poetry as survival

It’s almost like experiencing a culture shock. When it’s all said and done, it changes so quickly. You won’t know how to prepare yourself for it. You really can’t prepare at all.

It will start with him pulling out of your driveway before you make it inside the house. You’ll stand there, watching his tail lights disappear into the night. Without even realizing it, it will slip out under your breath, “He really doesn’t love me anymore.”

You’ll wake up the next morning and hope it was a dream — but it wasn’t. You will remember the text you had waken up to just 24 hours earlier, and your heart will pound so loud you can hear it. “How did this happen?”

Calling him will go straight to voicemail. You will hear, “I’m sorry, the number you dialed has a voicemail box that has not been set up yet,” a total of 15 times before giving up.

Weeks will go by and the empty feeling won’t go away. You meet up to give each other’s things back. “Is that it?” he’ll ask you. You’ll fight back tears and smile at him, “Yeah, I guess so.” Then you’ll get in your car and drive away before he has the chance to.

His mom will see you at the grocery store but she won’t say hello. She’ll avoid eye contact, and you will feel that rejection at your very core.

He will wave at you when you see him. You’ll wave back and smile. It will be forced. It will hurt.

His friends will talk about you. You’ll hear names being tossed around, like “psycho” and “stalker,” and you will have to smile at them anyway. Being the bigger person gets easier with practice.

Eventually, you’ll look around and it will just appear to be normal again. “This is the new reality,” you’ll tell yourself. “And it is okay.”

—  except from an unfinished book #127 // “Breaking Up is Hard To Do”
This is for the survivors
The ones that will never forgive their abusers
The ones who will always have hate in their hearts
The ones who were not made softer or kinder by the horrible things done to them
The ones who became warriors and never learned to take off their armor
This is for the survivors that no one talks about because it isn’t pretty enough
Because the anger is white hot and ugly and poisonous even years after everything went wrong
This is for the survivors who are barely doing just that
Because God damn are we trying

“So it happened.” He says with a shrug. And I feel my body tense; stomach twist; spine become stone.
But he tilts my chin up to meet his gaze. And his eyes call me survivor. Not victim.

“Now you have to choose.” He tells me,“ Will you be bitter or better?”

—  Whatever you’re surviving. Whatever you’re coming out of. You decide where you go from here. // Ceres

there’s a dead girl inside me.

i can feel her rattling around,
her lungs choked with loss,
heart pounding like wardrums.

she had a laugh like summer rain
until the world tore it away.

(little girls who wish on stars
don’t last long on the ground.)

there’s a dead girl inside me
and i’m the one who killed her.


Here’s my messy heart.


we are dying in the streets, a series of private disgraces made public, shunned by the fathers and mothers who thought they raised us better, oh my love—

we are breaking our own hearts but hell if they’re not getting any bigger. hell if we’re only left with scattered shards and scraped up hands, oh my love—

we are choking down our grief stricken sobs with laughter so sharp it bleeds, like every body strewn battle is a victory in the end, is the end, oh my love—


—  but i’d rather be called by name (amc)
At the beginning of 2016, I cried.
I was overwhelmed by survival,
by the notion that I had made it to the new year still breathing.
I remembered all the pain I had survived through,
all the bad things that had happened and I hadn’t died because of.
At the beginning of 2017, I smiled.
I made goals for the upcoming year,
thought about all the good things I had planned.
I remembered the bad in 2016, but I didn’t cry.
I planned.
2016 was no easier than 2015.
I had every right to cry- but I didn’t.
My life might not have gotten easier, but I had gotten stronger.
Instead of crying because I’d survived,
I smiled because I was finally going to live.
—  stronger // c.r.h.