3.3. Then and Now: A Reflection of My Reflection

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Like everyone else, I was born quite unaware. Eager to get here, I was born premature to someone who admittedly engaged in…let’s just say some “less than motherly habits.” With a ventricular septal defect (a hole in my heart), my battle started pretty early on. Though it is literal, I can’t help but feel like that hole represented something lacking in me from day one…a piece of me left in another world…wherever my soul originated from.

20140106_153042 Never comfortable in my skin, I was self conscious from my first memories. I knew we didn’t have much…a truth no child should know so early on. My sister and I got our heads buzzed as kids because of a lice outbreak. It happens. Some parents just don’t have the patience to comb through the locks. I can still remember walking down the stairs at the museum and a woman telling my mother, “your son is adorable.” Apparently, I made a cute boy but an unattractive little girl because I didn’t have long flowing hair. I didn’t wear frilly dresses but instead lived in sweaters and jeans that were never long enough. The standards were set quickly and by the time this picture was taken…I was already failing.

While being a pretty little girl didn’t work for me…so was my transition into weirdness. Being odd suited me and though it didn’t make the years any better or merciful, it gave me something to cling to. An identity. Even if it was a strange one. By this time, we were moving around a lot. I can’t even keep track of all the people we lived with for short periods of time but I know it was a time that gave us an intense feeling of detachment. Don’t get comfortable because you’re not going to stay long. Don’t get attached because you’ll never be as important. When you’re inconvenient, people will leave you. An internal void, evidently unattractive and unwanted…it wasn’t easy. 20140106_153114

20140106_153053Fourth grade was the first time I became aware of death. This was a type of leaving I could accept though the thought of it sucked. But it seemed easier to understand since the person who left didn’t do it intentionally. By this time, I knew I was the “ugly kid.” Children can be cruel and they were. My clothes screamed how unimportant I was despite my house being filled with thirteen animals (that upkeep isn’t cheap), and shelves upon shelves of porcelain dolls and expensive figurines. My childhood home was a shrine to all that was materialistic. I was no doll and showed no signs of growing beauty. I wasn’t like the other kids. I could feel it. My mind ran with vivid stories and games propelling me into a fictitious world of happiness and appreciation. I admired what others had and pretended, in the confines of some random inch of space, that I had it all. I was forced to be a dreamer. Reality was an ugly world.

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I searched for God. I went to Spanish service at a catholic church with desperation in my heart. That hole was growing and it haunted me. The practices that were happening behind closed doors were eating my soul and gave me nightmares that seeped into daydreams. My imagination was being tainted and violence soon took hold of my stories. “Please make me beautiful, God. So they will love me. Anyone to love me.” Love me enough to rescue me from the terrors that occurred in a closet, on railroad tracks at 2am, in a room with so many witnesses and no allies. But God did not hear me and it all continued. Alien. Ugly. Unwanted. Forsaken. The forecast was bleak.

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 The teen years set in. This is the inevitable time of self-loathing, poor self-esteem, and massive self-deprecation. To say I bashed myself would be an understatement. I wasn’t developed like the other girls. Thirteen and I wasn’t a “real girl” because I hadn’t started menstruating. This was the start of my ghost-writing. I admired many and yet, was left unseen. But I made for a good friend. One that could get the girl for you. Because, somehow, I knew what to say. Knocks on my door made me feel important. Knocks from boys I crushed on…asking me to write another poem for their latest conquest. And I did it. Because being useful was better than nothing at all. I was a dork. A nerd. A bookworm. Basic. Average. Below average. Ordinary. I was everything that can crush a young girl. Yes, I read a lot but damn it just think I’m pretty. Please. See something great in me. Please think I’m beautiful. Please care.

