2.46. The Wounded Soul – My Proudest Failure

This post is not about the many known names who have died over the course of this year from apparent suicide. Their deaths are sad and a loss to the world but there is nothing that can be done for them.  Their chances have ended. It’s sad but what can you do about it now? This is not about the unknowns who are gone from this world. Their story is no different. This is about the ones we can save. 

When I was 26, after my son was born, I suffered from postpartum depression while simultaneously suffering from an infection, which caused me to lose part of my right breast. The fake glue that was holding my doomed marriage together melted away. My world crumbled very quickly. I recall sitting in a bathroom and penning a letter to my child in which I apologized for failing him, for not being strong enough to have the desire to continue. I remember calling a crisis hotline while sitting on the curb of a dark street and telling some stranger I was a horrible piece of shit because I had a child but I wanted to die. I remember going to a hospital and asking for an evaluation. I sat in a cold, bare room, and waited for someone to tell me I was insane. After talking with Tom, he informed me I was suffering from PTSD, from events earlier in my life,  and Postpartum. When I said I wanted to die, he explained, I was simply asking to sleep…for rest…escape from pain I could not seem to get away from. I was released and attempted to pull myself out of that darkness. 

When I was eighteen, after being caught in the act, I admitted to battling Bulimia. It was a slow way out but I often hoped I would just become extremely frail and collapse and that same sleep would come. My mother told me to get over it. 

When I was 13, my father found me in our trailer in Clintondale, New York. I’d swallowed a ton of his painkillers and anything else I could find in the medicine cabinet. I was ashamed of my life. I was scared of being a nothing. I wanted to quit. 

When I was 11, I was admitted to a mental health ward, against my will (and my parents) for a mere 16 hours (a lifetime to an 11 year old btw). I’d gone in after a referral from a childhood therapist. Because I wouldn’t discuss things that were happening but implicated myself in several acts of self-harm, I was held for evaluation. I can still remember the screams and belligerent rants of those held in rooms next to me. After those 16 hours, I conned my way out of that hospital, claiming it was all an act and absolutely nothing was wrong with my home life. I learned how to lie on that day. 

When I was 5, a sibling found me on the ledge of our apartment window. When asked why I was up there, I said I wanted to die. My mother beat the ever-living piss out of me and sent me to bed. 

I have tried to die, thought of dying, hoped for dying…TOO MANY times in my life. I’ve purposefully put myself in dangerous situations, in the hopes that I would find release. Through those years and failed attempts…I never found it. 

I’m not telling you this because I want pity. Because I want you to think I’m epic and strong for “surviving.” I don’t know why I wanted to die from such a young age. I don’t know why I wasn’t “built” to better deal with the hardships of life. I don’t know why the unknown seemed so much better. 

What I do know are two things. 

  1. I was already dead. My body didn’t have to perish. TRULY, I believe I was a walking tomb. My son gave me my soul. I still struggle. I still panic. I’m still a hot mess. But I have never hoped for another breath the way I do now…as I have my son in my life. 
  2. Someday, I will die. I will not try. It will be against my will. And I will not want it to happen. I will feel pain as it all slips away because I will not see the tomorrows of my child, his children, the life I will miss. Someday, I will not have a choice. 

All of that being said…

I AM NOT AN EXPERT but I know the helplessness. I know the desperation. I know that feelings of sad hope that the damn phone will ring and someone…ANYONE will pull me back from the ledge and say, “I care about you. Please don’t go.” We all want to know that someone wants us to stay. That someone NEEDS us to stay. That our fire lights another persons world. We all need a reason to have no desire to step on that ledge. It’s ALL about love. 

The trauma that happened in my life, very early on, stunted my growth in MANY ways (so the doctors say). There are many times that I am stuck back in that mind frame of a child and I am terrified. I am frail. I am lost. It’s a fight to not go back there. To train my brain that I’m not reliving those traumas. That things are not repeating themselves. That I am capable of dealing with it IF they are. 

I am telling you all of this because we all know someone who struggles. Who is fighting. Who may be too quiet. May say the wrong things. May lash out at the smallest occurrence. May come off so angry. May push people away. May be an emotional punching bag. May live a lifestyle that is reckless. May be unaware that they are begging for help. May be pleading for rescue in their eyes but not their words. 

If you are that person…tell someone. ANYONE. Talk until your blue in the face. But keep talking. If you’re talking…you aren’t dead. AND THAT IS BEAUTIFUL. If you know someone like that…listen. Listen and really hear. You don’t need to fix it all. Just listen. Sometimes, that is all a wounded soul needs. 

