The Cycle


Photo Credit: Warrior Art

A Poem for adults who suffered abuse in their childhood, and suffer with mental illness or addiction in adulthood:

When the pain can be traced to the very roots of the tree
Is there really any escaping it?
A curse passed down from generation to generation
Teaching their kin to rage, worry, blame, wallow
Building foundations for failure

Regrets and more regrets
Blame and more blame
Siblings lost together in a place they can’t escape
It’s home, but their young souls know it shouldn’t be

One sibling grows up
Blaming, hating, selfishly ripping through their home
Like an unpredictable tornado
The debris: broken hearts of those who can’t help but love them

Another sibling grows up
Sweeping secrets under a rug
Arranging flowers, ironing wrinkled clothes
Polishing tarnished silver
Making things appear perfect
When really, she’s a perfect disaster

When will the cycle stop?
When will the blaming end?
I know the pain is real, I’ve felt it
I know the demons are there, I battle them

Being a grown up is hard
Being a parent is hard
Being a grown-up parent who suffered abuse in their childhood
Is excruciatingly lonely and painful

But our children cannot not be the punching bags that we were
Our spouses cannot be the target that we spew our anger at
Our families deserve the best of us

The best of our childhood was stolen from us
We cannot steel it back from our kids
It doesn’t work like that

The cycle needs to stop here
For a long time, the fight will be constant
But we’ll get stronger, wiser and better

We are warriors who draw the line in the sand
With swords dripping our own blood
Marking the boundary that will not be crossed
And fiercely guarding it

We’ll need to fight for our own happiness
We’ll need to battle the demons
Who threaten to steal it from us
And plant lies in our heads that we’re bad
That we’re not worthy
That we’re unlovable

But we have to fight
Forever
And ever

Accept this
And you can begin
Your new journey

®Cristina Cole

Go AWAY, Winter!


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Are roses red?
Are violets blue?
No really, are they?
I don’t remember what’s true

This winter is long
It’s cold and ruthless
If my teeth keep chattering
Soon I’ll be toothless

Morning: the sun peeks out
Burnt yellow, like a yoke
But by noon there’s a blizzard
Mother Nature’s sick joke:

“Just kidding, little ones!
Go back inside
The freezing rain is on its way!
Your tulips will die”

Who else is over this sh*t?  

®Cristina Cole

When You Share Too Much


When you stir up old feelings that you don’t like to have, it’s like unloading a suitcase of old dusty things onto your bed
You won’t rest easy again until everything is sorted through, and neatly stored away again
But when you’re a mom when do you get the chance to clean up the mess in your soul?
You’re so busy making sure everyone else’s buckets are full that yours stays empty
It’s exhausting to hear the reminder that you MUST fill your own bucket (self care) when your arms are two shovels that are currently being used to fill other people
Of course you know it’s time to take care of yourself, but how? When? With what money?
When you’re home with your kids there is a guilt that’s carried around with you: any money spent on yourself is stolen from your family
What will make me feel good right now? Getting my nails done, hair done, some shopping, yoga classes, going to a book store, buying home decor items…
Sometimes none of these
Sometimes I have no idea what I like anymore

Sometimes I just need to talk
Sometimes I get into rare, deep conversations with other moms
We go deep, deeper than intended
It feels good in the moment
But later you feel a little regretful
Did I share too much?
Did I scare her away?
Did I just fill her bucket with negativity
Did I just pull her into my sadness?
Maybe
Maybe not
Maybe she feels less alone like I do when I share
Sometimes I share too much
Sometimes that’s okay ❤

®Cristina Cole

Simplification


focus

I wish I lived during simpler times

When text messages or emails were letters written, sealed with wax and mailed with hopeful intentions

When the sound of clopping hooves on a gravel road, not a ‘ding’, meant a message was arriving

When things took time, when nothing was instantaneous, when we relied on our own selves to fill the lulls – to read, to write, to draw, to stare at nothing and daydream in silence

There are too many options, too much noise, so much stuff!

The need to acquire more things can’t be satiated

I try to simplify, declutter, compartmentalize my stuff, my thoughts, my life

But I need to do it over and over

The white noise, dinging tablets, vibrating phones is a constant distraction

A force that pulls my mind away from what matters

A beckoning to come and see what I might be missing

And when I finally give in there is no satisfaction

There is only regret when I notice I missed nothing – just like I knew, but couldn’t let go

Feeling like a fool I vow to simplify my life

But know how the cycle goes

And do what I can to minimize the distraction as I try to live my life

 

Sunflower Field


sunflowers

Photo Credit: 360mm Photography (Jenn was our photographer)

Sunflowers surround her
All their yellow faces looking up at the sun
She traces her finger along the silky petals
Towards the fuzzy centre
Her finger lingers there as she
Remembers her youth for a split second
Embraces the feeling of carelessness and freedom
But as quickly as the moment comes
It begins to fade
She closes her eyes
Feels the sun on her eyelids
And can still see the orange hues dancing
Behind the veil of her lashes
She breathes in a long, deep breath
Smelling the crisp air
Bringing back more memories of her youth
The distinct smell of a new day
And all its possibilities for play
For happiness and sunshine
For friendship and laughter

This is what the sunflower represents for her
On her wedding day, her bouquet was a cluster
Of large yellow sunflowers
She held it in her hands, holding onto her dreams
Of happiness and of new beginnings
Grasping onto the little girl within her, who is
Giggling and carefree in her field of silky yellow petals
Staring up at the sky, hoping to be bathed in the affection of the sun

Her hand drops down to the stem now
And in an instant she’s back in the present
The moment has passed
The sunflowers so still and tall
Make her feel small and fill her with longing
For carelessness and freedom
And effortless, fleeting moments
Of true, undiluted happiness

©Cristina Cole – All rights reserved.

Reminiscing About School Days


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(Photo Credithttp://thegraphicsfairy.com/vintage-clip-art-back-to-school/)

I used to love going back to school after the summer…

A blank slate
A new beginning
The smell of paper
The smell of new text books
The smell of wax crayons
And Mr. Sketch markers
Intoxicating to a child starting a new year at school

New school bag filled with
Fun new pens and pencils
A new lunch bag with lots of snacks
Made by mom with love
A new outfit and shoes
Freshly-washed hair with barrettes
Pinning it back to show a fresh, smiling face

Eyes looking up at the school
Nose sniffing the fresh air
Mouth turned up at the sides
Heart beating with anticipation
For the first day back to school

©Cristina Cole  

Thunderstorm


I fell asleep to the sound of thunder and rain last night. It was blissful…

thunderstorm

(Photo Credit: Michael Bolognesi Photography)

Through the veil of my eyelids

Flashes of blue light seep through

My body tenses while waiting for the thunder to follow

The rolling sound comes nearer until finally

A loud crack shakes through the sky

Then a blanket of rain begins to fall

Soaking the earth, soaking my soul

The soothing sound rocks me to sleep

Nature sings her lullaby

And I listen like a child

While wrapped in my summer quilt

Mother Nature nurtures my senses

Until I give in to a heavy slumber

© Copyright – All rights reserved – Cristina Cole