I am the in between one
a bridge between two others
I will gather all your pieces
when you thought them lost
painstakingly discover them
through long conversations
filled with hair stroking
kissed fingertips, tears
and all of my labour
and once I find all the parts
I’ll glue you back together
Make you see how perfect you are
how perfect you were already
perfect enough for you to thank me
and to float on to the next
and for me, tomorrow
there’ll be another almost-whole
to discover, collect and embrace
but what about my pieces?
With tears in his eyes, he angrily told me I didn’t understand him. I could tell he was pushing for me to challenge; to prove him wrong. I knew he wanted desperately to be heard, to not feel alone. I wanted so badly to be the one to give him that.
I wondered, then, as I looked at the furrowed brow that had always been so soft and loving before now, whether he was saying this to me or his ex girlfriend.
I agreed that I didn’t understand. I wouldn’t dare argue with his truth. All the same my heart broke; I didn’t understand him even though I tried more than he realised. I tried as hard as I could. But trying isn’t enough.
She was always so stoic and still, sitting in her chair across from me. A piece of furniture with piercing eyes and listening ears. It seems odd to realise how little expression she had when I was telling her my most vulnerable feelings, and how safe I felt doing just that. Maybe the lack of expression allowed me to feel safe because I could not read on her face what she was thinking. She was excellent at her job.
She told me once that my Mother needed to be my Mother. That I was the child and I couldn’t support her in the way that she was asking. I felt sad about that even though I knew she was right. I wanted to rebel against that idea because I knew of – but could never understand – all the sacrifices my Mother had made to make me who I am. It seemed unfair to me that I could just say “no. I can’t help you” when she could never do that. Not to me; my siblings; my Father.
I can’t help but wonder who is there for the Mothers when they need that support. Do they just ask and ask and have everyone say “no. I can’t help you” every time they open their arms?