Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
1.3k · May 2021
Happy non-anniversary
Janna B May 2021
Happy non-anniversary to you.
I marked it emotionally
but I forgot what the day was.
I marked it by
processing, tracking my progress;
taking a very rare breath to reflect.
I recognised the barriers still left,
looked at ways to overcome them.
You meant so much once,
and now I forget.
Happy non-anniversary
to me.
1.0k · Aug 2021
The cause
Janna B Aug 2021
What is this stress
making my belly churn
my skin’s itchiness,
my pulse race?

Could it be from
the financial separation,
kids, career,
general obligation?

New starter to train,
bookweek costume,
book balancing,
bithday cake?

Oh wait, I see—
I can do these things,
all of these things,
with a smile and a grin.

It’s you, ex man (child) of mine
looking lost
that unravels me
too easily.
Just that worry about what he could do if he gets bad again. Thank God for his mental health support.
850 · Jul 2021
Disproportional
Janna B Jul 2021
Why is it that
your happiness
seems inversely proportional
to mine?

Why is it that
your happiness
seems, perversely, disproportional
to mine?

But when we were together,
your lack of happiness
consumed all of mine.
I think my daughter told my ex that they’ll meet my new friend. He looked like a wreck when I saw him, and it makes me feel so many things.
814 · Nov 2020
The support that takes
Janna B Nov 2020
The advice was
'Support him,
try to help him.
He needs sleep when he’s tired
(even if it’s all day).'
'Try to talk to him,
he’s hurting inside.
Help him,
he needs you.'

I believed that,
and I tried.
I tried until
I felt almost gone
My words disappeared!
A glass pane formed
between myself and the world.

I didn't know
I could go too far.
Give too much support.
No-one says that,
who would have thought?

I didn’t know
support can become a crutch.
He could settle,
no need to improve.
Who would have thought?

Depression is real.
It just doesn’t mean
that you are first always,
or that you don't need to try
or talk to your spouse.
That was just -
taking advantage.
I do know that depression is real, I really feel for sufferers. That's why I stayed for so long. I just didn't realise... I was enabling it. That's not in the self-help books. Now, he's actively trying to get help...
671 · Feb 2021
Relief from the grief
Janna B Feb 2021
There’s this grief
simmering underneath.
Steady and ignorable,
or - boiling and unmistakable.
There’s no going back
but the grief is there.
Tangled grief for two -
husband lost long ago,
and a love that brought me to life.
Grief for my innocent self
that slammed up hard against his
mental illness —
and lost.
I know
the actions I take now
will frame life going forward.
It’s just that, sometimes,
relief from the grief
is so tempting.
650 · Apr 2022
Blunt love
Janna B Apr 2022
If that was a blast of love
I’d hate to see your hate.

Your blunt, forceful love
comes from fear,
rains in blows,
and leaves me -
smaller, sadder,
reactive—
reeling for equilibrium.
Just my mum, weighing in due to concerns.
Janna B Feb 2023
When the abuse doesn’t look like it
then it can’t be recognised
and it parades around
in broad daylight,
in pyjamas with spots instead of stripes,
but no-one is alarmed.
When the abuse doesn’t look like it
the victim goes under
piece by piece
but it is quiet, and she feels so much empathy
and she doesn’t recognise
that she’s taken over.

When those spots look like illness
the abuse is asking for pity
and all of her effort and soul,
with nothing in return
because it doesn’t feel well.
Before she knows it,
she’s adjusted herself,
to manage behaviour, anger and the ‘illness’.

When the abuse doesn’t look like it,
it can be quiet, insidious control and
a gradual, unrecognised ceding of power.
Better not rock the boat,
there’ll be a wall of silence to dance around
for days.
It feels like responsibility, entrapment
but in just having those feelings
she feels so disloyal.

When the abuse is gone
then it takes a long time
to wake up from the stupor
and look with fresh eyes.
To change behaviours,
expect more from the new.

That was a quiet,
sticky,
suffocating,
trap.
Just some reflections, I’ve been coming a long way and this is so therapeutic. Not bitter, just can’t believe I was in that and I didn’t even realise. Thanks for reading.
627 · Apr 2021
Homage
Janna B Apr 2021
You’re paying homage to me
with your touch along my curves and edges.
With your golden, intense eyes.
With your kiss, your adoration.

