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I Am Torn

We will read nothing better anywhere.

By Michelle Backhouse

I am torn between happiness and shame.
I am torn between being brave and yet scared.
I am torn between being authentic yet still hiding behind a mask.
I am torn between being a leader and communicator yet not being able to talk to the one I love.
I’m torn between the future and the past.
I’m torn between being seen as a success and yet feel like a failure.
I’m torn between visibility and hiding.
I’m torn between gratitude and disappointment.
I’m torn between being me and being what others expect.
I’m torn between being energetic, full of life and being tired.
I’m torn between the positives and the negatives.
I am torn.
Bookmark Michelle’s blog!

It was my sincere pleasure to run this poem by a Difference Maker!


6 Responses

  1. Michelle, very nicely put and I’m sure that every one of us can identify with most if not all of it.

    You’ve also managed to say in 114 words (don’t worry, I didn’t count them by hand, used the MS Word ‘word count’ to do it!) what would take me several thousand words of rambling to convey. But in the end, whether it’s 114 or several thousand doesn’t matter – words on a page can be an incredibly powerful way of living our lives when other communication channels are not available to us.

    1. Thank you so much Amanda.
      Strangely, writing was never a strong point in my early life. It’s only really been important to me once I started my blog a number of years ago.

  2. Kandi,
    If only life was perfect but considering Michelle’s ” TORN ” life is imperfect for most if not all of us . Even if we set aside transgender issues her words still ring true .

    I wonder if she considered the lines in any particular order but I had to think hard how I would priortise them . Perhaps I would place ” I am torn being me and what others expect ” at the top . It would be interesting what others would place in priority in their own circumstances .

    1. Hey Teresa.
      I just wrote out my thoughts as they popped into my head. I had contemplated rearranging them but wanted it to be organic, in the moment so to speak.

  3. Michelle,
    What a great poem. You have masterfully captured the feelings of a life. Of course it is especially true for us transgender women.

    But I also saw a fabulous woman in your words: “happiness… brave … authentic… leader … future … success … visibility … gratitude … being me … energetic… full of life … positive”. These are the words I would use to describe Michelle Backhouse. And let me add “beautiful” and “loved”.

    We all know life is not perfect. It is complicated. Thank you for giving us your poem.

    You are so special.


    1. Thank you Jocelyn for your very interesting and perceptive dissection of my poem.
      Love it!
      It brought a giant smile to my face and a tear to my eye….because it’s true. I still have a minuscule hurdle (full self acceptance) to cross, but your observation has helped me.
      Much appreciated my friend.

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