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.

Frack

A man
once told me
the inside
of my skull
was like
a funhouse
filled with mirrors
so the
slightest
little laser
impulse
of emotion
would
bounce around
and
I r fractured
u refracted
split like concrete
served like pie
little slices
teeny splices
page at a time
all stories are lies

Give it

Late at night,
when you have to
step outside of yourself,
stop your own breathing,
and slow your racing heart,
enough to verify that
the people who
yell at you and
spit on you and
beat you up and
leave you bruised
have taken their own
shallow
shuddering
breaths
in the
lonely darkness,
that they are
still alive
and you are
still here
to keep them safe,
that is the
season of refreshment.
Breath is
the great equalizer
in this
moment of vulnerability.
Take it.

Boredom Buster

If I
were to
only have
two words
to describe
exactly how
I feel,
I guess
they would
probably be
“militant sonder.”
You know
the one,
ever aching
realization that
every person
you see
has their
very own
full life…
but aggressive.
Maybe evangelical.
It will
slap me
wide awake,
only to
yell into
my face
“other people
are LIVING!”
and I
have to
try my
best not
to count
what I
think is
the cumulative
value of
all the
world’s boredom.