Eggshells

Why are we expected to avoid conflict by hiding our emotions?

I saw a meme today that said, “If you avoid conflict to keep the peace you start a war inside yourself.”

When you are feeling unseen, unheard, unwelcome, or even unloved, why isn’t it okay to have a temporary yet bad reactionary moment? Why is it not okay to stand up and say out loud, “I am hurting and this is what I need from you”? Why do we have to tiptoe out of fear that if we don’t eloquently display our disapproval and disappointment, they will pack their bags and leave? Since when do we have to be, and do, and say the exact prescribed monologue written for us 100% of the time?

Not even one of us is a perfect Human specimen. We are expected to make mistakes. Mistakes and flaws, and yes, honest apologies, make us Human. We are allowed to have emotional relapses where we aren’t fully and completely in control of how we react to an unfortunate situation. No, this shouldn’t be our resting state, our normal, all-day, everyday state of mind. But who the hell invented this notion that you must always say the perfect thing and hide your true feelings about something just because it may potentially piss someone off? Why must we hide who we are?

Why is it okay to openly say, “I love you” or “I’m so happy with us,” but it’s not okay to say, “I’m disappointed. The last-minute change of plans, without considering how I feel, really frustrates me.” Why do we have to put on a happy face and pretend we aren’t disappointed? Why can’t we be imperfect Humans?

We can not be expected to constantly spew rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns. That’s not real life. That’s the kind of performance pedestal we’re bound to fall off of.

A boy may be as disagreeable as he pleases, but when a girl refuses to crap sunshine on command, the world mutters darkly about her moods. ~ Scott Lynch

Well, you got that right, Scotty!

Disappointment is inevitable in any kind of relationship, so why do we, especially as women, feel the need to apologize for expressing that disappointment? For Christ’s sake, why can’t we all just be real with each other 100% of the fucking time, even when it’s absolutely uncomfortable?! Those are the very moments when we can truly see each other and work together on our problems as a team. Why can’t it be “You and me against the problem” instead of “You against me”? Jesus, we teach our children that Teamwork Makes the Dream Work. Why can’t we as adults, embrace the same?

How can we say we love each other, when we expect the other to hide their true feelings? In my world, that’s not love; that’s called Conditional Approval. That’s the agreement that I am worthy of your love, when I display only your preferred and pre-approved emotions. That is not love. That, friends, is fucking control.

When I love you, I love all of you. The good, the bad, the ugly, even the messy. I will love it all… until it kills me. Just as I will never half-ass love you, I will not accept half-ass and conditional love in return. Be all in or get all out!

Anyone who knows me knows I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don’t have a big wardrobe, but I do own a lot of flip flops, and a lot of boots, and I’ll tell you this right now: Neither are suitable for walking on eggshells.

This warrior spirit of mine will move on. No one needs to climb to get beyond the walls I’ve built around my heart.  Hell, I’ll probably toss them a ladder. I will let someone in again. I will fall hard, and I will fall fast because that’s what I do. I’ve been hurt a lot, but I always get back up. That saying, “I know what I bring to the table, so trust me, I’m not afraid to dine alone,” damn, that speaks volumes, and this self-made woman isn’t taking anymore shit!

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

~ Jen Troyer, July 2020

Crying Uncle

There are days when the universe forces you to feel All.The.Shit. Every little bit. You’re thinking, “Oh, my god. I’m so fucking healed. Look at how capable I am of being normal.” But something comes along and breaks your toes, twists your arm behind your back, urges you to cry “uncle.” It reminds you: Oh, sweetie. You ain’t even close to being fixed. Here. Let me put this noun in front of you.

Person

place

thing

…whatever

You’re so hungry you’ll eat it up. We all eat lies when we’re starving.

Infatuation

Desperation

Trepidation  

Let me give you a taste of what happiness could feel like. If you were normal.

The illusion

Your delusion

Your fucked up, messy life’s infusion

of chaos  

You’ll never be full. You avoided friction. Couldn’t fix your little girl’s addiction.  And now you’ll try to heal the pain with literally anything.

