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Pen to Paper

By Cea Jae

PROMPT—No one noticed ...

Pen to paper has always been my safe space. A warm hug when I needed it most. The comfort I needed when I lacked security. Probably the greatest reason I’m still somewhat sane.

I think people just see me as a strong person, and it must be abnormal for me to have feelings. Or that I’m so nonchalant that I simply don’t care. But I shatter just like the rest of you. The only difference is I do it in the shadows, but sometimes those parts of me slip through the cracks. Probably because I keep those emotions trapped.

It’s always been hard to pour my heart and energy onto people. I hate the vulnerability. I don’t want my feelings or thoughts weaponized, nor would I want to face the sad truth that they just don’t care enough. I feel like whenever I verbalize my feelings, it’s always up for critique, but I just want to be heard. Probably the greatest reason why I am the way I am.

It might just stem from a fear of abandonment. I think everyone in my life has abandoned me one way or another, whether that be physically or emotionally. My grandma and my mom, both of which left me physically. Of course, they didn’t choose to, but their absence is still felt. My father did a brief stint. He’d argue that it wasn’t his decision and that my mom played a role, but we all have autonomy in our words and actions. He made his without me in mind. I know every now and then he ridicules me for not checking up on him, but how can I be so cordial with all I’ve experienced? I was a kid, but an observant one. My sister left me emotionally. I think the loss of my mother was a feeling she couldn’t and hasn’t processed, so she just doesn’t have the emotional capacity to handle mine. It’s not a pity party, or an excuse, just the truth. My friends have their own lives and own baggage, I can’t quite expect to unload mine onto them. And realistically, I think I retreat at the first sign of their new lives. You can’t be abandoned if you leave first right? Probably not the best way to cope, but what else do I know?

Now I find myself in a new chapter of my life. I’m doing a lot, changing a lot, and feeling a lot. I‘ve spent so long keeping things hidden, keeping myself hidden, that I’m struggling to adjust to the limelight. I’m doing my best, trying to be intentional, but sometimes it’s just a lot. I can only hope my mind is in the right place, and my heart will follow suit.


For Cea Jae, writing has always been the way she has formalized her thoughts and something that she loves doing. Cea thinks our words have a lot of power, so she likes to use hers for good. She writes from Dallas, TX.


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