I Lie

I never meant to make you sad. It was never my intention to spread my pain thick into your blood stream until it came up hard enough to choke you. I didn’t want to twist your words into a puzzle that rendered you speechless, but I did. I did that. And I’m so sorry. I only wanted you to understand. I only needed you to walk in my shoes long enough to know that this pain is as real as yours is not. This pain.. I know it’s mine, I know. But understand, it’s as real as your happiness. I’m not exaggerating. I am not trying to be dramatic. I’m not testing the waters of crazy to see if I can make the biggest waves. I am not competing here. And yes… sometimes my heart, it splits open, it spills over, it falls out. I cannot contain all of what I hold. My mind, love.. listen to me.. This mind… these thoughts, sometimes they eat me alive, if I’m being honest and the truth of this war inside, god.. it hurts so much. And if I don’t have you to understand it or to see it.. I have nothing. If I don’t talk to you about it, I only have myself and I am so tired. This battle beats me down. Lashes me until I am bent ugly and broken bloody as these fists clenched tight around my own throat. The words.. they’re not always free flowing. They are not always healing me the way I say they sometimes do. Sometimes my vocal chords get twisted, fire and smoke trapped inside the tangling and I have nothing other than the silence to depend on. My eyes close, but only halfway. I have to be on guard, a watchdog for these nightmares that won’t let me sleep. I wake up empty and sometimes I’m not sure if I want to wake at all. My feet hit the floor. I reach straight for the combat boots laced up ready in my heart because every day is another war that doesn’t let me throw up a peace sign. And every night I’m torn from having to explain this fight like it’s something I volunteered for. I wish it was. I wish it was. Because then I could just quit. I could walk away. I could be like you. I could be like everyone. I could smile and mean it. But I smile anyway… so that no one feels uncomfortable. I lie so you can be happy. And inside… I gut my own smile for the massacre it makes of my heart. As long as you are smiling, I am fine. I just wanted you to know.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry

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6 thoughts on “I Lie

  1. And inside… I gut my own smile for the massacre it makes of my heart…….wow. Your words of tragedy and love are so powerful. You must have felt the depths of joy and pain so many times

    Liked by 1 person

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