Sunday, September 08, 2013

Deja Vu Times Two

I wrote the piece below in April of 1995.  I am posting it today because it still defines my existence.  The writing is about how it is so hard to be hopeful because there is always something to strip me of that comfort.

I concede today I choose to live my days clouded with negativity, but Therapist does not understand why I refuse to give in to the fallacy of hope and positive thinking.  I’ve been in places before where I felt hopeful, optimistic, and encouraged, but I am ALWAYS, sooner or later, brought back to where I was born: into negativity, failure, and the drive to die.  The roller coaster ride takes too much out of me, and I need to remain where I am safest: dead.  I refuse to play the silly game of pretending I can handle life and then plummeting into misery when I am proven wrong.  It’s for my own protection.  It was back in 1995, and it still is today.

Drops of salt water are
Purged from shallow, dim sockets
Where the windows of life have closed
Their grave blinds and solemn curtains.

The myth of happiness is exposed,
Rotted, decayed, corroded:
Infested with maggots of agony surfeiting and gorging
On the generous failures of its host.

The charade of myself:
Successful, intelligent, creative
Crumbles, disintegrates, putrefies
Underneath brutal microscopic inspection.

The illusion of hope, the facade of faith,
Beckons and pleads for my desolated soul to trust,
Taunting and mocking every ache, every pang.
Invading despondence with
Bedeviling strength and determination,
Demanding the impending and imminent spiral descent
More dangerous and inclement.

Face down in despair, life becomes a bleached white hell.
A flaming bouquet of numbing, frosty torment
Searing, searing, searing
My thickly charred crust till I can no longer pretend it doesn’t hurt.

Pain echoes out of the abyss,
Convening the proprietor of suicide
Who compassionately erases the color of misery from us sufferers of life,
And holds out the only comfort that hoards
NO illusion, NO myth, NO charade:
The warm, blue peace of death.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


It’s not that easy.  It’s not that easy.  It’s not that easy.
I will not make it this time.  I am burrowing a hole for myself, digging my own grave.  Only this time, people in my professional life are handing me the shovel and watching me sink. 
I’ve discovered my problem . . . at least one of them.  I hate myself.  Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  I should just stop it then, shouldn’t I?  I should stop hating myself.
It’s not that easy.
The roots of my hatred extend beyond time, and no amount of remediation will allow me to transcend the wickedness I deserve.
Oh, if you only knew how it rocks me . . . devastates me.  I am good for nothing . . .but I wish I were good for something more . . . more than abuse.
I try as hard, as hard, as hard as I can, and it still isn’t good enough.  I still at the end of the day am me: profoundly defective.
And damn it to hell if no one believes me.  I KNOW it.  I LIVE it every day.  And I’m tired of suffering.  I’m so, so tired of suffering.  God be with me, I’m so tired of suffering.
It’s so bad.  I really can’t take it anymore.  I can’t continue to hold on by the web of a spider. 
It’s such a heavy, magnificent weight that rests on my back.  And I’m plunging to the bottom and I implore you not hold me back.  Let me sink.  Let me die.  Let me not know this misery anymore. 
There are no happy songs in my head.  No hopeful words exist. No suggestions or subliminal messages you give me to pretend everything will work out.
It’ so, so over.
I can’t believe it when you tell me I’m good, and you won’t believe me when I tell you I’m bad.
Oh my god, I need a hug . . . and a bullet. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Postmortem Revival

She has returned . . . a former, archaic version of myself that I had ignorantly believed I would never need again. Her revival has not been so subtle, and she has reprised her role as the destructor of my life, the tamer of hope, and the inventor of all necessity to be alone.

She brings with her every negative thought she has collected over this life, constantly reminding me of my baseness and worthlessness. And I, needing her to get me through every elongated second, believe every nasty comment she purports about me. Because God knows every time I've ever had a positive thought about myself it has been burned to ash by someone else's reality.

The promise of hope is lost. Every cut, every purge, every drink, every missed meal bears her fingerprints and her assurance that only she can bring comfort.

I know the significance of her resurrection. Coming back to life will lead to my death. But I've been living dead too long to count now, and I don't mind letting go. In fact, I've asked for it, which is why she's come.

I do not have the luxury of turning her away this time. I can't do this on my own, and I have no one else to scatter away the tears that collect daily on my face.

