No One Wants To Be Her


PAD Challenge #11 For Poetic Asides

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “No One Wants (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “No One Wants to Tell the Truth,” “No One Wants to Save Their Money,” “No One Wants to Write a Sestina,” etc.
 No One Wants To Be Her
 Awful part of that, is that
she knows it. Knows she is more
than one, is multiple. Many minds
within one mind, most of them
conflicted. Always restricted,
always living inside nightmare
created by someone else’s
choosing. Loosing battle
of not knowing. Honed only
by desire not to remember
a past that most would not
survive, yet remains alive
somewhere within her,
and she knows that, too.

Reaches out from inside
her self-constructed cage,
at impossibly young age, meant
only to protect from raging insanity
that knew no boundaries. Now holds
her behind bars that don’t exist,
mere wishes of a child, who
sought safety in a place
which held none. She is one,
but many, and knows that even she

should not want to be her.

Elizabeth Crawford  11/11/10


About 1sojournal

Loves words and language. Dances on paper to her own inner music. Loves to share and keeps several blogs to facilitate that. They can be found here:
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6 Responses to No One Wants To Be Her

  1. Elizabeth, found you at Poets United. This is so strong, so courageous. I also write of mental struggles, and it is discomfiting for some, but the stigma associated with mental disorders is so profound, I feel called to write… about myself.

    I don’t know if this is you or someone you know, but either way: BRAVA! The intimacy of the details, as well as the ultimate truth: No one wants to be her. And yet they who judge are themselves pulling their own ‘little red wagon’ filled with who knows what?

    Thank you for a compelling offering. Amy Barlow Liberatore

    Amy, it isn’t me. This whole series of poems is about a relationship that is still ongoing and still very much alive. And yes, you are absolutely correct, there is far too much stigma attached to mental issues of any kind. For a long time, I refused to write about this, but then realized, it’s my story as well as hers. I write about my story, my personal experience, and this particularlar aspect has been a big hole in that story. And the current prompts seem to take me there each day, so I write. It is simply time to do so. And although it is scary on some levels, it also feels right and good. Thank you much for the support and encouragement, it is appreciated,



  2. It was so great to talk to you this morning. I hope you find what you are looking for today.

    And No One Wants to be Her, I like that you point out the she knows, you know, and we all know. And I love that you speak of the “self constructed cage…now behind bars” I weep for her. Would she be like a wild animal that has been captured, and can no longer be “free”– has forgotten how to survive without the cage?

    Do not worry that no one sees us. It reminds me of how hard it is for people to accept that you are an artist, when you are just the woman who lives next door, or my sister….after all if you are a genius, then what does that make me? Fear. You will just be who you are, and that is wonderful! Pure magic!

    Oh Annell. Thank you. Yes, she is the wild thing that dwells in all of us, that thing we fear. She has taught me so much, far more than I can ever say. Things about me that I might never have known had she not been there and shown them to me. And although I hate that cage, hate its reality, she keeps reaching out and I will continue to reach right back. No one deserves that more.

    And you are so right about the fear. It both stops us and propels us away from who we can truly be and were meant to be. I wasn’t afraid, I was just plain ignorant. But, I have learned. I have made my choices and am glad to be me.

    And yes again, that is magic! This whole series of poems is magic. My pen is a magic wand. I strike the bars, the ones I have constructed, as we all do, and the bars melt away with each word written. Yes, that is magic. And thank you. For the call, these words, and your own magic,



  3. I love the courage and truth in what you have written and I, too, know those who struggle with the “label”, with the illnesses themselves, and with the stigma, most especially with the stigma. And I also know that while no one wants those struggles, these people have amazing gifts, almost as if they are attuned to a higher frequency than the rest of us. Some of the most beautiful people I know. Treated terribly by the “system” and the supposed “professionals”, they have to learn their own dignity and worth and it often comes harder than to the rest of us. Really good writing. I found most compelling the lines about her as a child, seeking safety that was not there. The young woman I know – same thing.

    Sherry, some years ago, I was in a chat room with a group of multiples who were discussing how hard it is to believe in a God who would allow such realities. I told them they were missing the point. We are told over and over again that we, each of us, in made in the image and likeness of God. That, to me, means that God is probably a multiple. We had a most interesting discussion after that, lol.

    And I agree with you 100% and like that idea of a higher frequency that you mention. They are the most creative individuals I have ever met. And they have so much to offer the rest of us. I also agree that most often, they are abused by the very system that is supposed to help them, and by the fear of others who simply won’t take the time to attempt any level of understanding. We can only hope that some day that reality will change. Thank you for joining in the conversation,



  4. pamela says:

    This could be the ode to people I know and have known. Including myself.
    Well done.

    Pamela, thank you. I am both humbled and gratified by the comments here today. I’m glad I spoke,



  5. Mary says:

    Elizabeth, I feel as if I am getting to know “her” one poem at a time. This series of prompts by Robert has really given birth to some powerful writing by you. I almost feel as if you should turn these poems into a chapbook, putting them in the best possible sequence, once PAD is over with.

    Hi Mary, and yes, the same thought has crossed my own mind, and I believe that is what the PAD challenge ultimately would like to see happen for several of us. It is hard to envision, but then we aren’t even half way through it yet. Thanks so much for your continued support,



  6. Diane T says:

    A riveting poem, Elizabeth. How sad for a person to know that no one would want to be her and that even she herself does not want to be her. Whew, so many emotions in this poem!

    Diane, yes there are a lot of emotions. That might be why I never tried to write them in this fashion before. Poetry, for me, will ever be a field of emotions, and these are not easy ones. The saddest part in this is that so many people turn away because they simply don’t understand and assume they never will, or can’t take the time to do so. Perhaps my own background helped me understand, but there was also a great deal of work involved in that learning. And I don’t regret any of it. I learned a great deal more about myself and the way in which I think than in any classroom I have ever attended, including my own.



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