Dear Suicide – I am proud to have failed you. 

Sincerely not yours…this girl. 

2.43. Dear Daddy – Happy Fathers Day

I wish you were here. I wish I could call you again. I wish I could hug you. I wish I wasn’t so naive to think you would live forever. I wish I said I love you just one more time. I wish I could have stopped your pain. I wish I could have given you an even better life. I wish I made you proud. I wish I could say sorry for failing so much. I wish you could hug your grandson. I wish this didn’t hurt so much. I wish I could hear you laugh. I wish I could have avenged the wrong doings done against you. I wish I could have said thank you a million more times. I wish you knew how much I needed you then and how much I need you now. I wish my son could sit with you and pick up your habits of tapping your thumbs against everything. I wish we could go to Barnes & Noble one more time together. I wish you could teach me how to cook half as good as you did. I wish I could make you smile. I wish Heaven wasn’t so far away. I wish Heaven had phone reception. I wish you could have lived with us. I wish you didn’t have to see my life turn to shit. I wish you could see my life get better. I wish I knew what to do without you here. I wish you weren’t just ashes in a box on my fridge. I wish you didn’t just live in memories and songs. I wish we had new memories together. I wish we could have you back. I wish people appreciated you more. I wish you could see us reconcile. I wish you knew that we love you so damn much…it hurts.

Happy Fathers Day to the best damn father and mother figure I could have ever hoped for. I miss you. I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you I miss you!!!!!!!!

 

2.36. Rain

She will skim the surface

With blades of grass

To deliver the aqueous formula

Slow like honey

Heavy in hue

Trickling,

Drizzling,

Glistening,

Steady,

Pouring,

Clotting into hail

Her wrists are open

As cumulus clouds deliver surrender

A torrent of life

Laid to rest on the tiles of a bathroom floor.

2.29. The Stars Shine

This post gives me great joy to write. But it also has a deep rooted past. And so, we travel back to the first year I moved to Kansas.

Working for an in-home mental health care facility, I spent hours upon hours with a new set of people while our clients slept soundlessly in their beds. Between bed rotations, medicine distribution, and breathing checks…the staff would hang out in the living room and chit chat or play hours of card games. 

J and I sat in the living room for our first overnight shift together. We had eight hours to burn before our clients had to be woken for their daily activities…all we had was time to burn. He told me he’d had one girlfriend but that was it. And without skipping a beat, he divulged everything about his deepest secrets. He was gay. But his family had raised him Baptist and his father was a preacher; a man respected in the community for his devotion to God. J had tried being with a girl to “fix” himself. But it hadn’t worked. 

“So, have you come out to your family?”

J looked puzzled. “Why would I do that?”

He explained that he knew his feelings were wrong. There was no reason in coming out because he would never live that sinful life. He would never betray his God or his family. He would not burn in hell for the lust of the body. 

“So, you’re just going to be alone forever?”

He laughed at my “ignorance,” and explained that he wasn’t alone because he had Gods love. 

“But wouldn’t your God want you to be happy?”

He said he was but his eyes said otherwise. 

Fast forward more than a decade.

An attractive, Jesus loving hipster enters my world. I immediately lean on him for all of my Godly questions. But the world that we live in can’t understand why someone like him and someone like me would ever really talk. So the rumors started. I was trying to tempt him. I wanted to bring him over to the dark side. We were probably having secret kissing sessions when no one was looking.

And it pissed me off. Because no one knew the conversations we’d had. No one knew that we stood in a parking lot at 4am talking about his love for God. No one knew that he’d revealed, he too, had felt things for the same sex but couldn’t act upon them because of his love for his Lord. No one knew that I cried for this boy and told him the story of J. That my heart broke to see someone so amazing trapped by their own love…only to be left deprived of love.

A distance built between us and I will admit that I grew to dislike him immensely. I felt betrayed. How could he open his world to me in such a way and yet distance himself from me as if I were a fucking leper? I hadn’t judged him or told him what he felt was wrong. I had embraced him and he’d turned the other cheek.

I had a moment when I thought he wanted me to shun him for his revelations. When he wanted me to be like everyone else. That would have been easier. But I hadn’t and instead…I’d been thrown away like garbage. What a friendship, I thought.

The boy moved away. And I shouldn’t care.

