I survived, mostly.

So… I lost a tooth. It was my front tooth. It had been crowned several years ago. That front tooth was the first dental issue I’d ever had. I was in my 30s then and hadn’t ever even had a cavity. Then, along came a monster of a man who beat me mercilessly for three years.
I used to have to wear long sleeve shirts, pants, and socks at all times to cover my neck to toes bruises. I finally found the strength to leave, with the help of my best friend and my brothers.
So, here I am still dealing with PTSD on a daily/nightly basis, and to top it all off, I am losing teeth. The teeth on the left side of my face; the monster from my past is right-handed. The roots of my teeth have been damaged to the point that they cannot be saved, and every time another tooth needs a root canal, I’m reminded of him. Of me. Of who I was when I was there. And I have to fight back tears of regret and anger. And guilt.
I’m so embarrassed about all of this. But that’s why I have to share it–in case you or someone you know is going through something similar. We cannot bow our heads in shame; we must hold fast to whatever scrap of dignity we can find within ourselves.

You Shouldn’t Love Me

You love me
But you shouldn’t
I’ll love you right back
Love you so passionately
And loudly
That everything else will dim
Food will taste sweeter
Sunrises will sparkle
Sunsets burn brighter
Flowers, birds, clouds
They will all be seared
Into your consciousness
Every leaf will remind you of me
As you float through a fog
Of being in love

But I will leave
I cannot stay
In one place
Or I’d wither
Like the leaves in my wake

I’ll leave and
Your days will turn gray
You’ll wish we’d never met
If only to see the sun smile at you once again
But you will still love me
From afar
And I’ll be smiling
At someone new

Inconsequential Paranoia

I heard them say ‘she’
They must mean me
Their lowered tones
That small circle of privacy

I try to be invisible
Not wanting forced civility
Unpleasant pleasantries
They clearly saw me

I’m sure they’ve heard about me
The crazy one who ran away
Took her kid and went someplace
Then returned
A rescued stray

Yeah, everyone knows my story
I don’t know who ‘everyone’ is
But they seem to know me
It’s unsettling
So now I assume I’m the ‘she’
In every story

How presumptuous
I see
As the ladies leave
Without ever once
Glancing at me