And there is nothing anyone can do to help me. No amount of attention, intervention, or abandonment can affect me. I am in this alone, as I've always been.  If I don't bow out of life now, I will be expelled out later, and there is no coming back in anyone's space from that. There will not even be a shadow of a woman to trace through the day.

I would like to confess it doesn't hurt anymore, but, in truth, it isn't decent how deeply I ache.

I wear wounds that would give you nightmares.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


My words fail me, like every other part of me does.
I wish I could, but I can not. 
 I want to quit, cease to exist, give up, but there is something in me that makes me keep going, 

No matter how low I go, I can not let go. 

I wish this part of me to die.  I would like to enjoy giving up.

All arrows point to how worthless I am.  Clearly there is something in me missing, something deficient.  It’s hard to live always sub-standard.  

Others can accomplish what I can not.  And all I want to do is let go.

Maybe one day I will show them.  Maybe I will not be as strong as they assume.  Maybe I will break instead of constantly bending.  I’m certainly due.

I’m so tired at every turn.  Exhausted.

I can not imagine how this will be worth it.  
I can not imagine anything other than letting go. 
I can not imagine any other way out.

They will treat this, I know, as a fever in my head, coming and going, but it is not.
And I know they’ll never know, and that is the saddest thing to ever know.   

But I know, and that’s all I need to know.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Memories Denied

I disappear under the collapse of the padded walls in which I am mentally locked. I seem to have spectacularly careened off the solid road of recovery and engaged in behaviors that have sent me back to being someone emotionally unstable. Barely making it, I am now suffocating with the awareness of all the frivolous attempts at a sane life I've perpetrated, like so many lies spilling from my unselective mouth.

At the beginning of my summer break, I decided to begin writing my memoir. I set myself up for failure. It seems to write a memoir one needs memories and be able to recall experiences. I know nothing of the life this woman lived, and the parts have died and taken their memories and experiences with them. I have “assumed” knowledge, but I can not provide first-hand experiences of life in or out of that house.

I've been reading books on how to write a memoir, and there are writing activities provided to aid in the writer's process. One of the activities from Sue William Silverman in Fearless Confessions is a series of fill-in-the-blank sentences to help the writer to begin to submerge him- or herself in “particular moments of time.” I struggled immensely with these simple, evocative sentences. Take a look at a couple of the suggested sentences.

  • When I was ten, I smelled __________ outside my bedroom window.
  • The item of clothing I recall most vividly from childhood is _________.
  • The noise that scared me the most growing up was ________.

When I try to complete them, I go completely blank. I have no answers. I can't even come close to anything resembling an idea. If I can't recall basic memories and details of childhood, how can I write a whole book dedicated to the most poignant moments of my life.

And I hate to fail at this, too. Writing this memoir is supposed to be symbolic of making it through hell and living to tell about it, and hopefully someone reading it down the road can say, “I wasn't alone”. I don't want to give up, but is the struggle worth it? Do I even want the memories and feelings I need to write this book?

This whole scenario, front and back, inside and out, is derailing me.

And this just feels like an underscore to the emptiness, depersonalization, and lack of self I feel. Not being able to write this memoir just proves I don't really exist, and maybe I never have.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Not As We

Nobody lives here anymore. Poke and stir the ashes of yesterday's consumption, you will not find me . . . and they have been missing for a while.

There were signs it was happening. My soul became painfully still and quiet. I couldn't locate myself in the expanding vacuum. I fell . . . lost with no identity, no way to get home. Voices often went missing in silence. Regardless of frantic searches, they were never recovered. Without their presence, I was perpetually absent. I did not realize how much I needed them until they were gone, and my fading shadow discovered it was too late.

With the only feeling the dead have, I grieve for my parts and how they once gave me life.

But I will rise from the ashes, only to be forced to die all over again tomorrow.

Just me, not as we.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Downgrading the War to a Battle

I'm off my medication. Read with caution.

It began this morning. What a struggle! Didn't know what to do. Do we follow through with our plans with Husband and go to Water Park? Or do we kick back at home with Husband and watch movies, play with our dogs, and listen to music? I stayed home where it was mentally safe. The pro-recovery action would have been to go to Water Park, absorb some Vitamin D, and relax. But the other side of me didn't know if we would have the strength to go through with it.

