I have to admit that all my reading and writing has belonged to grad school, but I’m here and I’m thinking of you. I do a lot of thinking these days. I can’t stop thinking about this tonight. I talked to a friend going through a break up from a terrible man, and this kept running in my head.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/38766162″>Warsan Shire – "For Women Who Are Difficult To Love"</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/movingonworks”>MovingOn</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
You are a horse running alone
and he tries to tame you
compares you to an impossible highway
to a burning house
says you are blinding him
that he could never leave you
want anything but you
you dizzy him, you are unbearable
every woman before or after you
is doused in your name
you fill his mouth
his teeth ache with memory of taste
his body just a long shadow seeking yours
but you are always too intense
frightening in the way you want him
unashamed and sacrificial
he tells you that no man can live up to the one who
lives in your head
and you tried to change didn’t you?
closed your mouth more
tried to be softer
less volatile, less awake
but even when sleeping you could feel
him traveling away from you in his dreams
so what did you want to do love
split his head open?
you can’t make homes out of human beings
someone should have already told you that
and if he wants to leave
then let him leave
you are terrifying
and strange and beautiful
something not everyone knows how to love.
It doesn’t directly relate to my life right now, but I feel it. I have spent my entire life trying to be smaller and easier and simpler and less of a pain. I can remember, one of my first memories and one of the few of my mother in early childhood, she was suddenly there and her face was evil red and she grabbed my arm and yanked me up by it. I had been laughing at something. I found something hysterical. I have no memory of what it was. Maybe it was a cartoon or a game I was playing with a doll. I had been laughing in the sunbeam streaming in the living room window and then suddenly her red angry face was inches from mine as she yelled at me to stop it, that my laughter was too much and would I please just shut up. And suddenly I was crying wracking silent sobs. I felt so ashamed and I could see this was making her madder. I knew I needed to just shut up but I was overwhelmed with tears. She looked at me like I was a disgusting vile thing and dropped me and walked away.
Another time, playing with friends, we were playing house and I was the mama and my two friends were my kids. They made me a drawing and brought it to me and I got so overcome in my fake mama role with the joy of their present and their love of me that I rushed to hug them and kiss them. So charged was I with the intensity of wanting to love on my pretend children, I knocked my friend over and kissed her face over and over again until she shoved me off of her and stood up, infuriated. “What is WRONG with you! Jesus. Holly. You are too much”. They both shot me a look and walked out of my room and out of house and away.
My best friend’s birthday party. I excitedly watched her opening her presents and was thrilled that I had bought the most presents for her and wrapped them all individually in the years of Christmas wrapped paper and home made wrapping I’d decorated. After a couple of presents people were looking at me funny. What happened? What was wrong? Melissa got up and asked me to go talk. “That’s so embarrassing. Why did you do that? Do you want people to think we are lesbians? Damn it, Holly. Too much.
I felt sometimes like everyone had a book about how to be that I didn’t. I thought for a long time that my mother had left because I was so infuriating. I thought my father was depressed so much when I was a child because I was a shitty daughter. He told me he hadn’t been able to meet anyone because of me. I think he meant being a single father made dating hard, but I heard “because you are defective nobody wants to be your step-mother”.
I tried to be simpler and easier and to care less about everything. I was a disaster with the first guys I dated and I got hurt. It happens. I’ve learned and learned and learned and learned and it’s been HARD work.
But I know I’m still a little difficult to love. And maybe that’s okay. Maybe I *am* a little difficult to love, and maybe there will be people, as there have been and are people who are up to the task. I am a lot, but sometimes people want a lot. Maybe you are a bit much too, and maybe there are people in your life or in your future that are looking for something a bit much.