One day you see it from the outside. It breaks you and everyone else it touches. Broken is the only word to describe it, because the people are never the same people again. Their lives have been forever altered and they can never go back to who they once were. Life is no longer so beautiful. There are no answers. Each person carries this sickening pain inside themselves every minute of every day. In time the pain may ease but all it takes is one trigger and you’re being punched in the gut and knocked to the ground. It happened only yesterday. These people keep busy. You never saw people try so hard to be busy. Their eyes don’t look the same. They are somewhere far away. In the air is sadness that never goes away. A mother losing a child in this way, is just plain wrong. They are all secretly thinking the IF scenarios and how their love wasn’t enough to save. I have lived my life everyday for almost 40 years wishing I would die and contemplating suicide on an hourly basis. Seeing the after effects of what my aunt left behind did cured me. As a child witness of suicide, I was taught life wasn’t good enough to live. As an adult witness of suicide, it’s a bright light, snuffed out before its time. There is no “so sorry for your loss.” There aren’t any words of comfort. There is only shock. What’s done is done. Then you carry it with you, for as long as you live.
EXCERPT # 1
Engulfed in agony, this pain has existed for far too long. It knows no boundaries; it has spread throughout my insides, with each tiny death, that I have died each day. I have burnt out everyone around me, so I isolate, try to go at it alone. Soon I find myself on my knees, screaming and crying out to a God, I’m not even sure exists. The screams from the core of me, seem to fall on deaf ears, there are no answers. I am defeated, tired, utterly spent. I’ve been strong for far too long, taking on enormous hits, without any breath in between. It seems as though I am being punished, for some long ago crime I committed. I know I can’t do it anymore. The demons are laughing, because they know they are going to win. I can’t give others I care about any better, there’s nothing left to give. I run into a brick wall at every turn. I wish the floor would swallow me whole. I can’t pretend anymore to satisfy others. What a burden I am and it’s not fair. There is no balance, no justice in my world, no mercy. The emptiness can never be filled. I think in terms of forever, the hard work ahead seeming so overwhelming. The word “never” repeats in my head. An entire vocabulary exists in that one word. I only wish to stop pretending, for relief from this slow torture. All hope has been abandoned; the loneliness is a thick fog. The fear to share or speak is strangling. Won’t others view me as weak, if I confess what I am really thinking? So I stuff it down and board it all up, like an old rickety summer home, left for the winter season.
-Michelle Lee Gagnon
Poetic Fits of Passion
Along my journey through life I have met people that have influenced my life in unique ways. People living against all odds yet have had the amazing will to fight for survival. People full of insight, wisdom and courage. Life has certainly been put in perspective through 20 years of working in the human services field. Thank you to all of you for teaching me about real life. I was diagnosed bipolar at age 29. I have a strong support team and am very blessed. My friends and family mean the world to me. In truth it’s not just the medications that help me to remain stable. It’s always been my strong love for the English language. It keeps my firing burning and saves me at my darkest moments. I wish to even help one person get through their day, through the words that I share. I am 42 years old. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Philosophy and a strong background in Journalism and Psychology. My influences include Kay Redfield Jamison, Charles Bukowski, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Anais Nin, Mayra Hornbacher and Terry Cheney to name a few. I have written one memoir that has yet to be published. I am currently working on the second half of it.
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