trauma got hit again
but this time
i stayed in
as me
this 35 year old
emily
i didn’t become the little girl
the one who starts
scrambling
posturing
people pleasing
pleading

i felt her
i remembered her
and I told her
to stay put
that I had
grown up things to do

and oh wow
did it feel different

sometimes all it takes
is naming
what is actually happening
to keep me in my body

fear, I feel fear
i’ll start there
i thought to myself
as I felt him begin
to disappear
again

you’re triggered?
i said
as I felt
the anxiety rising

yes
he said
looking at me
his pupils full
leaving little room
for the light
that reminds me
all is well
love is here

and I remembered
how the first man
i ever truly loved
left
how he disappeared
on me
and I remembered
thinking
this can’t be happening
there is no way
he isn’t coming back for me

i remembered the shock
of it all
and not knowing
what was true anymore

but this
this isn’t what is
happening now
at least not literally
he isn’t really leaving
at least not without
a fight from me

(you see I didn’t say anything
last time, I didn’t even say please
at the very least understand
the impact of this on me
let me concede
you broke my heart
and all I want to do
is plead with you
to come back to me
but hurt froze my heart
and I could be nothing but
quiveringly cold with you)

and so this time
this time I insisted
on doing it differently
i dug my heels in
I grounded myself
in my heart
and heard myself
say
from
somewhere
deep inside me
from my most tender
place of care

hey, are you scared?
are you scared of me?

tears came
and then
a whimper of a yes
yes
he said
trembling already
yes, I am terrified

his honesty
had me pause
easily

when scared
it is nearly impossible
to have regard
for much
other than one’s safety

and I saw
as clear as could be
how my fear
touching his fear
was the source
of so much
of our repeat suffering

when terror
sets in
it’s hard not to see
everyone and everything
as an enemy
i know for me
as soon as I start to panic
i don’t trust myself
to know
what is good for me
or who is good for me

safety becomes
my top priority
and everyone
is a possible
threat to me

in my deepest vulnerability
i do the very thing
that would have
the people I want
to care for me
run from me

I test
i push
I poke
i prod
all in painfully
futile attempts
to confirm
I am safe
i am okay

this time
love will not
run away

I saw this all
as clear as day
recently
and
it has changed me

so much
i didn’t know about myself
it makes you wonder
what else is hidden in us
waiting for us to wake up
just a little bit more
waiting for us to grow
just a little bit more
so we can earn
the magic
of seeing
what was once
invisible
in me
and you

❤️ emily joy rosen

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