One the receiving end of carefully curated conversation
Feels familiar, but I can’t quite place it
The words sound spot on, but I’m receiving mixed messages
And inferences that frankly piss me off

Here is a person, who has been hurt deeply
Is clearly on a path to healing
Is saying a lot of the right things
And yet, something is off

I continually check myself
Where is this sticking in me?

Ahh, there it is
Well, at least we are in the neighborhood
She is woke-splaining
Much like the one I was with for so very long
Of course my internal alarm bells are ringing loudly

I want to grab her by the shoulders softly
Compassionately see her pain
And then backhand her for underestimating me

Fuck you
Pain isn’t a competition
Everyone hurts
Recognize it
Own your shit
No need to fling it upon the rest of us

I know that the path to healing often involves a bit of overdoing it
Swinging too far to the other extreme
Hell, I’ve certainly done it myself
And I leave room for that

I will remain open and reserved
You don’t get all of me
Until you demonstrate real time that I am safe
Safe to be me, all of me

I respect your ability to draw boundaries
I expect you to respect my ability as well
I don’t need to be friends with you
I am cordial and respectful
I have no intention to change that

You will not browbeat me into understanding
I’ve been to that party – it’s sucks
A hard no for me
And I will hold that line firm



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