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Figure It Out

Each one of my poems and short stories are little pieces of my heart and soul. I don't like to share them but someone told me I should...

Figure It Out

What if someone you loved lost everything?

What if you watched the one

You cared deeply for lose that fight

To survive something in their mind?

Nothing but unforgettable moments

Embedded within one’s memories

Overpowers every urge to escape.

That thought of escape

That seeps its way in

Only after realizing that person

Is the only one who can dust it all off

And climb out of internal misery.


Regardless of your choices

Or another’s intentions,

Regardless of where the blame lands

Or how the fault is divided,

Regardless of what percentage

Of prevention is possible,

Nothing but suffering shines through

In the truest form of feeling

Naked under the sheets

And trapped in a room full of strangers.


The shame that comes with fighting

To hold on to or hide one’s dignity

Is ripped from their hands.

Shame colors our cheeks red

As we start to enable the misery

As we watch our loved one beg

For empathy and we give in.


We convince ourselves

That they’ll stop.

We convince ourselves

That it’s a phase.

We convince ourselves

If we just give them what they want

They’ll come home.

We convince ourselves

They hurt more and we just want their pain to end

We convince ourselves

We aren’t hurting just as much.

We convince ourselves

We can keep them in our lives

If we just enable their habit.


Regardless of what you’re

Working towards getting back,

Regardless of what you may

Regain with time and effort,

Your loved one kneels and

Falters as they hide behind

The confines of your glass restraints

Surrounded by the tattered chains

Neatly tightened around their neck.


When they need you the most,

When they try even harder to hide the pain,

When they desperately pray for

The courage to beg you to look

At the bright red rings

Burning around their wrists

That both of you willingly tightened.

Both sets of fists are unknowingly stripped

Of the ability to hold any

Raw sense of dignity left.


This helpless gem of a human being

That you found in a sea of sticks and stones

Just can’t seem to find a way back

To a solid grip of reality

As they continue to trap themselves

Inside their own darkened brain.


That unique individual that

You shared irreplaceable and

Lasting moments with

Sinks to their knees in front of you

Full of tears and heartache,

So what do you do?

This dying soul you swore to support

Come what may refuses to stand,

Blindly sits still at an unbearable distance.


From experience, that individual

Tends to be left in the dust.

They watch every single person

Turn their backs as they justify

And turn a blind eye from the cries for help.


What do you do when you watch

Someone you love stare at a phone screen

Waiting for a call or a message

Or some sort of sign that they do

Deserve a life without hardship?

You can’t seem to find the reason

Why they should continue to fight.

All you have is a feeling deep in your own gut.


Do you walk away despite how badly

You want to help them up?

Do you walk away despite how much

You wish you could take the pain away?

Do they deserve to relish in

The beauty only life can provide?

Do they ever get to devour

The entirety of that coveted dessert

Labeled, “Happiness?”

How do you show that loved one

They have always deserved the world?


You walk away and just listen.

Be there when they’re ready

To give it all up for unconditional love

And support them with nothing

But a listening ear from a distance.

That loved one will fight to find a way

When there is no one left to do it for them.


© 2021 Grace Peterson