Pretty

Pretty

Pretty
Is the judgement they make about me,
Before a single word has floated through my lips.
Pretty
Was the most wonderful complement
To the girl I was when I was seventeen
When I thought that looking like a doll
Was the most interesting thing about me.
Pretty
Is a double-edged sword.
It is a game of roulette
Where the word is loaded like a gun
Either with admiration or hunger.
Pretty
Feels like the debt I owe the world to exist as a woman.
A price plastered to my cheeks with my blusher
So that I can be sold into acceptance
So I can be noticed, not invisible.
Pretty
Is the affliction I have fought with for years,
The same affliction that wore me down to the bone,
The damn affliction that left me running through endless tunnels
Towards the light at the end that I swore I could see
Even when I was blind,
Even when it did not exist.
You see,
Pretty
Is often confused with perfection,
As if beauty can somehow equate
To a concept so toxic
That it is bound to kill when left untamed.
Pretty
Is the excuse that pardons
Assault
When grubby fingers pull at my dress at the bar
And palms graze my breasts
When I never gave permission for them to be there.
Pretty
Is a disease that I never wanted
A mutated quality I resented
When all my friends grew up wanting to be beautiful
And I just wanted to be
Something.
Pretty
Is a gunshot through my chest
When you really do assume
That it is the most spectacular thing about me.
Pretty
Is as ugly as a lie.
Pretty
Is a widow
Trying on her wedding gown.
Pretty
Is a disease I never asked for
So, forgive me when I cry in sorrow
When instead of asking my name
You remind me
That all I am to you is
Pretty.

 

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Human

Human

I remember the night I realised God is human
It was a night in August
When I died in a man’s bed
I died ugly, exhausted, boiling, hurt
My heart still beats with the wings of songbirds
Trapped in cages in people’s bedrooms
My skin was smoking with the heat
I ached and ached and weeped and ached
But when I had the lid ripped off my Pandora’s box
And I saw Hope lying at the bottom
Like a dead blackbird
I prayed
I prayed for someone to save me
I prayed for someone from the living or the dead or the heavens
To reach down and wrap me in their cool arms
Told in all the cherry wine spilling out of my chest
So I could breathe
And it was then
When I was alone in a bed
That belonged to a stranger that I thought I knew
That I realised that God is the most human deity I could belive in
Because she couldn’t save my life that night
She isn’t a miracle worker
Just like our fathers aren’t superheroes
And our mothers aren’t queens
God is just a human that I had built into something called Hope
And when I realised why I was left to die
I thought that God hadn’t heard my prayers that night
Because
Perhaps she was just
Sleeping

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Things I do for you

Things I do for you

I make the bed
I clean up our dirty tea cups
I laugh and smile at you when you’re the light of my life
I love you everyday with my heart
I take you’re jacket when you’re too warm
I wrap you in blankets when you’re too cold
I plaster your fingers when they’re sore
I hold your hand when you’re breaking
I clean your blood off the walls
I hide your drugs to keep you safe
I throw away your blades
I wash the blood off my hands everytime
I talk you down everytime
I sit with you until the sun comes up when it’s a bad night
I save your life when you can’t save your own
I would breathe life back into you if you died
I do all of these things because I love you
I saved your life
I just hope someone is there to save mine

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

I’m not coming home

I’m not coming home

I spent years trying to escape my burning home
The house was fine
But the walls inside we’re black with soot
The flames that I felt the scalding heat from
Lapped at my skin
Leaving burns in the places most people don’t see
The air inside is thick with smoke
It covered my mouth
Like a grey leather glove pressed against my lips
Fighting for breath
With my parents hands fitting so perfectly over my voice
The matches we lit ignited the carpets
They burned and burned with the alcohol flooding the rooms
From my mother’s empty wine bottles
They blazed so high
But so silently that there was nothing anyone could do
My lovers would see the ash on my skin
And weep with me
Because no matter how much I was being flamed
When there’s no real fire to put out
What can they do to save me?
I spent eighteen years fighting the fire in my home
I spent so long trying to hide from the heat
And longer soothing my burns
But now I am free
I am getting my breath back
With every exhale I set loose the smoke inside of me
Sometimes I am even scared to talk to people
Because of the stench of burning flesh on my breath
I got out less than a month ago
The air is cooler on the other side
The little fires inside of me still roar
When I hear my mother’s voice down the phone
And I smell the smoke on her tongue she speaks
I am reminded of the walls I fought to escape from
I feel the grief of the things I’ve left behind
Which have turned to dust
I grieve and I grieve and I grieve
For the home that I never knew
For the mother I didn’t save
And I burn for the father with matches in his back pocket.
The new skin I’m growing covers up
The parts of me that could never breathe
What a gift to no longer be suffocated
What a gift to be able to tell my father,
The one who built the home that he set ablaze,
That no matter how much you ask for me to forgive you,
I escaped the chains I was bound in
I survived the fire
I’m so sorry
But I can’t
I’m not coming home.

