Monday, December 22, 2014

...

"He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom." -Gandalf



I reach for the plumb colored towel from the toilet seat and dry myself off. 
Out of habit I rub at my eyes to make sure the make up has come off. 
But I haven't been wearing any lately. 
Midnight. 
He's at the gym.
"You're working out so late." 
Glad he can't hear me for the text as my voice would give away the worry. 
Eye cream. Face cream. Lotion the rest of me. Bed time clothes on. 
It's not hard to open the over-the-counter sleep aid, and I transfer one of the aquamarine gel capsules from my palm to my mouth. 
Help me. 
I think that over and over throughout the day. 

He broke up with me just a week ago but you wouldn't know if by the way he continued to speak to me, 
Abrupt reminders of "but we're not together" and "I love you so much but..." 
Mutual agreement to wait until we see each other but the hesitant words of thinking it might be the end.
Dull waves of pain day in and day out. 

He that breaks a thing....

I love him, and tried to love him, searching for security.
"I'll move into the guest room.."
"I would need to move out." 
"It's your choice." 

Please....

"I'm not looking for anyone." 
Out until 6 partying with his brother. 
"Wingman" is what he's being. 
"I'm not sleeping with anyone." 
Out late at the gym. 

Then aided sleep takes me, the bottle getting low. 
A promise to quit smoking tomorrow.
Frantic emotions exhaled with every puff of smoke.
The alarm rings at 10, the body rises at noon or 1. 

Help me, please....

She told me that it's a beautiful kind of pain, but it's only beautiful when the pain isn't yours.
Clinging to my phone, 
Battery dying twice a day.
Clinging to the comfort of friends and family. 
But what about when I have to go back....

To find out what it is....

What have I learned? 
Who am I? 
You don't need the affirmation of another to have worth.
You're strong, competent, capable, beautiful, intelligent... 
The positive self-talk mantras given half heartedly.

When will this sleeping pill kick in? 

You knew he cheated on you this summer. 
You found out things this fall. 
This is for the best. 
He hurts you.
What's the real price of security? 

Has left the path of wisdom....

The pre-workout falls into the glass like an avalanche and clumps, a pink bubble on top.
Swirl, swirl, swirl
I lift. 
I sleep. 
I eat now and then. 
But I never cry,
And I aways sleep...

My family thinks I should move home where I can live for free and they'll feel better about by commute to school.
My few friends in my home town think I need to move back for the support and the people that really care.
And I'm staring out the fogged up window of passing plans we made....
Those things that he made me believe in though he didn't. 
You can do this. You can do this. You can do this. 
Where do I go from here?
I would ask the question if I thought someone could give me the answer. 
Thinking, thinking, thinking. 
Has he slept with someone?
What girl is he trying to reconnect with?
What lie is he making for me?
What thing is he going to say is my fault?

Distract. Refocus. Name the emotions. Self-validation. Re-distract.

Ache. Sleep. Ache. Work out. Ache. 

Normally I would talk and talk but I find myself only able to talk to one or two friends about it.
But now I find myself unable to speak.
The pain something new.
It wasn't my first heart break, but when everything is a lie and there were life plans being made I can't help but feeling that I have come to an jarringly abrupt half...
Lost.

Motivational quotes. Kind advice and friends checking up on me. 
Tired eyes. 
Soft, half smile. 
A nod. 
Three more cigarettes.
One sleep aid. 

You broke me. 
You knew the things I carried with me, fighting to shed, and you took some then added your own.
You lied to me...
You betrayed me...
Drove me crazy and made me believe it was all my fault.

You'll be okay, I say.
I left the path of wisdom and have to begin the trek to get back on.

The lid wasn't hard to open, time to sleep again. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy?

You ever get the idea that you're not living your life?
I mean, really living your life?
Get up, go to work, go to school, cook dinner, kiss your significant other, turn on the radio in your car and sing along like it's the best thing and you tell yourself that you're happy.
Why?
Because you're not in Somalia or homeless or anything else to give you the indication that you're not happy.
But.
But you're not.
The alarm rings to single the onset of a very important day, the things you do that matter and contribute and make you fell fulfilled.
Does it though?

This is me.
I get up every day, sometimes sleeping longer than I should.
I promise more of myself from my studies than I can follow through with,
I live in an apartment with my boyfriend.
I go to the gym and text/call my friends to see how they are and when the moments come, as they always do, when I am sitting quietly alone, I tell myself I'm happy.
Why?
Because I'm not in Somalia or homeless and there's no other indication that I'm not happy.

But there is....

You ever just watch people, really watch them, and see how noisy and fleeting and on the surface it all can be?
I clean my apartment and do the laundry and as I fold his clothes I think how I care about him and it's nice to search for the stupid missing socks and clean the kitchen and do all this stuff because I'm happy.
I move forward because that's the direction you're supposed to go.
I change the things I don't think I need to because I'm happy.
I talk about things that aren't what is really bothering me because I can't keep bothering my friends with these worries that play on repeat.
Because I'm happy.

At 8:42 on Sunday night I sat on the floor in front of the coffee table with my clay project I was finishing up with paint, a Netflix movie on and every light in the place on because I decided to stop what I was doing to paint.
I thought about all the stuff that creeps up when the world is quieter and it's just you there.
While I don't know for sure what  else I would be doing, I do know that my friend is right:
Life is too short to be so miserable. Especially at so young of an age.
I've been wasting time worrying if I'm good enough, interesting or smart enough and painfully comparing myself to everyone else.
But I'm happy.

No. I'm not happy.
I just want that on record.
I am not happy.

I am in a mediocre to shitty relationship that is handy for him and leaves me questioning daily if I'm worthy enough or not and if he truly cares or not.
I don't want to work so much while I'm in graduate school.
I can't see myself as a professional in training as part of my identity yet.
I don't like keeping up on the cleaning and the laundry.
I always have these grand ideas for a writing or painting/ceramics/drawing ideas and my skill doesn't align with that idea.
I want to just pick up and travel and now that I have the opportunity to go to Guatemala for eight weeks this summer, I stupidly question whether or not I should because maybe if I go home with him this summer like he talked about, while he goes to Japan for three weeks telling me he doesn't want me to go with, maybe he'll decide he loves me for real.
I doubt my professional skills at times.
I get upset when my brownies don't turn out just so.
I hate some of the things people do but I don't say anything because I'm pretending to be happy.
Void of feeling too much and playing cool just in case.

I'm sick of fucking walking around like nothing anyone does bothers me and I'm okay with it, that I'll just try a little harder or care a little less or turn a blind eye to things.
That's wrong!
That's all wrong and not how things should be!
I'm 24 in 4 days.
It can't be another year of just continuing on the cycle until eventually the people I put more effort into than they do me eventually decide it's not worth it.

Maybe it's almost the breakthrough point.
Like maybe this is the climax when I finally decide to live for myself and not other people.
Or maybe it's just some post that comes from left field that doesn't matter.
It matters to me though, getting all of it out of my head, hoping other people think about this stuff too.
We're all putting ourselves aside or putting ourselves too far ahead and it's not right.
There's probably not any wisdom in this but I think it matters because we've all got to live with ourselves forever, that's what she said to me.
When I'm sitting alone on my living room floor painting and thinking, in that moment that's it.
There's no show, no impressing to be done or sucking up or being the most aloof.
I'm just afraid that it's too easy for all of us as people to get so distanced from who we are trying to chase a collective idea of happy, excusing what our own definitions are, being hurt or hurting to have this idea, and then when we're alone at night we don't even know who we are.
I don't.
I have a general idea but I don't always feel confident enough to go with it.

So, I don't know, just a thought.
Are you happy, truly, when you're sitting alone at home and can you be that person all the time?
If so, you got there somehow and I think it's important to know.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Today



"Guilt is like a ton of  bricks: it's only heavy if you hold on to it." He told me.
"I'm going to dump her, I just don't know when." He told her.
"I'm ready, I really need to get in for an appointment." I told the therapist.
"You have to do better." I told myself. 
"I'm sorry." I told my friends.
"I don't know if we're just holding onto it. I still have feelings for you." He said.
"Pray for me." I asked my mom.
"Please.... Help me." I asked God.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

....