20140106_152940Maybe setting would do the trick. Maybe if I started over…someone would appreciate me in a way I hoped. Location changed but the story remained the same. I was the secret friend to some…helping them get the girl…useful but unseen. Even worse, I was seen and unwanted. What personality would I take on? Who would I become so people would accept me. I tried many and all of them failed. So, I did the next best thing. I settled. At 16, I dated a 24 year old because he showed me attention and he liked me and he said I was pretty and it was all I wanted. Hindsight says I just allowed earlier abuse to repeat itself…to allow the word “love” to mask the hurt and damage that was being done. But hell, to be beautiful was worth it to me. At 16, beautiful was the only label I could dream about. The only one I could never truly attain. But damn if I didn’t try.

20140106_152849And then something happened. I relocated again and was still seen as a nobody. This was expected. What wasn’t was the type of attention I got. I would never be the “girlfriend” but I could be the secret. The one you wanted to know on Friday at 1am. I was the girl who visited old friends back home, friends who expressed my ugliness dead on…only to have them ask for physical engagements. My body was just flesh to satisfy a primal hunger. Can’t lie…I basked in being wanted for a bit. But lust is not love. It’s not even as nice as like. It’s cheap. It’s disposable. It’s short-lived.

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I didn’t want to be seen. I wished for invisibility.  I was born broken, my flesh is tired, and my heart aches. My mind cannot handle any more lies. My soul wants to quit.

My high school years consisted of three high schools, seven homes, very few lasting friendships, a sickening eating disorder, a short lived relationship with a man far too old for me, a miscarriage, a stolen identity, and one hell of a culture shock. It all added to my personal disgust…I hated who I was.

20140106_152903Old habits die hard. The few relationships I’ve had in my life have been that of an abusive nature, whether physical/mental/emotional, all the while…I questioned my worth. Why couldn’t I do better? Where was my unconditional? The one that would look at me and love me and know me and see me and mean it. And not leave. He didn’t exist.

I stood in the mirror and despised the reflection I’d been running from since day one. I pulled a sharpie from the drawer and drew on that mirror. I added all of the details that I thought would make me lovable. I colored over the flaws and morphed what was wrong into what I thought others would accept as right. By the end of it…the mirror was a picture perfect image of something…someone. I was somewhere in there. I was certain. I just couldn’t see it. I lost myself and for the time being, I thought that was the right thing to do. I’m an alien and I need to fit in to this world. The only way to do that would be to put on the costume and play the part. 20140106_153009

But I was never a good actress. Slowly but surely, my sadness seeped through and I hated the picture I painted. I hated that fake bitch. I hated the bullshit smiles. I hated the loss of voice. The loss of self. The death of the creative mind and heart. I lashed out and became a beast. Having an opinion meant I was argumentative. My creative mind was run by the devil. My heart was stone and my soul never existed. I was broken glass…unfixable. I hated the world that didn’t want me. And all of the occupants in it.

PreggoMy father loved my mind. Nico loved my soul. They both had to leave. I will be reunited with them some day. But until then, I remain with the one that loves my heart.

I spent my ENTIRE life wanting to be beautiful. Wanting to be physically desired, craved, needed, pursued. Ironically, that is all anyone seems to want from me as I near 30. Now, I would give anything to have someone knock down doors to talk to me…to engage in conversation that lasts all night. To be enthralled by laughter and dialogue that stimulates the mind and the soul. Yes, I want to be seen as a beauty. But more so…I want the words of my heart, the creativity of my mind, the passion of my soul…I want these things to be my beauty. I want to be defined by the iceberg that lay beneath the surface. Waiting…hoping…dreaming…wondering…

Will that hole in my heart ever be filled.CAM02045

I walk away from the mirror. I’m tired of seeing my reflection in this pool of tears. I’m tired of seeing the caricature I have become in an attempt to be loved. I avoid the waters that scream a truth I cannot hear. Not anymore. Maybe, on another day, I will look and see something amazing. Until then, I close the door and live in shadows.

mommy

But the light touches my skin and I think…the hole in my heart was filled. Just not in the way I’d anticipated.

In a way that has been so much greater.

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2.20. The Crusades

Whatever.

The majestic strummed a line on the violin…blood soaked fingertips…forcing melancholy melodies into the universe…bounced back from a red planet…echoing in the midst of gunfire and a decrepit womans screams.

