The first poem I posted here six months ago, and the first poem I wrote (and kept) 7 years ago…
Originally posted on The Power of Silence:
Just give me me time: time to breathe, time to think, time to be.
But not too much time.
Hold me, tell me that you love me, that you won’t leave me, that I am not a burden to you…and mean it.
Keep me close and make me feel safe: safe to breathe, safe to think, safe to be.
Let me talk…
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Six months ago today I shared my first words in this blogging world; a world I had no idea how to live within. Back then I did not have a name to give myself for my writing as I knew it would be too risky for me to write under my own name – I had not even contemplated that I might need a pseudonym, ‘anonymous’ was all I had considered. I had no idea how I could begin to put my words out there whilst keeping enough of myself back and still allow myself to be as raw and unedited as I always try to be in my writing. It felt like a mission that was destined to fail, but I knew I had to try. Something was calling out to me, telling me that this was a step I needed to take. Albeit a terrifying step.
So, I took my first baby steps, or giant leaps as they felt. Before this day I had hardly shown anyone any of my writing let alone posted it on the internet for the world to see. Even though I fully believed that nobody would read my blog, it was a scary prospect. A few people in my ‘real’ world knew I wrote a bit now and then but not so much that any of them asked to read any of it (not that I would have contemplated showing them anyway). The only person I had shared anything with was my therapist and even then very little. And I did not contemplate that I would share more than a couple of my photographs and images here, let alone begin creating some specifically for this site (I am still yet to take the step in sharing my paintings/drawings – that still feels too scary for some reason that I am not quite sure of).
Now, six months later, I still feel like a novice here. I still get scared most days as I hit the ‘publish’ button or even as I think about some of the words I have already put out there. I am still working out how much or how little of myself I want to share. I am still trying to learn the technological elements that continue to baffle me. I still look on in puzzlement and wonder when I see that anyone has viewed my pages, and even more so when I see or hear that someone appreciates what I do here be it via a ‘like’, a comment, an award nomination or a message of support, telling me they like what I have written or that they can relate in some way (I’m not sure that will go away anytime soon, if ever – I sort of hope it never does).
I am also becoming increasingly amazed when my work is published elsewhere and by the responses that I receive through the various networks I engage in that are linked to my writing. I will never forget the feeling when my first piece was published on Rebelle Society, a site which inspired me to begin sharing my writing and continues to do so everyday.
However, even though I still feel like I am new to this, with some respectful hesitance I now call myself a writer. Writing is a daily ritual for me, be it to share with others or just for myself. It is a therapy, an expression of self, a lifeline to my soul.
Aside from posting on my blog, in the last six months I have had my work published on various sites that I love and I was recently asked if some of my poems could to be published in a book along with some inspiring poets in the near future. Seeing my words quoted back at me on a picture created by others will never get old! I even have a new name that I go by in this world, a name that I chose as it symbolises so much in my life, linking in many parts of my world, a name that in this short time I have begun to identify with as my own.
So yes, I am a writer. There I said it!
I am a writer.
And to be able to say this makes me feel incredibly blessed (and, dare I say it, proud).
For me, this has become a world within a world.
Engaging in this world has taught me a huge amount. I could write for hours on the many lessons I have learned and the lessons I continue to learn everyday. Lessons about humanity, creativity, art, connection, shared experience, love, life, grief, pain, trauma, childhood, family, friendship, health, wellbeing, emotions, hope, the world, the universe, myself…
But there is one phrase that is calling out to me today more than any other when I think of this beautiful writing community that I am only a tiny part of:
Generosity of Human Spirit
The love, support, acceptance and encouragement I have felt from the many many people who I have come into contact with as a result of sharing my words has astounded me and their (your) generosity knows no bounds. I cannot adequately express my gratitude to these people, so I will use the only two words that come close to doing so:
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
I feel so grateful when I think back on these first six months of living in this community and I feel emotional and excited to contemplate what the next six months may bring … I hope you’ll all stay with me as I make the discovery.
Mariann Martland xx
I am tired.
Oh I am tired.
I am tired right to the marrow of my bones.
It is an exhaustion that mere sleep will not relieve,
Even if I could grab hold of a nourishing sleep.
It is a fatigue so acute that my whole body screams at me for rest,
Even when rest is all I have the strength to do.
It is weariness born of more than physical exertion,
It is a collapse of emotional heaviness,
A burnout of mental pain,
A consumption of bodily memory,
A debilitation of traumatic release.
It is a draining in desperate need of replenishment
For body, mind and spirit.
I am tired.
Oh I am tired.
It’s a strange feeling for me when my words dry up. It’s not that they have gone completely, in fact in some forms they have been there in abundance. But in the form of the writing I do either completely privately or for this site, they have been scarce over the last week or so (which sometimes would not be noteworthy, but of late I have been writing constantly so it has not felt comfortable to not be able to do so).
The one post I wrote as new within the last week I can hardly remembering writing. It was written in the middle of the night and whilst it was coming from a completely real, true place it hardly touched on the place I was then. So it feels as though I wrote it in another time.
Before and after writing this so much has been happening, I have experienced so many emotions and upsetting situations that have been crying out for expression in this format. But I cannot force my words. I cannot force my writing and I would never try to, so I have sat with my frustratingly deep need to express myself.
One of my heartaches over the last few of days has been stemming from some conversations with my parents around the emotional abuse I went through with my sister. Nothing particularly new was said, but the delivery of the conversations were different and felt bigger than before, leaving me devastated.
Amongst many others heartbreaking words, the words “we will obviously never be able to meet your needs” are still ringing round my mind. And it occurred to me earlier today that not having my need to be heard met by them was adding to my reluctance to voice my pain any further in other places.
Because if my needs will never be met by the two people who are supposed to protect me the most, then how will they be met elsewhere? If the two people who should love and care about me enough to fight to hear and support me cannot do this then who will? If they cannot support me through one of my abuses that they have known about for years then how will they ever be able to hear and support me in the half dozen other abuses that they do not know about (to my knowledge, although on some level I believe they know of some).
My rational brain knows that my needs will be met by others more than they are by them. In all honesty they are already met by others more than them and have been for much of my life. But my irrational brain tells me that if my parents cannot love me enough or care about me enough or hear me enough then nobody else ever will; that there must be something so repulsively wrong with me if my parents, the ones who gave me life, cannot put me above their need to protect themselves and my abuser(s); that this must all be my fault because I am inherently bad.
I was struggling to put pen to paper before these conversations, but the need to do so was not then there as much as usual, so I just went with it. Then after these conversations my need to express myself came back and was met with a voice in my mind telling me that I should not be sharing anything. My need to write comes from a very different place to the needs I have with my parents, but the need to be heard is there within both. Having listened outright to the words that my needs will never be met, I cannot help thinking now that this has stopped me from even trying to express myself elsewhere.
As I picture anybody reading any of my words, all I can see is my mother sighing as I ask to talk or the look in their eyes wishing I would stop causing them so much pain. Despite the many encouraging comments I read to the contrary, deep down I believe that I should not be voicing my pain as it will cause others more pain or they will eventually run away.
But I am trying (oh how I am trying) to rise above their disapproval of my voice. I am trying to write above my instinct to shut myself down and the belief that my words are not worthy of being heard. I am trying to believe that even though they will never be able to meet my needs that my needs will be met one day by other people and ultimately by myself.