This paid homage stirs me,
shakes out hidden grief,
reopens closed space,
unlocks dammed love.
Starts a new journey of ‘we’.

You’re paying homage to me,
aiming to reach me.
Intentionally, joyfully,
breaking down my
solitary
reality.
564 · Jan 2021
E-endearments
Janna B Jan 2021
Fast flowing messages
pinging back and forth.
Electronic endearments
cannot mean a lot.
Genuine questions and
invitations to meet.
Within myself
my soul calls for caution.
These men are ephemeral,
chase a photo.
My soul calls for real.
So, I joined a dating app.
508 · Jan 2021
What the mothers say
Janna B Jan 2021
My (ex) mother in law says
She loves me,
she won’t say any more but
worries I’ll miss her boy
one day in the future.
I was his pride and joy.

My mother says
maybe the women of the past
tried harder.
Is there anything to rescue,
women must try harder than men.

I haven’t worried about missing him;
until now.
The relief has felt so liberating.
Relief from that pressure
to carry it all, do it all,
with a smile, without love.
A smile, a gesture, care my way
would have been fuel for a year,
but the silence felt suffocating.

I’d rather love myself
than smile and pretend that I’m loved
by the husband in my bed.
For our kids, for me, I’m better alone.

Now, though,
that worm in my ear.
Will I regret this more next year?
More than the grief of this family broken?

I cannot see that I will.
Joy is breaking through;
but —
What do I do with this worm?
My mothers. Make me worry about my choices; but oh my goodness I’m finally making progress and I feel so much lighter and able to heal.
488 · Jun 2021
Try for you
Janna B Jun 2021
My tears leak out today
The girls are they okay?
Beautiful little eyes and souls
Oh-my-loves I tried for you.
I try for you.

Behind the scenes,
you’ll know when you’re bigger
This dad of your dreams?
He’s new and designer.
He tries for you..
now.
465 · Feb 2021
Lean into the light
Janna B Feb 2021
Take a step into the sunshine,
lean into the light.
Walk where the air is fine,
battle to stay where’s right.
Each heart-true step will take you
on your journey, this you know—
believe in this and trust that you’ll
get where you need to go.

Love all the people on your path,
on your journey there.
They will often show you grace
as you act with truth and care.
Just some thoughts, after getting back on my windy path today.
431 · Dec 2020
This genuine year
Janna B Dec 2020
The year that’s passed:
a watershed year,
a milestone year,
a rebirthed-via-fire kind of year.

A peeling of layers year,
a levelling year—
with flaws and faults,
an emotions-on-full kind of year.

A year of intensity,
a year of grief.
A down-on-my-knees
praying for peace kind of year.

A rebuilding year,
a learning year.
An emotional-resilience-required
kind of year.

This is the year
that it’s all been here.
In fullness, rawness, a
real, genuine kind of year.

Let the lessons be learned
for the next and the brighter year.
Let some laughter echo
into the lighter year.
Let us care for each other
to meet this with love, not fear.

Happy New Year, whether you’re far or near.
Getting in a little early - may 2021 be blessed for you and your families.
407 · Aug 2021
Emotional highjackery
Janna B Aug 2021
Let me be free
from your emotional
highjackery.

From your
manipulation
of my life's situation.

Playing hostage --
is the price of your stability
the loss of my positivity?

This is a game of
important odds.
Our girls are not the prize
but the precious treasure
to protect.

Get yourself together
there can be no losers.
Just some thoughts again. My ex, struggling hard with his mental health and it impacts upon our girls. I believe  he's struggling because I'm in a new and positive relationship. After 10 years of living with it every day, I need to be away from his depression , for my survival and to be a support for our girls. I just worry so much about the impact his health has on our children.
399 · Jan 2021
Untitled
Janna B Jan 2021
This crazy, changing life.
It’s been down, sideways, up.
Who knows about tomorrow.
These ups - will they stay?
I feel they can;
they want to.
They depend on me
feeding my soul
being true to myself,
my children, my heart.
Getting to know myself again
And I feel so much better
than before.
395 · Dec 2020
Closure
Janna B Dec 2020
Heartbreak
Heartbroken
Seeing you was a balm
Our love acknowledged
Your marriage reaffirmed
Closure.
Oh the relief of closure.
Janna B Dec 2020
‘I’ve something to tell you...
I kissed someone else.’
‘You kissed someone else?!
That can’t be true, who?’

