Stranger Inside

Sometimes we find familiar around the next curve
Sometimes we find familiar around the next curve

Your eyes,

your face,

your smile (absent for too long)-

they are all familiar

impressions on the

repressed memories

lurking in the recesses

of my sub-conscious mind.

I wrestle with the

incongruity of

past and present-

the surreal shadow

that slithers across

the barren landscape

of a new reality.

I hope you can find


your smile,

your life (reason to live)

all buried beneath

the stranger inside-

the person I once knew.


Inspiration:  For those who look to this part of the post to explain what on earth I was writing about, I won’t leave you hanging.  This poem has dual  meaning.  It was written to/about a person consumed by drugs.  He looks like the person you’ve known all along, but inside, he is gone.  His good heart belongs to his addiction.  It is also written to/about his parents; the people who have struggled to accept their only child is no longer the boy they raised.  How do you come to terms with that?  Not very easily.  That’s all I know.  Sometimes I can’t believe these are the same people I remember fondly from my childhood.  They are so different now; so sad and broken.

Unfortunately, this is about my family.  Just in time for the holidays, relationships have been severed and only time will tell if they can be repaired.  Right now, I’m sort of in the middle and will walk the line as best I can.  In the meantime, all I can do is offer prayers for peace, strength and forgiving hearts.

I realize I’ve neglected my fiction here lately.  I’ve written a couple of stories I plan to submit for publication, so I can’t post them here, but I do have a couple ideas.  I hope to post some fiction soon (either this week or next.)

I’ll sign off with this… if we look closely enough, we can find even the tiniest blessings in times of trouble.  I hope you have a beautiful week!


33 thoughts on “Stranger Inside

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:30 PM

      Thanks for reading, Kathy – glad you stopped by 🙂

  1. Debbie November 17, 2014 / 8:07 AM

    Love the way your poem snakes, just like the river pictured above it. I’m sorry for the troubles in your family; I guess no family is perfect. Addictions have a way of ensnaring people and complicating matters even more. Hugs to you and prayers for you!

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:32 PM

      Thanks, Debbie. I appreciate the prayers. Things are messy right now, but I have to think in time, things will be better.

  2. yarnspinnerr November 17, 2014 / 8:17 AM

    the surreal shadow

    that slithers across

    the barren landscape

    of a new reality.

    Wow. 🙂

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:33 PM

      Thanks for reading, Yarnspinnerr! I’m glad those lines stood out for you.

  3. suzicate November 17, 2014 / 10:20 AM

    I’m sorry your family is going through this. Addictions hurt everyone, not just the person addicted. I applaud your bravery for writing about this.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:35 PM

      Thanks, Suzicate. I have to admit that this poem was not so much bravery, but just a release to get it out of my head. The ‘stranger inside’ had been twisting around in my mind for days!

  4. Imelda November 17, 2014 / 10:46 AM

    Your poem is evocative, made even more so by the notes you wrote. What you wrote here is every parent’s fear and I can barely imagine the pain that the parents of the person who inspired this poem feel. It must be very painful to see one you love change into a mere shadow of himself.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:36 PM

      It is a worst fear, Imelda. No parent believes their child will ever choose that path, so it’s devastating when they do. I pray my kids will be able to resist the pressures that are out there…

      • Imelda November 23, 2014 / 5:36 PM

        …as I pray for mine. I hope for the best for our children. 🙂

        • jannatwrites November 23, 2014 / 8:54 PM

          Me too, Imelda 🙂

  5. christinavarga November 17, 2014 / 1:33 PM

    Beautiful. Our family recently went through something similar with a cousin of mine. It is heartbreaking watching them go through this battle, and even more so the pain that it causes to all parties involved. Warm thoughts sent your way!

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:37 PM

      I’m sorry to hear that, Christina. I wouldn’t wish any family to go through that kind of pain. I appreciate your kind thoughts!

  6. nrhatch November 17, 2014 / 1:48 PM

    Sounds like a tough situation for all concerned.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:38 PM

      Yes, it is. Right now, I don’t really see a good outcome, but some possibilities are worse than others.

  7. joannesisco November 17, 2014 / 3:06 PM

    This is beautifully written with a heartbreaking link to reality. The last line of your poem is so poignant … the stranger inside – the person I once knew.

    The holidays is a very difficult time for families struggling with conflict. It’s sad to hear that yours is one of them.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:40 PM

      Thanks, Joanne. The situation has been building up for years, so it was just a matter of time. A positive in this is that professionals are involved now and can provide additional strength to (I hope) keep from slipping into old patterns.

      • joannesisco November 18, 2014 / 6:44 AM

        I wish your family all the strength and support they’re going to need.

        • jannatwrites November 21, 2014 / 1:51 AM

          Thanks, Joanne! I appreciate the thoughts.

  8. pattisj November 17, 2014 / 11:27 PM

    Sorry to hear this, Janna. A life can take some twists and turns, can’t it? Wishing all the best for all involved.

    • jannatwrites November 17, 2014 / 11:41 PM

      Thanks, Patti. I’m hoping that in time, relationships will mend.

  9. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) November 18, 2014 / 12:16 PM

    It’s tragic when this happens .. and it’s double tragic when it’s in the family.. Good luck with your fiction..

    • jannatwrites November 21, 2014 / 1:52 AM

      Thanks,Bjorn. Fiction is a great way to escape from life.

  10. diannegray November 18, 2014 / 12:30 PM

    I’m so glad my children are a little older now and are missing all those new drugs out there that are so easy to make and take. My girlfriend has a 17 yo son who has become embroiled in this problem and it’s an absolute nightmare. Hugs to your family xxx

    • jannatwrites November 21, 2014 / 1:54 AM

      It is worrisome how readily available drugs seem to be. Hoping my children can escape the pressures and temptation. I hope your friend and her family manage to pull through the situation.

  11. GodGirl November 24, 2014 / 8:40 PM

    Your smile… your life. Such sadness in these words. Praying you would know God’s peace during this challenging time for your family. May He guide you all through.

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:37 PM

      Thanks, GodGirl. Prayers are appreciated 🙂

  12. agjorgenson November 25, 2014 / 5:54 PM

    Peace to you in this…. and best wishes on the publishing business. I like the poem very much, and also find the shaping of the text fitting for the photo above it. Best of thanksgiving in the midst of such turmoil.

    • jannatwrites November 27, 2014 / 8:40 PM

      Thanks, Allen. I appreciate you reading and for the kind thoughts!

  13. Sarah Ann December 10, 2014 / 12:30 PM

    So strong and sad. I didn’t see the dual meaning on first reading – could only see the individual – but on reading your explanation the dual meaning is so clear, and caring.

    • jannatwrites December 10, 2014 / 3:38 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Sarah Ann. I wasn’t sure it would be apparent, which is why I like to add my notes at the end 🙂

Got an opinion? Share it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s