It’s interesting
Not having seen myself through the eyes of dismissal in a while
Rediscovering the faux-concerned face
The wince of denial
The condescending voice and syrupy tone that assured me:
“No, you can’t. You couldn’t possibly. You’re just
Recently, I watched that happen
Recognized it for what it was – a smackdown –
Laughed inside
And denied *them* that power
By saying softly,
Watch me.”

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell


Poetry Month, Day 21: Hungry


As I swam through the routine of my day,
Marking time in neat, small crescents of business,
It occurred to me, possibly for the first time:

I have lived a large part of my life under the petty rule of others
I have given my power to people who either feared me, or felt nothing for me
I have sought to aid them in accomplishing their goals, while neglecting
Or even actively subverting my own.

Through this whole process, there has been
A constant self-talk
An abnegation of my feelings
Rationalizations for complicity
My own denial of self
In lockstep with theirs.

Why? Am I afraid of myself? Do I feel nothing for myself?
Or do I simply think I do not deserve –
Do not deserve
Should not want, do not need
To be successful in my own right?
In my own way?

And perhaps the reason I eat so much is because
I feel I don’t deserve a place at the table
Among all the greedy
I’ve surrounded myself with
For most of my life.

I do deserve to be a presence in the room.
And I will try, in future,
Not to bow out
Or back down
Or step away
From the feast.
Not to apologize, not even with the placement of my arms
Or the questioning line of my cautious shoulders
For my existence.

Copyright ©2015 C. Mitchell

Time for a change?

Just now, I was doing one of those quiz things where you take the first three letters of your last name and the first three letters of your first name, then the street you were born on, or whatever — and I went to use the first three letters of the last name I’ve had for almost 22 years. And it felt wrong. It didn’t feel attached to me any longer. It felt like a crutch I no longer need to use.

And I used my maiden name instead, and it felt right. It felt like me. I remember who I used to be when I used this name, and I like her.

Perhaps it’s time for that name change I didn’t think I wanted… but at the time, I wanted to maintain as much of the normalcy of my life as possible. I was not ok with any sudden moves. Perhaps now I feel more solid. More secure. Perhaps it’s time for me to be that girl again.

(Plus, I almost feel like, every time I introduce myself to someone, I have to be kind of apologetic in case they know my ex and have seen his behavior. We’re so different now; I really don’t want that trail of crumbs that says, “yeah. I was there. I’m still part of that.” Because I’m not. Emphatically not. And that’s by his choice as much as mine. He and his family slid back and away like a car I passed on the highway, and I find I’m just fine with that.)

I was trying really hard to find a highway image that fit. I tried so hard. But in the end, this photo really expresses how I feel. :}

Still have occasional “married” dreams

Which surprises me somewhat, as we no longer see each other, and I don’t really think of him during my daily life that much. Maybe once or twice a week, when something reminds me again of how glad I am to be out of that situation, despite my continuing fondness for the idea of him (who he was when we got married).

But in the last few weeks, I’ve been having one or two “married” dreams per week, so OBVIOUSLY I’m still processing. Last night’s was a bizarre one: I was sitting with his parents and drinking caffeinated tea, which I don’t as the caffeine encourages migraines. I was so exhausted with the situation, with my life, I remember feeling an endless weighting drag of leaden bone and sodden spirit, so his dad reached over and handed me a Coke (one of my most beloved beverages of the Before Migraine Times). So there I was, feeling exhausted, with two drinks that were inimical to my health, and feeling so out of place and so marginal to the situation… then Ex shows up and we go into another room, where there’s a lovely blanket made of crocheted squares. I pick it up and exclaim at its beauty, and say I’d like to make one like it. His response was a brutal, sneering shutdown. “You think you could? I’m sure you’d just start and then drop it, like everything else. If you could even figure it out.” Such contempt. Such hurtful words. I said, “You think I can’t?” His response: “I know you can’t.” And then I woke up.

This was actually not an unlikely conversation for the end of our marriage. I engaged in what I called the “Clean House Project”, where I kept the public areas of the house immaculate for over a year, because he told me he didn’t think I could keep any part of the house clean for a week. Suck on that, oh naysayer.

We used to go to a restaurant where the many entrees were very similar – just small differences between them – and the dish names were in Spanish, of which he had a better grasp than I, and I would ask him “which one do I get? I can never remember.” His response was usually good-humored, so I didn’t know it was bothering him. Until the time he snarled it at me with an obscenity, and then added mean-spirited comments under his breath about how I could “just try f*$&%ing remembering it next time for a change, if that was even possible”. When I asked him to repeat what he’d said, he said it was nothing. Then went back to texting one of his girls, which continued throughout that lunch. So I put the name of the meal in a text file on my phone and never asked again.

There were a lot of little rituals I did to prevent him from being angry or discounting or simply rude, I’m realizing as those habits fall away. What a pleasure that they’re no longer necessary.

And how awful it was to live with someone (and work with another person) who treated me with condescending contempt so frequently. Who verbally doubted my abilities even to exist on the planet as a human without management, because I was such a loser.

In a completely related note, I love love love living alone. I’m no longer walking on eggshells, and it’s glorious.

Grown a little, and bending with the weight

“Thodishi pikali, ojhana vakali,
Ahe me avjhad jhadachi ga,
Kairi padachi ga, kairi padachi!”
(Grown a little, and bending with the weight,
I am the mango from that tree
where the fruits have just about ripened)

I think I am all of this: grown a little, and bending with the weight, but strengthening all the time. Although I’m actually a ripe mango… lol

Wearing It So Well

Wearing It So Well

Edited by 3 In The AM — wearing a bit of a worldly, victorious, but not jaded air. It’s delicious, because it’s still joyous, and somehow still wholesome yet naughty. Still him. And all I can think when I see this version of Richard Armitage is “Naked. Here. Now.” Sorry. It’s a bit graphic. But it is the first thing that goes through my head every time I see him at just this point in his career.

It probably has a lot more to do with my psyche than with him… and if he were actually to show up on my doorstep, I’m sure I’d run and get the keys to the car so I could show him all of the cool things about my hometown, rather than dodging to get my most exciting underthings. lol But the brain is a curious and shady implement and mine, right now, is reacting to his smirk by flopping onto its (metaphorical) back.

Silly brain. Richards are for the movies. Well, and for the iPod, in a month or so! (fist pump into the air, can’t wait for Hamlet)

(sigh) Smirkitage. Delicious.

** I finally had to post this photo, and my reaction to it, after seeing it several times on Armitage Agonistes; but if anyone (Perry?) has a click-through link to the image itself handy, I’d appreciate it. I did a cursory search but couldn’t quickly find it, and couldn’t afford to get bogged down on a long look. Thanks!!  — UPDATE — thanks to Perry for the link! Click through for the Tumblr-y goodness, now. **