“In the pines, in the pines
Where the sun don’t ever shine
I would shiver the whole night through”
Nirvana “Where Did You Sleep Last Night”
I’m weary from shivering. My heart aches from having to consistently walk away. I am capable of running and having my feet rip open the cracks in the concrete. Don’t follow me. Don’t track me like wild game. Don’t touch me. I am only a mother now. It’s a title I relish and am happy to pursue every waking moment.
If given the choice, I choose to never be loved or desired or wanted. I choose those things. Why? Because men have proven they are only capable of hurting me. I’d rather be guarded and do my absolute best to raise one decent man than to give my naive heart so willingly.
It came upon the heart of man to hurt. To cause pain with a reckless ferocity. They came at me with swinging balled up fists, belts, weather strips, oak boards, masks of supposed caring and love. When the mask came off, it revealed hate. They came at me when I was drunk and blacked out. They sat on me and beat me and spat in face. They’ve called me a whore, a cunt, and a bitch. They put hands up my skirts at concerts, I only wanted to get closer to the stage to enjoy the show. They make me walk faster because I need to get to a safe destination and am nervous about the “man” walking behind me. They make me grip a key in between my fingers when walking in a dimly lit parking lot. This is your gender. This is what they’ve done. Do I want to fall in love with another? No. Never.
It didn’t end there. Cheated on. Cheated out of love and life. Nineteen and pregnant, and I walked away with two black eyes and a busted lip. It would be months after losing my child that I found out another child had lived. The other woman and me had due dates two weeks apart.
Cheated out of love and life.
I used to wake up with nightmares from my first marriage. Blood poured down my legs in those dreams. It took years before they went away. I met a man. And he loved me. And he sent emails with the subject line of “Hey Stranger” to ex-girlfriends and they talked about me being an unfit woman to marry. Perhaps, these sentiments were true.
One thing I am is protective. And loyal. Loyal to the upmost fault. After my first husband did all those rotten things, I still wanted to be his friend. I wanted to believe he would see the light and change. I wanted to think there existed a tiny ounce of good in him. I friend requested him and told him I forgave him. I didn’t want to walk around with a heart filled with hate anymore. Turns out, a zebra never sheds his or her stripes and that first husband of mine still likes to hit women. Unfriend and walk away. But I walked away with a tiny bit of a lighter heart. I still carry the brunt of grief for a child that never got to see the world, for a baby I didn’t protect enough. And I still harbor bitterness towards the woman whose child lived.
There is not much fair about love, life, or all which falls in the gray neutral area. In my mind, I hear these words being repeated on a continuous loop:
“HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL”
I want to believe it does. I want with an aching pit in my stomach to believe in love and good people. I want to believe there is a bright gold beacon shining its light, and it will always illuminate the darkness. In the belief of these things, I have to ask:
“Am I just a stupid naive, hopeful soul setting myself up for further disappointment?”
One day, a family will embrace and accept me the same way they hang onto a girl who did nothing but choose money over love. Or I shall embrace myself and I will cut down all those pine trees. I will let all the light in, and not shiver the whole night through ever again. Because my hope is eternal and unbreakable.