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one of the things i am most blessed with is astute aware friends who ask great questions yes, i have friends who help me see, know myself more, grow and be better. a while back i was seeking advice for a dynamic in my not so romantic romantic relationship at the time… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i am sorry you got so hurt
i am sorry i did too

but mostly i am sorry
that people can be
so cruel

and i know
how that can make
the lights go out

trust me, i see
i know it intimately

we just handled
the dimming differently

though it seems
we both arrived here
you know, in the land
of “never again…”

(the land of
quick reacting
and fierce protecting
where triggers, trauma
and what is happening now
and all we seem to be able
to do here
is go to war
or freeze
as hearts bleed
and minds race
palms sweat
and some part of us
screams from a world
far away
no stop
this isn’t me
at least
this isn’t who
i used to be)

but something
comes online in me
with you
it’s just a flicker
a faint flash
a spark even

but it is the first time
in forever
i’ve felt it…

the something i lost

(the somethings i lost
when those things happened
that i just couldn’t get right with)

and i get tender
true tastes
of it back
with you

and i think
that is why
i am here
i think that is why
we are here

we can’t just be here
to learn to cope
we can’t just be here
to try and build worlds
safe from hurt
we can’t, i can’t

that isn’t enough
for you and me
us and them
it isn’t enough

i want healing
not hiding
i want to thriving
not just surviving
i want to deep bonding
not just acquaintance making
i want love pure

and i want to know
that i didn’t design my world
around the wounds
from the things
that wrecked me

taking caution for sure
remembering the hard earned
wisdom (hopefully always)

but let’s not
now be cruel
to ourselves too

let’s not let the hurts
the shock and pain
the disgust
and disturbances
from before
run our future

at least this is
what i aim to do

and it’s why i stay
why i want to stay
in connection with you
why i choose…

there are moments
when i feel (me)
with you

with you

with you

with you

because yes
i think the scars
from connection before
need to be healed
in connection
for sure

so together
we go

together we

because we,
we are
still alive

one of the things
i am most blessed with is
astute aware friends
who ask great questions

yes, i have friends
who help me see,
know myself more,
grow and be better…

a while back
i was seeking advice
for a dynamic in my not so romantic
romantic relationship at the time
that was excruciating for me
super triggering
nearly beyond bearable
but not enough to leave
when there were still such high highs
rich delight
and so much yet to be revealed
that i felt curious about
excited for and committed to

the friend
i was practically pleading
for fixing from
begging for assistance from
said one of the most
useful things anyone
has ever said to me
that has changed the course
of my life
in a way
i am most grateful for
(so now i share it with you..)

the truth was
i was complaining
and frankly
a lot of people
would have said
rightfully so
and i could have easily gotten
people to confirm my feelings
as justified, appropriate
warranted for sure
and maybe that would’ve felt good
for a bit
after all it usually does
feel good to be validated
yes it’s often so comforting
especially when hurt
by one you love
a little colluding
can be so soothing

no harm done… right?
or, or is that not true…

basically i was wanting my boyfriend
to not do something
when things got challenging
that was particularly painful to me
and basically he wanted me
to not do the thing
that had him do the thing
that i didn’t want him to do
typical i know
but in this case it became disastrous
as traumas collided
and neither party could see straight
hear accurately
or think clearly

it was getting messy
on repeat, with less and less days
in between the next meltdown

and i needed it to stop
he needed it to stop
something had to shift
and all our strategies
were completely failing us
willpower and the best intentions
are pretty much useless
when really triggered
and so all i knew
is that something
had to be done differently
before that, before the wounds
were hit and we were underwater

and my friend
(the one i sought help from)
asked me the best question
that had me inspired
instead of slipping into self-loathing
my friend said:
“i get he does this thing that’s super hard
for you and i get you want him
to do things differently
but him aside…
what kind of woman would you be
to have this go differently?
who and how would you be?
and is that someone you want to be?”

this had me pause
really pause, you know the kind
where you are not thinking
of what to say next
or how to defend or deflect…

it had me pause and really reflect
is this work worth doing…
does this person, this dynamic
provoke me
into a better version of me
if i do the work needed
to end the war?

will i like who i have become?
will i appreciate who i am?
will i love my way of being?

my friend asking me
what kind of woman would
have him, have the world
responding to me
the way i want it to
changed everything for me
inspiring me to become
a woman that regardless
of what he did
or the world did
i was pleased with
how i did me
how i do me

yes that,
so at least i could know
i did my part
so at least i could know
i like how i showed up
so at least i can be
at peace with me

and so i did
the work
and i must say
that not only do i like me more
he seems to as well
and those catastrophic crashes
started becoming
rarer and rarer
till one day i realized
what had once seemed
completely unmanageable
disturbingly predictable
absolutely out of control
had stopped happening
nearly completely

sure still traces of it
here or there
but mostly
just not there
not in me
or with us

deep breath
a sigh of real relief…

that things can change
in this way, relationally
in relationship

i have known for a long time
that i can transform
but that it could also
shift how others related to me
feels new to experience
so surely, so clearly

it’s been faith producing
and hope generating

empowering truly

yes to take full responsibility
for the only thing
i can really can

and to start with the
what if the world
is responding to me
instead of focusing on
how can i get
him or them
to stop doing
the thing

❤️ emily joy rosen

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