watch your words

My boss pulled me to one side
to talk about some things
she had overheard.
She wanted me to know that
she was there if I needed to talk
about anything;
work or otherwise.
She tells me that
I need to be careful
who I say things in front of
because she’s concerned
I might upset people
and she doesn’t want me to get in trouble.
I try and bite my tongue
but every morning when my colleagues ask
“how are you today, Less?”
my mouth fills with acid
and I want to claw my throat out
because I don’t know how to answer
while staying in my authority
to not tell anyone what’s going on.

disaster radio

I got my maths wrong
and now I am off my meds
which keep me level.
The disaster radio is back
and detailing the news reports of
every tragic event that might happen right now.
I can hear the broadcast of my death
while driving to work –
my car spontaneously erupts into flames
and there is no way anyone could survive.
I am walking through Tesco at lunchtime
and the person walking behind me
several metres back is going to stab me
and I can almost see the newspaper article
in the small print on the side of my sandwich box.
It’s so tiring and overwhelming that
I don’t want to leave the house most of the time,
but then I see the police tape up outside the front door
as they investigate the burglary gone wrong
that resulted in my manslaughter.

adventures in therapy – the specialist

During my time in mental health services,
I have met many specialists;
eating disorder
domestic violence
“catholic care” (the red flag was right in the name)
and now I can add cancer to that list.

“Why do you think
you have a tendency to self-destruct?”
she asks, sat opposite me
in an uncomfortably clinical office.
I promised a friend I would
be on my best behaviour
but that didn’t last long
as I just smiled and said
that I am bored of living,
words dipped in saccharine.
She blinks
and leans back in her chair,
head tilting slightly.

Forty minutes
of wasted conversation later
and I am finally allowed to leave.

“I am bored of living
so I’m trying to make things
more interesting, I guess.
I suppose I get a weird kick
out of hurting people.
The more they care…
the more I push back.
I want people to give up on me
so they won’t miss me if I die.”

The words leave my mouth
and I leave the hospital.

a clean sheet

a blank sheet of paper
sits before me.
it begs me to fill it
with words of love
and joy and life.
it pleads with me to fill it
with sadness and anxiety
and that spot of negativity
festering inside me.
but i have no words left.
the page stays blank
i stay empty

adventures in therapy part 4

how are you feeling?”

It is a new week,
a new session
and Amy is once again
mirroring me.
We are not sat cross-legged this time.
We are curled up
in the corners of our respective sofas,
feet tucked under us.
I have my arms folded
across my chest
in a very intentional act of hostility
and I am staring past her,
out the window.
She is a lot more open,
fiddling with her anklet
while she waits for me
to acknowledge her existence.
I don’t want to acknowledge her.
I don’t want her here.
I don’t want to talk to her.
I don’t want to think about him.
I want to shrink down
and slip down the back
of the sofa cushions
to live amongst the pennies
and sweet wrappers
that have long since
been lost and forgotten.
Eventually, I grant Amy
the privilege of a half-shrug,
still refusing to look at her.

“You know,
I didn’t drive
all the way the way
out to your home
for you to ignore me.”

That gets my attention.
My eyes snap to her with a cold glare.
She copies my expression
so closely
I may as well be looking in a mirror.

“Never asked you to come to my house.
You lot decided I was too
‘high risk’
to travel to your offices.”

I wish I could hold her stare,
but I am already on the brink
of crying under her gaze.

This is going to be a long session.