Ambiguous loss

I dreamt lastnight that you were dead
without realising it was all in my head

I could not help you
I could not scream

For It was just a silly dream
I sat in sorrow; we hadnt spoke since last year

You asked me to walk you home the night before
but I declined out of fear

In the morning you were found,
"She's Dead", said the policeman as he coldly frowned

My lungs bled, as I was drowned,
Tears hit each cheek, Faster and harder

Until my heart stopped its rhythmic beat
Leaving me empty with a hint of guilt ridden defeat; for not saving my mother, for not having a cure

I cried out in my sleep; for the mum i thought i'd lost months before
To a mental ilness that i could no longer endure

Leaving every pound of me gut-wretchingly raw
Tears flooded my eyes, fleeing from the sunken ships, once homing bright blue eyes

i suddenly remembered I was always terrible at saying my goodbyes
All the while remembering the many times

When you bounced me on my bed, nursed me better, made me laugh till i peed,
you probably even gave me my very first baby bath

Mental illness took over your brain; It didnt just throw you to the drain
But it hurt your daughters along the way, the ones you apparantly loved

mental illness, your weakness, your curse drove me Insane, the way you'd drink, do drugs, become anti-social, talk nonsence, never ask about how i was, sleep with underage boys as if they were pretend toys.

You were superficially charming; You played the game
Demanded respect, wanted fame

To outsiders you were seemingly tame
Everything bad you did, i felt to blame

What happened to you as a child?
What did your parents do to make you this wild?

You never percieve your behaviours as dangerous or consequential to others
My emotions never understood, never important, it still gives me shudders

You had me under your thumb, leaving you made me hesitant
To me you were truly significant

Your needs always put first, above my own; I'd dash back if u demanded me to come home
I'd even put you on a gold pedastal and buy you a gold throne

Notorious for damaging innocent goods; you sure left me in tearful floods
whilst running through dark abandoned woods
to make a life elsewhere, to escape unfortunate despair
most importantly, to see if anyone did care

I didnt have a voice when i was little
life to me was a riddle

I was laughed at, controlled, belitted
but now im as fit as a fiddle

independant, sensitive and sweet
skin thick to shield from the forces that enjoy tricking fresh meat

now i write to make sense of these unnamed, untamed emotions
I write oceans and oceans; of these anecdotal, poetic, potions.

Written by Caitlin James on 16/01/19
© Caitlin james 2019

Author's Comments

I dont speak to my mum who struggled to care for me. Its a complex grief reaction which cause me to have vivid nightmares of this comlex loss. She may be physicaly around but psychologically not present. Even though i smile each day my pain is there, gently hidden. I suppose i dont have her in my life but the unconditional love is there, deep down i miss her and feel bare. writing poetry helps me to express ma feelings:)

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heart, lost, home, Family, mourning, mental illness, ambiguous loss, ptsd, bad dreams, dysfunctional families, human nature

Christopher Russon 04/05/19


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