Whatever.

Story telling empty pages of empty books…eating from empty baskets of rotted bread…swimming in salt baths minus the water…frozen in gasoline icicles…waiting for ignition…for…release…from still rivers and looming typoons.

Whatever.

Shedding her skin…she slips under and sighs with the sinking feeling of weightlessness. As nothing has felt so freeing as the intoxication of maddening drum beats and electric currents. A senseless sense of sensibility.

Whatever.

A lifelong concussion…forbidding sleep and sanction…love that died…resurrection sucked from the realm of possibility and replaced with a fucking song that means…nothing.

Whatever.

But the sun shines…

Whatever.

No, not whatever. The sun shines, despite memories. Despite mistakes. Despite the scars of a lifetime. Despite seeing the skeleton in the mirror instead of pushing it back into the closet. Despite the nightmares that lurk in the shadows of daylight. Despite the recorder that relays a constant replay of regret and rejection and “you’ll never do any better.”

No, not whatever. The sun shines, despite me. Despite a fear to live and a fear to die. Despite each breath one takes and the ones we hold in during those questionable hours right before the moon has bidden farewell to muskrats in meadows that never really existed.

No, not whatever. The sun shines and the world moves and the people continue despite the false pretenses recognized but ignored by carnage infused children living in the catacombs of our alternate selves.

Oh shit, none of this makes a lick of sense.

But it does.

To the lost spirits who will spend a lifetime hoping and wanting and praying and needing and wishing and dreaming but refusing…to accept…to claim…to feel. To the lost spirits who will self sabotage rather than bask in the heat of magic and the draft of cooing heat. Yes, cooing.

Because we choose this life. We choose to forge on in this crusade. Alone. Altered. Unarmed. Seeking mercy but expecting malevolence.

Sinking to her knees, that girl, she begged the wrong one to accept her. To embrace her. To forgive her existence. She relinquished control to someone who knew not the damage that could be done.

A lost spirit that believed she was safe behind brick walls. Refusing to allow a soul to know a soul. Safe…no. Wrong…more than likely. A ghost lay behind those stones, all the while, that girl lay submerged under the rubble of defeat.

Whatever.

Yes, whatever. As today is, like no other day, a reason to emerge from the shell. The sun shines. The crusade is not to hide from, but to feel, the heat.

1.190 – Quality vs. Quantity

“If you can’t handle me at my worst…

…You don’t deserve me at my best”

The clouds have rolled in and the storm is set to begin. The forecast is calling for guaranteed thunder, lightening, tornadoes, tsunami’s, and typhoons. The damage will probably be irreparable and the casualties of family bonds and friendships will be countless.

Fair-Weather Friend: A friend who is only a friend when circumstances are pleasant or profitable.

Fair-Weather Family: Someone who is family or acts like family when it’s easy for them to be, them change on you when it’s through thick and thin.

I could cry over what I feel my son and I have lost. Instead, I want to really focus on the people who HAVE been invested in the calm before the storm, the upcoming mayhem, and the potential rebuild that awaits.

 I want to say thank you to the friends and family who don’t depend on Facebook to be real friends and real family. The people who call to ask how Hunter is doing. The people who have set aside time in their busy lives to reach out and stay in touch. The people who have reached out more so when the clouds have set in INSTEAD of playing the vanishing act. The people who don’t just say “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I hope to see you soon,” but actually show that as fact.

I want to say thank you to the people who believe in me as a person. The people who don’t focus on my past and every mistake that I’ve ever made in my entire life. The people who appreciate me for the person I am striving to be. The people who have taken the genuine time to see beyond the hype. The people who have supported me as a dreamer and have motivated me to be a doer.

I want to say thank you to the people who have shown my son UNCONDITIONAL love. The people who have PROVEN that they love my son. The people who do not allow trivial adult nonsense to prevent them from reaching out and engaging with my son. The people who have opened their hearts, homes, and ears to my son. The people who have put forth effort to include my son in the happiness of their own lives.

