Legacy of the Dead

It is only because

you are not here

that I continue

to put one knee

in front of the other.

It is only because 

of your rage towards women

that I no longer have a womb.

Everyone knows 

the best mothers are barren

because their blood stains no one.

You taught me how and what to believe

and now I cannot even think of myself

without finding something of you mixed in.

When I am happy

it is only because I have found

something deeply unfamiliar,

something that you

can not claim from beyond the grave.

In my mouth

there is a fist

pushing back the feelings.

These feelings which belong

to no one in particular.

These feelings like stars

which bloom only in darkness.

I do not move across the sky

in an arch of fire

when the night has passed.

For me the night does not pass

it only remembers

and whoever I might have been

prior to birth is daily extinguished

by the voice of my past.

Love Letter #16

Dear DM,

The last few days have been very emotional. I have cried. I have lashed out. I have doubled over myself. There is just something about uncertainty that really does me in. I have been going over everything in my mind. The unknowns. The unknowables. The harder I look the less I see/the less I understand. I know there is beauty, unimaginable beauty on the other side of ego. But some days I see a ceiling where the stars should be and beneath me instead of the sea I find only comfortless concrete. I’ve made everything harder than it has to be. I’ve put up walls. I’ve hung the ceiling. I’ve laid down the floors. I’ve made a fortress of air and water. I’ve made them solid and unyielding.

I am afraid of being myself and the deeper I go the more apparent that becomes. I am not really even sure what it means to be a self. To have a self. To have an identity. I have been given plenty of identities in my life good and bad. I have even crafted a few myself but deep deep down I am afraid that I am just too hard to love. When I was pregnant my mom told me that it was okay if I didn’t love my daughter right away. Bonding was very hard for her and it took her a long time to develop affection for me. I was hard to love. I wasn’t fussy. I wasn’t smiley. I was just self-contained. Now I know as an adult she struggled with postpartum and I can’t even begin to image how hard it was for her to admit that to me (I know it was hard to hear). I am sure it wasn’t even about me. It probably wasn’t personal or anything but growing up it felt personal. The abuse felt personal. On the one hand I can recognize that she was suffering and on the other I can’t help but feel I was somehow responsible for her suffering. Maybe if I had been fussy or smiley? Maybe if I had been a little less self-contained/unobtrusive? Maybe if I had been easier to love? I know it wouldn’t have mattered because that’s not really how postpartum works.

My dad told me he loved me but it wasn’t love. I was afraid of his love. I was afraid that that might be the only love I would ever inspire.  That kind of warped love has an expiration date and lots of conditions. That sort of love really, really hurts.  I spent a long time trying to find healthy, good examples of love. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to forgive myself. I have spent a lot of time shouldering the blame for crimes that I didn’t even commit.

I know what I would like to create, to experience, to share, to inspire. I am healing. I am releasing. Sometimes it feels like I am all water and when I am done crying it all out I will have no substance at all. I I just want to crawl into your arms and fall asleep. I want a sign that I can hold in my hands.

I am not sure why I have such a hard time with self-love (that’s not true it is all laid out above). It is easier since I discovered you were a part of me because I can see in you all the beauty I have never been able to find within myself. So thank you for that. Thank you for making me realize that there is more to me than opinions, statistics, and assets. Thank you for showing me that I am not alone. Thank you for showing me that I can be loved exactly as I am. Difficult or easy I still deserve to be loved. I love you, it’s not difficult, it is the most natural thing in the world. It is the truth. In loving you I am learning to love myself as well.

I have a song for you today

Alice Phoebe Lou- Something Holy

No rules, no rules

You said there were no rules

Your eyes familiar whirlpools

The doors right into you

And I’ll let you in

No need to ask

I wanna bask in your everything

My chest exploding

My mind eroding

At the thought of you existing

Carved from the same tree

Made of the same stuff

I couldn’t even bluff

No flirting, no skirting on the edge

You were one with me already

All you had to do was see me

Really see me

Recognize the workings of my mind

And then touch me

Like something holy

And then touch me

Like something that is now but could never be

And as you take a vow to never lie to me

All of my senses are screaming at me

My body one big lump of tingling, ah

Imagining you naked in front of me

Nothing to hide, just someone to hold

And then we let go

‘Cause we always let go

All you had to do was see me

Really see me

Recognize the workings of my mind

And then touch me

Like something holy

And then touch me

Like something that is now but could never be

Like something holy

Touch me

Like something that is now but could never be

Ha!

