Tag Archive: Growly angry things

Oh say, can you see

Oh say, can you see

over here, look at me.

I’m a flag at half-mast,

a broadcast, a warning,

mourning every morning,

noon, and night.

Rights, wrongs, and songs

for the dead

play in your head

as I sag toward land

and you kneel, or you stand

there hating, berating,

deprecating life itself.

Put me back on the shelf

and listen with intention,

dissention was the point

of this joint from the start.

Open your heart, pay attention

and start learning,

we’re all yearning to be free,

now stop looking at me.

Never Met-a-Four, They’re All Tens

That sunlit day,

when she was crowned

Miss Information

and paraded

as a matter of fact

through the streets

and on your television

did you wonder at her lies,

seductively kissed

from those gorgeous red

and unnaturally plump lips,

or were you too busy

wondering about wandering

across her hips instead?

Confessions from my resting bitch face

So earlier this week, someone I’d just met started telling me about a fat, ugly, horrible, boring, yet rich man who spends a lot of his time on one of the popular dating sites. It seems he has told this woman repeatedly about these other women who were simply unacceptable, as they weighed 160 pounds, far too heavy to consider having on his arm. Now, I’m not surprised by that of course, I’ve encountered these types far too much just by existing in this town, or any other town. Men who are desperate for a lifelong female companion but not desperate enough to consider being seen with someone not possessing an impressive thigh gap. This gets sadder as we age, because, well, either you know, or you’ll find out. Either way, it’s amazing to me what some men will say to women about other women and their bodies. And it’s almost never the guys that actually look that great either… Just, you know, saying.

So no, that topic in itself wasn’t much worse than any other day. What got to me, what is still getting to me really, is the woman’s reaction. She was outraged. Yay, I thought. Nooo, I learned. Her outrage was over his classification scheme, not that he had one. She was desperate to show me pictures of one of these maligned women, whom she actually knew, to prove to me that they were, in fact, beautiful, and not at all the fat pigs this man was saying they were. Look at her, she’s LOVELY! That guy is such an ass. How could he say such things about her, I mean look at her!

Well, damn. See, what’s going on there is she pretty much agreed with him that women are to be sorted into groups labeled Fat and Acceptable, and of course Perfect/Photoshopped. Where she disagreed with him, apparently, was just in where to draw the line. And she was telling all this to me, the decidedly unskinny, awkwardly tall woman who clearly can’t even be bothered enough by what men think to put on the pinchy shoes and drop that extra 25 (okay maybe 35 by her standards). And as her outrage grew, I found myself wanting to start a fight. No, listen, I wanted to seriously just go off. Visions of delightful rants were exploding in my head like fireworks. But the margarita I had wisely purchased and finished while waiting for these fashionably-late-but-always-worth-it-in-their-own-minds folks was doing nice things to my head space, and I was imagining my happy place, which is basically anyplace people aren’t and dogs are… So I just sat and took it. I nodded like an idiot.

The group of women she was with were the kind of women I tend to prejudge based on just how much effort they put into looking like magazine covers (a lot, a lot of effort). I may be emotionally high-maintenance, but I have no patience for this stuff. I hate shopping, I hate hair-braiding parties, I hate squealing over shoes, and while I respect the rights of those who care to submit themselves to fat-freezing and boob jobs, I retain my own right to judge. I know, I am a hypocrite. You can bitch about me on your own blog, I’d love it, actually. In the meantime, I’m just going to keep going…

So the conversation was basically all about “boys” just like I remember eavesdropping on in high school, with my eyes rolling full-circle in my head. I haven’t changed much I suppose, in spite of all the changing. I have learned to stop the eye-rolling, sometimes, but if you know me, you’ll always see it. I’ve just never understood this type of person, and that may be because my first reaction is loathing, and a distinct unwillingness to even try to understand them. It’s like looking at a sibling and thinking how in the HELL did we come from the same people? Who told these girls that boys were that important in the first place? I mean, I love men, but seriously, talking about them in a group is kind of like talking about which shade of white to paint the kitchen, and I hate white kitchens.

Later that night, I ended up next to one of this group at a concert, and was honestly overwhelmingly distracted by her constant hair flipping (yes, it hit me EVERY SINGLE TIME, and her non-stop texting. With a BOY. Yes, I did read over her shoulder, all night, because she deserved it, and I’m not sorry, because I am so going to use all that crap I read in a book someplace, and if I couldn’t enjoy the music in the dark the way concerts were intended to be enjoyed, then I might as well just go with it. I hope the date they took almost 2 hours to set up works out well for her. No, I mean that. We do have to have one another’s backs, we women, right?

Carl Jung is often quoted as saying: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” I don’t get it. No seriously. I think the point is supposed to be we see ourselves in those things, but dude… I don’t secretly wish I was like those women, I don’t secretly wish to belong to their club, I don’t secretly wish to give so little damn about other people that I can just stick my stupid smart phone in their face and convince myself that they wish they were like me and are graced to be in my presence. Help me Carl, I don’t know how this is supposed to help me understand myself.

