006-alfred-eisenstaedt-theredlist
The proverb

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

Was in my mind when
I chose to forgive a third time
it was easy to say “if you hurt me again”
fill in the blank
but promises only matter if the person intends
to keep them
with your borderline posed to strike
it was impossible to calculate
if I would be cast again into fire
the only chance
how I chose to see the play
sacrifice the Pawn
save the Queen
it’s not that I’m especially important
but cruelty
cruelty is perhaps the last sin
unforgiving as karma
shows you the way out
you didn’t know it was only you I forgave
the other one who scratched I cast
far into the ocean
didn’t need their infernal clamor
they, just wreckage from a bad storm
I unfortunate to pass by at the wrong time
you were different
there was always something in the depth
of your eyes and quiet strength
yes I confess
I wanted not to lose you
but I could have said the same
when my mom closed the door quietly
packed her bags and went
see, you think you have me figured
maybe you do
aside one element I keep pretty tight
I’m stronger than even I know
it’s what happens when you get used to
let-downs
when you came and went third time and said
I don’t believe in you anymore
I don’t trust you
I think you’re shit basically
in the clear light of day I could see
this wasn’t about me
this wasn’t factual
sometimes others will believe
oh you must have something to do with it
just as the shallow person who told me
you’ve got a track record of being left
tried to leave her barb
what did she with her haikus know
of patterns? she needed rules to write
I had fucking wings
now she’s just
a taste in my throat I want to spit out
I grew up then when I learned
accusations may sting
but they’re not truth and those
who are weak enough to seize upon them
are just fools
with hypocrisy in their veins instead of blood
but you were different
you were my sister of the plains
we shared French blood
I admired you
it wasn’t enough
you cannot force someone to feel
or undo the damage wrought
in their mind before you met
it’s only necessary that you know
when it’s not because of you
which can be hard if you’re prone to guilt
that’s how we grow and develop armor
perhaps we won’t even trust
the next person who comes up
palms flat
asking for succor
or perhaps we will
because to shut the door
hurts only
the one who is left standing
when you tried to blow her down
erase her
when you hated yourself so much
you had to try to destroy
the mirror image
who refused
to shatter
stubbornly she still reflects
what you hate
about yourself and
what she loves
about you

0 Replies to “Third time lucky”

  1. I don’t understand people who can be definitive about how many chances they give. I can’t do it. Until they cross one or two lines that I have, I can’t cut them loose. And I know this borderline woman, who only comes to me when she needs me but I can’t let her fall away because what if she comes to me because I’m the only one listening, the only one trying to see and get her to see herself. I saw my whole relationship with her in this.

    1. I understand this very well. Growing up I had to forgive some hard things, it gave me a weakness where I forgave things others would not. After a girl on WP basically told me it was my fault I lost two friends (she didn’t even know the wherewithall of it) I decided I needed to protect myself against the crap others put out, I mean most of the time it’s got nothing to do with us, it’s their drama. I feel sorry for them but I also need to survive. I get less hurt now when people betray me, I realize it’s not about me. But that doesn’t make it right. I truly believe in karma, what comes around goes around, likewise I believe in not hating someone for doing something evil, they may not even be thinking of you. Borderline is a little different but I have long felt you shouldn’t not be friends with someone just because they are Borderline, then again it’s hard.

      1. I’m friends with her because I love her. Because I see who she hides and what persona she hides behind. I know why she comes to me. But each time, she trusts a little more. She’s been hurt too. In her youth though she is still young. I won’t allow myself to be used but I won’t turn away. I speak honestly and plainly. I can’t believe in a cosmic force setting things to right. I’ve seen too much. Instead I do as I will, choosing to act or not act as I can. Always aware of the people I love.

  2. I am all too close to knowing this feeling in others and the reflection I see being cast back at myself affecting the way I feel about myself. Sometimes through your poetry you make me see things Candice that I know are apparent to my minds eye…yet I fight my psyche to not see it at times… 🙂
    So thank you dear. xo

    1. Thank you P. I had two ‘friends’ actually met here on WP-Land, one of them told me ‘the reason you keep losing friends is something to do with you’ (nice) truth was, she was referring to two friends, not an army, and she was just full of spite, I moved on, better for it, but then a friend I’d forgiven and felt close to again, went off again, on some sort of exodus mentally which I totally get, but using me as a battering ram, I realize my part in it, forgiving people too many times, I need to self-protect as others do, and not be so forgiving. It is a hard lesson but the good thing, I don’t feel as hurt or crushed by it, just a little tired and worn out by the drama people need in their lives. Me? I am simple. I just need truth. I can handle painful truths better than ever before. I see the truth here and I wrote this not as revenge but to process the madness of someone rubbing off on you and making you briefly feel like you were going mad, when really you weren’t even anything to do with it, just caught in the cross fire.

  3. Yes! I can see the truth in this through a friend of 20 plus years who just turned her back on me. She sees in me the strength that is missing in her and she is scared, and instead of flinging insults at herself, is flinging them at me.