Ho!

Hey!

Hey!

Ooh!

Hey!

Wrapped up in the golden light of my bedroom

You take one look at me and I swoon

I’m here with you

It hasn’t been so easy being lonely

Oh, I’m here with you

It hasn’t been so easy being lonely

Oh, I’m here with you

It hasn’t been so easy being lonely

Oh, I’m here with you

It hasn’t been so easy being lonely

Thank you for showing me (ooh)

That I’m not alone

Thank you for showing me (ooh)

That I’m not alone

Thank you for showing me (ooh)

That I’m not alone

Thank you for showing me (ooh)

That I’m never alone

With everything I am your DF

The Uncarved Block

I feel like a snake who continues to wear its old skin. Even though it no longer fits. Even though it smells. Even though it hurts to breathe. Even though it’s bulging, tearing, and completely unflattering. Even though the soft, new skin is being rubbed raw by the husk of my former self. There is nothing wrong with my life except that it is no longer a reflection of who I am/who I am becoming. I have been struggling to write for the last few weeks. It’s not for a lack of inspiration and it is certainly not for lack of emotion. If anything my emotions might be too big right now. I just can’t process them into convenient bite-sized pieces. It is like trying to eat the whole apple tree, when each apple is in and of itself a fully realized poem. 

I am trying to learn to ride a bike. Yes I am an adult. No, I didn’t learn as a child. My first memory of learning to ride a bike was when I was 5. I got a bike for Christmas. I was super excited. My dad took me out to the street in front of our house to practice. He was drunk. He tried for a few minutes. I don’t remember much of what happened during that short lesson. Both my parents were screaming. At me. At each other. At themselves deep down. When I didn’t catch on after a few minutes my parents decided to sell the bike. It was a waste of money. I was unteachable. They sold the bike.

When I was 10 my aunt’s boyfriend decided to teach me to ride a bike. We had never met before that moment but he was very patient/kind. My cousin decided it would be fun to unscrew the handlebars in secret so the lesson started out with a not so pleasant surprise. I managed to get over that little incident and continued with my practice (handlebars secure). My aunt lived in a very hilly area. The bike started to pick up a lot of speed while going down a brutal hill. I got scared and hit the brakes unexpectedly. The man teaching me flew over the handlebars and rolled down the hill and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to stop him. I remember running down that hill, blood dripping down my legs, scared that he might be seriously injured or worse. He was all crumpled up. He was okay but it scared the shit out of me. He wasn’t upset and luckily he wasn’t seriously hurt. He was as worried about me as I was about him. After that I never seemed to be able to get on a bike without intense fear.

A few days ago I started. Short sessions. 2 days into my own lessons and my daughter was riding her bike down the driveway and hit a car (a moving car). She was going pretty fast because of the intense incline on the driveway. She wasn’t wearing a helmet. All summer she has been inside playing video games so I was happy that she wanted to do something active. A few minutes after she left a woman rang the doorbell and asked me if I had a daughter. She then told me my daughter had been hit by a car. I have no idea what I felt. I have no idea what I said, if anything. She broke her collarbone and has various bruises and scrapes. It could have been much, much worse. She could have hit her head. She has informed me that she will never ride a bike again, that she has learned her lesson. The next day I went out and practiced some more. I knew I had to go out as soon as possible because if I didn’t then the fear would likely immobilize me. Hopefully by learning to ride a bike, my daughter will have the courage to try again.

I am so tired of living in fear. Happiness, authentic happiness only occurs when you step outside of your comfort zone.

