Walk Away

In the soles of your boots

I followed you, piecemeal, down the stairs.

Down and down you went

unaware that your cruelty held me hostage.

It’s not an exaggeration

to say that you were a psychopath

and I am certain that there are others who suspected.

Only a shell could protect against your trespass

and I have one that would

make a mollusk weep with envy.

For years I was as empty as a widow’s uterus

but in your absence I find myself filling with blood and air.

All that is vital, all that you withheld

is mine, at last, to feel.

I could never return to your side

knowing now what it is to live.

There’s a crawl space inside of me

just big enough for a clenched fist.

Within its clammy walls I keep

all my feelings, good and bad.

I wear this space as if it were a badge.

It is a point of pride that I survived you

and whatever comes next

I know that I shall be the better for it.

I have yet to unravel the scars

that you laid with each betrayal.

Sometimes it feels as if they are all that I am.

Then I remember that you are dead

and I take another faltering step forward.

I hope that in quietus you remember

the pain that you alone have inflicted

and I hope that it haunts you,

at least as long as you have haunted me.

This is another old poem reworked. Below is a reading of yesterdays poem I hope the link works fingers-crossed.


Nobody’s Ghost

My heart may be as common as paper
but it is filled to the margins with love.
My love was not yours to take
it is mine to share, however I choose.

I have scars that spill when torn.
I have masks fused and worn to bits.
I have skin as thin as air,
every breath holds me captive
in someone else’s lungs.
I tried to sympathize with the devil
but his nefarious tongue set fire
to all my hopes and dreams.

Alone in this war I am still legion.
I have taken on whole armies with my bare hands.
And although fractured I am still too much
for any one person to suppress.

All life is a kind of hypnosis
one day bleeds into the next
and I am not always awake
when the sun splits the darkness.
You overtook me though I was only a child
forced yourself onto my body
and claimed me as part of your entitlement.

You defined man always in terms of cruelty
and you were proud to participate in that cruelty.
To avenge myself
I choose to live on, without you.
I choose not to judge other men
by your warped standards.
I choose to feel my pain
however deep it goes
without letting it rape me into a ghost.

Week 3 Day 4

So yesterday I got a whopping 7,133 steps! I am not really sure why it amounted to so many more because I only walked an extra minute on my main walk and I didn’t feel it was so different from yesterday otherwise. Maybe I am walking more confidently? I am aiming to get 10,000 steps for the total day and then eventually I would like to be able to take longer walks so I can go hiking and such. On Sunday before the surgery Sam and I went on a hike and it amounted to like 13, 000 steps and there was a part of it involving the look out which was a very steep climb followed by ladders. I want to do that same hike at the same time next year.

I have stairs in my house and the fitbit is still doing a poor job picking that up possibly because I am so cautious on the stairs (our stairs are so slick and have a spiral turn).

My pain is getting better. I am still swollen which does make for sore abdominal muscles. Honestly it feels quite similar to being pregnant (I started out 6 months pregnant and now I think I am more 3-4 months lol). I am so curious what my stomach is going to look like when it is no longer distended and I am curious about the scar too. The surgeon did such an amazing job on the incision and with the stitching that I think it will be very tidy (provided I take care and don’t do anything stupid). I would say it is going well. Except the deep sleep I got a little of that in the beginning of my recovery but now it is back to being poor. I get between 12-50 minutes of deep sleep and someone my age is supposed to get like 2 hours. As you get older you get less so it is scary to think how I will mentally function later in life. I am assuming it is the PTSD but it is hard to control an unconscious tendency toward vigilance.

Today Sam and I went out for lunch and had a walk before. It ended up being 27 minutes as we were walking in a different town/different route. It went pretty well. I have noticed my back gets pretty tired as it is harder to maintain good posture without my abs.

Sunday Writing Prompt “Lady Lazarus- Sylvia Plath”

My heart opens with a shriek.

She takes in everything

as if it belonged to her alone.

All that is left of my tears

is the salt on my cheeks.

I scrub my skin raw.

Deep down I know

that I am the moon

my face pale and wavering.

Too proud to ask for help

but not too proud

to declare myself deficient.

I can’t bare it you know

this devastating mediocrity

I’d rather be a ghost.

I look askance,

arms outstretched

how dare I ask

for a moment of your time

when you have paid so much

and I so little.

How could this feeling be false?

A mere ploy?

When I can see my life thinning.

Right before my eyes

everything that I have loved

presses forward

and I falling backwards

cannot hope to catch up

so I stand looking on quietly.

I hold in my hand

the greasy, black umbilicus

but it cannot be torn free.

I cannot rewrite the script

it is set into my very bones.

All that is left of me

is the knowing,

is the romanticization of this illness

which has become my identity.

My indemnity, my indignity

what a joke, what a fate

to be defiled by my very own mind.

I feel their eyes on me,

their theatrical hunger

and if I were to die

They’d say “What a pity!”

“What a waste!”

“She was too young!”

It’s not a fix, dying

I think this sin should follow me

beyond the grave.



Based on my teenage years which was a very dark period

Call Me Kaleidoscope

The Tides

As I get older I find myself gravitating more toward the blue tide. It probably comes as no surprise that I am a deeply introspective person. I love philosophy, psychology, physiology, literature, nutrition and fitness, and eastern religious studies. My whole life I have been searching for a single answer “What does it mean to be human?”. I am still learning to love learning but when something or someone sparks my curiosity I am positively insatiable. I analyze and reanalyze but logic is not my strong suit. I am more intuitive and insightful than I am logical. I am constantly tripping over the basics whereas more complex ideas make sense immediately. As I get older the less, I realize, I know. The black and white certainties of youth have given way to so much grey. My pursuit of truth is very personal, very internal and unfortunately I have never been good at taking society into account. Which is not to say that I am criminal, just that fitting in never figures in. Did I mention I am mad as a hatter?