I want to thank the people who have not shunned my son for the simple fact that he came out of my vagina. The people who do not put my son so far out of sight that he will inevitably end up out of mind.

In April 2012, my son and I enjoyed an amazing trip to Disney. It was the most wonderful trip of my life. Watching my son show such excitement to see all of his favorite characters, to play with his cousins, to laugh hysterically…it was magic. But the moment that stuck with me the most was seeing my sixteen year old nephew sit on the balcony and watch his brother and my son play. My nephew reached out to me and gave me a hug. He refused to let go. He cried. He held me tight and let the tears flow. He cannot speak. He has Cerebral Palsy and has never been able to say “I love you, titi.” But he told me. In that moment. Just as clearly as my son tells his tia that he loves her every time she calls.

These children are beating the adults. They are the real inspiration. The real conveyors of what it means to love unconditionally.

Thank you to those who have given me strength and hope. We’ve done the good. We’ve done the bad. The ugly is on its way. We may not have the masses supporting us but what we’ve got is real and will be there long after the storm passes.

1.180 – I Love You, Dad

“……., it’s Sabrina. I know we’re not talking but daddy’s dead. I need you to call me. Please. He’s dead. Just call me. Please.”

A year ago, today, those words lingered on a voicemail I wish I’d never received. A deliverance from a god I don’t believe in. A curse sent down from somewhere, a blatant sign of thievery, a shattering of my heart. One that would send me into an outcry as I ran from a bathroom stall on my fifteen minute break at work. One that would send me running through the back of the store, screaming “help me.” One that would leave me a collapsed lump of sobbing meat…a dying soul.

Anyone that knows me knows that my father was the light in my life that kept me alive…the one who believed in me despite the odds stacked against me. My father loved me by pure choice. He didn’t have to. He could have walked away at any time. And he stayed. He loved with his whole heart, was obsessed with technology and prided himself in being the most badass, metal rocking, piercing toting, sarcastic “jew-ban” known to man. He was a finger tapping, finger snapping, perverted, hilarious culinary master. He was a man who kept his word, who believed in love and forgiveness more than I could understand throughout my life. He was passive to a fault but a gentle soul that, at the end of the day, just wanted to be loved.

Dad’s Birthday Card #1 ~ Signed by everyone in a local bar

“You’re a good man, a good dad, and you are loved…today and every day.”

I’ve shed tears today. I’ve watched my son play and laugh and color and enjoy the motions of his life. I was lost in a heap of emotions…a sort of fog. And then my son came up to me, just about ten minutes ago and said “up.” I picked him up and he pointed to my fathers urn. I said, “that’s grandpa.” He said “hi grandpa.” I said “grandpa loves you.” He didn’t miss a beat. “I love grandpa too.”

I was going to write about how much it hurts without my father here to support me, to guide me, to enjoy life with me. But that’s the thing about this journey. What I intend it to be can change in the blink of an eye. And with my son greeting his grandpa and saying he loved him…I am inspired.

To give my son the love my father gave to me…tenfold. To love with my whole heart. To keep my promises. To mean what I say and say what I mean. To be forgiving. To be understanding. To be patient. To be compassionate. To have empathy. To learn from my child. To grow with my child. To evolve. To savor and encourage the beautiful imagination and spirit of the amazing boy who rules my world. To accept my truest emotions and to follow my heart. To keep my son at the forefront of my existence, no matter how hard the days may be and to know…my light has not left me. It shines brightly…in my memories, in the love of my family, in the beauty and joy of my son.

Dad’s Birthday Card #2 ~From his daughters

“Because her father listened to her, she knew she had something to say. Because he believed in her, she believed in herself. Because he said she could do anything, she did…

Dad, so much of the good stuff in my life started with you.    Thank you.”

I will not mourn you, Dad. I will remember you. I will rejoice in you. I will believe in what you taught me and I will show you that all of your love and hard work was not in vain…never wasted. I will love my son to no end and show you that you gave me the greatest gift any parent could ever give. You showed me what a parents unconditional love is and for that…my son and I will will always honor your name and live with your spirit in our presence.

