Wraith of Love

I can’t hold that memory.

It slips away into a wraith.

It leaves the scent of loss.

Hunger for answers.

For answers that have no answers.

Of questions I am pained to ask.

I’ll be earnest and deceived.

You’ll play games and be rewarded.

Rewarded with my earnest desire.

My will to please you despite knowing this trick is lost.

I’m more than this.

I’m more than a conquest.

I’m am more than your lay down misere.

Counting these memories add up to the only love I’ll have.

The love of memories.

Loving the idea that in your endeavours to reduce me to less you gave me more.

You gave me spirit.

You gave me fight.

You gave me the knowledge that love is not worth losing myself.

So I’ll let the wraith weave its rancid trail.

Wrapping tendrils of darkness.

It protects me.

It stops me from opening that place inside to love.

My guardian wraith.

The keeper of this fortress of your memories.

The memory of that feeling.

That feeling of believing.

Believing love is returned.

The wraith screams at me.

“Stop!”

The memories fill with blood.

Inside the chambers of my heart they are tossed around.

Pumped through my body.

Through my veins.

My body aches with them.

It’s not you that wants me.

It’s someone else.

But there you are.

Standing in the hallway of my memory.

Blocking the entrance through the door.

So stay there.

The wraith of love.

It’s easier if you stay.

Naked

I know I’m just an object.

An object to be used and thrown away.

So I changed the packaging.

Surrounded myself with anti-objects.

Punched the sky with purple hair.

Filled the space with bigger thighs.

Wore what I wanted and didn’t care.

Surrounded myself with my loved body – instead of just any body.

My own body held my ground and kept you away.

But the objectification is still there.

Societally imposed guilt for owning my body fills my mouth with bile.

I had hoped you were different.

Want me for who I am.

I won’t pose a “less-fat” angle to still get your gaze.

You only care about naked without clothes.

If you can’t see me as a whole you can’t see me.

I’m already naked with my clothes on.

Because I’ve trusted you.

I’m naked when I talk to you.

I’m naked when I eat with you.

I’m naked when I walk with you.

I’m naked when I give my time.

I’m naked when I tell truths.

I’m naked.

But you can’t see me.

I hear you and I love you

I hear you. I love you.

There have been a lot of you lately. In the press. On social media.

I hear how you demean other women for speaking up about harassment and abuse. I hear your internalised misogyny.

Here is what I hear you say:

“Don’t waste police resources for a small thing like harassment”.

“Get over it”.

“You need to deal with your past”.

I hear you. I love you.

If you are ever harassed, abused or assaulted I hope you report it. But I know it’s not easy.

But I will gladly stand beside you.

Believe you. Hear you. Love you.

I’ll hear you and believe you if you are harassed and need support. I’ll choose to love you.

I reported violence to the police and they told me he loved me. For a headlock.

No one heard me. Not even the police.

Since then I’ve seen huge changes with police culture and I’m happy to report now – but many voices once told me not to. I nearly died. But I’m here and I’m not letting fear get the better of me.

I hear you. I love you.

That’s just one example of horrors I have recovered from. Talking about them doesn’t mean I haven’t healed. It means I can hold peace with my past and be strong enough to carve a better way forward – with honesty.

I love me now. So I won’t hesitate to stand up to harassment and abuse – even when it’s you, another woman, trying to strip me of my right to be heard. I hear you extending the reach of the patriarchy with your compliance, your collusion. I love you.

I feel fear too – but I face it. I’m hopeful that you can one day too.

But I’ll love you too. I’ll call you out on your hatred and condoning of harassment when you diminish its impact. That’s how I’ll love you.

I’ll process the hurt you inflict on me and I’ll choose to love you after you’ve shown how much you hate your own sex. But I won’t buy into the narratives that say women like me are man haters for speaking up.

I hear you. I hear how when you minimise other women’s experience of harassment and abuse, how much you dislike your own sex. I love you.

I love you. I hope you can learn to love your own sex and face that internalised misogyny head on.

I hear you. I love you.

A Story of People and Dogs

A story of people and dogs.

Dogs. Some are dangerous. Some are not. But you don’t go up and attempt to cuddle them all without making a thorough assessment, do you? Do they look like they might bite? Showing whites of eyes? Ears back? Growling? Please note they may still wag their tail when feeling aggressive and can still be dangerous – so stay away when they exhibit all or many of these behaviours.

People. Some are dangerous. Some are not. But you don’t go up and attempt to cuddle them all without making a thorough assessment, do you? Do they persistently breach your boundaries even when you make them clear? Do they insist on behaviours you have asked them to stop? Do they get angry with you for asserting your personal right to feel comfortable and safe? Please note people can smile and look presentable and still be assholes I want nothing to fucking do with and I will exercise that right…and I’ll be happier for it (true story – you don’t end up lonely – you end up loved!).

End. Of. Fucking. Story.