Childhood’s Grief

Why is it that the memories I hold

are the ones of distress and feeling so low–

my childhood seems so dark and bleakly cold.

I remember feeling a heightened dread

of the people I looked to for protection and love.

They were menacing and devoid of the nurturing I craved

and didn’t notice their girl was filled with sadness and pain.

There’s a sense of aloneness and abandonment that pervades

my memories of home life with an insidious unease.


You’re not there, you’re not present–and even when you are,

your mind is on yourself and your own interests.

You’re so emotionally gone that I barely felt your presence.


I remember the fighting and screaming and vile words thrown

about in the wee hours of the morning as I was trying to sleep,

and sometimes awakening to a drunken man on the floor.

There’s tension and anger that permeates my aura and

I’m so sensitive and perceptive that I felt every tremor.

I’ve pulled into myself all the hurts and the fears;

I’ve become a black hole where no light can appear.

I’m depressed and apprehensive and can hardly eat–

I have no appetite for what envelops me.

I’m constantly self-conscious and compare myself to others

all who appear to have attentive mothers and fathers.

Oh, how I wished I could have what they had,

a bright, happy home where parents felt delight at my sight.

I still feel the anguish of those long ago years and can’t quite

shake those feelings of grief and worry–

because you never once uttered the words:  “Gayle, I’m sorry”.

For Monday’s Morning Prompt:  Grieving

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  1. Teacher, Gayle copied off my paper… Attempts at humor don’t always help.. Just sayin..
    ..Kinda smiles..


  2. gracefulglider

     /  January 25, 2011

    Gayle, ….(why is it always hard to find the right thing to say 😦 }
    But much love your way and thank you


  3. Oh, Gayle, so much pain in this. There is grief so much more profound than that brought about by death. Love to you, beautiful lady. And thanks for writing to the prompt.


    • It was a difficult upbringing for sure. I’ve come a long way but the feelings of pain can still pop up now and then. I’m very grateful for the direction my life has taken me in a spiritual sense. A true blessing.

      Thank you, Victoria for your love and kindness. I so appreciate you.


  4. What’s missing, the absence of an apology, or the years that could’ve been filled with happiness and the opposite of what you experienced?

    What’s desired the most, the words “I’m sorry,” or the experiencing of a lovely childhood?

    When does a person know that they are heal from their past?

    Sorry to hear what you went through, but happy to realize that you haven’t become a tragedy.


    • Both were missing. I would have to say the experience of a loving, nurturing environment is most missed.

      You know that you’ve healed from your past when you have a memory of a hurtful time and you no longer are taken to a place of abject grief, anger or sorrow. And perhaps when you can function from a place of compassion for those who have harmed you.

      I’m very thankful that I haven’t become a tragedy too! 🙂


  5. Tears.

    You’re such a lovely person, Gayle. Such a beautiful soul. So sorry to know you went through this. Unfortunately too, probably 90% of the people who read this will relate to parts if not all of your experience. How do we make the past past and move on? I don’t know … I wish I did.

    In metta,


    • Thank you sweet Jamie for your lovingkindness. I can feel it.

      I know there are many who can relate. Growing up, I thought I was alone in my experience and came to know I was not.

      Leaving the past behind is just an ongoing process. The pain arises and we let it pass away (hopefully without judgment) and the pain’s power will pass away too and loosen it’s grip. Cultivating compassion is helpful too. 🙂

      In metta,


  6. see the beautiful rose that has bloomed in that thorny stem. you did not became a thorn- brittle and painful. you chose to be a beautiful rose that spreads beauty, happiness and fragrance.

    very heart breaking poem and experience. my heart goes out for you.


  7. heartfelt and very touching 🙂


  8. Outstanding piece. It made my heart ache.


  9. When you learn to fear the ones you love, life becomes a few shades darker…

    I know exactly where you’re coming from…


  10. You are a gifted wordsmith. I feel your sorrow. Indeed it must help you to write and release this memory.

    I’ve made peace with my childhood years ago. I do this by accepting it without attaching any judgement good or bad and staying in the present. Focus on you breath in, slowly exhale, smile. repeat. : )


    • Thanks for your kind words for me, Angelina. It does help to write but I’ve let a lot go as well. It was a memory of grief that I have experienced. My meditation practice through the years has been of immeasurable help. I like the “smiling” part you state here. I know what a powerful thing that is.

      I appreciate your caring. 🙂


  11. Hi Gayle! I don’t know what to say. I felt your sadness while reading your poem. 😦 Whatever you’re feeling, we in the blogosphere are willing to help in any way we can, even by just saying comforting words and giving support.


    • Katherine, I so appreciate your sweet words for me. Writing does help loosen the affects of those times and my meditation practice too. I’ve put much of that time behind me.

      Your words of comfort are very loving and kind–I deeply appreciate that.


  12. Sometimes reflecting on the past can lead to a positive future no matter how painful.
    Nevertheless it cant have been easy.
    Appreciate your bravery putting this on my blog


    • Oh, I have had a much more positive life since those days. It wasn’t easy but helped form me into the more compassionate person that I am today.

      The shame has left me–I am pretty open to sharing my experiences. I am much more courageous.

      Thanks, Richard, for your comments here–it means a lot to me.


  13. Not my blog ‘your blog’ lol
    Perhaps that’ll make you chuckle 😀


  14. A heartbreaking piece here. Reading the comments, it seems as though this is another piece of the healing process though. I am glad you were able to learn from a negative experience and move to a better place for you and your children. Peace to you.


    • It is sad when children suffer. This showed up when I thought about the prompt for Monday–so out it came. I’ve learned a lot and am most proud of the fact that my children had a more loving, nurturing experience.

      Thank you very much for your loving comment here–I so appreciate it.



  15. It cuts through my heart. 😦


  16. Hands down to your poetic ability. I envy you.


    • Bless your sweet heart, NI. I appreciate you sharing your feelings and leaving me such a nice compliment–that is very nice.


  17. I applaud your courageous expression, Gayle. Profoundly moving. I can relate. I read that “depression is anger turned inward.” By releasing what you held inside, you are moving toward genuine healing and personal growth.


    • What a lovely surprise to see you here, Lahn. I have heard that too about anger being turned inward… I believe that’s true. I know I have made progress which gives me hope for one day being free.

      Thanks so much for your comment and visit today.



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