Things were oddly peculiar,
Key in the lock-
Half turned to open or to trap the scream. 

She left nothing of the former life-
Only shoes and tattered bedspread things
Where her dreams tore their fingers
Searching the mended mother holes

Keep quiet. 

You'll wake the neighbors with the
Sound of your beat less hearts 
But it may get lost in the sonic 
Noise of bustling aspirations
The car has been warmed up 
For some time but
It was never easy to go
Ego.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Sandman

She stole his bag to pour more sand in her eyes
Leveling the debt
Seeking sleep
And dreams

Turn the timer over
Lashes thick
And heavy
To tick
Tick
Tick
Away the happy lies of the day

"Sand man,  sand man, where are you?
My lips are puckered blood red
Just let me say
'How do you do?"

Silent creeks of evening willow winds
No surprise
She closed her eyes
And came up dead.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Average

"You don't care about human suffering. You care about it because it makes you sad, but you're not doing anything to help it."
"When I see it I try to..."
"Yah, because it makes you sad."

The way he refuted my words broke my heart.
Almost more than anything he'd done to me, that was what hurt the most.
Believing I didn't have a light inside.
So dead and careless like the rest of the world....

I could feel the tears well up in my eyes time and time again as we watched the new movie Fury.
I felt the frenzied blinking, holding back the dam as I imagined the trauma and dehumanization people in war face.
Never would I ever experience and understand fully what those in the military see and feel.
And I'm grateful for them.

Handing the man my bag of gas station chips when he asked for money to buy a meal didn't make me a saint.
In fact, I wish I would have had more time to buy him something from the fast food place by the gas station but I didn't have any cash and I was going to be late for school.
But I didn't hesitate.
It didn't just make me sad, it made me worried that he wouldn't have anything to eat if I didn't give it to him.
When the homeless man asked me for change to buy a bus ticket I gave him all the ones I had and asked him his name because he has one.
He fucking has a name and a past and a future.
He has a name.
Shaking my hand, gentle grip, that smile someone gets when they're treated with kindness for the first time in God knows how long.
I don't do these things so that I can sleep better at night and I don't try to alleviate my sadness of seeing someone suffer.
I try to alleviate it because it fucking breaks my heart to see someone hurting.
I don't want them to be cold, hungry, hurting, lost or alone.

You know why this whole thing mattered?
It mattered because someone once held me when I cried about being unable to help someone and he was touched.
He couldn't believe that I had a heart that never faltered for anyone.
Despite my own struggles and the terribleness of the world, I still believe in the beauty.
And he found me beautiful....

Then I could feel the selfish tears coming because he didn't see me as beautiful.
He doesn't see the warmth I try to give and suddenly I was ordinary.
Flip flopping between believing I deserved to have someone believe I was extraordinary and someone seeing me as simply human.
By why not both?
It matters that the person I love doesn't see it.
He doesn't see or believe that inside I try to purge any selfish, mean, shallow, or judgmental characteristic and try to be kind, warm, and empathetic.
He doesn't see me trying to be a truly beautiful person.
He sees me as average.

I hate to admit how much that fact keeps me up at night.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

....



I felt the shift ever so slightly
By the way there was no comfort in
My sheets 
And blankets. 
Toes crinkling the air 
Then shooting out for escape
I am trapped...
Trapped in a world of what if's and lies
Fancy, collectible pieces of mind
Peace of mind
Wasted time
Suddenly your skin felt so stifling
There was too much of you saturating
Every pour-
Essence
Being

You kill me
Like no one can....
     And I can't
               I can't...

Your skin is stifling
I can't breath. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Mess



You're something like a mess
Resonating with a lie
And you'll probably let it fade
Out of mind

I need some place for these vacant notions
Altruistic abandon
Hollow devotions

You're a bitter thing
Skin hangs off bone
Turn to stone
Now
You are alone

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fields

"That field is already harvested. How did I not notice that? Or did they just do it?"
I felt the familiar distraught panic I developed every fall with the ending of September.
Mourning summer like an old friend.
It was as though over night the lush green corn fields turned to dry yellows,  sporadic like a tie dye shirt,  overtaking it like a disease.
You wake up one morning and have to go back into the house for a jacket and cringe as yet another girl gives an ode to fall by expressing her love of scarves,  crisp air,  and pumpkin spice lattes.
Sometimes I think people don't even know what existing really is but they say they're doing it.
I know I do.
Where does time go?
I'm transported to the image of me coming up over the few hills to my house,  the light soft and the sun going down.
It's so lonely but God,  it's so beautiful.
My horse is munching the last grasses of the summer in his pasture,  tail swinging half heartedly back and forth.
I don't know where my dad buried him,  it's been that long since I've been home.
The chickens are picking at the ground,  searching for goodies in the grass,  scratching at the ground when they find something, talking back and forth to one another in their own way.
My cat is walking down the driveway and slowly dips to the ground to roll on her back.
My dog sniffing around for something only he knows what.
The calves are no longer babies and are beginning to eat hay and corn.
Their cries go on for days when we wean then from their mothers.
It occurred to me that they're like people to the extent that things seem so bad at first . We cry,  get angry,  kick up a storm,  and days later we are back to being okay,  back to the places and things that make us feel comfortable.
Not right away,  but someday.
I miss the farm.
I know I can't go back but there are moments I'm transported by nostalgia to when life was a little bit slower.
Authentic living is how I reflect on it now.
The place I first learned lessons in a simplified and yet complex manner.
I learned about anger when a coyote would eat my favorite chicken.
Justice when I protected one of the ostracized animals and made them safe spaces in their pens.
Joy when a new life came into the world,  from the time their beaks poked through the shell to thriving and reaching adulthood,
Or rubbing my eyes and looking out the window and seeing a fresh,  shiny black calf sticking close to its mother on wobbly legs
Triumph when I stayed on my horse the next time he tried to buck me off.
Sorrow as I held many of my beloved pets as they died.
Loyalty as I cared for the sick and injured.
Duty and respect when caring for an animal until it reached the age where it would be used for food.
Gratitude when eating one.
The lessons were so simple but so profound.
I didn't live at home for the first summer in my life and I felt like time just flew.
I didn't feel fully adequate in fulfilling my newly established adult role in the world.
They say it's the best time,  your 20's, because you're the best physically you ever will be, you're not married and you don't have kids to hold you down.
Somehow it felt a lot like simply existing
Holding a place in time.
There was no richness to make it vibrant.
After recovery and graduation from my undergrad I felt some estrangement from the person I was.
A muted need to become intimately acquainted with myself and the person I am instead of rejecting it for once.
Suddenly I woke up and realized that I would have a professional career and can't waste time with people who care little for me and I them.
I want to call it an apathetic frenzy because that's what it is.
Nothing bad,  nothing good, everything normal.
It's something, I just don't know what yet.
All I know is that I don't want to wake up one day and realize I yellowed and withered like the fields.

Monday, September 1, 2014

....

"Have you ever read the Big Book? 
"Oh, a few pages for class." 
"I want you to read this paragraph." 
He handed me the Alcoholics Anonymous book with an Ace of clubs tucked inside as a bookmark. 

"And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing, or situation-some fact of my life-unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in God's world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life's terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes." 

So often the veterans at the transitional house bring solace to my aching mind these days. 
Growing pains I suppose you could call them. 
"What's the right answer?" I beg of them, eyes soft but piercing. 
I've sat in a chair on the porch of the transitional house nearly every evening shift this summer, legs pulled up, gazing across the street at the greens of the trees, vibrant pinks and purples of the flowers, peeling yellow house on the far right, and the smell of clean air and rain. 
"What's the secret to life?" I've asked a few of them. 
Some tell me I have to find out for myself because everyone's definition of happy is different. 
One told me that I need to make a list of my good qualities of my bad and see if I can be okay with the things I can't change then make a list of all the things I want to do in my life. 
In regards to love they tell me to find someone that is my best friend, that I can be completely honest with and talk to. 
It always makes me sad to think that so often these people are the ones that society has cast off and yet they have such simple and profound wisdom. 
"The 20's are hard." I tell them. 
Some say that they had a great decade, some say they spent it in the service or doing things like drugs and other activities they shouldn't have been doing.

