Truth or Lies

Keep quiet, he threatened
And so I silenced
Don’t make him angry, she warned
And so I behaved
Stop crying, she screamed
And so I concealed
Stupid bitch, she uttered
And so I believed
Not worth it, he spat
And so I endeavored
Why couldn’t you be, she urged
And so I coveted
Don’t make waves, she cautioned
And so I stifled
Not quite enough, he declared
And so I dissembled
What a mistake, he whispered
And so I shielded

But as I toiled away my days
not being good enough
not aligning to exacting expectations
hiding abuse and
longing for something better
Another quietly stole into my heart

You’re beautiful, he repeated
And so I rejected
You’re special, he insisted
And so I doubted
You’re wanted, he asserted
And so I faltered
You’re loved, he confessed
And so I … didn’t … know what to do


tara caribou | ©2020

41 thoughts on “Truth or Lies

  1. All too often it is the negative reactions from our formative years that bear the strongest influence on our lives, although I do think that there is some genetic predisposition to self-doubt/introspective over-analsis/lack of self-belief that we can never escape. The same, I am sure, is true for those who are raised on praise and encouragement – if that nagging doubt is there, one will never break free. Very well expressed in this poem, Tara.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! That’s just it, isn’t it, Chris. But this is one reason why I think it’s important to speak the truth always to others. To help overcome those negative or darker beliefs. And to keep saying those things.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Tara. You have perfectly and so poetically described the damage that words can have…. they enter into our psyche until they are internalized and virtually irrefutable. They make us uncertain in ourselves and in the face of love and intimacy. Your concluding lines…. perfect and heartbreaking all at once. I love this, it’s truth and beauty and rawness. It resonates deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What is it about some people that we choose to believe them no matter what they say while we refuse to listen to others? Why is it so easy to accept the negative about ourselves but the positive not so much? Why do we listen to others more than ourselves?

    Perfectly expressed, Tara.

    Liked by 1 person

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