I love you, dad. Always and forever.

1.160 – Stelle (Stars)

If you don’t know Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” you’ve been living under a rock.  Needless to say, it’s one of my all time favorite paintings; it’s one of the first I can recall that really stayed with me. For whatever reason, it was the image I always went back to when I thought of what was beautiful.

At some point in my life, I started counting the stars (eleven and one moon). Those stars meant something to me. In the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly what. Over the years, the meaning of those stars has shown it’s enchanting face.

In this life, we are lucky if we meet just one person that truly changes our world. We’re lucky if we meet a couple, a handful…eleven. I’m not going to pretend I’ve met my eleven stars. Up until this point, I’ve met a few. I’m not going to divulge who those people are or how many I’ve met. What I can and will divulge is that my son is not a star. He is the moon that brightens the sky beyond compare. (My son is my moon…kinda funny). Apples and oranges. Nonetheless, this is more of a tessellation of cosmic influence. Although they could never compare, the stars are important to the darkened town below. The placement of each intricate piece is fundamental to the growth and happiness of the town. That town is me and each star is a light in my life; someone who has changed me, influenced me, inspired me, encouraged me…to be greater than I was yesterday…in unison with the moon and the beams of light it effortlessly projects.

I have a new star. Someone who is my polar opposite. Someone who really can’t fathom how influential they are. Someone who compels me to soul-search. Someone who inspires me to look beyond what I normally focus on. A person who feeds a part of me that hasn’t been fed since my best friend left this life. A person who reminds me of my best friend in so many ways and in one that I have yet to reveal. Maybe someday I will.

It’s actually a lot harder to explain than I thought. But my stars mean something to me. My stars give me something that cannot be explained. My stars are not flawless. They are not diamonds in the sky. They are so much greater than that BECAUSE they are all flawed. When I told by best friend that he was a star, he laughed. “Me?” Yes you, dork. “Why,” he asked. Because I said so.

To the average individual, to care about a star in such a way would inevitably lead to a desire to reach into the heavens and pluck such purity from it’s place and get lost in possibility. Surprisingly enough, this star does not compel me to yearn for something which is not mine to be had. This star does not induce such feelings that would have previously haunted me in dreams. Don’t get me wrong, this star is absolutely alluring. Without a doubt, there is an enticing and pure aura that would drop any right-minded person to their knees…that was not a sexual innuendo, by the way. Simply a visual of what such light can do to one with weak bones and common sense. To best explain how I can be in the presence of such an appealing entity without temptation, I’ll ask you this: have you ever seen something so beautiful you stand back in admiration because you don’t want to get too close and possibly fuck it up? Such is the case with this star.

There is nothing to say that a star will shine forever. Sometimes, you are blessed with such entities and sometimes…as I have experienced…those stars fade and lose their glimmer. The sky is absent of their presence but their essence lives on. The spirit of their very being lingers throughout the universe and the world and all of its inhabitants are epically altered. Even by influencing just one.

I don’t know how long this light will shine. Nothing is guaranteed. Yes, the pessimist in me says this star will fade out much quicker than the others. However, there is no part of me that allows such a thought to hesitate in naming this individual a star in my sky. Perhaps, it will not be there tomorrow. Or some tomorrow. But for today,this light, along with the others, has shone me a path I would have otherwise missed in the darkness of my existence. For that alone, the memory of those moments will forever change who I am as a person. A true work-in-progress…this girls walks along the trail of tears with secure footing…in knowing I have not traveled through this life alone. I cannot reach out and hold those that have given…so much. But I will always care. No matter how far apart we are.

“Man awaits jewels in a crown. I admire the glittering light set forth from the unforgettable. The untouchable. The unmistakable. These precious gems in the sky. The stars are a gift from God. Love letters sent to remind us of what remains to be seen.” ~Euphoric Damnation

1.138 – Butterflies Die

Thanks for that lesson but no thanks at all

Keep the goods you’re selling for the next one

The next naive soul captivated by who you proclaim to be

But not exactly who you are

Shouldn’t have said a word

…And spare the trouble

Work on saving

Yourself.