‘How could you not notice me,
you had many chances to see...
I don’t know what I want,
but this is honesty.’

He storms away, slamming door
out into the night. Then -

‘I’m sorry, your actions are yours but
it’s my fault you’re there...
please, I’ll get help, be your friend
I’ll get better, I swear...’

‘I love you’ says he
‘Why, truthfully?’
‘You’re so beautiful...
I don’t want to fail..’
But beautiful is a trophy, a conquest
and marriage isn’t a contest.

Actually, I now see
The kissing of someone else
was me, breaking free.
I’d broken long ago
his promises felt hollow
I was clutching at saving me.

My joy, our family, our life
all millstones to him,
burden and strife.
The endless trying, ideas and hope,
Fell on deaf ears - I was just the wife.

Then I stuck around, tried,
grief searing inside.
Let him touch me (excruciatingly)
give flowers and hold me...
but it was gone with old tides.

And simple jealousy tipped him?
Got to be kidding me.
I’m not feeling sorry for myself...just trying to express how deeply it cut. And the feeling of abandonment that just went on for so long.
320 · Mar 2021
Grateful
Janna B Mar 2021
Grateful for the quiet,
grateful for the peace.
Grateful for the friends
that care for me.
Grateful that he’s fading
away for me again.
I’m needing to stay here
I’m needing to mend.
303 · Feb 2021
Floating words
Janna B Feb 2021
Something’s been dislodged
by a happy day.
My words again feel
free to float.
The playing with new friends
brought understanding,
and warmth
to melt that ice
in my throat.
287 · Jul 2022
Not settled near you
Janna B Jul 2022
Not settled near you lately
Mild humming anxiety
Discomfort inside of me,
fearful of your gravity.
284 · Jan 2021
Additional penalties
Janna B Jan 2021
Casting for the direction,
driving forward and
worrying about additional penalties
that you’ll make them pay.
276 · Jan 2021
Searching
Janna B Jan 2021
I’m crashing,
looking,
searching
for connection.
Touch.
Laughter.
Not cheaply.
Only genuinely.
The task seems huge.
Thank goodness that you
(my illicit love that could never be)
left me with this self-confidence.
It gives such strength and
reassurance.
Moving on, imperfectly.
271 · Dec 2020
Ransom
Janna B Dec 2020
You’re holding me ransom
From within your own cell
Holding my life ransom
because you’re not able.
Please please please
give me something to work on.
Are you out or are you in.
Still trapped by this instability,
even when I’m away from you.
Do I plan without, around you
Or
Do I plan for you to be within
The fabric of this new world.
I know he’s struggling, it’s just, he has been for so many years... and when do others start to matter too? All ok. Thanks for letting me process..
265 · Jan 2021
The New
Janna B Jan 2021
And you—
The New.
Seem patient,
attentive.
Genuine.
Me?
Glad to be
seen as me.
Questions, talk
company.
Click your story
into place for me please.
Sketch out the pieces.
I want to see you.
261 · Mar 2021
Fears: I love me
Janna B Mar 2021
At heart
I’m scared of feeling
always apart.
Do we all feel this?
Does real,
tingly, deep love exist?
I am grateful,
enjoy so much.
But what does it feel like,
that soul-deep touch?
Not the marriage’s silent,
walled anger.
When I lived with an almost-stranger.
I have people here, with me,
but often feel separate,
bedrock of uncertainty.
Are my efforts fleeting,
or a self-fulfilling prophecy?
I remember, I am lucky,
because I do love me.
Truly, really, certainly.
246 · Feb 2021
REBOUND
Janna B Feb 2021
Recognising
Emotions
Brought
Out.
Unfinished
Not
Done.
😬
242 · Dec 2020
More than the marriage
Janna B Dec 2020
It amazes me
that my grief for another
has been stronger
than that for my husband.

How can that be?
A fleeting love meaning more
than a marriage,
than a life together.