I'm confused and I'm depressed. 
Sometimes I think that my relationship is a joke and like it wouldn't matter if I was there or not. 
All people are replaceable if we're being honest, and sometimes I think I'm more trouble than I'm worth.
Or at least he kind of seems that way at times.
Man I could go for a week at my mom's house, just hiding away with people I know love me.
That safe place...
Never in my life have I not been without a plan.
Never have I ever lived day by day. 
Sometimes this depression and fear leads me to wish for a car accident or something where I die. 
I know how melodramatic and pathetic that is but I can't see a purpose right now and maybe it would be justice for all the shitty things I've done to people and for my lack of direction at present. 
It's me feeling sorry for myself, I know, but I know I'm not alone in feeling this way. 
If you ever pray, could you throw one in for me? 
It's agony feeling this way, this apathy or emptiness. 
Feeling sorry for myself, I apologize. 
Just lonely and lost. 
For once I don't know where to go for the answers. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Frenzy

"Snooze the alarm."
One eye open, fumbling with my phone.
"How's it already morning?"
He sighs as he pulls his arm tighter around me.
9:15 am, the cheery tune begins to ramble off, making me feel homicidal like every morning I hear it.
He rolled out of bed, hair in an Einstein mess, looking around the room as his eyes adjusted to his glasses.
"Are you going to make me breakfast like you said you would?"
That grin.
Every time.
Sighhhhhhhh........."Yes, hold on."
Wrapping the blankets tighter around me then all of a sudden, not at all, I forced myself up and out of our bed.
Our bed.
Crack, plop.
Crack, plop.
Crack, plop.
Crack, plop.
The eggs began to sizzle.
I reached up for a coffee cup, wondering how I was so tired.
"Fuck I don't want to go to law school. I was up forever reading for this stupid class."
Weaving in and out of rooms collecting books and papers, he's getting ready for school.
He stops in the living room and sits on the floor in front of the coffee table.
"Summer is gone."
The melancholic voice of the man I've come to know so well.
I set the eggs and coffee down then set out making him snacks.
Soon we're packed and in his car so that I can drop him off on campus.
A comforting familiarity to our routine.
He smiles, gives me a kiss, then gets his bag.
I tell him to have a good day and drive off.
It's school time once again.

You know what gets me?
Time.
My dad used to tell me hat the older you get, the faster it goes.
Never was that more pertinent than when I was putting the letters from my ex in a Walmart bag and then taking them to the dumpster.
I wanted to hold on to them but couldn't find sufficient ammo for that nostalgic argument
No reason  to keep mementos and ghosts of others in our apartment.
Ours.
He was that good looking, long haired guy at the gym that I had to have and now he's my boyfriend whom I have a lease with.
A year ago I was finishing my undergrad.
A year ago I was with someone else.
A year ago I was far less confident.
A year ago I didn't know if I was going to go to grad school or not.
Often times I wonder what I would have thought if I ad read my blog entries when it all started or even if I read the next year's now.
Change is inevitable.
Movement of time is inevitable.
I just keep hoping that I make the most of it and don't live afraid.
Lately I've been fixated on the notion of being ordinary and not doing enough with my life.
But maybe that's the sign that I'm not going to settle for being ordinary.

I've wanted to write but couldn't find the words.
I wanted to write something beautiful but felt so muted.
Lately I've felt like a ghost, despondent and transparent.
So I started taking my depression medicine again.
Sometimes I lay on the couch thinking about the people that I hurt on my way up to this point.
I feel selfish.
When the urge to get away takes hold I run as fast and far as I can, with no consideration to those in my path.
I wish I could tell L how I felt and tell him the whole story, but I know that the truth would break his heart.
Sometimes I wish I could see T and go camping and do some of the things we used to, but the heart has a funny way of only uncovering the few good times, shirking the bad in recollection.
I need more hobbies.
I need more intelligence.
I need to gather more information on life and stuff in general.
I need to be more extraordinary.
I need to be more intense.
I need to be more interesting.
I need to be more confident.
Lots of needs.
Lately I've forgotten to take note of the things I do have, or when I do, they seem to pale in comparison to the rest of the world.
A boring, maleable human.
I just want to stop feeling like I'm in a frenzy.

I start school tomorrow, and even though I hate doing house hold chores I'm enjoying the new apartment.
I trust him and think he loves me, I just have to stop doubting why he would love someone as plain as me.
Two jobs, grad school, enough money to pay my bills, eat, and still have fun now and then, and someone that cares enough to put up with me daily and still pull me close at night, so I would say I'm still coming out on top.
Blessed.
I hope everyone is doing well, as I've missed you all and I've missed writing.
Just trying to get out of the empty frenzy.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Water With Poison

Over and over I hear people talk about recovery and that it's the mental aspect that's the hardest to reconcile with.
Accepting self, accepting what happened, weight gain, change how you perceive yourself, 
Blah blah blah. 
I believe that, but you know what's really been the hardest for me? Getting rid of toxic people.
Valuing myself enough to get rid of these kinds of people. 

"She's not your friend." 
How many times had he said this to me? 
I felt a little indignant and rushed to defend my friend. 
He didn't know her like I did, this is just how she acts when she's upset, I just have to ride it out. 

"You're a selfish, self-righteous cunt!" she screamed at me. 
Am I? No, I didn't think I was.... tears were pooling and I had to walk away before I said something I would regret. 
"You're right. She's not my friend." The "I told you so" said for him. 

She had always been opinionated, ever since we had met. 
Always been there for me during all the hard times. 
When I moved in for the summer I thought it would be fun to live with one of my best friends. 
At first it was awesome. We would go to the gym or spend time doing things together, I would come to her for advice or to listen when I was upset.
Store runs, ice cream runs, craft days, and bad TV marathons. 
It was the beginning of summer and nothing seems impossible or terrible when the air is warm and everything is alive.
It only took a few weeks for things to begin their steady decline. 
She began her new job as a caseworker at the prison, I was talking on the phone too loudly at night and she had to be up early for training. 
Selfish. 
Wanted me to help her lose weight for her trip to the beach with her boyfriend in August, but I had gone by myself since she worked while I was home and I worked while she was home. 
Selfish.
Her comments becoming harsher and harsher, her complaints becoming pettier and pettier.

"Take out the trash." 
I was going to...
"Your dish is in the sink." 
I was letting it sit to make it easier to wash...
"You have a book and blanket sitting out in the basement living room. We (her boyfriend and her) feel like we don't have a space of our own because you have stuff everywhere." 
Your stuff is LITERALLY everywhere in the house and I have one thing here and there.
"You're going on another vacation?"  
Yes, it's the first time in a long time that I've seen my uncle and cousin, oh, and I have a long distance relationship until school so I want to see him again. 
"It's good you're working every day of the week because you've been gone too much." 
I don't mind the work I'm just tired. 
"I asked you to work out with me but all you care about is yourself."
You were at work when I wasn't! I gave you tips and ways to modify your diet but you didn't take any of it into consideration! 
"You shouldn't be going on another trip to see your boyfriend because you'll be spending money that you don't have." 
You can fuck off. My money. My relationship. 
"You don't have a real job."
I think the work I do is meaningful and provides skills I can use when I'm a licensed therapist. I don't have a career because I need a masters to have my chosen career. Only two and a half more years. 
"Part of being an adult is cleaning up and not sleeping in my boyfriend's bed."
He said I could! My family is moving my bed up when I move the first weekend of August. He sleeps with you. He told me he doesn't mind! 
"You're a selfish, self-righteous cunt who only thinks about themselves." 
You only said  that because I didn't bend over backwards to make you happy. You know why? YOU'RE NEVER HAPPY!
"Your boyfriend needs to be okay with me. He doesn't even care if I like him or not." 
You're right, he could give a fuck less if you like him or not because he hates you and he thinks you treat me like shit. How you feel really doesn't matter to me either in this matter. I'm happy. 
"You do whatever you want." 
Yah, because I'm an adult. 