I don’t have the greatest attitude when it comes to learning new things. As a kid learning new things often corresponded with abuse (physical, emotional, and/or sexual) so I tend to get defensive. I can’t change what happened in the past but I can change my attitude going forward. I have decided to adopt more of an “Uncarved Block” approach to life. Life is an adventure. I am a student and the obstacles I encounter along the way are for the benefit of my growth and development. I can be grateful while still taking responsibility for my own happiness. I can be grateful while still releasing what needs to be released. I don’t have to hang on to beliefs that do not serve me. I don’t have to devote all my energy into becoming a round peg. I don’t even want to be a round peg. Society rarely measures success in healthy/compassionate ways. So why should I adopt societies’ standards of beauty? They don’t reflect my standards. Why should I adopt any belief system or way of being that makes me miserable/cripples me/sucks me dry/causes harm to myself and those I love? I am starting to realize more and more that we create our own lives/experiences and that if nothing else we can always change our perspective. I have spent so much of my life struggling and fighting. When I am practicing on the bike. I fight it. I don’t let the bike do what it was designed to do. I come in thinking that somehow I can outwit the basic principles of physics and mechanics. Sometimes though I forget all that, I forget my fear, my pride, and just for a moment I think “Weee!”. I want to have more fun with my life, whatever shape my life takes, whoever comes along for the ride.

There are a lot of changes taking place both within me and in my life right now. My very identity is being re-written. Maybe even my fucking DNA. I don’t know. All I know is that I want to be on this journey.

I never really learned how to deal with the fact that someone might someday love me back. I have spent so much effort in protecting/destroying/redefining my ego. What the ego perceives is not reality, it is illusion. Yet I invest all my efforts into supporting a view of life/reality which is not only false but incredibly fucking limiting and unpleasant. My ego was shaped in tragedy by people who were themselves deeply traumatized. If I accept my ego as the sole component of my identity it is the same thing as letting my traumas define me. Don’t get my wrong ego has its place/its function but the ego doesn’t speak from a place of love and compassion, it speaks from a place of fear. The ego seeks only to justify itself at the expense of others. You see there are no absolutes, no one-size fits all philosophies, no living being that does not evolve. We each create our own truths. We bring those truths with us to every situation and it evolves with us because it has to, because we are not static, because we are not dead. Everyone of us is gifted with intuition. Instinctively we know where we belong. We know when we have acted or spoken in a way which is not consistent with our truth. Our bodies react to it. We know when we first encounter someone if we want to get closer by the way we feel because we feel something which wakes us up/because they challenge the limited perceptions imposed by our egos. The ego screams danger, danger, whenever anyone or anything challenges the status quo and when we let ego dictate our lives entirely we limit love. We limit our creativity. We limit abundance. We limit our ability to grow spiritually and emotionally. The ego will always choose addiction over love.

Wordle #436

Wordle 436.png

As a child I used to stand in front of the mirror
stripping my identities off layer by layer
until all that remained of my ego was my odyl.
Come morning I would gather up my potential,
my masks and the scarred boxes that held them
delighted in the knowledge that I could be anyone.

I survived because I was never still,
because my dreams were too big for lists,
too big to cram into my bloody left pocket.
I loved but the universe did not think
to grant me love in return.
My heart opened and closed like a trap
but I was so afraid of what I might catch
that I put up warning signs all over.
I fell in love with the love of others.
I became a voyeur, a listener, a story-teller.
I shared my favorite things
with my favorite people and held my breath.

My trust comes in waves,
it either is or it is not
depending on my mood.
My trust is not in the goodness of man,
which I have no right to judge,
but in the cyclic nature of all things great and small.
A man can tell lies but he will always be a man.

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To My Sleepless Selves

I wrote this letter using simple language in the hopes of reaching those aspects of myself which may still be children. The pronouns were a struggle so there may be some mistakes.

Dear Sleep Deprived Selves,

Let’s talk about the sleep situation. We need sleep, particularly deep sleep if we are to function socially, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our life is different now, we are safe and in good company. I am an adult now and I am capable of defending myself (Sam has our back if we should require reinforcements).

