I. My clothes are all in dresser drawers now, and that makes me feel so ADULTY. Before the ol’ switcheroo, I had everything on a little shelving unit, so my things were always all over the place, and my little rascal girl, Salem would help herself to things, like my underwear or socks, to chew and cuddle. Not ideal. Everything in the drawers = awesome.

II. I have a linen chest sitting at the foot of my bed now, too, so I can store sheets and blankets somewhere other than shoved into the linen closet wherever there might be room. It also serves as a great place to sit and meditate in the evenings, since the top is cushioned. Sybil the cat is a little annoyed because I used to have this chest up against the radiator in the living room, and was her perch, but she’ll live.

III.¬†Thursday’s therapy session included some annoyance. My therapist was all ‘I’d like you to be more okay with needing people’ (I’m paraphrasing – she’s far more articulate than that), and I was like FUCK NO NO DO NOT WANT. I want to be resilient. I want to take care of *myself*. I am totally fine with being ‘wanty’. I am not okay with being needy. I told her all this, and I did not do anything to hide my annoyance. <—-What? When she asked me who or what I was annoyed with, I said “YOU, Leanne. I’m annoyed with YOU.”

She laughed, and said “Good. I’d be annoyed, too.”

We uncovered some of why, which made me cry fat tears of grief for the child I was who was legitimately not allowed to need anyone or anything. There’s a story I could tell you about being sick with a stomach flu and being so painfully aware of what an inconvenience I was. I was just a little girl – five? Six? Vomiting my guts up, blinking back tears, and saying “SEE MOMMY? I DIDN’T EVEN CRY!”

My fucking heart aches for that little girl, y’all.

ANYWAY. *Waves her hands furiously like she does when feels get feely*

At the end of the session she THANKED ME FOR TRUSTING HER ENOUGH TO GET ANNOYED WITH HER. <—–What?

I’m learning…

Later, my boyfriend was being playful with me, but I was a raw nerve, and his banter was hurting my feelings. I said “I’m really sensitive right now, but rather than ask you to be mindful of that, I’m going to wander off for the night.”

He said “No. Ask me to be mindful.”

And for the rest of the night, he was the loveliest, tenderest, sweetest…because I needed him to be, and he doesn’t mind when I need things.

Mind. Blown.

IV. THIS FUCKING SONG

You all know how much I love LP, but Noah Cyrus is new to me. This song MAKES ME CRY, my loves. It makes me feel all my feelings about love and loss and devotion and lack thereof.

Mostly, though, it’s just a true story about how I’ll take the punches for you, because, yes. That.

“Gentle” mixed media on paper

V. Whenever I tell him I miss him, I am always a little bit afraid that he finds it annoying. Because, my ex found/finds the whole ‘missing people’ thing problematic. Missing = needing and he doesn’t need anybody, and if I miss him, that makes me needy and that is also problematic…at least, that’s how it was when we were together. I don’t know where he lands now because I have long since stopped asking him if he misses me/telling him that I miss him. Who needs that constant sense of rejection? Not this girl. Not anymore.

I recognized this in myself last night when I was missing my love *savagely* and found myself hesitant to say it. Picture this girl, sitting with her hands poised over the keyboard, the sense of longing overwhelming, the words wanting to arise so that they could leave my body and give me some peace, however temporary. Picture this girl, going over all the million ways a person might respond to hearing that they’re missed, and feeling all the wobbles over such a human, tender thing…

I said it anyway.

Weekends without you suck, love. Fuck weekends without you.

He agrees, because of course he does. He misses me, too.

VI. Savage longing is really good for poets, but not so good for humans with trauma. Any strong emotion that arises within me comes with a trauma response. I want to *not feel these things* because feeling these things is fucking scary. But I’m leaning in. Letting it all arise. Working with it like I teach in Moonshine – being with it as though it matters (because it does). Taking it to my meatspace people if I need a witness. Writing it out. Arting it out. Letting it flow into poems.

VII. I had a good cry last night before sleep. I lit my Himalayan salt lamps (they take tea lights), sprayed the room with a purifying essential oil blend, listened to a sad song on repeat, and just let it flow. I *needed* it, needed the release, needed to be with myself in the sadness, in the longing, needed to let it be okay not to be okay for a little minute there.So I ritualized it. I made it magic. I gave my tears to the moon, and let her take them.

I have come a very long way since the days when I used to punch my therapist’s couch if the tears started to rise. I was all resistance to feeling anything that could be perceived as ‘difficult’ – or at least, I was resistant to expressing it. I’m getting softer with myself. I’m letting myself feel things. Sad, lonely, frustrated, annoyed, angry…it’s all (she says, begrudgingly) welcome. All of it.

VIII.I am learning how to wrap my arms around myself and love myself through every storm. I’m learning how to let other people wrap their arms around me and love me, too.

IX. I am so goddamned human, y’all. So. tenderly. human. In my next life, I’d like to be a robot.

X. But not really, because poems.

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