Today, we continue our journey into the poems I wrote in my teenage years. These poems hold a lot of significance to me. I used them as a way to explain the world around me and to better understand myself. The first two poems I posted (you can find them here and here) were found folded up in the front of my book of poems. Today, we finally open up this notebook and dive into my memories. A lot of these poems already have titles and dates, making it easier to explain where I was in my life when I wrote the poem.
Have you ever opened something, knowing full well what was inside, and still felt a sense of surprise once you finally came face to face with the inner contents? That how I felt a moment ago when I looked at the first poem written here. You guys already know my childhood was hard. I was treated poorly by my peers and had little regard for myself. While I know there are more hopeful poems written in here, this first one speaks to the emotional pain felt on a daily basis.
(Written March 29, 2004. I was 13 and in 8th grade)
Life seems like torture
I am a toy for others to use,
my life means nothing,
do they think I’ve no feeling?
I must hold on,
to my dreams,
what does the future hold?
If it hold anything,
let it not hold the torture,
that I feel today
Quiet a simple poem, isn’t it? Typing it here fills me was reminiscent anxiety. I feel like stealing myself away again, in the fear no one can understand. As I type, I struggle to find words. Perhaps that is because this poem says it all for me. This is who I was at 13. My middle school years were the worst in my life. Any day I attended school was a miserable day spent largely in fear of my peers. Since this was written toward the end of middle school, I wonder if these words were born out of the pent-up pain I had been dealing with.
I feel the broken pieces of my childhood slipping through my fingers as I read this poem. What I wouldn’t give to comfort the girl who wrote this. I find myself desperately searching for a solution. What was so wrong with me? Why couldn’t I just be happy? There will never be answers to those questions. I existed as I was: a child who didn’t understand the emotions coursing through her.
I read some of the poems that come after this one and can assure you things get better. Perhaps this poem was no more than an initial step towards understanding. Here, I defined my pain and gave it voice. I brought it into the world as a tangible thing. On paper, I could touch it, read it and see it. With it in front of me, I could finally find a way to deal with my emotions and save myself.
How do you deal with intense emotions? In the absence of a support group to lean on, what would you do with yourself if you felt crippling sadness? How do you feel when you read this poem?