Back and forth and back and forth. One day can be great and the next she's shouting that I'm a whore. 
She says terrible things to me and pretends it's all okay the next day. 
I just want to be friends but I'm constantly whiplashed by these things that she says 
Finally I realized that my boyfriend was right. 
She isn't a good person. 
That is so hard for me because I want to believe that everyone is but she has pushed me to the point where I cry after our fights and doubt myself. 
That's not a friend.  
What makes me feel most upset is the fact that I allowed myself to be treated this way. 
If I valued myself then no one would speak to me or treat me the way that they do.

I hate her right now. I hate her for the way she talks to me, the way she makes me feel, the way nothing is good enough, but most of all, I hate the way I LET her treat me. 
Here's what's hard, letting people go that are not good for me. 
Call it hope, seeing the best in people, whatever, it's wrong. 
Everyone is worth something. Everyone is worth respect. Don't forget that you are too. 
Don't be abusive and don't allow others to be in your life that are as well.
When we establish some boundaries and maybe make amends she can be back in my life, but not until then.
Respect is earned. 
You can't grow if you're being watered with poison.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Romance Era




"I've told you this before, but you're like a Romantic piece - like Brahms.  Music was perfected in the Classical Era.  Baroque before that was too mathematical, and was so beautiful but was just a little too boring because everything was expected."

"I like Brahms."
"You know where Mozart was going at every turn, because he did it "perfect", harmonies in 4ths and 5ths. Then people started to play with things, harmonize in thirds and do different things with the tempo being much faster. This was the classical Era.  After that, Chopin and Brahms and Beethoven brought in the Romantic Era which rejected that perfection, and just played what was beautiful.  Sometimes it doesn't make sense really "why" it's beautiful. Chopin's Nocturnes are very weird and syncopated and atonal and chromatic, but it' s beautiful because of the cadence.  Beethoven was the master of harmonies and Brahms takes one melodic line like in "lullaby" and makes you focus on only that - no orchestra, just a single, beautiful melody.  Very much more intimate than classical.  Not "perfect", but so real and powerful and raw.  Does this make sense?"
I don't think there is really any better compliment than being compared to a Brahms piece.  You know how to kill me and make me feel beautiful."
"Like not a barbie doll. You're the guy Ken cheats on Barbie with.  Because you're so much more alive and interesting and beautiful.  And beautiful not in a boring and stereotypical and expected way."

I wrote an entry on the fourteenth of October saying that I think I could fall in love with him.
Then there were ones following that had the angst of fights, break ups and reconnections, changing colleges and starting a new program, uncertainty, fear, memories, and joy.
We all have our stories, mine included, but I never thought that mine was going to get this good and I'm not even at the end.
I'm in love.
I'm happy.
I have two great jobs that I can get by on.
I'm getting my masters.
I have some very good friends and some very supportive family members.
I'm successfully in recovery from anorexia.
I'm successfully in a romantic relationship after abuse.
I signed my first lease today.
There is always hope.
Sometimes I didn't think there was going to be a better way but I was really scared.
Sometimes I still get that twinge of sadness when my father and I text because there's no substance to it.
Sometimes I'm scared I'm going to fail or mess this up.
Making choices that could affect your life can be such a terrifying thing because what if it's wrong?
What if I have to put myself out there and I fail or someone doesn't return the same feelings?
I hit this milestone finally where I was no longer afraid to shed my childhood and my terrible experiences because this is infinitely better.
Sometimes we just need a push.
I want to write soon, write about the changes and the thoughts but I don't know how, only that I want to write.
For now, here is this beautiful compliment which was the result of taking a chance on the what if.
My Romance Era, if you will, where I'm learning that it's okay to take a chance life.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Surge of Memories

"When will it stop hurting?"
"What?"
"When will I get over this?"
"I don't know...."
"I just want you to know that no one will ever add up to us."

I didn't know what to say to those aching words popping up on my screen.
It would have been six years that we were together and even now I feel the heaviness inside of me.
I was seventeen going on eighteen that summer and my first love had dumped me.
That summer I was working for a landscaping and on this particular 97 degree July day it was a particularly stubborn set of bushes coming out at a gas station.
There he was, walking up to me.
"You look like you could use a bottle of water."
Blushing under the clear sky, shyly taking it from him, a nervous thanks coming out.
A few days later he came back to the job site to ask me for my number.
He would later lament that he should never had bought me a water when we'd get into another fight.
He thought I was older, while he was twenty-three.
I can't believe it sometimes. he was the age I am now. At the time he was mysterious, cute, and we seemed to have some things in  common.
His personality was dark, carrying a lot of sadness.
But mine could provide enough sunshine for the both of us.

I watched it crumble and I didn't care because I was so unhappy, but the minute I thought it was going to, I clung to it with all my might.
"If you're so unhappy, go!" he'd say, but when I finally did, he got on his knees to beg me to stay.
I didn't expect the tears because it's been a year since we were together and even longer since we functioned well as a couple anyway.
It was just so heavy...
Remembering the night I understood for the first time that I was seeing a drug addict.
Laying in his bed on his side, becoming unresponsive from a drug overdose,
Only to wake up and vomit into a bowl by his bed.
I was seventeen, naive, and scared.
The police came to hospitals with an overdose patient, didn't they?
Jumping into the car, I rushed to Walmart and bought some soup and anti-nausea medicine because somehow a cocaine overdose had to be like the stomach flu.
Begging him to drink the water, making soup and trying to hide the medicine in it.
He ended up having to pour it out because I put too much in.
Laying naked in the tub with the spray of the shower on him,
I, standing vigilant from the counter.
He loved water, loved a hot bath or a hot shower. Soothed him.
He would later tell me that I had saved him from a few overdoses.
I hated that bed of his with the thin, red blanket in the creepy old house.
Curled around him as he shook, so thin.
Scared. Praying to God that he wouldn't die.
I swear to this day that something dark lived in that house, the darkness feeling heavy and oppressive.
I hated his Chuckie doll that he claimed was a collector's item and the people that would come to his house that he would collect money from for selling them weed.
He swore too much and we couldn't view the world the same but somehow he grew on me.

We loved to eat Chinese by his big fish tank and would play Call of Duty late into the night.
I look back now and can't believe all that happened with us.
I see the time he was high and I was home for the weekend, bored, and he took me to the gas station to try my first scratch tickets.
I picture that winter before he was arrested and ache.
So many things that should have been taken back but you can't because time doesn't stop.
I wish I had done so many things differently, or maybe had left earlier, but I loved him.
No one else seemed to see the good in him but I did.
I saw the good and the hurt and I tried to run with it, far away.
I think of the times he would make me hot coco and we'd watch movies or play video games, cuddled with our dogs.
I think of how he hated that I would watch the Food Network before bed and how I hated that he would fall asleep early and wake me up before 9.
Always with a cup of coffee and a kiss in hand.
There were the summer camping trips and after work trips to the lake.
The time we woke up at six in the morning and walked to the other side of the island on the lake with birds quietly standing to gawk at us, then in a flurry of wings, flying up around us.
It was beautiful.
Dates to the Japanese restaurant and surprise sundresses because he knew I loved them.
The times we would buy different bottles of wine to try and would save the corks, maybe marking the tops with a black "X" if we felt especially lustful after having a few glasses.
Rides on his motorcycle, late night rides to get snacks, and late nights waiting for him to come home in the end.
Fights that ended in tears and words I wish I could take back.