Since then, we've become a bawling mess, chugging beers, and eating candy Klonopin. In hindsight, Water Park was a better choice, but I don't know we were capable of it today, which is why it is hard to beat myself up for not going to Water Park. Only a few internals were capable of going, which meant the rest of the crew would struggle and be unhappy.

A subsequent war ensued between us that I recognized as one occurring often,, and it left me feeling sorry and sympathetic.

What I discovered this morning is that the “recovery” side is warring with the “I don't know what the fuck to do now” side, but it really isn't a war at all. Everyone is trying to do what's best, but that looks like different things.

We are all trying to cope. Sometimes one side knows what to do, and sometimes the other side still isn't able to find the pulse in the day; however, it seems more of a conjoined effort to get through the day in the best way possible as each member knows best. Who could argue with that?

We have made some good choices lately, Therapist be damned. We went to dinner with a colleague Friday night. Spent Saturday at Theme-Park when we just wanted to stay home where it was “safe”. Sunday, the anxiety was so personified and formidable, we went on a 28 mile bike ride to exhaust ourselves so we would be too tired for anxiety and panic attacks (still had the attacks, but, hey, the thought counts.)

In other words, we've tried to do the right thing in respects getting by.

But there are days like today when the “recovery thing” is impossible. We are tethered to pain killers, Klonopin, and alcohol. We didn't start the day that way. We had every honorable intention. But then we see a whole day in front of us and there are too many hours in the day to endure, to stave off the impending insanity, and we just can't face it. We can't legitimately fill the hours and we don't have the energy to pretend recovery.

But I finally recognize the beauty in the mechanism of coping: at least we aren't all trying to kill each other anymore and demand our needs be met over others. We are a system that is trying to muddle through as best as we can.

True, our good intentions can have damaging consequences, and we will deal with that in probably another ten years. But for now, there is a relief and a sense of peace NEVER known that we are all on the same page just trying to make it through each crazy day.

I've learned in teaching high school that when my students misbehave and act out it is because they are trying to communicate to me something they can't or won't verbally say. I believe that is what we are doing: acting out to communicate our inability to adapt. 

Days like today, when we can't seem to make it to the life we are meant to live, I am being taught that my members need something. I don't always know what it is, but I am trying to honor it, trying to push them where appropriate, and finding the need to ease off when it is too overwhelming.

And I know later I will hate myself and probably wrestle with panic attacks, weep uncontrollably, and be one drive short of the mental hospital, but for now, we will hold our breath, not blink our eyes, and try to preserve the tenuous calmness of not hating each other so damned much.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What is a survivor?

They're foolish games, but let's call it a tie. I fought the matches, razors, and Klonopin; I won. I fought the alcohol. It won. Tie game.

I'm dissociative as hell tonight and can not be responsible for what arbitrary, random commentaries come out of her mouth. She should come with a "Do not disturb" label and a warning sign that reads “Do not feed the animals”. I wish she were illegal. She makes me feel bad.

I am on my own. There is no one to pull me out of this. I truly feel I am forced to do this on my own, and I can't fucking do it. We've regressed. We have a hug deficiency. We are children needing to be gently scooped off the ground and nourished and comforted.

My body has been on absolute fire with anxiety and despair. I hate myself. It's hard to love myself when I live in the corner of the dark ceiling of a child who witnesses . . . . I'm reminded of it everyday. Those times feel like they get closer, but they never materialize. But I know, I know, I know the storm is coming. It's a build up. And I wonder if things were really allowed to come to true awareness and float to the surface I might find relief like a release, because all the pressure has been let go. It's building, it's building, it's building. Like a pressure cooker. And if I could just face it I might feel peace for once . . . and forgiveness. But for now, I'm in the child's dark room, hovering above her bed, watching the damage she denies, watching her be hurt irreparably , scattered, tossed, strewn like jagged parts discarded along the way. Leaving me the adult tossing about on violent, angry waters who only want death.

And here is the point: when can a victim say she survived? When does one become a survivor and leave behind the image of a victim? Is it on her death bed when she can say she survived? Does she have to reach a certain age to claim victory? Can she randomly declare one day she is a survivor? How many tests and trials does she have to go through to be declared a survivor?