But I am beyond happy for this boy. I have learned that in his move…the star found his puzzle piece, has grown even closer to his God in his new love, and has learned to be honest with himself and the world he aspired to change. I watch from a distance and I am elated to see pictures and posts of pure, genuine love. My tears were not in vain. Everything turned out the way it should have and someone who is truly a gift to this world now knows it’s possible. To love with your whole heart AND to be loved wholeheartedly.

When he became a star

2.27. Chambers

The simplicity of knowing skin is tiring…boring…undesirable. 

The complexity of knowing a mind is foreign and quickly weighing on a stone heart. 

A mix between hopelessness and hopeful prayers.

For something that will prove everything she ever believed to be wrong. 

For a glimmer.

A spark.

An ember. 

But fire cannot live and thrive from stone. 

From the cold caverns of a heart forgotten. 

2.25. Like A Stone

“They always leave. Everyone always leaves.”

Not one of my finest moments. Not one of my happiest. But definitely a moment that has replayed in my mind over the last couple of days.

I’ll be turning 29 in just a few weeks. No, I’m not one of those people that feels gross because I’m getting “old.” I’m okay with my age. I accept that nine times out of ten, people can’t even guess my age appropriately. When I’m 40, I’m sure I’ll appreciate that even more so. But I do feel…something.

As a kid, I was awkward. Physically, mentally, emotionally awkward. I was the girl that had crushes on the neighborhood boys and wrote poems so they could give to their girlfriends. I was the girl, in high school, who stayed up all night pep talking the guy I had the biggest crush on ever so he could go to school the next day and say just the right things to his crush.

“Hey, how you doin? No, not you, your friend.”

I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t dress. I couldn’t talk to the opposite sex in a way that compelled them to want to know me. I was the secret friend who gave advice (why anyone took advice from me…I still don’t get it). The only thing they begged me for was to know what I wrote about them in my journals. The pages filled with wishes and hopes and dreams. Pages filled with what-ifs. Wondering what it all would have been like if my life was…not mine.

And that was who I was. That girl that read books on the fire escape. That girl who tried so hard to impress and failed time and again. I tried different identities to appease new faces. Still failed.

And now, I’m going to be 29 and still have no clue who I am. Who I want to be. It’s sad, I know.

After being married, I was informed that the only reason it happened was because “it was the next step.” (And I was told this during the good times). Not out of desire but out of obligation to fulfill the timeline of life. You meet someone, you can deal with them, you marry them. I now know, that situation was not love. And I’m okay with that.

Looking back, I know the greatest love I ever had. In such a pure, untouchable sort of way. And that person died. It wasn’t by choice and I understand that. But the part of me that has always wanted that unconditional is still broken from it.

I tell myself to not be vulnerable. To not show anyone my soft side. To remain a “I don’t give a fuck,” type of entity. But, at that, I have failed, which only makes me feel worse. Weak.

I don’t really know where I was going with this one. Who cares. No one reads these things anyway.

My life has always been the fear of people leaving me. But I have to accept that. Everyone IS going to leave. No one is meant to stay forever. No matter how much my heart wants it. Wants to believe that it’s possible for me. Because maybe it just isn’t.

Do I allow these realizations to harden me? To turn my heart colder than it already is? I want to say no but I already feel like a stone.

2.16. Letter To Daddy

Dear Papa Bear:

It’s been 17 long months since you went away. Tomorrow is Christmas and I wish for nothing more than to hear your voice. I wish I could call you to say “I love you,” one more time. I wish for many ‘one more times.’

The past 17 months haven’t been easy, Dad. I’m sure you know that. I’m sure you know I’ve felt broken for so very long now. I know you have seen me curl into a ball and cry until there couldn’t possible be anymore tears. I know you have watched, helplessly, when I have silently begged to be with you because it feels that hard.

But I can’t be with you right now. I have to stay here and fight this battle. I have to figure out how to make things better so I can give your grandson better tomorrows. Because when I am gone, I hope he loves me just a portion as much as I love you.

I didn’t make it home, Dad. I know you wanted your girls to be reunited. I couldn’t keep that promise to you. I’m sorry. I am truly sorry. I tried and failed. But I will make the best of this and I will do all that I can to keep the bonds strong. The bonds I know you prayed about.

I signed one of Hunters presents “Love, Grandpa Santa.” As I always will.

I miss you, Daddy. And the child in me is coming out as I type this. I regret so much that I didn’t have my life in order when you passed. That I still don’t. I know you loved me. Greatly. But I wanted your pride. Your respect. I wanted you to go knowing that I could take care of myself. That you didn’t have to worry for me. I’m sorry you went out not knowing.

