March 24, 2010

The Path Unknown

Posted in recovery tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:53 pm by eddejae

The road stretches endlessly before me,

Infinite beyond the horizon where

The half-circle of blood-red sun hangs suspended,

Neither setting nor rising – no,

Whether it is dusk or dawn I cannot tell –

Casting a soft glow reflecting off the

Dusty road, making it glitter like

A million diamonds free for the taking.

Barefoot and broken, bruised and battered,

I stand at the starting line, shifting restlessly

From one foot to the other in nervous anticipation.

Behind me stretches another path,

Long and winding, serpent-like,

Threatening to coil and spring, swallowing me whole.

I take a step forward, hesitant, then one more.

As the dust settles around my feet,

I look over my shoulder at the path left behind.

From the darkness looms a vision,

A memory – resurrected as a nightmarish scene –

I see my heavy, fragile heart slipping from my chest

And shattering onto the cold, hard concrete.

Vultures emerge from the fog, brutal and mocking,

To steal the shattered remnants of what

Was once alive and beating.

Shivering, I turn back to the glittering path before me.

Another unsteady step, then another, and yet one more –

Further and further from that long night in which

I had grown so pale and weak.

The light from the half-submerged sun burns

Against my skin as I close my eyes to the glare.

Exhaustion overtakes me – I stumble and fall.

Discouraged, frightened, and distracted by my pain,

I draw my knees into my chest with my back to the sun.

Through my tears I look beyond the patch of luminescent road

I had traveled and into the dreary wasteland yet again.

A grand performance has been prepared in my short absence –

Familiar characters and scenes from my past

Are being played out before me –

I cannot shut my eyes to the horror,

And I am once more witness to it all.

In the middle of that stage in the distance stands a girl –

She looks like me, yet, is not me.

Laughing, beckoning, “Return, return –

You know us here. Put on a mask,

Any one you choose, and play with us again.

We will rape your heart and shanghai

Your identity – But is this not the game?

Who can guess to what strange land that

Glistening path will take you –

You do not even know if the sun is coming or going –

Why take such a risk? Come back to us –

Here you can be someone else –

Or no one at all –

Find refuge inside your fears, your insecurities.

At least here in the darkness, you cannot be seen.

At least in this place of pain, you can hide from the

Light that reveals all imperfection –

Come. Come back to what you know.”

Grinning, she turns her back to me, and

Blends into the ensemble of masked mimes,

Despondent clowns, and demons spewing forth

Clawed derisions threatening to tear at the

Fragile fabric of my mind.

Ripping my gaze from the hypnotic chaos before me,

I rise to my feet and consider the scene.

I close my eyes, and breathe in slowly,

And feel the sun’s warmth upon my back.

I turn around, and put one foot forward…



  1. CMcAlister said,

    Dear Edde,

    I must say I love your poems. They are very graphic and portray very accurately what it feels like to be haunted by one’s past. In the many years I have known my wife one thing that always confused me was how valid her emotions were, yet the reaction to such emotions were so… over dramatic. Obviously from what we have learned in the past couple of months has explained just that. She deals with much of the same regret that you are going through as well. One thing that I have done to help her cope was share some of my own regrets. This helped her to see that she’s not the only one that has those “skeletons in the closet” as it were.
    As you have learned there are times when you can very blatantly observe that it is just the BPD talking and separate that irrational fear you are experiencing. Yet BPD is also very tricky in the sense that it will also take very valid fears and other emotions and exaggerate them as well. Yours is not an easy task, because you have to learn where that line is. What is irrational, what is rational and exaggerated, and what is just right. Hence the roller coaster feeling.
    I guess what I am trying to say is what you are feeling is in fact very normal. Don’t be discouraged by your past. Though don’t forget it either, instead let it empower you with knowledge and wisdom. Again let it be a point of reference for you.
    Seeing as you are Christian I want to share with you my favorite story from the Bible. Matthew 14:24-32. This is where Christ is walking on the water and Peter goes out to meet him. Peter too walks on the water, yet the moment he takes his eyes off Christ he begins to sink. Let your March 11th post “Visions of the Future” be that goal, be that light that you would walk on water for. When those “masked mimes,Despondent clowns, and demons spewing forth Clawed derisions threatening to tear at the Fragile fabric of [your] mind,” appear, remember what is most precious to you and walk for it, let that grab your attention. Work for it, fight for it. And ALWAYS remember: you CAN do this!

    • Edde said,

      Thank you so much for your kindness and encouragement.

      I would definitely have to say that the hardest thing about BPD is that you feel everything x 100. Even the smallest negative experience can make you feel like your world is crashing down, and it is frustrating when other people don’t understand. You just feel emotions completely differently – from what I’ve read, the emotional processing part of the brain doesn’t really work right in those with BPD. It takes a lot of “rewiring” through therapy and such to overcome it.

      Because my emotions can be so powerful, confusing, and change so quickly, I often lose touch with reality, and it seems I have to bounce all of my thoughts and feelings off other people to “check in” and see if I even make any sense, or if I’m just overreacting/misunderstanding/being paranoid, etc. At this point I need help to figure out my own feelings, because I’m often not aware of where they come from (hence therapy, support group, etc).

      I’m really glad you pointed out that my feelings are valid and normal, I just may feel them more strongly than I need to, or they lead me to believe things about myself and the world that simply aren’t true – that’s where the problem comes in for me. I’m learning how to 1) identify what I’m feeling (define it); 2) where it is coming from; 3) determine whether I should just accept it and feel it until it passes, or to take it as a sign an indicator that I need to change something in my environment, attitude, behavior, etc. (Like in the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; The courage to change the things I can; And the wisdom to know the difference).

      “Don’t be discouraged by your past. Though don’t forget it either, instead let it empower you with knowledge and wisdom. Again let it be a point of reference for you.” – I definitely think there’s a difference between looking back at the past as a way of reliving it and torturing yourself with guilt, regret, shame, etc. (thereby never truly living in the present or having the energy to move on towards the future) and in glancing back with the mindset of “What can I learn from this, and how can it give me strength, wisdom, understanding, and power now?” That is what I’m trying to do – look back as a way to understand and learn so I don’t repeat the same mistakes – only, at times the memories and feelings come back as a result. I just need to find a balance.

      I appreciate you sharing that story about Peter, and referring back to my March 11 post. I think I have sunk into my negative feelings these last few days and, as a result, have taken my eyes off the goal and hopes of what the future brings. Thank you, thank you for reminding me.

  2. sphinx said,

    hi..i stepped on ur blog surfin thru d net..n was so deeply engrossed in ur poem dat there were unknwn emotions inside me as i skipped from one line to d next…i must say ur an amazin poet ….!!!may god bless u n ur ventures ahead…:)

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