I 'Did' Want To Talk…

... because I didn't want the pills to block,

I didn't want the nightmares.

I didn't want the flash-backs, slap-bang on the bus, reading books, watching films,

seeing nothing on the telly.

Didn't want my kid to see me sobbing uncontrollably

from nowhere

out of nothing.

She was five and what she needed was for me to stay awake, stay alive,

so I forced myself to find a way,

to carry on being Mum,

to find some semblance of normality.

 

Didn't want to rattle on the way home from the pharmacy

or seek my older sanctuary,

wrapped in cotton wool

to numb the sense

of who I am and what had happened;

the chasm now between me and the people

this has

never

happened

to

and never will.

I hated them and craved their quiet lives and inner peace,

days when they did not need to explain the scars away

or the ceiling-leap reflex to a rummage

in the drawer

or the absence of a father

or why we had to move.

 

And everybody said how fucking terrible it was

and how they never thought he'd do it

but the questions and the judgements

rolled in daily, unintentional but still

that word 'deserve'

that word 'provoke'

that subtle nudge of blame,

'What did you do? What did you say?'

Like there could be an explanation

for the frenzy.

Like you could justify

the five steps from the kitchen to the slaughter.

 

I did want to talk.

I wanted exorcision

from the silvershine reflected in his eye, in his hand,

from the hilt buried deep in his fist, meant for me

 

the only thing that I could see for years in my dreams,

and his face

and the noise he made above me.

 

 

 

 

 

🌷 (4)

◄ Darlin' Dancers

3:15 am (tunnel vision) ►

Comments

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Laura Taylor

Wed 10th May 2017 13:14

Thanks all

Paul - yes, I did, thank you, and I have made the most amazing life for myself following it. I've done what I wanted to do, and lived it for myself and my lass. Loads of really brilliant stuff has happened as a result of that too, including falling in love with the love of my life. And each day has been a bonus, something I never thought I'd see again. I'm really pleased you enjoyed our gig too 😃

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elPintor

Wed 10th May 2017 08:34

Karen took the word right out of my mouth...the writing coupled with the exchange between you and David just left me practically speechless.

Rachel

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Paul Waring

Wed 10th May 2017 08:31

Laura, thank you sharing something so personal about such a horrendous experience. Your poem also provides a contrast to David's poem and tells us much about how people react and cope with trauma differently. Your comment below is so true about how quickly our lives can be lost. I hope you gained strength from survival. I certainly can sense strength in your writing and, very definately in the outstanding delivery of your poems in live performance. I'm still buzzing after seeing you and Steve Pottinger perform in Liverpool last week.

Thanks again for sharing this.

Paul

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Karen Ankers

Wed 10th May 2017 00:04

Wow.

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Laura Taylor

Tue 9th May 2017 16:33

Thank you Ray

Funnily enough, I did think for years that I'd been 'saved' for something special, for some reason, because I should have died given the extent and nature of the attack and injuries. I later found that that too could be a common experience after trauma. That we look for a meaning for our survival. When it's shown to us that our lives can be lost and worlds turned around in just a few seconds or minutes, that changes Everything. Makes life more precious too so y'know, swings and roundabouts and that 😉

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raypool

Tue 9th May 2017 14:02

Hi Laura, your poem and candid comments to David together with his poem and his comments about it frankly are wonderful in how they portray how to cope with life in its darkest days, not only that but to rise above it and find a purposeful meaning out of it all. It just hits me how bloody lucky I have been. I think the best of us get shat on from time to time and if not by nature then by people. What to make of it all? Sometimes I feel that to write about tragedy is itself just pissing in the wind unless you have been so afflicted yourself, as indeed you both have.
Perhaps that's why I just paddle about in safe waters.

Ray, with love and respect.

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Laura Taylor

Tue 9th May 2017 12:19

Hey thank you David, that's a mega response, and yeh, I accept everyone deals with their shit in different ways. But thank YOU for your honesty and courage too.

I got diagnosed just over 20 years ago, and was offered anti-deps almost immediately, and then again when I became suicidal. I refused but they still forced a script on me. Never cashed it in. CBT at a Women's Aid refuge did the trick in the end, bloody hard work though.

Anyhoo - I reckon the best cure is cathartic poetry 😉

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Wolfgar Miere

Tue 9th May 2017 12:00

Hi Laura,

first of all thanks for your response to my earlier piece, my belated apologies if I have in the past reacted in a less than gentlemanly fashion.

I applaud what you have written here, I think it is the perfect accompaniment to my piece. Excuse me also for recognizing your courage, honesty and openness in speaking as you have.

I acknowledge how those who suffer depression and other debilitating mental illness all do so in unique ways, it is understandable that they choose to deal with them in many different ways.

I wasn't going to be specific about my history but seeing as you have been I think it is only fair that I am.

I was diagnosed with PTSD over ten years ago, thankfully I got some amazing help and no longer suffer from intrusive memories (unfortunately there are no pills for it yet, just therapy), additionally I am now better equipped to deal with the residual damage it left behind.

As a side order I was served up a good helping of depression for which I was prescribed medication, it had several physical side effects which were distressing, but my major concern was that should I stay on them how would I ever know if I was better? I mean truly better unaided by chemicals. So, I came off them because I wanted to feel myself and to know what was going on in my head. I suppose I was lucky because for some it isn't that easy, but it worked for me eventually, anyway enough of that.

To your poem, you downplay it as a piece of work but if i'm honest it is a far more hopeful and worthy piece than mine in respect that it offers a voice of experience from someone who chose a difficult path and came out the other side.

I think its brilliant you responded in the way you did.

All the best,

David.

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Laura Taylor

Tue 9th May 2017 11:26

Having read David's 'Do You Want To Talk' poem, this is kind of my own response to that question. I've only written about this once before. Is it cathartic? I suppose so. The talking did help though. We all react differently, eh?

Not the best poem by a long chalk, but couldn't 'not' write it.

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