I’ll keep trying. I won’t quit. I promise.

Love, your babygirl.

P.S. If there is a God, Dad, could you tell him/her to please have mercy on me. To give me a chance to be better. To give me a chance to gift my son with the life you always wanted to give to me. Just put in a good word for me or something.

2.13. Tragedy Is Our Reality

There is NOTHING that justifies killing a child.

There is NOTHING that explains away how someone could rip a gaping hole into the future,

There is NOTHING that makes me believe in the concept of pure evil as the capability of slaughtering the innocent.

There is NOTHING that makes me lose faith in human kind more than innocence being so blatantly debilitated.

There is NOTHING that scares me more than knowing NO ONE is safe from the insanity of an angry, over-privileged, self-righteous, greedy, egotistical world and its inhabitants.

There is NOTHING anyone can say to make tragedy better, easier, calmer, more bearable.

There is NOTHING that will bring those children back.

There is NOTHING that will erase the nightmares, terror, fear, and trauma from the survivors.

There is NOTHING that will ever make this make sense.

My heart breaks for the pain, the sorrow, the agony shrouded over the memory of those lost. My mind reels in pure loathing for the despicable disregard for others so easily displayed by the shooter(s). The facts are still unclear. But the only fact, the only relevant piece of this puzzle, is that children are dead.

The media is going to dive down on this like vultures. They will analyze the killer(s) as if they are specimens to be understood. They will try to make sense of this just as they have tried with every other act of terrorism on our soil. They will blame mental illness, the economy, music, TV, movies, a failed marriage, the turmoil in the lives of the assailants. They will put a stamp on it and in six months…no one will be talking about the 18 dead. No one will remember their names, what they wanted to be when they grew up, their favorite foods, their letters to Santa. No one will remember.

And the day after WE forget…THIS WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

This is not an epidemic. This is not something to work toward curing. This isn’t Cancer. This is Death. This is now an inevitable part of our reality. Because when you do the same shit – you get the same results. This is something that isn’t going away. No matter how many poor attempts at understanding and discussion we pretend to have.

With every form of social media sending out condolences and cries of dismay…ask yourself…what are YOU going to do to stop this? What are WE going to do?

Because I will be damned if my son is going to be shot up at a movie theater. I will be damned if my child is shot up in the halls of his elementary school, his high school, his college. I will be damned if my son leaves this world before I do! Point blank period.

I don’t have the answers. I have only one suggestion. WE, as a society, need to realize that EVERYTHING we think we’re doing right – nix it. EVERYTHING we think we know – null and void. Throw away all of the options of normalcy and forget it. It’s gone. It’s time to think outside the box – because innocents are being shot up inside that box. Inside the confines of our little minds and our shortened attention spans. Inside of the walls of a world WE have built.

It’s bullying, it’s hatred, it’s killers, it’s the anonymity of evil. It’s that we live in a world in which ANYONE is capable of covering our children’s lives in veils of red. Ending a better future before it has a chance to replace the reality we SHOULD BE ashamed to call our own.

This post means NOTHING in the grand scheme of things.

These words are just those of a heartbroken, shocked, appalled, terrified mother. A woman who doesn’t know how to save her child. A woman who wants to figure out how.

 

2.11. YTT

December 9, 2010.

4 missed calls. And then there was an answer. And her voice was shaky. The tears came. And I knew.

My best friend. My confidant. My puzzle piece.

He woke up and told the people in the room that he couldn’t open his eyes. And they knew he was close to the end. Because his eyes were open. He had gone blind through the night. His religious aunts called for the priest and they gave him his last rights…something I know he would find funny since he was an atheist. He spoke, his thick Italian accent flowing in his home language. He showed gratitude for his sister, forgiveness for his brother, and a message for two people so close to his heart.

A message that is mine to savor.

I can’t explain to small minds how a friendship can be so genuine, so pure, so beautiful, so intense, and so everlasting. How love can become synonymous with friend and the heart can care so deeply.

I was lucky enough to know someone who understood me, didn’t want to change me, listened, was proud of me, encouraged me, pushed me, inspired me, and taught me to never settle. I was lucky to know this person and hear words of wisdom, humor, and truth. My truth. Our truth.