I'm sorry, I didn't know what else to do. I just wanted to be happy...
I love you. I still love you. You're forever in my heart.
I don't know when it will stop hurting because every now and then I ache too.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fear as a Temporary

It sounds sort of melodramatic to think about the temporary nature of this life.
I don't know if it was never ending pay out for various bills,
Standing in the grocery store aisle with my hand on my hips foregoing the Captain Crunch and wine for $0.78 cans of tuna and plain Greek yogurt to go with my value bag of apples,
Or the fact that I would rather stay home to watch Netflix with my hair in some form of crappy ponytail sans makeup and expectations than go out
But it's already June again and I can't help but realize that we have but a blink, just like they said.
I suppose that's silly because being 23 means that the sky is the limit.
Or $30 at the grocery store.
Or 1:30 AM because I'm tired and I need to get up by 9:30 to make sure I make it to the gym and still get chores around the house done before work.
Or the amount of bullshit ('scuse me) you're willing to put up with from the people in your daily life.
It's not a bad thing to lay in bed at night thinking about how you can be a better person because we all can improve a little bit.
It's not bad to be broke for a little while because it teaches you to be ingenious, grateful, not ready to settle, and to share with the people you love.
It's not bad to be busy because it teaches you to revel in the quiet moments and make the most of everything in between.
I don't have any zen knowledge that anyone else hasn't found already but it's strange to be here, to be at the point where nothing is terrible.
For once, I'm out of the fire.
Sometimes I get angry because I'm paying for the aftermath of several difficult experiences now.
I stopped wanting to be tough and hide my emotions and pretend I was okay because that's not functional in the real world.
As soon as you stop feeling fat post eating disorder and stop hating yourself post sexusl abuse you're left with these sticky feelings like shame and anger.
Why?
Because normal isn't an exact science but healthy is.
I'm constantly confronted with the realization that I live my life based on fear.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of being vulnerable.
Fear I won't be good at something.

I'm looking out the car window because I'm terrible at looking at someone when they show me who I am.
"You tell me why you're special."
"You're my boyfriend! You should know!"
"See? You don't even think you are."
"What if you shoot me down? I don't want you to ruin it by disagreeing with me."
"You never gave me the chance! Maybe I do think you're the best but you never even gave me the chance. That's your problem. You always live in fear. I'm so sick of you being that way. You know what you want but you're never assertive enough in any area of your life."
We settled the argument soon after.
I wanted to cry because he was right.
He's always right.
He told me that I need to stop making choices based on the worry that the relationship is going to fail, like anything I do is going to fail or it will.
All my life that's what I did.
That's when I realized.

Frustrated incident after frustrated incident I ask myself where my voice is?
Why did I let that person take advantage of me?
Why didn't I just say what I meant?
Why did I apologize after I stood up for myself?
Why wasn't I more confident?
Why does he still want to be with me if I'm not the confident and independent woman I should be yet?

When I said I was paying for the mistakes I meant literally, that is, if I want to get help.
If not, I have to just experiment with counseling techniques as I learn them in class because I'm already paying to learn to be a counselor.
I just wish I could afford to see one...
How do you fix your poor attachment learned in early childhood by the relationship with your parents?
How do you break through the glass ceiling and be more confident and have better self-esteem post emotional and sexual abuse?
How do you put aside deep seeded shame?
How do you push the limit?
Or maybe it just doesn't exist.
(Yes, I went Mean Girls reference. :D)

There's an awful lot of people with terrible backgrounds walking around being successful.
There's plenty of people having good relationships, healthy ones even, post trauma.
Not all of us are debilitated by it, maybe just distrustful when you see a female name on the text screen as you walk by.
Maybe just insecure because he think that girl doing power cleans over there has great thighs.
Maybe hurt when he goes to see a friend and doesn't offer to take you or introduce you.
Maybe just needy sometimes.
Maybe just jealous other times.
But you can still carry out your life and can still be intimate, even though being truly intimate and vulnerable is a learning experience similar to that of a giraffe trying to walk on stilt legs.
But hey, the giraffe always learns to walk eventually.

Life is temporary and some people are better at it than others but no matter what, try.
Maybe there's nothing magic about leaving the grocery stuff with five bags of stuff for only $30.
Maybe there's no magic about not being insecure about your relationship or body for once.
Maybe there's no magic about getting a good breakfast, working out, eating a good lunch, then making it to your job.
I think there could be.
If you're surviving and you're trying to thrive then I think there is magic.
We don't have a lot of time.
I don't want to waste it being afraid.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Cyanide


Transpose your sweet cyanide 
Into my veins, alkaline
Basic monstrosity
Viscosity
Why does it feel this way? 
All the time....

Monday, May 19, 2014

Embers



I want to burn you from the inside out, 
Burn you until you tear yourself apart 
Just to know what it feels like
When you place careless embers
Inside of me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

All Things "Afar"

"We'll stay together over the summer. I won't sleep with anyone. Can you handle not sleeping with anyone?"
I can smell him, nose pressed into his shoulder as he hold me in his arms.
The kind of smile that comes from a happy illusion playing at my lips.
And for some reason he thinks I'm not the trustable one. Ha.
"Of course."
There was something he said after about us just picking up where we left off when he gets back in August.
I can't help it; I want so badly to believe that he won't have summer flings.
I want so badly to believe he can be a man of integrity.
It's probably because he isn't that I care for him so.
Or because he's like me, so similar as though a piece of him came from my own soul.
I stay busy putting my things away into my room, officially getting moved in with my best friend.
I take my final. Easy.
Then hurry back home.
I see my mom and relief floods through me.
I see a good friend and smoke cigarettes, vowing to quit.
My friend's boyfriend commented on how I've changed.
More self-assured he said, confident.
As though I had taken a step back from things and was observing them from a distance in order to act.
Felt good that someone had noticed a transformation.

Was I proud of myself?
Not especially.
There's only so much cognitive-behavioral therapy you can practice on yourself.
It also doesn't help that the catalyst for my growth has gone and I realized that I had spent most of those days we shared trying to prove I could be better.
He's gone now.
I'm realizing that although the work I do for and with others is important, meaningful, and a blessing that they allow me into the more darker parts of their lives, I'm becoming burn out by the lack of expelling all of my brooding energy.
It seems like when you're becoming a counselor or are at least the nurturing type people find you.
I'm happy to listen. Always.
Break downs happen though.

It's time to work on myself.
Let things fall into place.
Believe in the beauty of life as it is.

I have been blogging for a little over a year now and in that time I have had the pleasure of meeting some fantastic people, some of which have become great friends, though we've never actually met.
That changed this weekend.
Lilli (http://more-than-the-weekend.blogspot.com/) came to visit me and I was greeted with the biggest hug I've gotten in a long time.
Sadly, I had to work a little during her time here, but we ate two human's worth of BBQ each at Famous Dave's, talked, perused the thrift stores (she's amazing at finding dresses, you should take her with you, also, my ring she bought for me is beautiful!), and visited one of my college friends where she acted as adjunct cat whisperer.
We talked for hours, laughed a ton, and chain smoked peach Swisher Sweets while my friend and I rapped Eminem to her.
I sincerely needed that because I've been so down lately.
She's an absolute sweetheart, although my loud voice was constantly saying, "HUH!?" to her quiet one and my 5'8'' towers over her, what? 5'2''? :D
It was restful, it was rainy (you survived the tornado!), and it was "interesting" as she'll say. :P
Blogging has been a great place to vent, get feedback, and meet some great people and I hope everyone is as fortunate and as blessed to make such awesome friends as I have here.
She handled my overwhelming personality well and balanced my nonstop energy.
Girl, I love you and I'm so glad you visited!

Glamor shot from the weekend


Friday, May 2, 2014

........



We dipped our toes into summer
Grasses like your hair 
Where I twined my fingers 
Stars like eyes 
And spaces between thighs
We could watch the moon through

City lights and thoughts
Miles away
Siren songs whispered 
On smooth corn fields
Things we'd never say

I'm made up of 
Dirt road pebbles 
Trouble 
And the inevitable 

Friday, April 25, 2014

....



