Delirious With Sputum

 

I had a doctor’s appointment.
They gave me antibiotics.
It’s been more than a month
with this sinus infection
but I just kept hoping
I was gonna kick it.
But I’ve been in pain
and I was already there
for something else.
I winced when she
touched my neck.
Later that night
I massaged it,
and panicked when
I felt how incredibly
large and swollen
my lymph nodes were.
As I caressed,
tension released,
and I started coughing.
Delirious with sputum,
I researched
what was happening.
Turns out
lymph node massage
is a thing.
I massaged
until my skin
felt loose.
My double chin
had been storing
extra human goo.
I poked and prodded
the result,
staring at myself
in the mirror.
Was I manlier
with my skin
hanging loose?
And then I pulled
on myself,
enough to
tear my heart,
enough to
rip a seam
where I had
sewed myself together.
I often joke about
being 23 weasels
in a human suit
(It’s supposed to be 24.
Oscar is on FMLA,
he’s working through some shit.
It’s why I limp
unexpectedly sometimes.).
I pulled at the corners
and I saw behind the mask tonight.
The pilot, he feels trapped.

What I’m capable of

I can taste my skull
When the mint begins to rot
At the inside corners
And the edges of my teeth.
I can can feel my tendons
Gently sliding through
Stroking past each other
Buried in the meat.
I can sense my skin
Bristle under the sun
I can feel it augment
Tingle like it’s bugs.
I can think my brainmeats
Writing on these words
Making all new thought heat
Burning just for fun.

My love

You are stitched
from strands of pure gold,
my love,
and all your broken places
show where you’ve been
bruised and bumped before,
that just adds character.
You are twisted silk,
my love,
tangled with an acrobat
of deftly managed
quite queer feelings,
that is how we all maintain.
You are the waves,
my love,
tossed upon the shore
and teased at the surface,
your soft pale blues
that turn to black,
that is because
they don’t know
of your depths.
You are not lost
or unwelcome,
my love.
This forest is filled
with friendly trees
as family.
We are not menacing.
We want the best for you,
my love.

Sheep black by stain

 

I know that I’m not supposed to talk about being crazy.
I know that I’m not supposed to talk about my family.
Or politics.
Or religion.
Or suicide.

I know for damn sure I’m not supposed to talk about my gender and sexuality.
A bunch of anonymous people know I’m not supposed to talk about my alcoholism.
Or my autism.
Or my PTSD.

These are things people get judged for.
These are the things that cause family members to turn into black sheep.
Some black sheep come by it honestly, just melanin, all natural.
But most are stained that way by the vile oily sludge of judgement.

I know these things make people uncomfortable.
You think I don’t know that?
I’ve always known.

I think a little discomfort is a small price to pay, to relieve some sheep of their Sludgement Day.

A bit of medical advice

I feel like people grow up learning that doctors and dentists and such are authority figures, because as children we are small and they are adults and specialists and it breeds an unhealthy mental relationship. If you ever are belittled, or don’t feel safe or listened to by a medical professional, you need to advocate for yourself. You can get other referrals. You can fire them. They are not your superiors because they went to school for a long time. YOU are the expert on your symptoms. You are a goddamn grown human being with worth and value and they are too. You are EQUALS. Remember that. You are not inferior to someone with more education. Your sickness doesn’t affect your inherent worth and value and shouldn’t affect your treatment.

Kidnapped

Coming out of depression isn’t like a fog lifting or a flower blooming. That’s entirely too romantic. It’s more like a bright light, but it’s only just spiking through, it’s mostly dark, you’re tied up. Rough. Burlap and rope tied around you, left alone to figure out your confinement and your freedom. Everything is rough and cold but it’s a real feeling. You take inventory, try and figure out where the pain is worst, try to piece it together with a memory stunted by sedative. Bones creak and scars are measured. Checkmarks go with traumas as you remember the things that you agreed to when you weren’t a qualified advocate for yourself. You’ll pay for those for the rest of your life. You were kidnapped by depression. It owns that part of you. It’ll always creak behind your thoughts. But today you’ll get to wonder if this chance at freedom is real.

Dreaming

Dreams are very powerful for me. I have vivid, imaginative dreams, a woven tapestry of realities and falsehoods that make me question everything when I wake up. A drinking dream shatters me. Dreams catalyzed my coming out process. A dream is how I knew I was pregnant.

It’s not something I talk about often. But it’s niggling at my soul, a little catch in the back of my mind. It’s a hurt that’s coming back after being repressed, so that means it is time to process it.

Vulnerability is a risky dialectic of connection and rejection. I know that there is a chance that saying what I have to say will bring closeness and help to salve an old wound. There is also the chance that I will alienate people and start battles I don’t want to get into.

Ultimately, however, the decision comes down to whether there’s someone else out there that might read this and find some peace from it. And so I move forward.

In 2010 and 2011 I was going to school and living in Grand Rapids with my boyfriend at the time and one other girl. I was a shitty roommate to her and I regret that, since she and I had planned to move in together and my boyfriend just kinda never left.

One night I sat bolt upright on the goddamn futon, having had a dream that I was pregnant. I tried to remember when my last period was. I asked him, he didn’t know either. We hustled to a grocery store and got several pregnancy tests, and the first one came back positive almost instantly.

I couldn’t have a child. I am not meant for child rearing. Especially not as my life was. Especially not as my descent into alcoholism was going.

But I didn’t have health insurance. Or a spare $900.

So I turned to the internet.

I don’t recommend anyone try to induce a miscarriage or self abortion or whatever you want to call it. I combined three or four methods and hoped and prayed.

Vitamin C stings. Parsley tea smells like horse piss.

But it worked, over several days. I started to bleed. And bleed. And bleed.

I felt nothing but relief then.

It hurts now.

Sometimes I think about the child I might otherwise have had. Somehow I imagine a boy, and I’m pretty damn sure he’d have curly blonde hair. I wonder about the way things might have gone with my boyfriend/ex husband, who wanted children later on. I question whether I would have cleaned up my act, whether I could have saved a few years of the depression institutionalization yo-yo. I know this sort of thinking is useless though.

Not much can keep me safe from my own insecurities though. About what this makes me, whether I’m a good person. You can be pro-choice all the live-long day and still struggle with internalized hate. I feel so alone. I don’t know anyone else who’s done this, because no one talks about it. So I stay inside my head with all my thoughts, and they percolate into vile piles of self loathing, and little story lines for dreams.

I take a prescription medication now though, one that prevents dreaming. I also have an IUD.