The words don’t fit anymore…
March 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
Two months ago I made a decision to stop writing poetry. It was shocking to a lot of people but it felt right to me. If they only knew what was going on with me, they would understand why I needed to stop…
What many people don’t know about me is that I actually started songwriting in 5th grade. I was in this “girl group” in elementary school and I was the head songwriter. That lasted for about 3 years until the songs transformed into poetry. Fall semester of 8th grade was the defining moment for me. I remember the day clearly: I was in math class zoning in my own little world, thinking about this random boy I had a crush on. These words began to pop up in my head & I started to write them down in my new journal I received for my birthday. Words became lines and those lines turned into my 1st poem. I don’t remember the name of it, but I knew it was about love.
From that day on, I couldn’t stopped writing. Back then in 2004, writing was fun for me. It was a way to organize my thoughts on paper in the best way I knew how. As the years went by & I entered high school, writing became a solid part of my life. I took creative writing classes, submitted my poetry to the school magazine, and even received high praises from my classmates and teachers.
But not everyone was jumping on my bandwagon full throttle. In 9th grade, I wrote a story about a young girl who was raped by her mother and murdered by her priest. My English teacher sent the story to my principal, & I found myself sitting in my principal’s office discussing my alledged “mental problems”. There was also an instance in the summer of 2006 where I attended Exeter’s summer school. I took a poetry workshop class that made me extremely confident and inspired me to write in a dark, macabre tone. Yet I was the only one who was pleased with my work. On the last day of class, my professor took me aside and insisted that I write “happier” poems. She told me that one of her students who wrote similar to me had committed suicide previously. I’ve never been so confused and so angry. I didn’t see anything wrong with the way I wrote, & I didn’t plan on changing it. Before leaving the class I wrote her a note, “I’m not crazy, I just write good stuff.” This drive that was automatically instilled in me was the sole motivation that kept me writing for the next 4 years.
As I grew older & more mature, my poems became more intense. The main themes were about emotionally abusive relationships, self-hate, painful longings for true love, neglect from my father, loneliness, self-destruction, and many more. These poems were strung together with graphic images of drug abuse, dreamy red rose petals, and haunting glassy-eyed stares. I also began to write short stories that were inspired by my poetry idols: Anne Sexton & Edgar Allan Poe. These stories were centered around rape, drug addiction/selling drugs, young love, murder, and mental disorders. The majority of my poems and short stories were controversial, I can’t deny that; my colleagues were shocked by the stuff they were reading. People didn’t understand why my writing was so raw, & I couldn’t give them an answer. So I stopped showing them to the public.
Under a haze of low self-esteem & insecurity, my poetry became my therapy. It was the only way I knew how to escape from destructive thoughts, despite the fact that my poetry themes were destructive themselves. Writing poetry kept my breathing; I feared of what would happen if I stopped. This fear combined with an inner voice pressuring me to write for the sake of writing made me take a break, which then led to me stopping completely. Writing poetry wasn’t fun anymore, it turned into a forceful act that I didn’t want to go through with. I felt like I wasn’t writing for myself anymore; in my head I was only writing to please the people around me even though I didn’t want to show my work to the public.
My contradictions with myself drove me to the point of paranoia & delusion based on the fact that I thought I would get a career centered around writing. I was tired of forcing myself to believe I was good at something when I wasn’t anymore. All the stress I was putting on myself was not healthy. When I stopped writing, a huge weight was lifted & I no longer felt constricted. It may not make sense to people, but I know what had to be done. My decision to stop writing poetry may not be permanent, but it feels damn good for the time being.
“I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity“- Edgar Allan Poe