I realise that I already
grieved desperately, alone,
lost, confused
within the marriage.
241 · Apr 2022
Untitled
Janna B Apr 2022
Hey you
Why are you losing that employment
Argumentative and driving
People away

Hey me
Why am I taking to heart
That I cared
And I was human
And so fallible

Keep learning, keep positive
Keep the belief
and the soul.
239 · Jul 2021
My heart
Janna B Jul 2021
If my heart is an *****
that can be comparmentalised,
then the part for my children
is vibrant, lush, pulsing with life.

The part for adult love
was cracked, parched, a desert
that felt deserted,
and stumbled to its limit.

It feels like that part
is slowly rehydrating
but there’s such a lot to refill.
236 · Dec 2020
Heart strength
Janna B Dec 2020
My friend has breast cancer
I look at her
and admire her bravery
her heart, her strength.
Her ability to look at her challenge
right in the eye with courage
and a smile.
She looks at me and says -
she feels the same about me.
229 · Nov 2020
Soul gone
Janna B Nov 2020
When he left me
his soul was gone for me
and his body was still there.
His anger was new
his distance was new
and his lack of touch too
I was so confused.
I was pregnant, then a mum.
Untouched, the silence dumb.
Bereaved, intense loss
Husband won't touch me
there's only frost.
How do I even speak of this?
he's doing the chores
but there's such an abyss.
Two years more
and I realise
depression brought
this demise.
Fool, it took me too long
to understand what was wrong
but this knowledge never did
bring back his song.
He remained, gone.
Here's me, trying to process and express how isolating and devastating my husband's depression was for me. I didn't know what it was for so long. He never came back to me, and I don't have any more give now. I will focus forward **
226 · Apr 2021
Picture perfect
Janna B Apr 2021
You trawled through my history;
internet of images,
the smiling moments.
‘You seemed happy
[was it really that bad?]’
Oh yes I was.
Excruciatingly happy,
painstakingly happy,
rejectedly happy.
Smile! To cover the
loss, hurt, bewilderment.
Smile! To hold on, try,
we’re meant to be ok.
Smile! Cover that
loneliness, confusion,
that truly broken heart.
225 · Jul 2021
Flight
Janna B Jul 2021
I could run away
from the words you might say.
Triggering me into flight
if they’re not phrased
quite right.

Here’s my trauma
bubbling up.
Here’s this new instinct —
now that we’re close up.

I see my fear
and vulnerability.
I also see strength here
keeping life steady.

So the next step
is to talk it through with you.
Listen to both sides
see what good that can do.

Listen to instinct
and listen to truth
Listen to heart song
rather than be aloof.
Janna B Dec 2020
Husband going back
To hospital
Suicidal
Mental health
Oh my god
Not again
Panicking

I broke free
But feel so guilty
Is it my fault?
They say not.
Couldn’t survive with him
Can he survive without me.
217 · Dec 2020
Something beautiful
Janna B Dec 2020
Something beautiful
about being thrown,
at sea
in a whole new world -
is really seeing people.
Really talking
and connecting,
because I’m more open
and before I had
closed walls.
214 · Dec 2020
Liberate me
Janna B Dec 2020
You throw blame
casually, consistently,
targeting me.
Small bullets
constantly peppering
under a guise of civility.

Pressure builds
small barbs hit flesh
am I blameworthy?
But wait—let me stop and see
your narcissism truthfully.

Stand on your feet,
find inner peace,
not blaming and self-pity.
Recognise my battle lost;
take your responsibility.

Find your equanimity  —
and
liberate me.
.
Janna B Dec 2020
I have trouble expressing
why I needed to leave him -
reasons never seem enough.
He’s not evil,
my words seem so inadequate.
But my whole soul cringes at the thought
of going back.
I can’t really say that out loud, can I?

He lost capacity for emotion
For year upon year
Except for anger, withdrawal, resentment.
And yet, he did his job, his duty.
Lifelessly.

A friend said, watching me try hold it all together
was like watching me try to stop sand from
slipping through my fingers.
I tried and tried but it kept slipping away.
broken promises, broken lives.

Maybe if I did things differently
Maybe if I was better
Religious morals ring loud
for good, for bad
My vows felt like a trap
He counted on them, relaxed after that.

I didn’t count on the feelings
The abandonment
The bone sorrow
Creeping upon me.

