I miss the girl I almost was

i-miss-the-girl-i-almost-was

i miss the girl i almost was

she sits lightly on the edge of the bed
at 4am and brushes my hair back from my
face with a touch like spiders’ footsteps

her breath is like ice and
her wishes are weightless

she wraps a strand of promises around
her fingers and kisses me goodbye again
with lips like polished crystal

she waits for me at crossroads

she is always cold

– – – – –

I know I usually post poetry without much explanation or context, but I want to talk about this one a bit.

First of all, anyone who knows me well or reads this blog regularly will notice the weirdness of the use of the word ‘girl’ in relation to myself. It’s not a label I feel fits me at this point in my life, partly because of my age (are thirty-six year old ‘girls’ really a thing?) and partly because I rarely gender myself in this way at all. That said, for most of my life it was like “Well, everyone else looks at me and thinks ‘woman’ so I guess that’s what I am”, regardless of how I actually felt about myself. So yeah, it feels a bit strange for gender-ambivalent me to say ‘girl’ but I wrote this poem quite a few years ago and I don’t want to change it now, cause for whatever reason it felt right at the time.

The fact that it’s not recent is also important. For a long time, I didn’t feel like I was really over the eating disorder that had been a big part of my existence from childhood until my early twenties. It haunted me like the ghost of something I could have been, which is what this poem is about. I’m happy to say that I’ve recently started to recognise that I am genuinely, fully recovered. I look in the mirror and see what is actually there, not some terrifying shape-shifting nightmare of myself. I enjoy cooking and eating food and it is not attached to any feelings of guilt or shame. I used to wonder if I would ever reach this point, so it’s a big deal to realise that I have.

I guess this poem is a tribute to someone I might have been but also to someone I was for a very long time. The people we’ve been are the building blocks of the people we are and I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t also been that person.

4 Replies to “I miss the girl I almost was”

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