Nobody Tells You by Nina Vangerow

Too Scared to Hold You Anonymous

Nobody tells you
and you wouldn’t have believed it anyway
not about the pain of childbirth
but the agonising pain of having the very essence of who you are
ripped apart
about endless days
and endless nights
having to survive on chocolate biscuits and bananas
because you can’t prepare food one handed
about babies that will never fall asleep in car seats while you are driving
but cry
because they need your closeness, your warmth, the smell of your skin
to feel safe
and your heart brakes on the motorway, tears streaming down your face
“It’s alright little one, mummy is here, just a bit further”
nobody tells you about babies
that need to be carried to fall asleep
carried to stay asleep
carried when they are awake, need to be as close to you as possible
to survive in this scary crazy world

nobody tells you about the heartbreaking loneliness
internally screaming to be alone just – for – five – minutes
of having to create a safe little nest on the bathroom floor so that you can have a quick shower
that it’ll take you three hours to get ready to leave the house (if you are lucky)

nobody tells you about
every minute, every day
until you think you can’t break any more
and then
“I’m fine” you say
and break a bit more

my thoughts are scattered nightmares
my mind is frantically chasing reasons to stay sane and become unbroken again
my thoughts are
my thoughts –
are tired, so tired
I want to sleep and never wake up again
I want to get lost in the night time wanderings of my sleeping mind

I’m looking for answers in the grasp of your tiny fingers
the softness of your skin
you are me
you are not me
I am you and not you

nobody tells you that you are going to lose all your friends
who now live outside this massively tiny pink soap bubble
that you are both trapped in

nobody tells you
how much courage it takes to face each new day
of the strength that you will find and never thought you had
of this inexplicable, all consuming love you will experience looking into those eyes


Under the name of The Forgotten Bookshop Girl, Nina Vangerow is working as a mixed media artist, rebinding old books into notebooks, creating vintage style Travelers Notebook inserts, experimenting with various forms of image transfers and makes use of materials that would normally have ended up in the landfill. She also facilitates local workshops and creates online classes.

Author: Carmen Marcus

As the daughter of a Yorkshire Fisherman and Irish Mother, my writing brings together the visceral and the magical. My debut novel #How Saints Die was published with Harvill Secker in 2017. It won New Writing North's Northern Promise Award as a work in progress and was longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize in 2018. My poetry has been commissioned by BBC Radio, The Royal Festival Hall and Durham Book Festival. As a child of an 80s council estate I am an advocate for working class writers and stories. I’m currently working on my first poetry collection The Book of Godless Verse and my next novel. I try to live up to the words of my first critic and primary school teacher ‘weird minus one house point.’

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