I realized that you'll be gone in a week and I can't breath.
The sob is sitting patiently below stomach and heart, waiting to escape into a display of vulnerability when you're no longer there to offer the comfort of proximity.
I can't breath and it doesn't matter that you said things that bruised my already shoddy ego.
In the beginning you helped me construct butterfly wings of gossamer and paper mache...
...then held the match.
So much power, though I let you have it.
Giving it on bended knees bruised by stooping too often.
Take it, please, I beg you.
You don't believe you've gotten my heart but I think you know.
Kissing me in my sleep on the top of my head.
I, rousing to the unconscious movement closer with my arm wrapped around you.
Him and I, we don't communicate in pleasantries but with fires.
Minus the smoke,
Fan the flame.
Only knowing how to operate in blistering heat.
You say you don't believe me.
I can't breath....

I love you.....


Monday, April 14, 2014

Pages


I don't know why he began talking to me, but I try not to question perfect coincidences.
It began with a simple, "Do you save and invest?"
Sheepishly I conceded that I did not but that I was interested in learning.
From there he went on to talk about how he wanted his kids to learn that and then began to chastise those that gave 10% to the church.
Something I had been raised to do.
Though now I made a promise to help anyone in need generously.
He recounted owning three homes, creating a hefty retirement, all to be lost to alcoholism.
His ex wife had allowed him to no longer pay back child support payments
And then he moved on to his childhood, growing up poor and in the country.
I asked him what had attracted him to his wife, what the special "thing" was.
He said something to me that I'll never forget.
He said, "I wanted someone to control me. I could do all the other things and I was successful, but looking back now, I wanted someone to control me. She was like a parent."

I want to tell you that it's not me.
I wish it was that simple.
So much of my time was spent wishing I was "normal", whatever that is.
The therapist in training will tell you normal is the place you're at in your life where you're happy and healthy, in most or all respects.
It just seems like we're all brought up to be strong, not show our emotions with others or at the very least in public, and there's a recipe of what's correct to share in a relationship and what you need to handle yourself.
There are just all these people in the world and some are like me and some aren't.
I was eight when the principal asked my parents to come into the office to ask if I was being sexually abused at home.
They saw signs they said.
At eight years old we just know that we must hide our emotions.
All day long I deal with emotions.
With families, with veterans, with friends and family and my so called significant other.
I tried to be more sensitive and empathetic to the needs of others but do you realize how hard that is?
People are always putting you into the place that they inhabit mentally and emotionally, always.
They show pieces of themselves in the way they hold their glass, the look in their eyes when they aren't focused on someone or something, the way their body moves when no one inhabits their space and when someone does.
Look to the inflection of their voices both high and low, the wetting of the lips with the tongue, fingers brushing through hair, wrinkles of the face, the genuine quality of a smile.
We are a beautifully written book, perpetually filling pages.
Look closely, you're in the middle of watching a story being written and they yours.
We are spilling over at the seams, try as we might to keep it in.
We need desperately for others to get it, to see what we have created, to share.
Maybe some of us have egos and are too prideful to share, yet there the story is, seeping out in the dimly lit TV to a twenty-three year old girl.
I've never claimed to know or have seen it all.
In fact, I find myself wide-eyed at the magic and tragedy of all that is this life.
I'm grateful for this job and for him.
That's me.
I'm afraid and I like being controlled to a large extent.
Now what to do with this knowledge I don't know yet, but I'm ever grateful for the moments in which someone's story has the power to alter mine for the good.
So grateful for the lives people have lived and shared with me and others so that I might learn and be better and help others better, whether they're aware of the miracle they've created or not.



Something beautiful is happening.
Growing.
And I, I the broken, mending, young, naive, biased (at times), and searching young girl (woman) am able to catch glimpses of the sheer magnitude and beauty of what it is to be human.
Hard as it is.
We are so blessed if only we open our heart and eyes, even if we open them to the hard truths about ourselves and others that leave us bare and vulnerable.

If you can, embrace it. And if you would be so kind, share something someone said to you that has forever impacted you.
Can I see a few of your pages?
Because I love all of you and your stories.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Lessons

"Alcohol will take you to places you've never been and never want to be again.  I went to bed with two married women. I'll never know if I broke up marriages or if I have a child... I'll never know. It's a bad place to be in, doing anything you want just to make yourself happy, don't care who you hurt as long as you're happy."
The worn face of the recovered veteran looked at my young, naive one.
I felt something inside me draw in, further from the outside walls of my skin, where no one could see my guilt.

I want to write so bad but these days the words are few.
Starting, stopping, unfinished thoughts.
Some lesson I've been learning or mulling through only to realize it's more of a snapshot in my mind,
Then it's gone.
Or it's a piece of writing removed from myself, pushed back from the heart of how I really feel.
I enjoy my new job working with homeless veterans at a transitional house.
Their banter and teasing, words of wisdom, and kindness touch my heart.
Then the weekend comes and I do family support work.
And in between, school.
One morning I realized I didn't dread waking up to the day ahead.
One day I realized I stopped speaking to myself hatefully.
One night I realized that I could do anything if I just removed the mental blocks.
I have literally spent months, fucking MONTHS trying to become a better person, accept hard truths about myself and my past, reject urges to fall into negative behaviors, and tried to get better daily at empathy and selflessness.
You know what? It wasn't worth it. It was worth it in that he was helpful to my growth but trying for this relationship wasn't.
I've never been called what he has called me and I've never been treated so crappy but thank you.
You gave me a dose of my own medicine.
There was a time when I was cheating on all my boyfriends, making selfish choices and blowing my friends off, not calling my family, only stopping by to eat and sleep, just making a path of destruction and some of these people stuck with me.
They stuck with me through my relapse into anorexia, through my few months of drinking and partying, my few years of cheating, all of that and they loved me.
I'm so blessed.
Like I didn't even deserve that and that's the amazing thing isn't it?
We can sit around and complain and get upset that someone didn't do this or that or that we have to do something for someone when it's not necessarily convenient for us but at one point we weren't the convenient favor either.
His rudeness literally makes me want to stab my own eyes out.
I walk into the house where I find my best friend and she tells me about the parents that tell their children that they are stupid and yell at her, yell at the caseworker, yell yell yell.
Stop it.
I literally cannot stand people right now.
I cannot believe how heartless they can be and how selfish we can be.
Oh, and shallow.
So I'm not the prettiest or skinniest.
I'm also a sweetheart and I'll give you as much as my huge heart can.
I've been an awful person and I've been a decent person.
I've struggled and fell and gotten up again.
Here's the thing, no one is required to keep toxic people in their lives.
No one is required to allow themselves to be taken advantage of or hurt or any of that nonsense.
Today at work when he looked at me and told me that story, about his drinking and his recovery and then how kind to me and others he was I was once again reminded that there are good people in this world.

What I meant to say out of all that was:
I have held on to toxic people for too long and I let them cause me to question and hate myself and that is absolutely not necessary. You don't need them either.
Negative self-talk gets you nowhere. It's easier to see opportunities when you're optimistic, hopeful, and not such a jerk to yourself.
Someone in the world isn't going to think you're attractive or awesome. That doesn't mean you aren't.
There's a difference between giving and being taken advantage of. Give yourself some credit and realize your self-worth.
I don't have to be a lady all the time if I don't want to. I'm going to burp, I'm going to swear, and I'm not going to dress nice all the time. That's fine.
Find a hobby.
Learn something every day.
Be empathetic first.
Be thankful.
Be kind.
Above all, there's no reason to be apologetic for the person you are. Just don't be a dick.

<3

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dark Horse


His breath felt hot in my hand, 
Moist, reassuring.
I could see the beads of condensation form at the end of his whiskers
Velvet nose probing the creases of my hand for any token morsel.
Sun coming up, dew clinging desperately to the hazy morning grasses.
Slick, cooling blood swiped like a paint swatch down the center of his nose. 
Bright red, darkened to a sheen of purple by his black fur. 
He'd be covered in my sudden compulsion but I couldn't resist the romance of the sight.
"It's okay now." I calmly whispered, fingers running down the cascade of mane. 