I hate seeing people/animals suffer. I am unable to distinguish between my suffering and other people’s suffering, sometimes I even sympathize with inanimate objects! Yet many would consider me insensitive and I can be insensitive. I push people away. I avoid forming close personal relationships and I have a blind spot when it comes to people’s feelings about me. I wouldn’t consider myself a martyr though, when I do something for someone it is because I want to. I cannot be made to do anything.

I am internally motivated and yet I do seek reassurance. I am insecure and lacking in confidence. When taking on a new challenge I tend to need a lot of reinforcement/guidance (I have learning disabilities). Once mastered I prefer to be left alone to work but in the initial stages I can very fucking needy. While I don’t generally concern myself too much with opinions I don’t like to be seen as stupid and I hate situations where my ability to communicate is limited. Although I don’t talk very much in general social situations (I talk my husband’s head off!) I like knowing that I could, if I was moved to do so, express myself intelligently. I also need to be loved and to be listened to but that’s probably just the human in me.

Red is one of my primary tides. I am intense, passionate, emotional, moody, and instinctive. I have a fiery temper and I am stubborn to the point of insanity. While my stubbornness has allowed me to survive and even to thrive in difficult circumstances it has also proven an impediment. I tend to refuse opportunities and changes when they are first presented to me and it takes a lot of soul searching in order to accept something even if I wanted to accept it in the first place! I gave everything in the pursuit of love, in the pursuit of the extraordinary and I found it.

Indigo is probably my weakest tide as I feel that each person has their own personal truth. When I was a child living in an abusive and unstable environment I did seek comfort in rules and routines. How should we treat one another? What is the right course of action? How much responsibility does a child have for the sins of their parents? How do I become a better person? How do I become a person at all? I wanted desperately to find clear and concise answers. I wanted the people around me to behave in ways that I could understand. I wanted to control others so that they would not be able to cause pain to themselves/others. I still have some control issues. I still organize when I am stressed and I boss people around when I clean. I still try to fix it when someone comes to me upset but I have come to understand that everyone has their own path to follow and my opinion guides me alone.

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.
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.



Perfect Monster

I chase the infinite through a mewling void.

What is found slides sideways past my nose.

Who am I and to what purpose am I to report?

You know me only as a shroud,

a white face curling at the edges.

Nothing is sacred until it is lost,

among such preciousness

I am so much less than I expected.

The abyss yawns bored of my reflection

and into it I cast my offal,

those miseries which have

rotted free of the umbilicus.

Do not invite me to forgiveness.

My inner child frightens me

what she did in order to live,

what she saw and what still lurks

in the shadow of her ancient heart.

She must have been stronger than me

a hero and a demon distilled into one.

I cannot think of her

without remembering the shame,

the shame of my survival and the toll it took

to create of a child a perfect monster.

Leave Me Alone

I hammer down my initiative,

my curious expressions,

my solvent and elevating patterns.

I crouch distractedly beneath

a noxious wave of adrenalin.

How does one manage

the invisible terrors raised by the mind?

Objectivity is an illusion,

opinion implacable.

I take my demons with a shot of salt

but they only scream louder.

My muscles are a murder of nerves.

I loosen my gravity,

collide mid rotation

and rain down in chasms.

I am incomprehensible despite

my affinity for words.

My mouth dry, tongue a skein,

a skirmish, a skelter

of unverifiable platitudes.

I have amnesia,

it came upon me just now

despite no obvious confrontation.

You are so lovely but I hate you.

Hate you for compelling me to speak,

to assuage, to endear myself.

I must be left alone.

I am only clever when hidden.

In the open air, I am a fool,

a conjurer of excuses

sure to baffle and offend.

This poem is based somewhat loosely on my social experiences (not just the one I will mention below). Whenever I go into town people approach me, strangers. Strangers that want money, directions, companionship, assistance of every conceivable kind (doesn’t even matter that I am in no way qualified to provide the assistance). These strangers are often very persistent (to the point where I would consider it bullying). Going on and on and on about whatever their issue is no matter how politely or rudely I attempt to dissuade them. Screaming or running after me when I attempt to leave. This is a constant issue for me and because of my PTSD and social phobia it is really pushing me to agoraphobia. I usually only step foot in the city alone when I am going to therapy. I am very pushed for time when I arrive. My therapist’s office is a 20 minute walk from the bus stop so I don’t even have the time for a short conversation let alone to hear someone’s life story. I don’t make eye contact and I walk very swiftly but like I said the strangers jump out at me and often run after me calling out. After therapy I am so fragile I can’t handle strangers and again I don’t have a lot of extra time before the bus arrives.

Yesterday while attempting to get off the bus, a drunk man started pleading with me to take him home. I am terrified of drunk men, it is linked with my PTSD and it sent me into a full blown panic complete with nightmares. I have tried politeness, rudeness, and complete avoidance. So now I look to you guys for advice. What can I do or say to shut someone down instantly? Is there some way that I can dress that would prevent people from approaching me in the first place? People are also inclined to assist me so it shouldn’t be anything that makes it look like I need help or a stranger might take me home!

The Washbasin

Building 2
The sky splits into stitches of color
and in their wake my life dissolves.
I am only an impression,
spurious and effervescent.
I hold my breath, dipping my face
and all its particulars into the washbasin.

They say I have ruined myself with good intentions,
the need to be and not be simultaneously.
They say I am ugly, unworthy, distant.
How can one object to an opinion shared?

Death cannot be thwarted, held down, determined.
When I was still alive I could not imagine it
anything other than different but death
is the same except for the reversal of left and right.
Is it her face or mine and does it matter
who beget who now that we are both fully grown?