It’s been two long years since that magical man left this earth. And the pessimist in me would say, “well, it’s just my luck that someone who knew me so well would be forced to leave me behind.” But the optimist in me will say that I will see him again. When it is my time to leave this earth, I will join him amongst the stars.

Because this earth wasn’t strong enough to support the bond that we had. The friendship, laughter, and love only we knew.

I miss you, Nico. I thank you for the lessons you have taught me. Someday, I will find you again. Until then, you are always in my heart.

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

2.8. Quotes

Some are mine and some are borrowed. All are true.

It is of wasted body and breath to want to fix the world. It is with great respect I look to those who walk off the beaten path because it is never easy.

I am here not to validate or condemn a soul. The life I’ve chosen for my time here is mine alone and the only one that is my business. You take care of yours and I’ll take care of mine.

It is the human condition to love and want to be loved, it is the human curse to hurt others and to be hurt. We judge one another relentlessly yet wish not to be judged, a never ending cycle that shall bring us to our end.

Please don’t ask me about someone elses feelings, opinions, judgements, actions, etc etc as I am only one person and therefore I can only answer fully and without bias, for myself.

On that note, don’t ask me why I do what I do. If I thought it important enough to discuss, I would have by now. I do EVERYTHING for a reason, I just don’t feel the need to consult with ANYONE.
That is all.

“We must see all scars as beauty…take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.” – Excerpt from Little Bee by Chris Cleave.

If my mind doesn’t intimidate you, my mouth probably will, not for the faint of heart.

“Like uncharted territory, I must seem greatly intriguing…you’re not allowed, you’re uninvited.”

“I only care about the words that flutter from your mind. They are the only thing you truly own. The only thing I will remember you by. I will not fall in love with your bones and skin. I will not fall in love with the places you’ve been. I will not fall in love with anything but the words that flutter from your extraordinary mind.” – Andre Jordan

You must never shout at the concrete
You must always shout at the stars
Concrete cant hear you.

“Words need not endorse the obvious.”
AE2

I love life and the strange people in it. No two alike, eccentric and chaotic, mellow and mysterious, everyone is a story waiting to be read and Im the avid reader. I am continuously enthralled by the wonders these people show me, teach me, allow me to see, blessed to learn more about our universe everyday from the living stars amongst us. Don’t be afraid to know these people, to care about these people, to love these people. It is the divine gift we have been given which makes us human. Enjoy.

“To enter the mystery of timelessness is to enter the sanctuary of the here, where we are given a chance at every moment to begin our lives again. Not one of us is perfect, and sorrows press upon us all. But, the universe is a merciful one, in which unlimited opportunities for new beginnings are built into the very essence of things.”

Let us take our head out of the clouds and into the light. Dwelling on fears of loneliness only creates loneliness, rage begets rage, and chasing a dream only makes it run faster away.
“I know my destination, I’m just not there…”
YET

I always say something wrong
I always speak right when the thought hits me
I always offend at least one person in the room
I always talk too loud, too long, too fast
I always make people >.< o.O or =O
I always second guess the last 5 things I just did
I always do them anyway
I always share how I’m feeling, even if its ugly
I always fuck up
I always say I’m sorry
I always mean it
I always fall
I always get back up
I always want to win
I always lose
I always dream the impossible dreams
I always come back to reality
I always live in the past
I always want to be in the future
I always forget the present is the gift
I always care…even when I don’t.

It’s not what you say but what you mean
It’s not what you give but what you hold back
It’s not who you were but who you are
It’s not who you are but who you’ll be
It’s not what you do but why you do it
It’s not why you care but when you show it
It’s not what you know but what you don’t.

1%
That’s exactly how much of me you know. Judge that 1% Label that 1% Hate that 1% because not even blood knows the 99. It’s all in my head, all in my heart, all in my soul and you aren’t welcome there. These are the places you can never molest, never dictate, never contaminate. This belongs to me. *Locks the door and throws away the key*

You are full of fatuity…and so I forsake you.

“The writings easy, it’s the living that is sometimes difficult.” – Charles Bukowski

Dont play dead before you have to.” – Wally Lamb – The Hour I First Believed –

Sometimes, we sacrifice who we are for who we think we should be, who others will accept us as. In seeing friends/family/strangers battle this, in seeing myself battle this, I know nothing is greater then having self. Flawed; work on it…but don’t lose you. I wont. This is my face in my mirror, and I’m alright with seeing me.

“We’re always looking in the wrong direction. We ponder the stars while burning the earth, the bullet we’re running from is almost never the one that hits us.”