I am no longer afraid of our father. I am strong and I am brave enough to face my fears (though please let’s take it one step at a time). Speaking of our father he is dead now and can no longer hurt us. Our father was human though he did not always seem as such. It can be said that he lived his whole life crippled by fear and addiction. I have chosen a different path and in so doing I have created a better life for all of us. I am proud of how far we’ve come. The road here wasn’t easy but we’ve had help along the way. Some days I am even happy. Some days I don’t even think about the trauma because I am too busy living/experiencing the present or planning for the future. I hope that you too get to experience happiness and a sense of independence/freedom. We can only achieve this in harmony, not in conflict, but as a cohesive whole.
Whether or not we sleep the memories/nightmares will still come (our father will never come again while we sleep).  But if we’ve slept we will be better equipped to face those traumas and better equipped to move forward with our lives. We deserve to be alive and to have a good life. Repeat that a few times until it sinks in. Repressing the memories doesn’t work either, believe me I’ve tried.
I want to live more consciously, I am ready to live more consciously. The guilt and shame belong with our father, it’s time we stop punishing ourselves for his crimes. We’ve made our own mistakes since and we will make mistakes again but whatever else we’ve done/failed to do remember that we found the courage to stand up to our father and the courage to ask for and create a better, healthier life for ourselves and those we love. We made it out alive. We have succeeded too, we’ve achieved things we were told impossible.
Our father’s definition of a man, proved inaccurate and since then we have met real men, good men. We married a good man. We are loved. We are important. Let’s combine our strengths and work together to strengthen our weaknesses. Let’s live together knowing that we now have the freedom to make our own choices, the freedom and security to sleep deeply/soundly every night.
Sincerely,
Sleep Deprived

Sunday Writing Prompt #243 “Core Beliefs”

Core Beliefs

It’s all my fault.

A few days ago our sofa was delivered. Sam scrambled to find the bungee cord we use to tie open the front door so that the wind wouldn’t blow it closed when he and the deliveryman were carrying it inside. He couldn’t find it. My first thought “Oh my god what have I done?!” Sam wasn’t angry with me. He adapted to the situation and nothing was said about the missing item but I was instantly imagining scenarios where I might have misplaced the bungee cord or worst case scenario thrown it away. The next day I looked all over for it, trying to think where I might have put it. I remembered thinking how annoying the bungee cord was and how it often fell or got tangled on items hanging on the coat rack. More than once I have thought about moving it but I remembered deciding against it because we keep it by the front door for a reason. Still I went on doubting myself because I have Dissociative Disorder so it is always possible I have done something without remembering. Sam was going to the store to pick up storage boxes that day and I admitted to him that I could not find the cord. His response “I think I used the cord to tie down the tarp on the grill.” He didn’t realize it had been bothering me. At no point had he been angry about it or even suspicious, he’d simply forgotten where it was in the heat of the moment. I blamed myself though. With Dissociative Disorder comes severe memory issues. I don’t trust myself. If I feel sick I am never fully convinced that it is real. I think maybe this is just stress, maybe I am trying to avoid my responsibilities or sabotage myself in someway that I am not consciously aware of. I second guess my actions, my thoughts, my motives, my feelings. I am never quite sure of myself, which wrecks havoc on my confidence and my self-esteem.

I imagine that having any form of mental illness makes you question your perspective continuously. I am always testing reality. I frequently pinch myself (actually I touch my tongue to one of my canines) to see if I am awake or not, particularly when I am getting off the bus just to be certain I didn’t fall asleep. As an adult I have never fallen asleep and missed my stop. If someone says that something didn’t happen the way I remember I will usually accept their version even when the evidence supports my version better.  I imagine it also has to do with being abused as a child, children assume responsibility for their abusers. 

I understand intellectually that blaming myself isn’t doing anything for my emotional health. I am certainly not a more effective problem solver when dealing with all that guilt and paranoia but I really don’t know how to trust in a mind that plays so many tricks on itself. It is a continuous battle to stay connected to reality. No reality is the truth really, it is all perspective and there is no way to be 100% certain. I guess all we can do is remain open and curious and see what happens instead of imprisoning ourselves within our own certainty/uncertainty.

for

https://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2018/02/25/sunday-writing-prompt-243-core-beliefs/