I cannot express how
they accumulated until
I saw a ray, a tiny crack of love and
Knowing that existed showed me
I could never stay.
My marriage was illuminated as
bereft.

I held a memory of that ray
and needed to leave -
both for survival
and
to give him back responsibility for
his life.
That was too much for me.

But I look at my girls and I wish we were whole.
No reason seems good enough.
Just still working through it..
202 · Feb 2021
Test
Janna B Feb 2021
This feels like a stupid test
My heart cannot rest
I’m doing what is best
but, oh God,
feeling—distressed.
192 · Dec 2020
Uncertain
Janna B Dec 2020
Uncertain.
So much to ask,
ceaseless pull,
moral questionability.
Uncertain.
Head is winning,
heart is spinning.
Run away, flee -
avoid catastrophe.
188 · Jan 2021
Memories
Janna B Jan 2021
The day of
warm caresses,
hiking, company, coffee.
And —
memories,
memories,
memories.
188 · Aug 2022
New concept
Janna B Aug 2022
Play with forgiveness
Consider it indeed.
Allow it, enable it
and, dear self,
be freed.
187 · Jan 2021
Cannot unsee
Janna B Jan 2021
Emotional manipulation
wielded quietly;
with a reasonable face
or a compelling look.
I see you now.
I cannot unsee you.
Ever.
Feeling a bit freer, understanding the ties that have bound me via guilt, responsibility, fear. It’s empowering.
Janna B Dec 2020
I see the man
who is still my husband
many of the days.
Handover of children,
he looks so withdrawn.
He is hating on me
he looks to be suffering
I had to break free.

When we were together
nothing fulfilled him
or the hole in his soul.
I turned circus tricks
Look at that, look at this!
But any joy poured in
disappeared, black abyss.

I almost did too.
175 · Mar 2021
Modern woman..
Janna B Mar 2021
This exploring life—
modern woman.
Not judging myself—
modern woman.
Embracing desires—
modern woman.
Without censoring eyes—
modern woman.
Did ‘right’ for so long—
modern woman.
Lost my internal song—
modern woman.
Now I explore the new—
modern woman.
Emotionally confused—
modern woman.
Work this phase through—
modern woman.
174 · Dec 2020
Turning for comfort
Janna B Dec 2020
I want to turn for comfort
Seek reassurance
Have arms enfold me
It will be alright.

I want to retreat to base
to tend my wounds and
heal from the heart ache.
Today’s injury.

Glass of wine? Chocolate? Cake?
No.
For now I’ll curl up,
hug myself, write poetry.
173 · Jan 2021
Shared me
Janna B Jan 2021
I shared me
willingly
openly
quietly
smilingly.
Now today
emotional ricochet.
Unexpectedly,
painfully.
What are we
not saying.
165 · Aug 2021
Mother and woman
Janna B Aug 2021
When you saw me
in the whole of my world,
as mother, daughter,
I felt deeply vulnerable.

When I became a mother,
a role that I cherish,
my husband got me mixed up with his own,
never touched,
emotionally vacated.

The thing is -
I’m also a woman.
A live, vibrant, loving woman.
A tactile, ready to laugh,
always trying, independent, woman.
And you see me.
What a relief.
160 · Nov 2020
Surges
Janna B Nov 2020
There are still surges of grief
when I hear of you
being somewhere that I’m not.
There are still spurts of rawness
when I think of you
doing things where I’m not.
The emotion rises suddenly
like fizzing, bubbling waves
cresting on sand
then abating
but
ready to come again.
It makes me breathless,
takes me by surprise -
the speedy upswell of feeling
from a deep well
that does not yet seem emptied.
Trying to keep my face calm
expressionless
as the emotion surges within.
An observer could note a twitch,
a saddening of the eyes
as my thoughts turn inwards
and remember that we’re not.
This is about a relationship that I ended, for the right reasons, but it doesn't make the emotion go away. Are the right reasons right for the heart??
154 · Mar 2021
Riverbank and sushi
Janna B Mar 2021
Riverbank and sushi,
balmy air and sun.
Birdlife and people watching
with you, new one.
Conversation unstopping
sharing this and that,
winning smiles and glances.
You want no caveat.
You’re seeking smiles,
you’re seeking truth,
you’re seeking commonality.
With me. Let’s see.
Next page