Involvement is a Bad Boyfriend: Admissions of a Recovering Hyper-Achiever

Involvement is a bad boyfriend,

The kind who calls in the form of officer positions.

Sometimes the receiver is silent because I was passed over.

Then, he calls.

Only the date is draining, is too many hours,

Is nothing I thought it would be.

I feel like a hamper for his needs, just filling and filling me until I overflow.

My relationship with involvement makes me a canvas for commentary.

And some days, my affair is villified.

Others, Bae and I are everyone’s “relationships goals”.

My bad boyfriend is pretty on the outside.

He’s tempting, boosts my ego, and bears the bells and whistles.

He is a conversation piece, social butterfly, and sometimes he can be really sweet.

Involvement monopolizes my social media posts.

I’m way more into him than he is into me.

I stalk his Insta, Facebook, SnapChat, Twitter,

Hell, I even go on his LinkedIn for a feeble acknowledgement in his universe!

But he reserves no spaces for me.

I was the one who reorinented her landscape for the beautiful sight of him.

It’s his interior that’s lonely and sour.

My bad boyfriend doesn’t love me back,

Doesn’t see how he is a larger priority in my own life than I am,

Makes me cry over silly things because he has consumed so much of me I don’t know where I end.

And he won’t notice when I Ieave because he’ll be too busy seducing an unsuspecting freshman.

He never had a problem attracting new paramours to a toxic romance.

Involvement is my bad boyfriend—

My main squeeze who squeezes too hard,

Called a Boo because sometimes one day, he’ll be a ghost in my memories.

But like all relationships,

It’s not all bad.

Involvement is growth, connection, daring greatly, and failing spectacularly.

Involvement is an experience, not a life.

Do not mistake involvement for love,

Awards for worth,

Or title for self.

You will laugh over past sobs when involvement broke your heart,

And warmly reflect on happy times you shared with involvement.

So, Bridget Jones incarnates who inhabit the Union,

The sleep deprived social butterflies slaving for pride’s sake,

Involvement is everyone’s bad boyfriend.

But…

You will survive involvement and realize it was never about “winning” the break up.

It was always about moving on.

For Girls Like Me

Dedicated to the women who have given me the privilege of sharing their stories and those who shoulder the burden alone.

Girls like me know hide—

Know what parts of ourselves are not made for polite conversation.

Know normal as the spine-tightening at a crash.

Registerthe bellow of a man’s voice like an alarm.

Girls like me don’t know sleep without phones at the bedside.

Girls like me have hearts so big they’re like sponges—

Soaking up everything around us.

Girls like me don’t know self-forgiveness.

We know excuse, quiet, face to cold tile floor,

That bruises are best covered in stage make up.

But have yet to muster the self-love to pry ourselves permanently from things we never deserved.

Girls like me know shame in jokes about our experiences,

Know how to translate the language of misogyny and regurgitate it to assimilate.

Know “no” is a whisper swallowed by the monstrous night.

How are stories are met with silence or tears,
Know how to make you uncomfortable.

Girls like me don’t want your pity.

Don’t need condescending,

Are not a haphazard apology in the wake of shame.

Girls like me don’t know how to differentiate sympathy and pity.

So married to being strong,

To avoiding the caverns that made girls like us

That we aren’t sure who to let in.

Who can carry us?

Who can love us?

Girls like me are not the inventory of our scars,

Even when it feels like it some days.

Girls like me that survival in the light is the scariest thing in a rape culture.

It should be.

Girls like me are not sorry.

Girls like me know survive

Girls like me know thrive.

Girls like me know rise.

Girls like me know this is for the sisters before, with, and after me.

We are the mothers and sisters and families formed like constellations post-trauma.

We are the red worn like a crown,

Wings made in the connection.

Girls like me—be seen.

Girls like me—be heard.

Girls like me—it happened.

Girls like me—it’s not ok.

Girls like me—it’s not your fault.