Maybe that's my problem. Maybe I still identify myself as a victim.

The very definition of a survivor is a person who survives alive after an event in which others have died. How many people really die from abuse? Sure, it makes us wish we were dead, and it may kill parts of us, but not many physically die. So how does one become a survivor?

I survive myself every day – despite my best intentions to destroy myself. Right now it satisfies me to hurt myself because I know it is what the girl in the dark room who lives in the ceiling hovering above the bed deserves.

I need a hug. I need a hug. I need a hug.
I hurt. I hurt. I hurt.
Help me. Help me. Help me.
I'm fading, fadin, fad . . .

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Beautiful Goodbye

Disclaimer: It is hard for me to get these words out. They dry and crumble up just when I want to release them into the vastness of this universe. The writing is not mine. It is short and choppy. The words did not approach me with the eloquence they often carry in their heart. However . . .

It was a beautiful goodbye, and I'm glad it happened the way it did. On Monday, I said goodbye to Therapist.

I realized when I was saying goodbye that I was resentful and bitter about the way we were treated this year by Therapist. It all began earlier this year when we appeared to Therapist broken, suicidal, and defeated over our job. It appeared he was ignoring us and not taking seriously the depth of our despair. He kept trying to shore us up with positive reinforcement, which was so antagonistic. I thought he didn't care and wasn't listening to us. Now we realize he was only acting in our best interest and letting us stand on our own two feet. As much as I loath to say it - and as much as it hurt when it happened - we learned a valuable lesson: we can make it on our own without using Therapist as our constant crutch. I will miss that crutch.

Nevertheless, we said goodbye. The bitterness and resentment I felt are gone, but I'm not sure the relationship could be the same. The bond was broken, and time won't bridge the break back to him. I cried all last night. It isn't easy. It makes me hurt at my heart. 

In any case, I think every now and then we will pop in on Therapist. I think emotionally it was goodbye, an end to a beautiful therapeutic relationship. However, the door has been left open, and as they say in AA, “We will not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.” I will not shut the door on how we evolved over the past nine years with Therapist, and I will keep the door open to the possibilities the future might bring. . . in and out of Therapist's office.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Isn't that what we have to do?

I'll do what I have to do.

I had skin cancer removed today.  The doctor scraped and grated the cancer right off my shoulder, then set to cauterizing my skin with fire.  The smell of burning flesh and a trail of smoke encircled me and lit my memory ablaze.   I relish the burn. I am pleasantly reminded of a time when I would burn myself with cigarettes.  It looks the same.  I am surprised at how the desire to self-harm has been . . . rekindled, shall we say.  I'm tempted.  I now have a beautiful burn mark on my shoulder that will compete with every other inch of skin on my body for occupancy as a scar.  It's precious.  It reminds me of a time when I needed more intensive help and received it. I miss those times.

Isn't that what we have to do?  Think back to a time we are able to cope by any means necessary, because without those mechanisms we would have withered to dust?  Don't we have to do what we have to do?

But really I'm fine.

I stress because my job will probably be cut at the end of the year, and I don't want to face what I need to do.  The numbers are not promising a need for me next year, and I'm the easiest one to kick off the island.  A job that looked so promising is now going to terminate, just like me.    No job.  No money.  No purpose.  No me.

I'm really fine.  I'm keeping it together like a good little soldier.  Isn't that what we have to do?  Keep it together no matter what?  Don't we have to do what we have to do?

And the paradox is that I should probably return and see Therapist because I might be needing some help, but I won't go back.  I have too many bad memories from this year where he didn't listen to us.  And I don't know if we should be hurt that he hasn't checked in with us since we left.  Yes, we should reach out if we need help, but doesn't eight years with Therapist count for anything so that he would want to check in.  Do the boundaries have to be so damn stiff and unrelenting that he couldn't cross the line for a second to see how quickly we are dying?  Maybe I'm being passive-aggressive.

But isn't that what we have to do?  By any means necessary to survive?  We do what we have to do. 

But really, I'm fine.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Miss On-Her-Own

It is very unsettled.
Trouble is brewing and I'm caustic with questions.

I don't know who I am.
I never did.
I just knew what had to be done, what had to be preserved and what had to be let go.
I guess I am a casualty of my own purpose.