Now it’s time

For me to say goodbye

Wanted to be friends

But even butterflies die.

1.114 – My Light (PART 1)

Facebook Status: Jan. 22. 2009 – I swear if I keep crying over babies Im gonna dry up. Patience damn it.

 

My son, Hunter Daniel, was born on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:35pm. The road to that delivery was a tear stained, perilous road but one I would repeat in a heartbeat for the gift it has given me.

I can’t tell you when the mother-bug bit me. But it was something I could not deny, ignore, or live without. But desire is not always enough. Through testing, several procedures and tons of waiting and planning…I learned I was unable to carry a child. I sank into one of the deepest depressions I have ever known. And to understand why, I have to share something that has haunted me for years.

When I was sixteen, I’d suddenly started sleeping a lot, felt achy…just didn’t feel like myself. At the time, I was clueless as to why. I didn’t understand my own body…let alone these new traits. I climbed into a warm bath and accidentally fell asleep. When I woke up, the water was red and my body felt like it was being crushed from the inside out. I was in an ocean of my own crimson life. And the life of what would later be known as the soul I miscarried. Because I didn’t go to a doctor immediately…because I shamefully didn’t tell anyone I knew…my uterus suffered scarring and damage from being untreated. It would be over a decade before I would learn that my body treated a pregnancy like a full blown sickness – doing all that it could to kill off the “virus” inside of me.

Fast forward a decade and you’d have found me bawling my eyes out in a doctors office – calling myself a dirty, disgusting whore, a broken piece of shit who knew sex before I knew what puberty was. Though the earlier situations were not by choice, I held a sense of shame for each and every one of those unwanted touches and penetrations. I lost that unborn soul ten years before because my body was tainted. And now…I was a barren field of snow.

But the doctor refused to wash her hands of me. “By the end of this,” she said, “you will be pregnant.” I wanted to believe her…but I didn’t. I saw the doctor weekly, test after test draining every ounce of my being. And nothing. Finally, she sat me down and asked me what was going on in my life – my schedule, my sleep, my lifestyle. I left no stone unturned. After some silence, she told me she didn’t think medication was going to fix me. Without hesitation, probably sensing my oncoming manic attack, she put it simply, “you’re stressed out. You need a vacation.”

Modern medicine couldn’t make me stop killing anything that remotely resembled a child. But a vacation would. What a quack…

A weekend at Wolf Creek Lodge followed.

Exactly 3 months later, I was scheduled to get my period. But I knew. I took, what felt like, the millionth pregnancy test…and it had two lines. TWO LINES. TWO FRIGGEN LINES!!!!

And so…the light of my life was on the way.

1.109 – Art of Love

 

i do not write. i do not love. 

i write as if i have tomorrow

as if there is always more time

i write as if someone will know my story

once im gone

i write as if my voice will be heard from the grave

i write as if yesterday doesnt deserve being said

i write as if tomorrows paint is unavailable

i write as if love will never exist

as if it is unattainable

i do not write. i do not love. 

i write as if money comes solely from thought

versus action

i write with a filter

as if fear will show true colors

as if silence will formulate into truth

upon unused pages

in unpurchased books

upon undusted shelves

i do not write. i do not love. 

i write as if i will see another sun

when this moon is my final goodbye

i write as if right now is enough

i love as if there is no one worthy of this love

as if i am undeserving in the wake of mayhem

i write about sadness

as if the alternative is foreign to my language

i write about pain

as if it is the only emotion my heart has known

i write about love

and leave echoes in hallways

stuck in corridors in empty passages of minds eye and pages sight

i do not write. i do not love. 

i write as if anyone could write my words

as if another will be my tongue

i love as if i were not capable to deliver a smile

i write as if i were not capable of delivering thought

i do not write. i do not love. 

i am the unspoken art of a woman

Lost in a haze

wanting oceans

though this forlorn heart is dry

i await the muses kiss

but i fear it just the same.

i do not write. i do not love.