.......................

We were your dark horses
Kept in the stable smelling of sweet hay and acerbic intentions. 
Daisies in our hair
Head resting on his neck by the withers in the warm summer sun. 
You loved us, you said, as you cracked my head against the peeling barn walls
But only beautiful things belonged in your stable. 
Fingernails pulling at the rust colored paint
As I laid at the feet of 2x4s and mercy. 

Your hands were hot ice on my neck
Vices of iron.
Blackness tainting the soft evening light poking through the rafters at the corners of my vision.
No one heard when I screamed for the hundreth time.
Plunging it deep.
Ruining my daisy chain.
But no one heard you either.
You never saw it coming
When the tables turned and sunk into you.
It's funny how we so quickly forget our betrayals when the delicate razor sharpness slides
Down
Down
Down
Through the layers of skin and lies. 
Shame on you. 
There wasn't much that I asked of you.
 And then I watched you die. 
Shuddering and clawing at my arms. 
The streaks painting an elaborately simple contemporary piece. 

"Shhhh," I whispered, tracing my pointer finger over your lips
Just like you did when I cried. 
Holding hands at the hilt. 
It was nearly morning.

.......................

Nickering and nuzzling me, breath hitching, disconnected fingers at my side
Liquid consciousness spilling between dirtied nails.
Dark chocolate eyes and  
Head bowing to meet me as I sunk to the ground.
I made sure it was in our daisies.
Because beautiful things don't belong in stables. 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pleasantries

I think I said it more for my benefit than yours.
You don't usually say it to me over text or respond to it.
But this time you did.
I don't think we love each other.
Is that really the sad piece of this story though?
There was this belief that I could transcend where he found me
That I could believe I was beautiful and confident and become that stoic woman on the outside he craved.
I've always had the uncanny ability to be with people who missed their exes and whom I could never measure up to though.
Never was able to stop comparing myself to the previous relationship even though I managed to become more confident and stop hating myself.
We all have our bad habits.
He's sleazy.
He talks to these girls with an intoxicating mix of confidence and empathy.
He sees their hurts and soothes them with an understanding no one had before him.
He's attractive and seductive.
I get it.
Unfortunately.
I know he believes she's perfect for him
And she believes he is too
But she's not coming back to his state and he's not moving there.
Yet he pulls my body close at night, sometimes kissing my shoulder or hair
"I love you" softly rolling into the dimly lit room we've shared since September.
I'm no longer undee the assumption that I was more than a vulnerable pretty face, quick to please and to help.
I drive to school.
I drive to work.
I fill my days with hopes and reminders of reality,  resume boosters, longing, and the knowledge that I don't have it all figured out.
I wake up with a sheet wrapped around my bare chest to keep away the chill from my exposed heart
Promising myself that I'll learn one new word a day, look into hobbies besides lifting, watch a documentary, and be more independent.
The shortness of his text messages on my screen and the length on hers amd others says enough.
And the joke about me not being that interesting.
And convenient.
But reassurance that he only wants to be with me.
"You're going to figure out what you like, dammit!"
I chastise myself as my knuckles turn white gripping my steering wheel tightly.
Ten and two.
I just need to find the things that keep me absorbed longer than a few weeks...
Or learn to accept ny personality
And stop thinking it's a sign of unintelligence.
Would you want to be with a man long term who didn't want to give you all he could and who found it okay to speak to others like that?
Sexual and complimentary.
"That makes it less special when you say it to me and it's someone else's job to say it to them anyway."
I talked myself into believing that saying that dripped with insecurity and wasn't worth me saying anyway.
That I demonstrated why I wasn't attractive.
I'm sure she IS perfect.
Positive.
But I'm not that bad either.
Wishing you were down on your knees begging me to stay
Making your case instead of me perpetually making mine.
That wasn't why I fell for you though
So I might as well give it up.
Maybe you do love me.
Maybe you just don't know how to do it right.
Maybe you don't think what you're doing points to the contrary.
Some days I wish I was that naive.
Or not.
I have two jobs now.
I'm in graduate school.
I've come a long way and push to go further.
I work out.
I try to be kind.
I try to be the best I can be
The desire to hurt you like you have been hurting me was so strong
But half hearted.
That's not me and why be on your level anyway.
I'm settling on making this a game,
The one you manipulated it to be.
We'll play ordinary couple
Complete with nicknames and I love yous.
I don't have the heart to embrace that I hate you for what you won't see in me.
Not yet anyway.
I'm working on not accepting less than I deserve
So for now we can keep the pleasantries.




Monday, March 3, 2014

Rampant




We are vain creatures
Looking for reflections of ourselves in others.
Do we love to spite the flaws we know so well?
Seeing them haggard and grey
On display in the purple circles under eyes peeled open all night
To the sound of rampant traipsing thoughts.
Exposed by soft light of morning light reflected in bathroom mirrors.
Who knows our secrets?
Those little pining and conniving seeds
Taking root in the cerebral hemispheres.
Tangible cleansing.
Able to save that which we cannot save ourselves from
By nagging and pulling
So that we might have one thing which we can call our own.
One source of pride in which we may set up as a beacon for all excuses.
Just to say we did one thing in our lives
That had nothing to do with what we should have been doing.  
Yet alone we twist in the sheets
Stricken by existential crisis.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

....




I put my hand to your chest at night
Feeling for your heart
Lost over the roar of mine
(Or you don't have one)
Let me give you mine
Animate this lifeless
Catastrophe




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Up,Trying to Grow



I felt so invasive, placing my feet
One
In front
Of the other
Following the woman I was shadowing
Down the stairs to the basement
Holding the urinalysis drug testing kit between my right fingers.

Eyes adjust.
Some clutter.
Some darkness.
I imagined her using by the washing machine.
Somehow I just knew.

She was compliant, understanding, up beat as though she held some sort of guilt.
"This is Eve. She's doing her first UA."
I gingerly pulled out the gloves, putting one on
Then the other.
Removing the cup and handing it to her.
I felt slow, out of place, and unused to being in this role.
I had to watch her, but my eyes would move back and forth from her
To the door
Back to her
To her feet.
I had never been bothered by nakedness in any form,
Never minded having to pee in front of people or where they could hear,
Never struggled to speak with strangers,
Yet in those moments I felt wrong being there.

I stuck the tester in for thirty seconds then recapped it.
The line was faint, and I showed the woman training me.
"Well, it's there, just faintly, but you admitted to using Friday or Saturday so it would be faint. We still have to take it to the lab. You get your visit."
She was so happy...
Dark circles under her eyes.
I sealed the bags and we left that dark basement.
That reminded me a lot of those long dark nights when my ex would use...

It was hard, getting used to life outside undergrad.
Four years built on comfort and convenience.
Writing that I had a bachelor's degree in Psychology with an in progress masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling brought a source of pride,
Until it was a week and a half and no call backs.
One on the spot interview,
One refreshed resume,
A budget sheet with expenses piling up.
And then, an answered prayer.
My best friend and I were both hired as family support workers
Thanks to her I had found a job and I felt so happy,
So grown up with a real job.

I don't know what it was...
It was the drug test.
It was observing the man so happy to hold his infant son,
Awkwardly cradling him,
Child like grin,
Trying so hard to learn to be a father after getting clean.
So many hurting people.
At first I felt angry that people could be here, be in this horrible spot
Do these horrible things to each other and to their children.
I questioned my desire to be a therapist,
Questioned my abilities.

