I recently had the pleasure of sharing private messages with a narcissist. By pleasure I mean soul destroying energy draining horror. I wouldn’t normally choose to communicate with such a person but in this case my eye was off the ball and before I knew it he was under my skin. I blocked him. Yet his presence has continued to annoy me. The fault lays entirely with me my intuition screamed at me that there was something wrong about this person, but this clashed with my beliefs that we shouldn’t judge a person on first impressions….what the fucking hell was I thinking! I communicated with him for just under a week and in that time he shared anger, gas lighting, manipulation, obsessiveness, a desire for power and control as well as an ability to wield that power and control. All of these emotions convert to energy as an empath I pick up on that frequency of energy….the problem with this is that most other people can’t , so his public posts just appeared to them as harmless, quirky as us writers are, but harmless. Of course in his pm’s he was able to explore my vulnerabilities with more vigour, but it was also there in his public posts and replies. I should have been able to shake him off but the reality is his clear disrespect toward me has highlighted my vulnerabilities and taken me into a place of questioning. Amazing how quickly a narcissist can get in and fuck with your head. In short he disrespected me as a female writer, us females are already fighting enough stereotypical crap as it is we don’t need individuals to play along too. He did this in a number of ways, covertly communicating in such a way that he expected me to not notice. I did notice. The vulnerabilities he highlighted have been dominating my mind and pushing me into a corner to clearly stand up and define who it is I am as both a person and a writer. I guess in a way the situation has made me question whether he didn’t take me seriously as a writer, because up until this point I haven’t taken myself seriously as a writer.
Over the next few weeks I plan to explore the different ways in which this person was able to disrespect me as a writer. I could of course sweep it under the rug, shrug it off and pretend it never happened, but why the fuck should I, my writing style pushes the boundaries and I often explore topics that allows society to stereotypically label me. This is the problem.. I am who I am, I am not the words on page I am the spaces between them and for that alone I deserve respect.
Karen Hayward ©2016.
swallow me whole and spit me into the depths of the abyss.
As if nothingness could scare me anyway.
Let his immortal flames burn at my soles lapping at my soul.
His warmth will be a welcomed token.
So let his flames take me.
I will rise from the ashes reborn,
So go ahead devour me.
Swallow me whole and spit me into those hissing flames
But then stand back, watch me as I rise again.
Karen Hayward ©2016
Cold, wet earth.
Grey clouds and droplets of rain.
Daffodils already through, garden readying anew. Transformation begins. Vibrational reflections felt, heard and required.
Even in winter, I come here when tired.
Damp dirt to awaken my spirit.
Life’s cycle, clearance nearing completion.
Spring will bring new hope.
Karen Hayward ©2016.
Ironing. For years I refused to be a slave to the mould of hot steaming iron. I refused to smooth away the crinkles, press creases and stand in the ultimate housewife position. Legs spread, board out, piles upon piles of stylistic statements before me, all of them requiring attention, all of them requiring me to become the atypical label. A housewife, a wife a mother, a female, a girl a lady. We iron.
We stand for hours, up the board, down the board, bored, bored, bored. You were in or you out. I was out. I was the black death of womanhood my views contagious, my opinion death like. So I ironed less and welcomed my self induced plague.
I iron. I became the label that society imposed on me. Sickened by my acceptance I remove my bra in protest.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
The feeling creeps in slowly.
Panic, as I flip through once, twice, three times. I search the normal places, beside the bed, the couch, at the top of the stairs, by the window in the kitchen next to the heater, the window that shows me the sun as he wakes and the moon as she wakes. It’s not there and not even the sparkling stars in the clear skies can make me feel better. I search inside bags and tucked beneath the mattress, I pull out the bed and feel my heart sink, my eyes prickle and for a moment I question my sanity. What if. What if I didn’t own that book, what if I just borrowed it, that would certainly make sense and suddenly it feels like my world is crashing, I just want to read the book, now, I search some more determined to be sure that the book is at least not here. Emptiness envelopes around me, darkness falls upon my heart, I feel a great void where a story should be, not any story and certainly not a recall from the many times I have read it before, a void created through the lack of pages to turn, the lack of worn out paper in my hands. The emptiness has become me.
Karen Hayward 2015. ©
The whole flat smelt
of aged tannin and
a low whistle could
be heard at all times.
There was always time for tea, sarnies too.
You might call her a feeder, she wasn’t but some might call her that.
Food was a sign of respect, you went anywhere they offered you sweet tea
and food. I used a cooker
for the first time there
in that kitchen with
windows that looked
down the hill past the subways and out toward mountains, my Gran always laughed and said ‘Just a coupla wee hills.’ They were mountains to my young
eyes. She spoke constantly
in her rich Irish roots peppered with her Scottish life, if I concentrated hard enough my English mind understood
some of what she said.
Her voice was soft,
a whisper a beautiful
melody, she spoke as I grated potatoes, carrots and onion, her smile told me I was doing good. ‘Eggs, Gran and flour and water too.’ I was reading thr recipe from my mind and hoping I had remembered everything, we had cooked them a few weeks before in school.
She wears a house coat,
she has many, a blue one,
a pink one a brown one,
every morning she slips it over her clothes, I have never seen her clothes, I can only presume she wears them. She told me once, ‘wash your smalls in the sink every
night. That way you’ve always got clean.’ I asked what if you needed them…’she laughed ‘Go with out.’
A frying pan black as death and thick with grease
sizzles at my side.
My Mum also says this phrase.
‘When you cook, you cook. Stay sharp keep thoughts out’
I didn’t listen, I burn most of what I cook because my thoughts make me
wander. We sat at
the table, the small
window behind me
and the radiator to
my left, I feel warm
and safe. I don’t
recall what the
food tasted like,
just her smile as she devoured the plate.
Karen Hayward ©2015.
There is a fierce fire that burns inside my soul,
hidden in the dark forgotten corners of my mind.
Engulfed with the flames of hell venom rises as my innocence is lost in the beating of my racing heart.
One becomes two as I watch with the calm of an ebbing tide, word upon word, truth upon truth tumble from my worn out tongue into the universe. All barriers down, this game of chess belongs to me, make her a pawn then watch me as I take your Queen and destroy your King and precious Kingdom. There’s a fierce fire that burns inside my soul, a flame of burning hope and eternal protection, the fallen angels reflection.
Karen Hayward ©2105.