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i remember him sometimes as i drift off and find my breath he was my black out boy. i drifted into his life as he blasted into mine a ghost already. i remember his fingers sticky and cold drifting down my backside as he whispered slurred words. i remember checking out. i remember choosing to leave all dignity all dreams as he shattered my simple reality… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

i remember him sometimes
as i drift off and find my breath
he was my black out boy
i drifted into his life
as he blasted into mine
a ghost already
i remember his fingers sticky and cold
drifting down my backside
as he whispered slurred words
i remember checking out
i remember choosing to leave
all dignity
all dreams
as he shattered my simple reality

sometimes i wish i could go back
and whisper in her ear
“you’ll be okay”
“someday this will be a story —
not your lived reality”

but i know i wouldn’t be able to hear it

he taught me how not to feel
he taught me that my body
could be used to fake intimacy
and i believed most everything he told me
i started to enjoy the dysfunction
days of not eating,
cigarettes and diet coke
i started the process of accelerating my death
quite intentionally
hands shaking
diet pills
and nodoz
my only relief
was sleeping pill induced sweet dreams

i remember one afternoon waking up
and rolling over to face the place
i now called home
there were cans all over the floor
and the light hitting the dust in the air
made the room foggy
it smelled like sweat
and beef ravioli
i reached for my water and took a swig
only to find it was the bottle
we had used as an “ashtray”
the night before
and my mouth was now filled with a taste so foul
it brought tears to my eyes

he reached for me as i moved to leave
and i thought
“what if my mom could see me now”

i laid there in his arms
mouth still full of ash
feeling so empty

i wanted to say something
but words were lost on me
i wanted to cry
or scream
feel anything
but there was nothing left
nothing of who i used to be

he drifted back off to sleep
and i slipped out of bed onto the streets
it was mid-afternoon
and people were out and about
walking, talking, playing, laughing
i got in my jeep
and started driving
i only had one cd at the time
an ex-boyfriend had made it for me
filled with gut wrenching love stories
i put it on
hoping it would make me feel
and drove
i got on the highway and kept driving
till i was back in my childhood neighborhood
in front of my favorite soft serve ice cream parlor
i waited anxiously in line
annoyed that people could see me
i bought 8 pints and drove to the graveyard
only 3 minutes from my parents home
it was a place i had visited often as a little girl

i opened the ice cream and began to eat
at first slowly
and then quickly
till i was for sure binging
i watched myself the whole time
staring at my rear view mirror,
i watched myself eat
spoonful after spoonful
down my throat i felt it slide
into my severely undernourished body
i checked my watch and knew
i had 20 minutes till my parents got home from work
so i turned on the car
and made my way home to purge

as i sat on my parents bathroom floor
listening to the garage door opening
i thought to myself
i shouldn’t leave
i should tell them what’s going on with me
but as i heard their footsteps
i knew
there was no way
i could tell them
who i had become
there was no way
i could face them
with how far i had gone

so i went to my room
and grabbed a random assortment of things
and greeted them in the kitchen with
“hey! just came home to pick up these things i need”

i didn’t leave an opening for more conversation
my parents are incredibly smart you see
they asked me to stay and i said i was in a hurry

back in the car
cd on
i had an hour drive back to providence, rhode island
it was dark now
and i felt weak and dizzy
i clenched the wheel the whole way back
to assure i didn’t fall asleep

staring at my knuckles splitting
from scraping on my teeth
i began to cry
it was a whimpering at first
and then a sobbing
so deep
i could feel the devastation in every part of me
as i pulled up to the place i now called home
i took my water bottle and used it
to wet a paper towel to wash my face
i reapplied my mascara
and walked in to greet him

where have you been he said?
“oh i just had to run a few errands
and i didn’t want to wake you,” i said

he looked at me suspiciously
i wished i was anybody but me

“let’s watch tv”, i said
“okay, do you want a drink?” he said

“no i’m good,” i lied
as i had many a time before

so many lies
so many years
stuck in this nightmarish reality

i wish i could prevent you from ever feeling
what i did in these oh so dark
and excruciating days

but i know i can’t
but i can help you know
you are not alone here
not at all
i get hundreds of messages and emails
from people telling me stories such as these

i tell mine
so you know
so you get that i get it, i do
no shaming here
not for your attempts at coping
not for all the ways in which you’ve tried
to manage your humanity

and because…
i would like you get help sooner than i did
i would like you to tell someone sooner than i did
i would like you to know there is an alternative
there is a way to be in this world
that is free of such needless suffering
and i would like you to know
i love you

messy, freaked, wacky, angry, happy or sad
it doesn’t much matter to me

because there is a glory in you
a light so bright
it will fight for you
long after your rational mind has given up

i have been getting a lot of
“i am done” messages
people telling me they are feeling
“hopeless”
“powerless”
“over this”

i get it, i do
but i am never giving up on you
and i am never going to collude
i am going to keep telling you
the same thing
over and over and over again
you can do this
you can heal

you likely have some demons to slay
it is very likely not going to be pretty
but decide that you are worth fighting for
please

and then when you get free
then, please
please help others break free

❤️ emily joy rosen

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