Suddenly I didn't want to do the job anymore.
Consumed by such angry and frustrated thoughts.
I didn't want to use my car to drive to their home.
I didn't want to have to wake up early to check up on them and make sure their abusive husbands and boyfriends weren't home.
I didn't want to transport their kids because they couldn't do it themselves.
I didn't want to be here.
I felt so hesitant, so shaken by the fact that the woman I had tested had sunk so low in her life that she had to be observed by a stranger peeing into a cup so that she could see her son.
She had made an effort, relapsed, tried, lied, and succumbed to the cycle addicts turn round.
Why?
Why can't we stop when we know  what we're doing is killing us, killing the ones we love?
Why can't we do the right thing and treat ourselves with love and respect?
 I felt so small, so insignificant.
How would I ever manage to help another person?
How would I manage to promote healing when it had taken me years to even reach my own point of healing?

I'm not where I should be, or maybe I'm right where I'm supposed to be.
I'm shaky and unsure
Growing up, branching out, holding on, staying in.
I feel insecure then confident and wash it all down with half a Zoloft to combat the winter blues.
Pasty smile, cheeks red from time at the gym and cold mornings.
Check the bank account
Order a pizza.
Lack trust
Feel his arm wrap around me in his sleep.
Hold it in,
Let it out.
This is how we grow up, it seems.
With the push and pull of uncertainty and wonder,
Wild eyed, misty eyed, seeing red, lashes sweep.
We're all just trying.
I guess I see that every day.
Maybe we hope, maybe we don't.
Maybe we atrophy and decay or maybe we radiate, weaving up the awning to the sun.
I don't know. I'm just trying. Allowing school and my job to shake me.
Do we really know what we're doing anyway?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Photographs



"When you think of lawyers you just think we're all out for your money."
"Well....... kind of."
"Exactly, but there are good ones."
"And what do people think of psych majors?"
"That you're all girls with daddy issues."
I laughed because God knows nearly everyone in the lecture hall probably had some traumatic or difficult life experience that spurred them on to caring for the weak and downtrodden.
Including me.
Come all ye heavy laden and we shall see if your insurance can afford you rest.

Seems like a long time ago I was looking at my mom's pale face across the table in the behavioral unit of the hospital.
She gave herself a bottle of pills for Christmas.
And I wasn't sure if the texts she gave me were real or not.
"Dad, I think something's wrong." I quietly said to him while were at his mom's.
He was so upset with her, I remember that.
Grandma sobbed that if I didn't hurry and get to the house that she was disowning me
Shakily trying to get gas
Snow crunching under my feet
While my ex was home using.
"Stop!!!!!" I screamed into the silence of the car
White puff of air exploding from my mouth.
Racing the 20 miles to my house.
But I never cried.
Expressing emotion was never something I allowed.

That was the Christmas where I ate too much and played hours of Nazi Zombies on Call of Duty.
It lives in my memory as the living room of his house basked in the soft glow of the TV
Always dark.
Always cold.
Looking down the dark hall towards the bedroom,
Opening the drawer to reveal one less spoon,
Sitting on the edge of the shower with my head in my hands,
Him saying he was trying to stop, but filing in shame to the bathroom to use again.
"You're breathing too loud." "You're walking too hard." "Someone's outside, that car drove by already."
In the end, only the last statement was the accurate one.
He was arrested in April.
"Get away, run away, fly away."
Friends telling me to leave him
But the nights I did threaten it, I was back in bed by midnight.

********************

I never remembered anorexia as a summer month affliction.
Rather, it began to inhale frosty breaths from between snowflakes of seasonally depressed mania.
Of course, there were the days like those when I would lay on the uneven couch cushions,
Sinking into the crack like chasm
Wearing my pale pink tank top,
Worn but faithful shorts,
No make up
Hair in a thin, messy bunned ponytail.
The glass bowl I came to always use could fit in your palm
Large enough to hold a little
Small enough to contain the guilt
and was as full as I packed it with strawberry marble ice cream
Smoothing the top with the back of my spoon,
Getting the surface just right with a smooth layer before licking it off the concaved back of my silver spoon.
Looking at the pair of hip bones holding elastic up above my lower stomach,
Shivering in the air conditioning and thin skin.
This was my one indulgence.
Finishing the bowl, I would get up from the couch, absently placing the bowl in the sink,
Maybe my mom fussing about putting it in the dishwasher.
Glancing back with glassed eyes, I would wave dismissively,
"I will."
Just so tired.
Feeling unsettled by the steel chill settled in my bones.
Cold.
Before sliding open the glass door to our porch.
The air was hot, dry, slight wind.
I made my way through the tall grasses
Fingers softly skimming the tops
Maybe I was reassuring them that I was still alive...
Out to my horse who munched lazily just inside the fence
Feeling his velvet nose search my hand for more,
Feeling dead inside.

                                          ********************

My dad and I never got along.
Always arguing.
"Church and politics" I say when I remark on the only things my dad and I could discuss civilly.
Funny, those are the two things normal people can never seem to talk about.
He had been a wild child, drinking, doing drugs, promiscuous.
Grandpa had been a physically and mentally abusive alcoholic throughout his life and my dad's life reflected that.
Then, by the power of Jesus, Dad was a changed man.
I believe He heals, but when we run from our vices, we often times run into the arms of something else.
I sat in a church pew before my legs could touch the floor
Growing up on a steady diet of fire and brimstone.
Pentecostal by birth.
We were always present at every Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening service.
Mom taught Sunday school, Dad was studying to be a pastor.
His testimony something hope inspiring.
And I frequently looked at the floor through my swinging legs, time seeming to drag on.
Mom loved music and our church played a generous amount.
She didn't play and she didn't sing especially well or especially bad, but she would sway with the words, eyes closed, blissful smile on her lips.
Escaping my father's abusiveness for that moment.
Jesus often expects us to take the first faith spurred leap out of our situation.
That leap took twenty years.
Sometimes she would pull me in front of her and make me dance with her, clapping my hands as I laughed.
I still think she's beautiful, even when she's feeling weak.
Other kids played the tambourines, hands of the adults in the air.
And I knew He was there, really there, for the first time during a worship service.

But as these stories go, there was an ugly side we all expect of the perfect church going family.
They would scream at one another, make up, then fight again.
Paste the smile on as we walked in the sanctuary doors.
I never liked that.
Seemed to me that's what church was for, letting others love
Letting them help.
Independence suited my little family more.
Someone once told me that being a father is so important because that's the first impression of God we have as a child.
God loved me.
I knew that.
He just had a lot of rigid rules and sometimes I had to be afraid because my actions could ultimately result in hell.
"You don't have to be perfect to be loved by God."
I still remember my mom saying that in Sunday school to us kids.
It didn't matter then because when you're 7 you don't care about perfect, not like when you're 23.

Dad didn't want me to be so involved in things.
Too many sports, too much 4-H, piano lessons on Wednesdays, couldn't stay at friends' houses, had to be home before some early time.
My mom fought him all the way.
Said I needed these things because I was the type of active kid that would get in trouble if left to my own devices.
I'm sure she would have been right.
I looked up into the stands or into the rows of chairs at every event and would see my mom and my grandparents, but no dad.
He was busy providing for us or he was tired from providing.
He didn't support the biased coaches.
He had a sermon he had to prepare for.

                                             ********************

"No child should have to tell themselves to get over the fact that their parent doesn't care."
Tears streaming down my cheeks.
Being the typical tattooed and pierced girl with "daddy issues."
Sometimes I still check the ridges of my spine
Along the hollow of my collar bones
Checking for emptiness.
They send little girls and boys out into the world
Telling them to grow up
When they were inhibited, stunted, growing in weeds under a sun that's too bright.
I flip the text book pages endlessly in my counseling program.
Reading about being aware of our own needs and the client's needs
Learning to not fix, but to listen and promote healing.
Not to control the situation,
Just to promote healing.
Listening to the gentle urges of our professors to seek counseling ourselves when we need it
To make peace with the wrongs and tie up the loose ends.
We can't throw out the life preserve when it's still around ourselves.
Under the fluorescents they remind us that things get worse before they get better.
"Change is hard."
That and an uphill battle on a mountain sometimes.
I keep working to resolve to resolve.
Change is necessary, I know.
It's just that sometimes I remember the past like looking at photographs.....