Listen, understand, listen, you’re not listening


Paint me so I won’t burn
The ink will be the teflon
Covering my pores
I need to shield the words
The triggers that define me
That send me spiralling
In to a world too hard to bare
Cover me so I live, not
Misinterpreting what I hear
Your words are soft but scorch my soul
The sensitivity surging through me
You cannot know

I sob I’m here, without answers
I climb the walls with you
Together we slide back down
I cry the tears with you
We walk in puddles
Let there be days, weeks, years
When you will cope, learning to
Banish the pain of words
Even when they whisper

Copyright JMTacken 6.09.2014

I wrote this today, after K had another meltdown. Heartbreaking to hear my child, no matter what age sobbing on the end of the phone, hating her life. Knowing there isn’t a simple fix.
In support group, it was told that some Borderline’s cover there bodies in tattoos, as they are so sensitive to what is said and their environment, it feels like they are being burned, the tattoos protect them. K has just started getting a sleeve done…

41 thoughts on “Listen, understand, listen, you’re not listening

  1. Oh, Jen. My heart hurts for you and K. As moms we want to fix or help our loved ones cope so I know this eats you up at times. I pray some coping mechanism will click for K and lighten that heavy cloud she carries at times. Your poem expressed her struggles in such an eloquent way. Many, many hugs today.❤️

    • Thank you so much, her pain is mine, like most children and mums. Today was a little easier, thankfully, though they have 2 weeks to move out of their shared house now, which is going to cause more grief and uncertainty. Thank you for your hugs darling, I need them. ❤ xx

  2. so hard…because in that moment their words can sting so bad…and i am not sure if they truly know what they are saying or are overwhelmed with emotion…and we do take it personally, even though we should consider their state of mind at the time…

    • Bri it’s my words and others, or situations that affect her, because of their over sensitivity, the calmest thing, or the lack of validation, is what sets them spiralling 😦 though she can be cutting in a meltdown, usually she is just upset and over life. Thank you my friend.

  3. Its all about hanging in there with her Jenny. Her words you now understand better not that they cease to sting less but that you know where they are coming from. Take care of you during all this.

  4. this gave me chills jen. i am with you in this and understand. i hope for longer times in between for now, and more peace in the future. the tattoos concept makes sense, like armor. hugs )

  5. It’s a strange comfort to know that other mothers are so empathetic to their children’s woes. I’m watching my 18-year-old navigate the painful transition from childhood to adulthood, and it is if I’m going through it all again myself. I tell myself that I shouldn’t, but it’s hard not to feel her pain along with her. Thank you for this post!

    • We as mums, cannot help feeling the pain of those close to others, especially our ‘babies’, big or small. I appreciate you reading and commenting. I hope the transition for your girl is as smooth as possible. We can only be there to help and guide and support. I wish you both well, thank you and you are welcome.

  6. Words, often the most kind ones, hurt the most. Words heal but when the body is made of glass, they can shatter it into shards.
    I feel for you.. dear friend. Powerful writing. And take care.
    When it comes to mental health, we fight with ourselves.. and we must learn to control that fight. We need support from others but in the end, we slowly become(because we have to) the in-charge to guide ourselves through this maze of life.

    • I know you understand anmol, her illness is curable, but will take a lot of work from her part to learn the skills…because yes as you commented she has too. I appreciate your kind words anmol and you caring – thank you

  7. Jen, this was hauntingly beautiful. I am so glad you offered some explanation so we can be specific in our thoughts and prayers. K. is having a meltdown, it is overwhelming, so sad that she is going through this. While you, as her mum, feel every emotion and hurt, wish to take the pain away.(I have had a few of these, my son, James, has tried suicide, a few years back… mainly diagnosed ‘depression.’) I think words said in a whisper can be heard sometimes louder than shouting. But, I imagine this poem has so much behind it, that you have not expressed. My words to you go out in a soothing and warm tone, I care about you and your daughter(s). Hope this will be enough… xoxo Robin

    • Oh Robin, I’m sorry about James. There are so many of our babies that suffer from depression, borderline, bipolar, anxiety. There is more, that I haven’t written, it as you know can be very complicated. Thank you for caring, your kindness and thoughtfulness and I do hope that James is on a better path now. Hugs xxx

      • Thank you, Jen! My son, Jamie, got married to a wonderful single mother, who is loving and grateful for his sensitive side. He is a father to two stepkids and has two sweethearts of little girls, ages 5 and 3. They are all doing fine, but he does have to stick to his meds and not drink while taking them, either. I will always worry about setbacks, which he does confide in me. We spent his whole 16th year in weekly counseling, which we included some activities like I learned how to play pool, billiards, throw darts, bowl and listen much more closely. With my girls, I had built a closer, unintentionally, communication. I needed to be there more for him, which boys don’t always tell you they are troubled, especially to their mums. I will continue to keep K. and your bond in my hopes and prayers. There are many fine strands (loving roots) that will somehow, I believe weave into a strong bridge. K. needs to do her part, too. You have so much on your plate, Jen! Hugs xoxo

      • I am glad that James is settled and I hope that he continues to be. Boys do keep stuff more to their chests than girls, which is sad. The bridge will be built, just going to take a few more strands to get it more stable. Thank you Robin ~ hugs ❤ xx

  8. Oh Jen. Such pain. My heart hurts for you both. I wish I wish I wish. And then I wish again, that the wishes we all have would be a salve on the pain. Even if it didn’t help make things better.

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