I’m the Runaway Bride… again and again
I’ve watched the film again and again
I’ve cried at the film again and again
It’s me, that Maggie, it’s me.
Each relationship I’ve been in,
I’ve not been me,
Each person I’ve been with
Has not seen me.
I’ve moulded and shaped my person to be
Just what they wanted
Wanted to see.
I used to dream of meeting ‘the One’
But realised the rest of world thought I was no fun
So I changed, had sex when I didn’t want to
Drank alcohol and performed like a monkey in a zoo.
I’ve played mother, carer, responsible, Mrs Right,
Been good girl in day and bad in the night:
Made out I like thongs, football and steak
Convinced myself this was the way to make…
Them Love me.
Live what I was taught to do,
We don’t want YOU
So hush, be silent
And do as you’re told
If you’re “good”
You’ll feel part of the fold.
If you don’t we’ll banish you,
You exist for us
Be good now, not one second of fuss.
So that’s what I did and what I have done
I put on a mask
And then another one
So many different versions of ‘me’
Bartered my soul;
Washed out to sea.
So I’m like Maggie, that’s me.
Now here’s the irony
Something I’ve learnt
For others to see you
You have to choose to be seen
Drop all the masks
Be honest, come clean.
But it’s not easy I find
I’m convinced by my masks
It’s been so long: they cling to me tight
They put up a very strong fight.
But they are so heavy, tiring,
Oppressive these days
Now I know they are there
And I’m sick of their ways.
I want to find me and
All the pieces that shattered
Beginning to see: being me really mattered.
Most of my life, I’ve seen it in others
Encouraged the light in my sisters and brothers
But never rated myself in the same way
It’s so sad I’ve kept me at bay.
Runaway Bride… running away from myself
This terrible person I thought I might be
Someone else’s convenient story of me.
I’m tired, exhausted by pretending so long
But like Maggie, I’ve run long enough
I’m dying before I’m dying
It’s not easy, it’s tough
To walk on eggshells, afraid of exposure
No peace, no closure.
My hope has come in the form of Truth
Not mine, but God’s
She who made me, knows me, wants me to be…
Calls for the masks to be shattered, not me.
Loves me to love me, to want me to see me.
My half, and then the whole me.
by Maxine Bell December 26th 2020
(image from and poem inspired by the 1999 movie – The Runaway Bride)