This is pretty personal (more than already). Perhaps it’s also self-indulgent – perhaps blog things are inherently that. But some things I want to say out loud anyway.

I’ve just begun seeing a therapist who’s going to try some EMDR therapy on me (which has had high success rates in helping people with PTSD symptoms) – but we’re having some build-up sessions first, where we metaphorically sniff each other’s bottoms, get some trust going.

She asked me to have my little kid me write me a letter, using my wrong hand. I put it off until this evening, but then I went looking for some writing paper to do this, found an old exercise book – and in that book, I found this poem I’d written to my teenage self, I have no idea when, sometime in the last few years.

By way of a little explanation: my bedroom as a teenager had two doors, and people used to use it as a corridor, without knocking – but I had no proper boundaries anyway, having been abused earlier on; and my maternal grandfather Saba was the only real parent I ever had, a lovely Ukrainian earth god; and I was still hiding behind being a Him then; and I hardly ever touched anyone as a teenager.

So here’s the poem, in honour of teen me, in honour of Saba, in honour of now me for wanting to love teen me well.

The Third Door

I step into memory
(ducking the lintel)
walk through the empty
suburban rooms,
to reach the adolescent
for fear of being touched
I am afraid to hold him
but someone must
We sit on the foldup bed
and I meet his longing
dodged by music, mind games,
masturbation, the cold hand
in the heart’s empty
suburban room
and we fill that room
with something harlequin
scent of sunshine
and our grandfather’s gift –
Be warm, lanky one…


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