    1. It’s shocking how many people experience this, a friend on FB had the same experience, someone she’d known years, and it seems inexplicable, but she told me, she felt a relief because if someone you believe you love and loves you, is capable of this, even with twisted reasoning, it says something about what they feel about you. Someone who really loved you could not punish you like that, so it means they did not mean it, even though that doesn’t make sense. Perhaps it’s that they meant it THEN in those good days, but not now. Friendship isn’t a phase, it shouldn’t be anyway, it should be life-long and can be still, but those who don’t hold on, and worse, blame you for their reason, are just as you say, flinging at you the insults they feel are being hurled at them by the world. Maybe it is because she could trust you that you was able to treat you this way. It is no consolation if anything that is worse. But the common truth of ‘not needing someone who only seeks to harm’ is so true. It is one thing to care, it is another to let someone destroy you. The first time it happened to me, I let it nearly destroy me. Recently I read a book about how the temptation to blame oneself for things, is the crux of sadness, and why those who are brought up being put down, often reach for it. If you learn that you are free. I am not completely free but I am not hurt by this, I am set loose of it. I cannot say I am glad, but I am glad not to be mistaken for someone who deserves that treatment and that same is true of you, nobody deserves to be treated badly, just like a woman scorned, a friend who becomes an enemy is the most vindictive. I make a point of not seeking any type of revenge in this life, I believe in karma, and the balance of life, those who seek revenge are eaten up by it. HUGS I hope you know you are worth so much more than that type of crappy behavior

      1. Thank you so much! I’m working really hard to believe that it isn’t me and I have made it very clear to this friend (who I believe is suffering in a bad relationship, again) that I will be here for her when she is at a different place and able to see where her pain is coming from. In the meantime, yes, it still hurts badly as she was my closest friend, someone who I could always count on, and now she is gone. I miss her. My post “Stay” is about her. She has seen me leave a narcissistic abusive relationship, battle addiction and mental illness, and come out on the other side, stronger and changed. And I think she sees herself now stuck in a narcissistic relationship and my strength is making her even more scared to have to admit that she has yet again made the same mistake she has made before and vowed never to make again. That is why I will be here for her when she recognizes and gathers the strength to come back to herself. Again, thank you so much for your kind words and support. Much love my friend <3

        1. She’s very lucky♡ showing mercy when someone hurts you is the best choice providing you don’t inadvertently become a punching bag♡ I hope she comes to her senses, it is her loss.

          1. I agree! I’m not going to take anymore insults or accusations. I think I have been a great friend to her, helping her in many ways, as she has done for me too. Hopefully she comes back, but for now she is gone and I’m trying to adjust to that.

          2. It is very agonizing when you truly feel ‘you could have done nothing more’ and still it is not enough. That is because sometimes no matter how good you are to someone they will use up all the oxygen in the room and it’s not about you. I find it almost impossible not to take it personally but many things in this life are not personal and I’m trying to understand and appreciate that, as it sets us free from thinking ‘what did I do wrong’ which is the ‘go to’ when you have low self esteem isn’t it? Adjusting is hard. I have begun not to miss my best friend of childhood because I have begun to build a life without her, but it doesn’t happen over night does it?

          3. Exactly! I keep questioning myself and beating myself up… but I know deep down, that even if I made a mistake, it shouldn’t end a 20 year relationship. So yes, it is on her. I’m also trying to live without my childhood best friend, who hasn’t really left (or maybe she has, I don’t know), but she doesn’t show up, that’s for sure. And losing her along with the other friend is hard, and yes, it’s taking a long time. There have been so many moments when I’ve thought I need to talk to “A” about this… then remember I can’t. It’s shitty! Thank you for your encouragement and support, I appreciate it so much <3

  4. Candice, you revealed the word “admired” later in the poem. Maybe we give someone we admired that the third (or more) try after being hurt. That admiration eventually loses its luster in a more painful way. Keith

    1. Well said and very accurate. It is hard when you admire someone as admiration is not a common thing, it’s earned and slow coming, when it arrives you are loathe to let go, and admit that it wasn’t what you thought it was entirely though often when dealing with unpredictability this is the case. I would say, we can admire a person without liking them – maybe that’s the compromise. We do not like their actions but we admire other things about them perhaps. This seems a fair balanced outcome to a difficult marriage of emotions.

      1. Candice, good points. I think when the emotional relationship is added to the admiration it becomes even more difficult to let go. I do agree we learn what to do and what NOT to do from folks we admire, as they are not perfect. Keith

  5. Ah, this is amazing. One thought dominates though, now I’ve read it twice. I’m the eternal forgiver, I don’t give one or two chances I give lots because clearly I like being slapped in the face repeatedly or I really want to believe in people (better, more dignified answer) but I do think I’m kinda cured now. If you piss me off (and I mean as in betray me on a grand scale), I’ll cut you out. And I’ll make sure you regret having done it too. It’s that INFJ thing: “please don’t be an arsehole to me, because then I’ll have to be an arsehole to you…and I’m much better at being an arsehole than you are”. But, really, I’m old enough now that I won’t let this shit happen anymore. One strike and you’re out AND you unleash the fury. Simple as, it’s survival.

    1. Unsurprisingly I was the same way too probably for the same reason. As with you, I’m ‘cured’ to the extent that I don’t forgive like I used to. About half a year ago a girl really was out of order, I never spoke to her again, it felt right to just cut her dead. In the past I would have put up with it, which isn’t right because it just gives them permission to treat you badly. If it were my doing/fault then that’s different, but if someone just plays games, well I’ve never been a game-player, friggin hated Monopoly 😉 And as for betrayal? OH YEAH I hear ya! BTW you totally missed that me and Vic were chit-chatting about YOU yesterday all over the place (tee hee)

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