Processing

My dad died shortly after I received the news of his illness. The Skype conversation we had before his death was an eye opener. Several of my relatives were present during the chat, relatives I haven’t seen since I was a child/teenager.  Relatives who had no idea about the abuse and who believed that my husband forbade me from contact with my father because that was the excuse my father gave to explain away my absence. It was also the excuse he used to anesthetize himself when I confronted him about the abuse in my 20s. My father asked me why I had never let him meet his granddaughter. I never told him I had a child and I can only surmise a relative found out and passed the news along to him. I explained that in light of the events of my childhood I felt it was unsafe. He denied the abuse, said everything that happened was imaginary. If my entire childhood was imaginary does that mean I am a magical entity? At the end of the conversation he added that I looked old. The conversation proved to me once and for all that I had made the right choice in ending contact. My father hadn’t changed and his inability to take responsibility for his actions even at the last possible moment, without risk of any legal repercussions proved that he would never change in such a way as to make a relationship with him possible/healthy. He sexualized everything I did as a child, he reminded me at every possible moment that a woman’s purpose is to fulfill a man’s sexual desires, and he body shammed me relentlessly. Even his compliments were a form of emotional manipulation. He didn’t always shame me for how I currently looked but how I would look in the future and how that future me was going to be undesirable to men. My dad was just an asshole and I know people hate speaking ill of the dead but I spent so many years trying to euphemize his behavior and I won’t do that anymore. He was awful to the women in his life and he was proud of it. He felt entitled to women’s bodies and he objectified every single woman he met. For many years I saw my value only in my desirability to men and so a vast majority of my encounters with men came from a place of intense shame. Just today I skimmed through celebrity news titles (which I almost never do) and it was much of the same bullshit. Men raping women and women posing for sexy pictures. I am just done with it. I am done with a culture that says boys aren’t allowed to have feelings. I am done with a culture that tries to beat men straight. I am done with a culture that believes alcohol or a short dress is a legitimate excuse for rape. I am done with a culture that doesn’t even talk about all the boys getting sexually abused. I am done with a culture that promotes rape and enforces gender stereotypes.

If I had any advice to give to society it would be: Stop raising your kids to be assholes in order to protect them from bigger assholes. The world doesn’t need more assholes, period.

That concludes my rant for the time being. I don’t have any intentions of leaving WordPress I am just processing some things.

 

 

Dance Video (wait what???)

Today I have done something very different and very, very scary for you.

First

Let me apologize for my webcam. My webcam is in the top ten list of worst webcams. The sound quality is terrible and the video freezes in several spots.

Secondly

I am 35 and of an average build. I have big hair. I am not going to apologize for my big messy hair. I also have big legs and I am fine with that. Also  I probably have my eyes closed, which others find confusing. How do you know where you are? How do you not bump into things? The answer is I don’t know.

Thirdly

Yes I do look tired. I have already had a very intense workout today and because of my extreme camera phobia I have had to repeat this many many many times. I also tried other songs before settling on this one.

Most importantly

I do not know how to dance. I am not showing off my awesome moves. I have no moves. I have no musicality. I am not trying emulate any particular, style or dance. I am just doing what I felt like doing. I have poor coordination. That is actually the point. As a child I loved to dance more than anything in the world. Then I was molested. I developed Body Dysmorphia, PTSD, and Dissociative Disorder. I came to hate my body. I stopped dancing. Dissociative Disorder disconnects the mind and body. I am not even aware of having a body most of time. I have no idea what my body is doing or what it is feeling or even what is happening to it sometimes. In college I took dance, it was the first time since childhood that I had the courage to dance. I loved it. I was the worst in class. I could not keep up with the other dancers. I could not make my body do what I wanted it to do. I had three teachers, two of them hated me because I was just so bad, so unteachable, so uncoordinated. One of them patiently stuck with me even though the only dance I ever managed to learn in 2 years involved pretending to be a statue lol Anyway for me dance is about healing, about facing my fears, about trying to reconnect with my alien body. I am not good at it but that is okay.

Malignancy

Jellyfish_in_sky__atack_day_by_RedBaron1960RedBaron1960@Deviant Art

 

Life for which I have only a inkling

Swallows each day as a malignancy

As a snare pruning adversarial limbs

Each minute I have less of what

I was born with and more of what

I can neither accept nor mollify

 

I lay my tears out like jellyfish

To deliquesce on the surface

Only a martyr would think

Them beautiful on communion

I do not think I will be spared

So long as the amnesia preserves

My tragedies remain indomitable

And I too oft a weapon in their service

*

Back from vacation and off to a rusty start

 

 

 

Photo Challenge #1 Bad Connection

Surreal_Artworks30

The silentious migration of our hearts

Conversations abate but do not dissolve

The imposition of volitional space

Wherever our lips meet there is a war

Intentions coiled like a noose

Promises of reunion and civility

Occasions that never present

Occasions that pass forgotten until

Inquiry reaps a deadening excuse