Sister of My Soul

Excuse me, do I know you?
I vaguely remember your face
We were friends once, the very best friends
We were tight, so very close
Secrets were shared, tears cried, belly laughs burned and drunken nights felt never ending
Even faded rock star blue jeans with holes in the knees
passed back and forth between us
Shared like too many frozen margaritas
And raucous giggles on easy, breezy sunny Friday summer afternoons
Until you were gone, an empty barstool
Poof
Snuffed out like the American Spirit we’d split
I hated you
I fucking hated you with every fiber in my being
Resentment, anger, jealousy filled my gut
Making me ugly
The dark circles under my eyes blackened and grew angrier than a looming stormy night
I despised you for giving up
Weren’t the decades spent together a la Sex and the City worthy of a text, an email, or a quick two-second voicemail?
Was I worth less than a penny of your precious, busy time?
Copper erodes and turns green acrid
Like the brain matter moving too fast in head and scrabbling my mind
I hurled paranoia and accusations into the air as the mania swept me away
Wiping out any semblance of the me I once was
The me I once was
I’m still me I screamed
I’m right here
The same me
The one you were so comfortable with even sharing the same cowboy boots
Oh how I fucking hated your guts for years and years
The hate festered into blame and disgust
I despised myself, deemed unworthy
Crying myself to sleep lost in the disease I didn’t ask for
Moving, crawling, retreating under the bed sheets
Into a cocoon of safety
Home
Back to small town living where blaring sirens, whirring taxis and loud, overcrowded subways no longer made me dizzy The nauseating velocity no longer unmanageable
Sadness crept out of my bones taking up residence for good
Rapid cycling and insomnia became my new BFF companions
Still, I hated your fucking selfish, ugly, uncompassionate guts
Every single one of you, every cheesy Intsagram photo with the old posse made me sick
How were you all happy?
Moving on without me, together, living, loving, smiling
How could you?
Was it that easy, or was it that necessary?
Was I the inconvenience, the nuisance?
Was I better forgotten
Sisters of my soul went missing
A slap, I still feel the sting
I longed for mended relationships, shared lipsticks, Mani Pedi dates, girl talk
Vacations to exotic beaches, Mexican beer and tacos, lazy beach afternoons
I still miss it
I can’t help it
I still get weepy and blue
I didn’t get it
I couldn’t understand
It was I who went missing
Not you and you and you
I had to drop the hate into a bucket of fish guts hurling it out to sea with my sins, sickness, resentment and harsh judgment To see sunny, aqua blue
Sisters of my soul
The ones that count
Are still here
Rooting me on, a phone call away
They never gave up experiencing all the colors I wear
At lightning speed
And annoyingly snail slow
They don’t mind when I speak too fast, or cry too long
They don’t care when I forget little things
When my damaged mind can’t quite keep up
They see my soul shine, both pretty and disastrous
They love me anyway, no matter how busy or distracted
Maybe I asked too much forgotten sisters of my soul
Or maybe I hated myself a little too much
Resentment, jealously and anger festered inside far too long
I am growing too weary and too old to hold tight to the past
Sisters come and go
Some sisters came and went before I got the chance to say goodbye and hello
I don’t regret one minute in their company
My soul shines the same
Sickly or healthy
I am perfectly, imperfect and that is my right
My authentic beauty
Life is hard, mystical, magical, beautiful, trying and tragic
Be here now
I must
Be here now
As it should be
Be here now
Because being here right now cuts the ties that bind and burn
Finding my tribe
The ones that love me
For the way I glow is light and lovely reciprocated
Sisters of my soul
To the beauties who came before
I thank you
For clearing a path
And opening a window to a different road
My soul has more room to grow and share
So long, old familiar sisters travelling parallel roads
Separate, and independent
I smile releasing the memories
Just like that hate and jealousy dissipate into a cloud of white fog freedom
I am home, whole
On the inside

“A beautiful woman delights the eye; a wise woman, the understanding; a pure one, the soul.” – Minna Antrim

 

Photo Credit: 10 MIX Flickr via Compfight cc








Jacqueline Cioffa

A retired, international model, and celebrity makeup artist. Co-Author of Model Citi Zen, the guide. Founder of
http://modelcitizenmakeup.blogspot.com/. Author of numerous prose pieces in various literary magazines. Most recently published in Little Episodes Brainstorms the anthology, among esteemed artists Sadie Frost, Melvin Burgess and Todd Swift.

12 thoughts on “Sister of My Soul

  1. Kitt O'MalleyKitt O'Malley Reply

    Boom. Many of us can relate. I’m lucky to still have old friends, though a few I’ve lost. One in particular hasn’t responded when I’ve reached out.

