It Wasn’t Us

Stopovers at the local bars

Showed your favoritism

It wasn’t to us–your family

Your preference was to befriend

Strangers by buying rounds of drinks

And playing senseless games of chance

Shallow bonding with those who did not reciprocate

Who took advantage of a drunk

You not only were an addict of drink

But one of narcissism

Money needed for the household

Was squandered on “them”

We were left with no escape

From our saddened, empty entrapment

Void, hollow, so divest

Of care and trust

We floundered and thrashed

In the tidal wave of your selfishness

Ending up bruised and battered

We represented responsibility

Real relationships with feelings and needs

We amplified your anxiety

Your detachment was blatant

Everyone else was your friend

Other children and people on our street

Thought the world of you

Handymen who came to repair

A broken pipe or the waitress

At your favorite place to eat

You were their best buddy

Your equilibrium steady

Chatting them up, having a laugh

A façade of friendliness

Hours spent sitting in front of the house

Waiting, watching

For someone, anyone

To come by and with

A wave of your hand

And a friendly smile and witty charm

You would reel them in

And once again forget about us

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  1. gracefulglider

     /  August 18, 2011

    beautiful!! i really like and can relate to very very well.
    Love and light!


    • Thanks so much, Wanjiku, it’s been awhile. Obviously, I’m still working out issues here.

      Gayle xoxo


      • Sheila Moore

         /  August 22, 2011

        I’ll say. :). But I also understand. It is possible to know a time when these resentments no longer exist or are at least lessed as in my case.


        • The resentment has lessened but not disappeared entirely. I’m glad yours have lessened too, Sheila. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.


  2. This piece is unbelievably powerful. The accompanying image is perfect. There’s so much more that I want to say, but I don’t know what it is. Every word was painfully chosen, perfectly placed. You are a beautiful poet.


  3. Aww.. I think I even know people like this.. it makes me wonder if they are obsessed with helping others or with NOT caring for family… *sigh*
    A tough sort, this…

    A subject carefully chosen and very well expressed, my dear Gayle..

    By the way, I hope the back ache’s vanished by now…

    Lots of love to you!!


    • My opinion is that by appearing to be the caring, “nice guy”, it feeds their narcissistic ego–it has nothing to do with actually caring. I believe it is an illness but still I have issues around my relationship with my Dad. The pain goes so deep…

      I appreciate your loving comment, Kavita–thank you.

      The back is slowly improving–thank you for asking. I still must limit my time here at the computer though.

      Love and hugs,


  4. Really captured the man. Well done.


  5. My father was an alcoholic. He died when I was only four, but I can well imagine these feelings if he had lived and continued his drinking.

    This poem really pulled at something deep in me.


    • My Dad finally gave up drinking after all of us kids had left home but unfortunately he did not give up his narcissistic nature. I’m still trying to come to terms with it all.

      Thanks for sharing, Lorna.


  6. ugh, known all too well…you capture well the character but also the feel of the family in these situ…well written as it is evocative…


  7. An outstanding description of a man who has to find love
    where it isn’t because he is too blind to see where it is. You
    are a master at the pain of rejection. Well done, my friend.
    Izzy xoxoxox

    P.S. Yaaaaaay … I am happy to see a new poem
    posted by you. I hope you continue to mend and heal.


    • The saddest thing of all is they can’t find love because love means giving of yourself–these types can’t really do that. People that become involved with people like this always end up with the short end of the stick–there’s no happy ending.

      Thank you for the nice comment, Izzy, and wishing me well. I’m healing day by day–if I can just limit my time to sitting here too long…

      Gayle xoxo


  8. You have captured the essence of a familiar and all-too-common situation that plagues society . To the outside world , he is regarded as the “perfect” family man , friendly & generous to everbody – little do they realise what’s going on behind the facade …


    • So true. We never know what’s going on inside others heads. I think there’s a lot of unhappiness being covered up.

      Thank you, Mish, for sharing your thoughts with me.


  9. very well written gayle, realistic and true.


  10. This is heartbreaking. Excellent, excellent piece.


  11. Sad. Unfortunate that so many people can relate to this type of situation. Thanks for writing about it. It might help some folks too. Well done …


    • Yes, it’s too bad that so many can relate–alcohol is a very ugly drug. I hope that others will be helped–if nothing else to know they’re not alone.

      Thank you, Jamie.


  12. My mom was an alcoholic; my dad wasn’t far behind but made up for it with molestation. What a family, and narcissism from them both.

    This is an unapologetic, honest rendering of a SURVIVOR. You can’t get through all of this, be able to write about it, and consider yourself a victim. Victims navel-gaze and never break the cycle; survivors use the shit hand they were dealt and create something useful out of it.

    Brava! Amy


    • Yeah, that makes for a beyond-rough childhood. I’m so sorry, Amy. My heart cries for all children who suffer at the hands of those who are meant to protect.

      What makes me most happy is that I brought up my two daughters in such a different environment than what I experienced growing up.

      I agree, I am a survivor–albeit a bit bruised–and can admit that sometimes I still feel really pissed! I’m still healing…

      Thank you, Amy.



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