Sell it

Build it

Decorate it

Eat it

Drink it

Fuck it

Divorce it

Shampoo

Rinse

Repeat

Rest your head, mama. Take a break. Dry your pillow. Sleep. Dream of a do-over. You can’t fix this. Grief requires your full attention.

You will survive this. What is normal anyway? You are a goddess. It was not your fault.

~ Jen Troyer, May 2020

Airport Aorta, January 2019

this is what I wanted

THIS IS WHAT I WANTED!

said through smoke rings

the smoking room at the airport

my VIP club

the broken hearts club

the airport my aorta

sending oxygenated blood to the two main chambers of my heart

thailand and seattle my ventricles

pieces of myself scattered around the world

leaving is losing

~ Jen Troyer, January 2019

Post War, September 2018

Post War

Turns out five was not my magical number
Perhaps just evidence of life spent in slumber
Of doubts and fears proven true over the years

Hook, line, and sinker, I fell for the con
Withdrawn, tired of being your ex-wife’s pawn
Didn’t take long, realized it was time to be movin’ on

Red flags, all of ‘em I chose to ignore
We killed it. There’s nothing left to restore
I got tired of being the prisoner in your inept war

Oh, you were tired of swimming upstream?
Thought it was time to step on my life’s dream?
Well get in line, buttercup. Shit only floats downstream

You tried taking what wasn’t yours. Something you never even worked for!
Thought I’d be your money whore? Well I’m broke now and to quote Poe, never fucking more

I’m no lifesaver. Not the creator or your savior
Not putting up with your lazy-ass behavior
Get out of my way. I’ve got my own dreams. My own demons to slay

I went along for the ride, witnessed the dark side
Watched as your entitlement was amplified
This bitch, she does not abide, no longer willing to be somebody’s bride

The intensity of my reality
That thing about me you so crave
Thought you’d ride my epic tidal wave
Step off babe, I’ve only got myself to save

No longer coupled, You and me
Don’t need to be livin’ in treachery
Return to your basement of lies
There’s nothing left to agonize

Welcome to the new me, the Phoenix, watch as I rise
It took a while, but I saw through your disguise
Not bathing in love or baptized. A ship wrecked, marriage capsized

You had it all, so content
Lazing on my couch, satisfied with my lament
Thought you’d watch my descent
Hey, that $80K you stuck me with… money well spent

Welcome to the Post War

~ Jen Troyer, September 2018

Digression, May 2018

Digression

Only hurt people hurt people
That’s what I keep saying… in this bed where I keep laying
Waiting for the pain to stop or the other shoe to drop
Waiting for the tears to decrease or maybe for my heart’s beating to cease

“Love”… We carelessly throw it around or vainly wear it like a goddamn crown
We so desperately put up with its bullshit, being thankful we even have it
Our heart’s very betrayal is purchasing the fairytale portrayal

True love is unconditional? Bullshit, it’s predictable and fictional.
Romeo and Juliet can kiss my ass. The thing about dying is not living with the past.
Except I believe in Karma so maybe losing love or quitting it is my Dharma.

I’ll move away, you can’t/won’t ask me to stay
Just old history, fading into the periphery, free of love’s misery
Gone is the allegiance now we can be strangers with secrets

Instead of hate, let this heart once again palpitate
I’m a cat with nine lives, my heart resurrected too many times
I absolve you. You are free. This time love, The Phoenix, she is me.

Anymore I’m not even sure who I’m writing this for
Maybe it’s for me, maybe for you, all my loves swirling around in a mystery stew
The loves of Jen: of mice, women and men

I digress. Love suppressed.

~ Jen Troyer, May 2018

The Hole, August 2014

The Hole

Crying in the shower 

till the hot water runs out

The tears could fill the tub again

The heart an unrelenting spout

 

Don’t feed the monster –

Afraid to eat

Vomit the only way for the hurt to excrete

 

Heartache, emptiness, anger –

The endless pain

That never seems to wean

 

The hole can’t be filled.

 

You can’t cry it away!

 

You can’t drink away!