    My friends from high school, friends who loved me when I thought the world would be better without me, still love me. I’m blessed to have them in my life, even if that means infrequent visits and keeping in touch by social media. Our lives are different and apart. We live parallel lives. They, though, introduced me to the concept and experience of unconditional love.

    Jackie, I want you to know that I love you and feel honored to be a member of your tribe. We are beautiful and strong together and individually.

    1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

      Oh Kitt,

      I’m so glad to hear you have loyal friends who adore you, and yes even if it’s the occasional post on Social Media and infrequent visits, they still matter. Sometimes a small kindness and even a simple how are you can make all the difference. I’m sorry to hear about the ‘lost ones,’ and it is indeed their loss.
      I guess time will tell who stays in our lives, and true sisters of the soul remain connected no matter the distance.

      Thank you, Kitt for your love, friendship and being a member of my tribe. It is an honor to know you, and call you friend. You are a beautiful example of humanity.

      Love and light,
      Jackie

  2. Mary Rowen Reply

    So much truth here, Jackie. I imagine this was difficult to write, but all good poetry is. Not many people have the grace and maturity to thank the friends who desert them when they get sick, but you’re right: it’s better to drop the hate into a bucket of fish guts and hurl it out to sea. What a powerful image you create. Thank you for this; the world needs more healing poetry. I’m one of the ones who loves you!

    1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

      Mary,

      Thank you for your insight, and friendship. You are a keeper and soul sister.
      It’s hard to let go of past girlfriends, and forgive them for not sticking it out but mostly I need to learn to live with myself and my illness. That is a harder lesson.
      I’m not sure I’ll ever be completely ok with it, but the intention to heal is alive
      and writing it down makes the healing more of a reality than intention.
      You’re right hate festers, and it reminds me of fish guts. (I love that image as well)
      tearing at your insides. I’m happy you like the piece, and so happy to call you friend!

      X
      J

  3. Jennifer Elle Reply

    This describes a friendship of mine that faded after almost twenty years of knowing one another and bonding with one another’s family. Thank you for writing this.

  4. Dori OwenDori Owen Reply

    I didn’t understand at first when my dearest friends left me, in the midst of a manic nightmare that eventually led to a Pajama Hilton stay. But, perhaps the most hurtful was a 30-year friendship that not only abandoned me (you are a therapist, FFS, you should have known) but took several friends along with her after deeming me quite insane. But they are all in my toxic file now. I rarely think of them–the hurt is so deep.

    You wrote it so well…my tribe now are *true* friends. Who understand and love me just the way my broken self is. I’ve never read anything that describes this loss and then redemption of new so well. Your writing continues to amaze and inspire me. How do you get into my head?

    A million XOs….loveD

    1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

      Dori,

      I’m sorry your friend (s) left you in the worst imaginable time. I truly believe living with mental health issues, and going insane requires a massive level of understand and empathy. Perhaps only those who have been through it truly understand.
      I love that phrase – the toxic file. It’s so hard to let go and yes the pain cuts so deep,
      but you’re right, best not to think of them and move on.

      I feel so blessed to know you, and call you my soul sister. I cherish your smart, creative sassy
      artistic soul. Redemption comes when we let go, and honor our broken selves. That’s a ‘life lesson’ on repeat…

      When I think of you, I think of you whole and precious.
      Your head looks like a magical, and a mystical, colorful world to me.

      X Jackie

  5. Nicole LyonsNicole Lyons Reply

    Jackie this is a stunningly written piece. Your words dance off of the page and crash into my heart. I’ve read it again and again and each time I feel it deeper. You have written pain and heartbreak into a things of beauty but most of all there is hope and the awareness of self. It’s an odd thing when the end of a romantic relationship comes about and we are offered compassion by those around us yet we rarely experience the same when the bonds of sisterhood are broken, and I think that those relationships are often the deepest ones we have. You have written a spectacular piece that I will save and look to. I am proud to call you my sister and I love your light, I am so grateful that you can feel it glow as warmly as I can.

    N

    1. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

      Nicole,

      It’s an awful thing when the bonds of sisterhood shatter, and cuts so deep I’m not sure one ever truly recovers.
      I have always considered my friendships with girlfriends as sacred bonds, boyfriends, and lovers tend to ‘come and go.’ Thank you for understanding this piece at the core. The awareness of self, accountability and taking responsibility for not always being a great friend is crucial to mending old wounds. And making amends.
      I have hurt my closest friends in the past without ever intending to. I have to accept that, and acknowledge that I’ve been a shitty friend at times and not place the blame solely on my illness.
      Thank you for being a better, loyal friend than I have been at times in the past.
      You are a true sister, fierce, loving and beautiful example of glow. I am forever grateful

      X Jackie.

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