This irritation does, though, help me to see that I actually like myself as a person. I like the way I notice other people. I like the way I think for myself. I don’t think I can go so far as to say I like my current weight, but if the price I have to pay for beauty is that high, I can at least live in peace with myself as I am. I may sometimes feel like I don’t have a tribe of my own, but I do have some amazing friends, and I honestly adore my own company. I can be left alone for days and have wonderful conversations, and never flip my hair a single time in my own face. I mean, it’s really short…

The giant corkscrew of life

corkscrewSometimes you just get sick of all the little lies that it takes to be around other people, all the I’m doing fine stuff, all the it’s for the best stuff. Sometimes you just remember, in what seems like an out-of-the-blue moment, that you’re pissed off. Sure maybe you’ve worked on all the mindfulness and the breathing, and the waking up and being grateful to be alive stuff. But suddenly all that seems so far off…

I’ve been a marvel at that stuff, let me tell you. I threw myself into it, learned, grew, learned more. Sure I messed up, but I could feel the progress, and people could see it. Can still see it I suppose. So I guess I was thinking I was maybe heading to the finish line you know? I’ve been to that amazing place, the one I want to just stay in for the rest of my life. That place where I’m at peace with what’s been done, at peace with my child being a stranger who somehow believes I’m worth hating, or trying to hate anyway. The place where I know she doesn’t hate me, I know, I really know. The place where I can see her father’s point of view on life and know that this, all of this, is just a symptom of the terrible hurts he’s lived with for his entire life time.

It’s really a lovely place. Only somehow I slipped out of it. I did. Maybe more like fell actually. I’m really shaking mad deep down, like war paint mad. But It will fade, I’ll get through it again, I always do, and it always gets easier. I just didn’t expect to feel the same crappy way I have so many times just as strongly after doing all that damn work and forgiving, all that breathing. And right now I can’t breathe, and I want to scream, and rip and tear, and shake the world. So naturally, that came up in counseling, heh. And I was told of course it’s natural to go through this whole cycle over and over, it’s like a corkscrew, she said. But it was unclear if I’ll eventually be able to open the wine. It seems to me that’s the point of all the work though, right? One great thing – I’m lucky enough to be reunited with my son, after a few terrible years. We’re both still healing and figuring out who we are, but we have lots of love, so that’s a great start.

Still I keep twisting my way through this angry place and I know I don’t want to stay here. I’ve seen way too many people who never get out of it, and they are dying inside. I’ve tried to pull some of them along as I corkscrewed off into better ways of coping. And even now I don’t want to join my voice to their furious chorus. I don’t want to wring my hands and go all outraged victim either. Screw that. Well, corkscrew it anyway I hope. I know the victim, and she hates me. I’m just collateral damage compared to that. I’m not that angry anymore about all I’ve lost. I mean, bullshit, of course I am, but that’s just one of those dull aches I carry under my skin, you can tell it by the dead spots like the rest of my scars.

But I am dead furious at what’s been done to her. No child should ever have to explain to one parent where the other one got the money for the new TV, or keep notes of mistakes in a journal, or lie like a trapped animal. She was well and truly trapped. I hope she’s feeling freer now. That’s all I had left to offer I guess, letting her go without calling in lawyers and screaming about *my* rights. I do have them, those rights. I’m custodial parent in the last signed legal anything. And that’s worth exactly nothing unless I decide to actually put on the war paint (spoiler alert, that won’t happen, because why make more pain, really, when there’s been so much). Oh but the way she left, no words, no confrontation, just a lie about getting help, working together, all of us for her, and then poof. Somehow everyone just made it clear she wasn’t coming back, wasn’t getting help. Somehow I just knew. Still, I didn’t think it would be two and a half years and counting… I mean, I’d been warned, but I never really believed it would go that far. Even she told me it was war. I’m just thick. Add that to the journals.

Ah, some sadness is coming back in, that’s progress. Maybe I’ll wake up less pissed tomorrow and I can get back to the kind of healing I actually enjoy. This kind sucks. But, apparently, it’s necessary. Because I guess we’re all screwed, really. We find ourselves back in the dark hallways we swore we’d never revisit. We gain back the weight, or re-lose the temper, or get afraid of elevators, or revisit the rape all over again. Yeah, cliche though it is, we handle stuff when we’re ready. I’m apparently ready to throw myself at this a bit harder this time, and maybe make even more of a mess. I’m apparently ready to talk about it more, to write about it more. I really really hope this will help me make it to that wine someday.

November Poem-a-Day: Day 19

For today’s prompt, write an excuse poem. People are full of excuses–I’m no different–and sometimes they’re valid; other times, not so much. Write a poem about making excuses, listening to excuses, or hey, maybe excuse someone for making them.