 

You can’t fuck it away!

 

Trust me, I’ve tried

The heart keeps pumping

An endless tide

 

All you can do is stare at the hole

Wish it away

Try to fill it with another glass of Cabernet

 

Like a twisted episode of the Twilight Zone

The hour of my discontent

Time for healing unknown

 

You realize the black hole was always there

Plugged for a while

Waiting to tear

 

Filled with 9 years of lies

While the love rotted

Covered in flies

 

Filled with remodels and websites

With exotic trips

But never insights.

 

Filled with psychotic episodes

Masking the trust

As it corrodes

 

Filled with hope and empty promises

The love was sick

A kidney on dialysis

 

No chance of recovery

The reasons are a mystery

 

It’s alright. I digress

No solution or resolution

Our love was a mess.

 

It’s okay, baby.

At the end of the day

I’ll recover – but you, my darling

You’ll always be this way

 

~ Jen Troyer, August 2014

Day 16

There’s a stench in the air, it’s just hanging there
It’s the smell of a heart that’s dead
Buzzards flying overhead

The ache, the pain. Ah man, the burning sting
that first time you see him
without his wedding ring

“Soul mates” he said, “Spend eternity with me” he said
Those lies rest in a bubble over his head
The vows not kept, the hurt widespread

You tell yourself this isn’t real, this can’t be true
The pain sinks in as his words push through
“I’m just not in love with you”

He talks of family like he’s so noble
but where I come from
families aren’t disposable

Thank you for the epiphany, the realization I didn’t have before
The absolute understanding that I deserve more
The truth… I am no longer yours to ignore.


~ Jen Troyer, July 2014

No Gray, January 2009

No Gray

Gray: “Dull in color, lacking cheer or brightness in

mood, outlook, style, or flavor”

My world is black and white

I see no gray

 

I am skinny or fat, tall or short

happy or sad, sunny or cloudy

in-love or not

there are no in-betweens for me

 

You are liberal or conservative

caffeinated or not

middle of the road doesn’t work

this is how I see you

 

You either love me or hate me

you’re with me or against me

you see me as who I truly am

…or you reject me

 

You long to be with me or can’t wait to get away

you are my everything or

…nothing at all

 

I wonder where this came from

it’s always been the case

right or wrong

it’s just me

 

Perhaps with renewed hope

I’ll see different shades

the lightness and darkness

…the different hues of me

 

~ Jen Troyer , January 2009

Limbo, May 2007

Limbo

I am in Limbo. Somewhere between Heaven and Hell – without believing either ever existed. This is where dead souls come to wait, to be rescued from the chaos they’ve created in their own lives.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t intentionally come here. I just loved. That’s supposed to be good and pure and light – and it was for a while. For a while it was beautiful and amazing, it was warm and it was happy – until it was revealed that it was all a lie. A made up place in a person’s mind, a place I could visit but never stay.

I’m a crack whore or a meth addict. I just want more. I want one more hit of that place with you. I know what could be waiting at the end of the road for me, but I just want more. I want to feel that way again. One more hit, one more kiss, one more orgasm, and then I’ll stop being addicted to you.

I’m a born again Christian, just trying to do everything right so I can get to that place – that made up place somewhere out there, so I can be saved by you. Just like a Christian, who has been made to believe all the scary things you say: Love me or go to hell, Reject me and go to hell. But loving you is hell. Loving you means rejecting me.

Just one more hit, one more orgasm, one more kiss, one more embrace, then I’ll stop my addiction.

I’m Dorothy in my own sick Wizard of Oz, just trying to go home. But I don’t know where home is anymore and I keep following some God dammed brick road stained yellow from the piss of every failed relationship I’ve ever had. And if I look closely, I realize you’re the wizard of oz and I’m every fucking character. You stole my heart. You stole my brain. You stole my mother fucking identity and just gave me a hint of your made up Kansas.

But I just want one more hit, one more orgasm, one more click of my heels and then I’ll go…or you’ll stay and realize that we made heaven ourselves.

~ Jen Troyer, May 2007