path. But it was my morbid curiosity, because I chose those situations knowing that I am entertained by aggression.

Aggressors find my amusement annoying. It adds fuel to the fire, pushes their limits; unable to laugh at themselves, the angry flip from aggression to full on abuse.

Of course it’s fun, it’s like that predictable explosion, a controlled avalanche.

And it’s what I do, I laugh in the face of rage. I laugh, because I understand anger, I know rage, I terrorized them a long time ago, and they are now subservient to my control. I don’t avoid it, but I generally don’t project it either. So yes, watching each and every single one of you flip out in vengeance does entertain me, because I remember what it was like to be immature.

I remember what it was like to be insecure.

But I also remember…what it’s like to be fearless in the face of insecurity.

My darlings, like I said, it’s good to be back. Oh, how I’ve missed you…

G.

Memory, or Dream?

To You:

I never did get around to telling you why I was disappointed, did I? I suppose you never stuck around long enough to realize I actually am capable of emotions. At least, I seem to have discovered this capacity to be true.

You did ask what it was I wanted. I wanted to see you write, to be a part of the process and not apart from it. I didn’t want to merely be the “muse” that inspired your creations, I wanted to be the brush you dipped into the ink.

I watched as you traded your soul for your body; your writing for your running. One could only hope you were merely creating the experiences you would later on depict. I realized, perhaps whatever we were was that experience you never knew existed…

But, I was disappointed, nonetheless, for you were so fixated on being a result that you skipped the entire process of us.

Pain, that’s inevitable. It’s part of life. Not the only part, of course, just the part that motivates people like you to write. Your projection of me was the pain you sought; loving me was the provocation you were looking for since you discovered your wellspring of creativity. It was the darkness you needed after being in the sun too long. Somehow along the way, you lost your torch, so you ran ‘soon as the shadows moved with the winds.

Anger, however, that was on me. That was my storm. I was looking for that provocation, knowing that your childlike desire for a utopian creation would most definitely invoke my rage. Why? Because for me, growing up was never a choice. My innocence was stripped from me the moment I could put two syllables together and figure out what words were.

Believe me, innocence of the mind is not something of which I am familiar. Innocence of the heart, perhaps, but mind? Nay.

And there you were, a physical representation of all that I had left behind, a version of my younger self that you had chosen to portray in my present. A self I thought was history. There you stood.

Still, I write this now, after all this time, because being both blessed and cursed with an infallible experiential memory renders you an experience I cannot forget.

Cannot, and also choose not to try.

While I do miss the memories we only halfway created, darling, I find it hard to miss you. What disappoints me, love, is that…

…I never knew you.

Not the way I wanted to anyway, you never let me. You feared me more than you loved me, and ran though there was nothing to fear. By the time you discovered I’m actually harmless, your shoes were so worn and torn that you wondered if it was even worth coming back. To me.

And yet here we are, after all this time, still writing, still breathing the same air, still sharing the same city space — that unrefined space of a place you know I can only call home. Here we are, after months, and all my unspoken feelings and untold truths spill like word vomit, time and time again. Here we are; here I am, still writing. Still thinking of you. Still loving you.

Still wondering…if your existence is a memory or a dream…

I miss…the you I never knew.

MG

P.S. HB, R.

Where Am I Now, They Ask

“Where are you?” they ask, then don’t stop to listen to the response. Well…

I am capable of anger. Rage, too, mind you. It is not an anger that reacts to the ordinary, mundane trivialities of social construct, such as religion, race, gender, and class. No, it is a genuine anger, not a projection. It is an underlying one, the undercurrents, which have found different mediums of release so that no more human collateral is necessary.

However, I am capable of anger. And pain. And rage.

Some call them demons, I call them artists; exploding paint into an array of beauty, of wonder in the making.

But more than anything, that anger comes from disappointment. Sweetheart, I’m disappointed. I know you are, too, but part of that springs from the knowledge that we both want the same thing and just not from each other. We want it from ourselves.

Yet, I have the audacity to write this to you, knowing that you’ll never read it –  I use audacity in the context of “courage”, not “entitlement”. I am that flux between your best dream and worst nightmare. It is my humanity I present to you, as sincerely as I know how.

You’re free to come and go as you wish, you always have been. But darling, you have become as apathetic to my presence as I am resilient to your absence.

So for once, I just wish you would meet me halfway. That said, I don’t know if I should be reaching or settling…but I’m present, somewhere in the middle. That’s me.

Balanced.

Present.

Always, the last one standing. The one they’ve left to hold up the fort.

And I do, using the pain and strength that came from shattered bones regrown. On cold days, the scars do burn a little, a reminder that there is still a fire within me. On hot days, the anxiety levels rise and my aggression is channeled into “midnight strolls” that turn into 20 kilometer strides around the city.

I have no choice but to be strong. My weaknesses are merely “assignments I have yet to complete.” The disappointment in me springs from always feeling incomplete, from the perfectionism that has been instilled in me through knowing that I can only ever improve. The disappointment in knowing that I have become who I aspired to be, and now need new aspirations so as not to become complacent in the results. There is no end to the learning process, only expansion and improvement.

But they say, moving forward sometimes means allowing the future to unravel and unfurl, the seeds that have been planted through time.

They always say “reap what we sow”, and then leave out the entire “growth” process. The longest part of the journey. They say it as if one can plant a bean and it magically sprouts into a beanstalk, instead of describing the journey of how it took to turn into a plant. So yes, we reap what we sow, but in between, there’s a whole ton of adventure and growth.

Those are the challenges: the long days in the sun, plowing through the soils, finding the right fertilizers, weeding out bad roots…and yet…those are the parts they all skip…and you ask why I’m disappointed.

I feel betrayed. Betrayed by the lies you didn’t mean to tell. Because the lies you tell yourselves, are the lies you tell me. And then expect me to swallow it like it’s not insulting. Expect me to stand there and take your projections of insecurity because I’m “strong enough” to ward them off, apparently.

Well, I’ll tell you, I’m not warding them off, darling. I let them sink it, taking the place of what used to be “respect”. Perhaps it’s not that respect needs to be earned, but that disrespect should be earned. I approached you with respect, the respect you hadn’t earned, but still expected. So I handed it to you, sampling it to see what you’d do.

You took it for granted, love. You took me for granted.

It’s not a line you’ve drawn between us, or a wall you’ve built between us, darling.

It is an abyss you’ve created, a canyon, where we’re both on the edge wondering who’d fall first.

I assure you, I’ve already taken that plunge. A long, long time ago. I’ve been down here a while now, exploring the caves and digging for diamonds.

But I’m not staying down here alone, so when the storm comes and floods this canyon into a river, I’m letting it carry me wherever it leads.

Because this, darling, is out of my control. And evidently, out of yours too.

I love you. And I’m sorry that loving you hurts this much, but I’m not sorry that hurting grows me this much.

So join me, or don’t, but know that I won’t be here forever…

MG