1416431176This quote used to live on the top of my Facebook page, back when we had quotes on our Facebook pages. 

I think I’ve received only a handful of actual apologies in my fairly long life. It’s an art form, and we could all do better at this.


You say you didn’t mean it
As if that stops the pain
As if you are my barometer
So I’ve no right to complain

It’s my job to be forgiving
Every time you cause me harm
But remember that I’m broken
And can’t be healed with churlish charm

I love you is not a Band-Aid
I didn’t mean it is no excuse
All your promises are rotting
And I’m tired of the abuse

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

November Poem-a-Day: Day 6

Prompt: For today’s prompt, write a happy now poem. There are a few ways to come at this prompt. For instance, I could think something along the lines of, “I am happy now.” Or I could spin it another way with, “Am I happy now?” Or project outwards, “Are you happy now?” Of course, the emphasis could be on the word “happy” or the word “now.” I hope everyone finds happiness with their poeming now.


Don’t tell me to smile
It’s simply not good style
And file this away for a rainy day
Bossing me happy is a bad way to play
You can’t order me joy
Like a toy from some site
It’s my right to feel wrong
And still belong on this street
With my feet and my frown
You see, I won’t be your clown
You can’t paint on my face
Or disgrace or displace me
And smile or not,
There’s no way to replace me
Let me be with my thoughts
And connect my own dots
And oh, a question meanwhile
Please tell me, where is your smile?

~ Liesl Dineen

no man’s land

My head is on fire
A pyre full of pain
Because my small brain
Can’t contain the aches
From mistakes I keep making
I am shaking, fingers pressing
And caressing
At the edges of a bruise I didn’t choose
I’ve been used and used up
An empty cup and still you reach
Beseeching but rehearsed
Oh you’re all about your thirst
But I’m all dried up like sand
I am no man’s land
So take your sad quaking
And your taking, and goodbye
Now please fly
So that I can leave the desert
And find myself a sea
Just for me, just for me
Just for me

~Liesl Dineen 2014

Go away hope

Go away hope
Isn’t there someplace that you need to be?
I’m not in the mood for your sweetness
Because I’m giving up sugar you see

Go away hope
Don’t you see that you’re not wanted here?
I’m not in the mood for your moonbeams
I’d prefer if you’d just disappear

Go away hope
Here’s your pillow and there’s the door
I’m not in the mood for your singing
You’re not welcome here anymore

Go away hope
Make like a tree and please leave
I’m not in the mood for your twirling
I can’t think what you hope to achieve

Go away hope
Why is it you can’t get a clue?
I know you won’t leave while you’re dancing
So perhaps I’ll just dance once with you

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

July 13


When all self-doubt
is put to rest,
she faces herself
and finally says Yes.

~ Liesl Dineen 2014


Your words of sympathy dear
Eased the pain far too much
I didn’t even notice once
The feel of your blade in my back

Until I stumbled there
And finally felt my insides
Becoming fluid on the ground
Until familiar fingerprints took shape

Your words of pity dear
Reached my ears as you declared
How sad my story was, poor me
To anyone offering the time of day

Until I turned to the sunshine
And finally felt my insides
Becoming solid and lifting me up
Until I recognized myself again

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

July 11

Eggshells and Angel Wings

Aside from the births of miracles,
Aside from those moments of pure joy
That you believe will last, somehow, forever in your heart,
Aside from the times when you know you are loved,
There is epiphany.
The clearest moment of my life was this.
I sat describing to Gina my therapist and savior
A moment of anger, pure in its fury and to my point,
And I began to explain the whys,
And I talked about the rights I had,
The right to this anger I had felt bile-burning my throat.
But she stopped me then, gently.
I expected her to tell me I was wrong, I suppose.
I’d always been wrong for being angry.
But instead she asked me a question
So powerful and poignant that I was changed
What, she asked, calm and centered, lips upturned just a touch,
What if…
What if you were just angry, without any reason at all?
Would that be okay?
And it felt like being slapped by sunbeams.
It felt like being swallowed by God,
Like a pair of angel wings erupted from my back
And I could fly to places I’d never even dreamed about
(and I dreamed about a lot).
And she waited while this happened,
So calm sitting there while everything I’d ever been
Was scrubbed under this waterfall of bliss.
She knew it was a moment for silent watching.
She knew she’d given me a key.
And when I finally landed back there in that room,
On the couch with the pillow I kept so often on my lap,
Sitting across from her tilted head and upturned mouth,
I may have hollered and whooped.
And I know I said something coherent,
Something like “Well, that would be okay, wouldn’t it.”
Something like “Oh my God. I never thought about it this way.”
And then “I’m allowed to be angry, I’m allowed to feel, just because I am!”
And the truth of these things lifted me back into the air
Just a little, at first,
Just enough to float back into my old house and my old life
As if I wasn’t something entirely new quite yet.

~ Liesl Dineen 2014

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