He never hit me – but there were moments when I knew he wanted to.
It was in the words he’d throw at my face like tiny daggers when he was angry, the eye rolls and the “would-you-shut-the-fuck-up”s, the way he’d glare at me with so much unveiled hatred that I could feel it along my skin. I remember begging him one night to stop the truck and, before the wheels even stopped rolling, I was out of the passenger seat and in the middle of a gravel road. I threw up in the grass and remember thinking my hands were too white. Too white, like neon in darkness.
And he drove off.
I knew I was sick – emotionally – when I wasn’t even surprised at his abandonment.
I glanced down at my phone; it was past eleven-thirty at night and I had three percent battery life left.
So, I started walking. I saw his brake lights flash just once and a single text message came through that night from him:
“Sometimes I wish I’d never met you.”
My phone died immediately after I read it. I guess, a tiny piece of myself I’d guarded for so long died, too. I kept thinking – How the hell did I get here? This isn’t you. This isn’t the person you want to be. Brianna, this is abuse. You’re choosing abuse. This isn’t love. This isn’t love.
This isn’t love.
I made it to the house. I made it into my bedroom but I couldn’t breathe in those walls. God, I was angry – angry in a way I’d never felt before. I was shaking and I was drained and I was aching. I couldn’t shut down. I knew without a doubt I wouldn’t sleep.
So – I did something I hadn’t done in over a year:
I picked up a pen and a notebook, slipped back out onto the front porch, and I wrote until three in the morning.
I ran into someone yesterday when I went to go grab a Pepsi and they said: “I don’t even like reading but I try to read your stuff whenever you post. I hope you know how talented you are.”
A part of me revels in it – the connection –> finding someone I never expected to have a relationship with formed through words. Someone I would’ve never expected to enjoy poetry. Someone I would’ve never expected to have a soft spot for fantasy. I mean all this in the most humble way possible. It isn’t always easy for some to take the time to compliment others – in my personal opinion, it’s the most sincere form of linking two human beings in a single moment. I try my hardest to be present right then so they know how much it means to me to be lifted.
I am flattered and I am honored when you all find something in my writing that tugs at your heart.
Two years ago, I told myself in the beginning – “Write every day. Just do it for a couple of weeks and see where it takes you.” Then it turned into a couple of months. Then, one morning I looked back and it had been a year since I’d walked home alone on that gravel road.
I wanted to write this past Saturday about how much joy these past two years have brought me. I mean, 730 STRAIGHT DAYS of writing something every single day. To be honest though, it wasn’t always joy that I felt. Some nights it was the hardest thing I’d done all day. Other days I wrote pages and pages and caught myself thinking: “I remember now why I wanted to be a writer.”
I’ve rewritten this post about ten times already and decided in the end to say this:
When you feel like you can’t face the next day, when the world is crashing down on you, and you can’t open your eyes because you’re terrified of your own reflection — PLEASE FIND SOMETHING. Find a piece of paper. Find something to paint. Go for a run. Curl up with a book. Hug your cat. Step into a church on Sunday morning. Go kiss your child’s forehead while they sleep. Bake cupcakes. Play Xbox with your teenager. Just find something. Find a reason.
People don’t always know the trials you’ve faced to create a beautiful moment. They’ll say: “I hope you know how talented you are.” but inside we will know:
We cannot let our own versions of darkness convince us we are someone not worth meeting…
We are worth loving.
Thank you for joining me on this journaling-journey but more so – thank you for being my friends.
Brianna & Hagan