It's hard to tell how we are.
We are too well to be sick, and too sick to be well.
We are in a category of our own.

There is pain inside. A quiet, accustomed, expected sadness.
I think the sadness is that I have integrated with the others and am left unsatisfied. There really is only me left and I'm devoid of all emotion. And if I'm all that is left, why do I need therapy? I think it is my own silence I hear. I am new. I have no childhood. I was born into my thirties, a full adult. There are no ties to me and what might have been endured in someone else's childhood.

I feel therapy is failing us. I only keep appointments just in case I need them. But I haven't needed one in a while. I'm getting by on my own. I no longer feel a therapeutic bond with Therapist. There is nothing productive that comes out of our meetings. And being self-sufficient, there is nothing for me to work on in therapy.

Maybe feeling this independent and grown-up is just another faction of my imagination. Maybe I exist because the others are still around but too broken and damaged from the stress they incurred at the beginning of the year. And maybe I was created purposefully without emotion if simply to get through the day without incidence. Maybe just because I deny them doesn't mean they don't exist. Maybe when things settle down this summer, they will reemerge.

But, maybe and really, I did kill them off and am here all by myself.

I've never felt so simple, basic, empty, and needless in all my existence.

There is no help for this, but, oh how I wish there was.

Silence . . . 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

You are like a whisper in the wind, Uncatchable, and gone before You are heard.. There is a bare spot on my heart where you used to live. You are starting to fade from my memory. The sharp ache has turned into a dull rusty throb.

I hide my feelings in a dark secret room, safe from the auspices of others, those who would steal my pain and steal you from my heart. The only way I know I'm alive is when I mourn for you, when I feel your ache rising up my throat to scream. I can't tell you I love you anymore. But I do love you. And if you could just hear me say it to you one more time I could maybe breath again.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Two weeks

It has been two weeks tonight since we parted.  The night is not so gentle with me.  I fear it will suffocate me with memories of you.  Oh, I how I want to be with you.  It's so stormy inside my head, filled with a million voices with words I can confide to no one safely.

No one understands the independent loneliness that generously spreads its way into my leaking bones.  My thoughts are more than I can bear.  If you were here you would be licking the tears off my water-filled eyes and propping your head upon my shoulder to let me know everything would be okay. Now who will kiss my tears away?  And how will anything ever be okay again?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I can't let go of you or the pain.  I hold on to each hurt to remind me that you once graced my life.
 When my heart breaks and bleeds I remember how much you mean to me and how much I love you. 

Do you think of me wherever you are?  Do you remember how with love I would speak your name, and how we nuzzled our faces against each other just to be close?  I hurt myself everyday so I will never forget.

Today I pet other dogs and thought of you.  They were happy and gave me kisses like you used to do. I am ashamed of myself that they made me smile.

Please let the tears keep flowing.  Please let me keep hurting.  I won't abandon you by being happy.  I will protect each small and large ache and not let anyone talk me out of it.

Since you let go, I'll let go, too.  I don't have far to go now to be gone completely. 

I love you, I love you, I love you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Silence speaks volumes.

Tears speak louder.

I'm screaming, screaming, screaming.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

In Memory

Grieve not,
nor speak of me with tears,
but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you.
I loved you so . . .

Twas Heaven here with you.

~Isla Paschal Richardson

I'm drowning with out you.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Shrieking sounds of fucking silence

I wish it could be heard what I want to say but can not speak.
I wish I could be found somewhere among the others.
I wish I were special to someone.

I am buried by sex.
I am buried in shadows.
I am buried in guilt.
I am buried in shame.
I am buried and will not return.

I might be looked for, but it is too late.
I am somewhere inside where I will never be bothered again.
It is too late for someone like me.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Part 1

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle
Part 1

Do you dare to come a little closer?
Can you bare to look me in the face?
What is it about me that makes you leave?

I do not know how to feel about it.
I practice thinking the hole is gone,
but the ache returns and grows in your calculated absence.

I cry tears I promised I would not show.
But I don't think you notice
And would care even less.

I need you, but
I can not pain myself long enough to tell you
I want you in my life.

You snatched love's warm embrace from me as I was falling from grace.
I know I disappoint you.
Does it help you to know I hate me, too?