saying goodbye

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(Photo credit: wakingphotolife:)

Last night, we had two extremely powerful writing circles inside CRCF. Opening with Maya Angelou’s poem, ‘STILL I RISE’ set the energy level for the night. To a woman, each in the circle rose to the occasion, producing powerful words and revelations. A second writing challenged each woman to condense her longer piece to a haiku-style three-line verse. JD entered into the spirit of the evening with characteristic determination – the more so, perhaps, on this eve of her departure from the facility. We wish her well as she prepares to re-enter life back home, without her ‘dear’ drug habit.


‘Leaving behind nights of terror and fear,’
I say goodbye to you, my dear.
It will be a long hard road, I’m sure;
as long as I keep going, my mind should stay pure.
I’m sorry our relationship has come to an end
as well as all the bad energy you send.
Our relationship one-sided, you controlled it all
and every step I took, all I did is fall.

‘I rise into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear.’
With that empowering moment, I have no fear.
I won’t let your trickery drag me down anymore.
Now I’m the one that has tricks in store.
Just like the rest of life, darkness is broken with shining light
and I will always continue the everlasting fight.
If in life you get back up every time you fall
you know with certainty that you can have it all.
– JD


I say goodbye, dear;

that empowering moment
light broken darkness.

– JD

cold and empty place

Image courtesy of Deborah Koff-Chapin, Soul Cards II

Most of the writing we do inside is ultimately healing for the women involved – a process that extends across time. We do not see how or where the pain, the destructive cycles of behavior begin; and do not always see a resolution. Occasionally, however, an especially powerful writing session precipitates just that. As did yesterday’s. We were using Deborah Koff-Chapin’s soul card deck to deepen writing we had done earlier in the hour. This particular image fairly shouted across the table to RP, who snatched it up, started writing breathlessly, and then drew from her folder writing she had done just days earlier.

Turns out the two writings formed the ‘before-and-after’ of some intense healing work; the image being the fulcrum on which both balanced. Can you feel the writer’s shift in self-awareness and determination to live her life on her own terms?

Anger rising and seething around you.
I breathe in your bitterness and hate.
Left standing in the ashes of a life destroyed.

It is daylight, yet I walk in the dark.
I plead for you to stop your barrage.
Your face so contorted like a demon.
You try to twist my soul like yours,
on knees that are begging for you to leave.
I know you never ever will.
You have me trapped in a cell made of anger and resentment.

I have stopped fighting the ugliness you throw at me.
Stuck in your grasp like prey in a hawk’s talons.
The source of my sadness and emptiness.
Every word you say, meant to stab and maime me.
I have tried to run away but you find me again and again.

Staring down the devil is easier than looking in your eyes.
Were you born to be like this?
Did someone teach you how to be so toxic?
I can feel the coldness coming off the ice of your heart.
I have lost my love for you.
Hate isn’t what I feel for you, it is pity.

Chained to you for my whole life.
Your anger steeped into me 20 years ago.
I let you slowly kill me inside.
Let all my happiness and joy wither and die, like a rose once the cold comes.

I’ve stopped searching for answers.
Stopped looking for hiding places.
I will quietly bow out of this game; you won!

Will I rise like the phoenix from my ashes?
I ask for rebirth and flight everyday.
You are left to swirl around in the anger . . . all alone.

Just someone I used to know.

You wouldn’t like to see me this way.
You would rather I listen to what you say.

I’ve broken free from your chains.
I’ve begun to soothe my pain.

I am on my way to a certain peace,
where all the suffering you caused will cease.

I still have a piece of you locked inside,
yet it’s one I wish not to hide.

As I leave with a smile on my face,
I leave you in your cold and empty space.