I Won’t Pretend for You

I’m not that woman.

I can’t…I won’t,

smile while my heart is breaking. 

I won’t swallow back the scream

that is threatening to explode from my chest cavity

when you break my heart.

I won’t hide my feelings to make you feel comfortable.

I’m that wild kind.

The awkward kind…never too shy to show you my teeth.

The type that won’t let you whisper half hearted goodbyes.

I will bleed in front of you.

I will rage in front of you.

But I will cry alone…never allowing you to take my fire.

I’m not that woman.

I demand answers for unfulfilled promises,

Empty words that inspired me to hope,

For the kiss in the night

And the cold shoulder when the sun is out.

I’m not your damn pillow.

My kiss is just an echo of what’s real

You can’t run to me if you won’t fight for me

Remember that when you’re too much of a coward to follow your heart

Remember that when I look lovely…

When you catch me pacing back and forth 

Like a lioness that hasn’t quite decided whether I should eat you or protect you.

When your lies tangle together…

When loving me feels like a mistake.

I will never be anything other than what I have been all along.

I won’t pretend for you.

I love you. And I won’t pretend.

I’m not that woman.

Open Letter to My Ex

J,

It’s been a couple of months now since I’ve heard from you. I think the last conversation we had was the first week of November. I am writing you because well it seems like my soul needs to. I have moments where I fleetingly think of you still. Usually my train of thought brings me to things I wish I could say to you. Before, it was…I still love you, please come back to your love for me, or I wish you didn’t drink so much, or I wish you didn’t have another woman that obligated you… Now, things are different. I don’t feel or think like that anymore. I understand that those are just natural thoughts that follow the feeling of one’s heart being broken. 

Honestly my thoughts are now a bit more cutthroat…I wish I would have gotten my house keys from you, because two nights ago I woke to a sound and immediately wondered if it was you…returning to me when I could no longer accept you into my heart. Especially now that I have begun to truly move on. 

The truth is, I still think highly of you. I still pause at the thought of you, the sound of your name. But I don’t talk about you. I have shared my pain with only one man specifically, my mentor. He helped me understand that I can do nothing but move on. And somehow, something has changed in me. Missing you was a pain that I endured and then one day (and I don’t know which day it was specifically) I just started feeling better. 

I’ve changed jobs since last talking to you, and honestly it has been a big help. I am no longer working in an industry that I hate. I am no longer making shit money. My income has at least doubled, with the potential to be tripled. I get more time with my son. I am able to take him to school each morning and tuck him into bed each night. It’s been a true blessing. 

I no longer surround myself with people whose interests really only included my body. I haven’t talked to D., R., or S. in months. I don’t surround myself with people whose lives are in shambles or who don’t believe in me. I believe that your life experiences are made up of the people you surround yourself with and I have chosen to discard those who don’t adhere to the same values/mindset. And honestly that has a lot to do with you. You were the first man that didn’t ask me to be quiet. Didn’t ask me to tone down my personality or genuinity. I sincerely want to thank you for that. You taught me that it is only right that I be the strong woman that I was born to be. You taught me that I didn’t need to conform to the standards of people around me in order to be accepted.

I’m doing better in my relations with men as well. I am understanding how to set proper expectations and I’ve learned to truly appreciate a “nice man”. No more assholes. You were the first “nice guy” that I had ever given my heart to and again I want to thank you for opening up your heart to me for the time that you did. It allowed me to set higher standards for myself with future men.

I’ve been on a path of self development for a few months now and I do feel optimistic about my future. I have been writing poetry nearly every day and hopefully, with my mentor’s encouragement, I will look at publishing my work soon. You inspired one poem specifically, “As It Turns Out” and I am really proud of it. I hope you know that I value the time that we had together and I know that if I was given the chance to love you again, knowing what I know now, I would still have said yes to the experience. 

Thank you for loving me but more importantly thank you for leaving me. It was the motivation I needed in order to change my life. 

Sincerely,

James