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Getting Through : Creative Writing

The Paradox of a False Reality

from ChrisG - Saturday, November 01, 2003
accessed 1393 times

The Paradox of a False Reality

Sitting here surrounded by friends
Happy, content, a little bit drunk
We laugh at the same jokes
Talk about our holiday plans

Suddenly my head begins to spin
My mind reflects on the not-too-distant past
When my life had a different meaning
One opposite of what I feel today

I reach inside, try to touch the old me
My hands grope, but fail to grasp
Hazy memories flood my mind
Are they real, or part of some dream?

My body becomes numb, but my smile doesn’t fade
I’ve learned to keep it posted on my face
It guards the gate to my heart
And holds all passers-by at bay

I’m better this way…though lonely
How could I explain my dream?
A dream that engulfs twenty-two years
Like a whale it swallows them up

They bob along in a hollow memory
Popping up as flashes of pain, sorrow and repression
Who was there to rouse me, to wake me?
To tell me that life was different than it seemed

Now that I’m awake I’ve pasted it together
Like mismatched pieces of a strange puzzle
They don’t fit, and I know they never will
The picture is distorted, twisted, perverse

The conversation turns towards dads
My friends are proud of theirs
I forget which tale I already told them about mine
Was he a teacher, a translator, or a preacher?

“Oh, you went with yours on vacation?
We’ve also been all over….
London, Paris, Prague…all the best spots”
I try to block out the horror I remember from each stop

My mind revolts as a flashback appears
Of my mom and dad forcing me down
Beating my naked body till it was bruised
Bottom, legs and hands…

The very same night I did a shawl dance
My naked, bruised body on display
Even at four years old I was embarrassed
When the boys and men laughed at my sores

No, that’s not the dad I’m talking about now,
I have to forget all that…I’m normal now
I’ve made up a happy fairytale
I sing a joyful song

I’m just like the rest…I had fun
“I went to school…a big boarding school”
Isn’t that what they call it out here?
“I went to the prom”…I know all the right terms

“I also had a mom who loved me”
Which mom should I talk about?
My birth mom, my step-mom, my foster mom,
Or the caretaker I watched my dad fuck?

Some of my intuitive friends start to probe:
“You moved away from your parents at twelve?”
“You have six siblings from three different dads?”
Oops…I’ve let out too much

I need to pull my mask tighter
Smooth out the kinks in my tale
Maybe I’ll even start to believe it
Embrace a new past…one made up by me

Anything will be better than living like this
Carefully hiding what once was the real me
I have to bury it, but what will I have left?
A skeleton, a mechanical soul

What choice am I left with?
The blossom of my innocence was plucked
By strangers who had no right
To reach into and mess with my soul

They shaped me, molded me, hardened me
With scriptures, beatings, letters
I accepted the mold I was given
It was my “destiny”, the yoke seemed to fit

I embodied their dream for many years
It was everything I lived and breathed
I was scared of throwing off the net
Of sinking, drowning in the open sea

When I finally cut free I felt relief
I smelled fresh air for the first time
I could see, I could feel, I could breathe
I embraced the sea, the earth and the sky

I quickly pieced together a new identity
The old one suddenly seemed so distant, so moldy
But it’s impossible to reshape all those years
My childhood, my memories, my past

I hear there are those who have succeeded
Who are not plagued by the nightmare anymore
I decide to wait, to give it time
Maybe my life will one day begin to rhyme

I hope that the old and new me will one day unite
And agree to live in harmony
I will wait for the dream and reality to merge
Into a whole, fulfilled, satisfied being

Reader's comments on this article

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from cyborcosmic
Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 11:52


sorry one more try

Chris, I have had the same dream, lived in the same mold,

I have a empty smile that proved to the world that everything was alright, inside the torment of loneliness.

No one will ever know what I went through, no one will ever know the old me, the real me, they will only know what I am not, what I never was, and what I know people like and need ...all a show on display.

They will not know what I like and need, that I protect. Like you said you have to bury it deep because how could you explain?

I keep my heart safe, I try and avoid what I need to express, I live up to a standard I never set

How I really feel about my life, my circumstances and my past is hidden

I really want what you want

I hope that the old and new me will one day unite
And agree to live in harmony
I will wait for the dream and reality to merge
Into a whole, fulfilled, satisfied being

this would mean that I am left with a choice after all. That I can show myself without a guard to protect my heart.

Who would just let me be?

I am not ready and I haven't found it to be risk free

maybe the world is not ready for me
(reply to this comment)

From ChrisG
Saturday, December 13, 2003, 14:41

It felt great to write the poem, and helped me understand my inner turmoil a little bit better. I cannot imagine feeling completely comfortable around people and not feeling a little bit "different" because of my past, but maybe it is possible, and I just have to wait a few more years. (reply to this comment
from cyborcosmic
Wednesday, December 03, 2003 - 11:36



I have had the same dream, lived in the same

I hope that the old and new me will one day unite
And agree to live in harmony
I will wait for the dream and reality to merge
Into a whole, fulfilled, satisfied being
(reply to this comment)

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