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

A corpse with a body of beauty

A corpse with a body of beauty

I have been nectar
And fallen petals
I have been a broken plate
And a shining black eye
A gun to my own head
And a bloody tissue to dry my own tears
I have taken it all
And rinsed myself clean again
I have asked for it time and time again
And cried when I realised how much I was an empty seashell
Carrying the sound of a thousand waves
Can I ever be whole
When I have been scooped out?
I am a corpse with a body of beauty
Buried
Alive
But barely breathing
I won’t stop asking for the pain until shatters my porcelain
It’s destiny
I know each time it kills me
And maybe
That’s what I’m hoping for
And that’s why I can’t get enough

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Hollow Wood

Hollow Wood

Hollow wood is a home
It is my body
The bark stands wide and tall and beautiful
Cylindrical and mighty to see
But inside?
There is an atmosphere
The body is an illusion of greatness and strength
But once beaten with rough winds
A frightful echo rings through me
A stick to a drum
A scream of that emptiness
The hollow wood
Is a fragility that only I can see
The hollow wood is perfect
For other peoples fires
No more than driftwood
Perfect for fuelling the warmth of others
Strengthless I am flint for a burning
Or fuel for a great bonfire
There isn’t much to ignite at all
But you will burn me up anyway.
Lighting me up is my greatest fear.
But also my burning desire.

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Toxicity- trauma, abuse, me

Toxicity- trauma, abuse, me

There’s this feeling I get a lot of the time. The feeling of enlightenment that not everyone’s life is riddled with turmoil. That some people feel safe in their own home, or even with just themselves. That people can trust themselves to keep out of harm’s way, and not throw them into dangerous, reckless, stupid situations because of impulse issues and self-destructive tendencies. And the one that hits me so deeply; that people feel safe with their family. I feel this countless times, especially when I’m at friends houses.

I see the way they sit around their parents, their dad, comfortable, entitled to the seat they lounge in, unafraid. I see the way they talk to their parents, eye contact is something they can bear to hold with each other, and they can speak without screaming or saying nothing at all. To see their mums talking (not slurring), and draws are used for pots and pans, and wardrobes for clothes, instead of wine bottles.

This is the kind of freedom I realise I do not have. To live in a home instead of a house is not something I have had the privilege of doing.

I realise how much of an empty space this has made in me. One that means my friends are more family than my own blood. Feeling no care from my parents sometimes had left wanting more from them, all the way up to my 18th birthday. This wanting ‘more’ has been utilised in soft toys, changing my hair colour, impulsive spending, binge drinking and alcohol abuse myself, dangerous sexual relations, self-harm, and starvation. And a whole lot of thick, grey, emptiness. An emptiness that has almost killed me, many times. People showing me care is like me, a small moth, to a huge chandelier of light. I love you instantly if you show kindness. I can barely hold myself back from hugging you because I’ve never learnt that such kindness should be normal between people.

But it has put me in much more sinister, harmful places. I have been taken advantage of numerous times because of that emptiness it’s brought me. I can become so defensive and aggressive when hurt, trying to protect myself from that familiar pain. I can be out of control with alcohol and in mania, that I drink until I am seriously vulnerable. And a combination of this brought me to the worst night of my life when I was sexually assaulted. Violently, and degradingly. All because I never learnt how to protect myself from the real dangers because of my emotions, and because I did not know how to trust people who showed me some kindness.

Abuse is the toxic film over the eyes. You can’t see or even feel other people properly while it’s there. And like genetics, abuse like mine in childhood moulds you, usually permanently (although you can heal don’t worry), into the adult version of myself. My deep-rooted personality. My person.

The thing is with abuse, it often starts with one toxic person taking things out on you horribly, but the more you endure it, the less you truly feel the reality of abuse. Then them hurting you, can turn into you also hurting you, just to cope. For me, it was as if hurting myself, in whatever form, became soothing. I was used to being hurt, so I made it okay when I was doing it myself. It is sad, but it is also okay. I have never experienced abuse as we show it in the media, the hitting, serious physical neglect of small children, isolation from school due to injuries. No. But I have experienced extreme emotional and psychological abuse, along with a parent with her own demons. Each ‘blow-up’ was a trauma, and this repetitious traumatising grates on the mind and I feel like it just kept breaking me down. As much as I felt myself crumbling, it was hidden. And that’s almost what makes it so bad. It’s invisible.

Emotional abuse is just as serious as the other kinds of abuse. It fucks you up just as much. It catches you off guard. And it feels like being burned alive. (And oh god that horrible feeling of knowing you just can’t escape it, and even if you can physically leave that house, parts of you are always left there). It makes us extremely emotional, but colourful. Deeply loving and loyal. Kind, compassionate and empathetic. A wonderful human. And when the abuse has passed, bury it. But the bits that you are left with, I want us to turn into the most beautiful rainbow in the sky. Run with the parts of yourself that are troubled, build them up into flowers and watch them bloom. Beautiful, and stronger than ever before.

by Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

instagram- @rain.on.rosy.cheeks