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It was the Lies

Updated on March 4, 2017

I may always fail to understand how a person can chose to leave. I try to understand every angle and aspect of their situation, hoping to come to an epiphany of why or how they came to that conclusion.

Maybe I am missing something. Tirelessly, I struggle to see it. In the midst of failing to understand I turn to hate, to sorrow, I try to forget. Yet, every second, every memory is bound to me, it has become a part of my being.

I cannot run away from who I am, I cannot repel my own feelings.

The loss doesn’t hurt the most; it isn’t what keeps me awake at night. The lies do.

The lies that I believed as a child: that love was ever-present, bountiful, and unrelenting.

Instead, those hands that hugged me and gave me comfort also pulled the trigger and tipped the bottle back a little further.

How could someone so close, so truly loving; lie about that?

I grew up with them as my safe haven, they were proud they understood me.

Now, it’s as if it was all an illusion; a mirage in the distance, only being filled in by my mind’s desires.

See I thought I was loved and understood. They told me I made them proud. I guess I was young, naïve, and ignorant. Little did I know that adults lie and deceive.

My saving beacon was a delusion, a fantasy.

It’s not that they are gone.

It’s that I believed that I meant something to them and then they just left.

© 2017 Elise Reed


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      No name 10 months ago

      Elise, I think this may be the most interesting poem you’ve written thus far and for two reasons:

      1. It concretizes the general object of your sorrow and pain. Human beings are individuals, not diffused collectives. Our private (profound or otherwise) sorrows and regrets are typically specific. Localized to a specific event, person or relationship. Your other writings are much more diffused.

      2. I am wondering if there are two interwoven threads to this poem. Let me explain: As someone who has experienced suicides and abandonments, I can attest to my experience that the feelings are different between them. With a suicide, the departed leaves all the living, therefore my experience of loss was a general sense of sadness and regret, not anger or a lack of closure. The person is dead, finished. I never felt personally deceived or lied to. The person did not leave me specifically. With suicide, I never tried to forget.

      With abandonment on the other hand (or any profound interpersonal failure), especially with a person who completely breaks contact, for me, there was a strong sense of sadness, betrayal, anger, a feeling of being deceived (or lied to), doubt and an intense on-going desire to arrive at closure/understanding. One is the target of the loss in this case, whereas for a suicide the target is all of existence. With abandonment, I have (usually without success) tried to forget. Exceptions to this are those moments of self-pity (which can be a pleasant sensation (he he)).

      Therefore, I will ask the question: Have you woven two subjects into one poem. Your choice of vocabulary, plurals vs. singulars and the sharp edge to your feelings indicate that is might be the case. If so, might each subject benefit, in future, with a distinct treatment.

      Perhaps the specifics of the case (suicide) do lend to a personal feeling of betrayal. In that case, I have jumped to conclusions and will ask forgiveness in going off on a tangent.


      P.S. I noticed you dropped the reference to the Military in your introduction: To me, your background lends credibility to your writings and the strong emotions you experience. The reference to the military does you credit and perhaps might add a special sense of solidity to your developing reputation not afforded in other authors.

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      Elise Reed 10 months ago

      You are correct with your assumptions, they are people and left refers to death.

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      No name 10 months ago

      Elise, I have to apologize. I've mistaken the subject of your poem.

      It is very difficult to interpret the subjects of each statement. The subject appears to be a person, a caregiver. But the “they” is unclear. The “loving hands” or the ideas which turned out to be lies?

      By leave, you mean “death”?

      I am rather embarrassed. Please accept my apologies.