something brave in me

there’s something brave in me
something strong built in the center of my soul
i was always the rebellious one
“the angry one” they’d say
to relieve their guilt and call themselves guiltless

i did try
i tried to be quiet and complaisant
i nodded and said “yes sir” like the best of them

but there was still that fire
the iron in my heart
the fierce desire for independence
freedom. truth.

i just needed that opening
that push
the nod from the universe
to break through my coffin
and stand up through the dirt.

born again
a second life so much deeper than religion can explain
i raised my fist

“you don’t tell me who I am
i tell you who i am”

the ground shook
the storm rolled in
my rebellion wouldn’t be tolerated

“this re birth is evil
they decreed
the girl child doesn’t know her place”

“send fire!
i cried in return
send the rain!
send your best. watch them fall.
i’m built of something so much stronger.”

i took the punches
i endured the lashes.
i ignored their words, filed sharp to kill
i smiled the entire time
the fire in my heart burning stronger

bloody and bruised
i climbed the mountain
i was never much afraid
i was never broken
i was whole

the guards trembled as i walked by
muddy feet and bloody face
the king cowered as i snatched his crown

“i am the daughter of
the witches you could not burn.”
i told him
“this fire burns stronger in the rain.
i’m already molded to perfection.
who told you that you could change me?”

​I close my eyes

And I’m in space.

The void that

in fire and light

birthed the planet I call home

is enveloping me 

holding me 

whispering in my ear

that it’s alright.

The cold and the dark

that

normally would suffocate

squeeze and destroy 

is cradling my body.

My hair floats free

electrified and warmed

by the nearby sun.

I can feel the earth below me

the pull of gravity

a blue green marble

swirled with white

and the moon

cold and dead

stares at me

unblinking.

You are part of us

a nearby asteroid whispers 

as it streams by

and I can feel

in my bones

down to my cells

quivering with life

the explosion

the death that was birth

the flash of atoms

the beginning of it all.

I am the cosmos

A peace, a knowing

unlike anything I’ve ever experienced

fills my brain.

Dreams

I’m on the moon. The dirt is red for some reason, soft and light between my fingers. I’m climbing the side of a cliff when I fall. I land on my knees, hard. When I look up, the earth is rising over the horizon. It’s a brilliant blue and white, so crisp and clean. Stars shine behind the blue marble, little specks of light in a pitch black space.

 

It’s the end of nightmare. I’m weary and fearful but also relieved. I beat the monster. I left it behind me, and I’m home. Home is a shack in the hills of Wyoming. Old tires and a broken down bus sit outside, faded and cracked in the hot summer sun. I’ve lost my cats to the monster, and I feel a deep grief welling up from my chest. A friend appears beside me and points to the mountains in the distance. I look up. One of the peaks has turned coal black, and above it floats the skull of a elk. Its antlers are tangled high above its head, reaching into a pale blue sky. I feel instant relief, and my cats come racing through the grass, whole and alive.

 

I’m in the back of my parent’s old blue station wagon. We’re driving to my grandparent’s house. I watch the city lights disappear, and the heavy blackness surrounds us. I can see tall grass in the headlights as we race down the road. I push my head out of the window and look up. The sky is beautiful. Full of stars. They twinkle and shudder. I have to show my boyfriend! I think.

 

I’m in a trailer park, similar to the one I grew up in. I’m frustrated and angry. Trapped. My parents leave, taking my siblings with them. It’s time. I run through the trailer home, looking for my phone. It’s black with a pink and green case. I know it’s here, and I grow frantic as I search for it. I have to escape. I’m not safe. I’m crying and screaming until I finally find it, shoved under my little sister’s mattress. It’s scratched and the front is cracked. I plug it in – nothing. I tap the home button over and over, and it lights up. Shakily, but enough. My heart is pounding as I punch in my best friend’s number. She picks up, but the connection is fuzzy. You have to come pick me up! I cry to her. Please, come get me! 
She can’t. I can hear her mom in the background. Angry. Fine. I tell her. I’ll walk there myself.
I’m angry, but determined, and I leave the trailer park, wearing nothing but a dress. My feet are bare, and I can feel the rocks and burrs stabbing my feet. I can feel my anger outweighing my fear, my determination strong enough to last the miles ahead.

 

I’ve moved to a new house. It’s small and the walls are covered in dark wood paneling. I carefully stack cups on the counter. A punch bowl sits nearby. We’re having a party. Faceless people mill around, laughing and talking. They’re dressed in costumes – it’s Halloween. I start to feel woozy. Uncomfortable. I try to tell people that something’s wrong, but it’s like they can’t hear me. I see my ex boyfriend walking towards me. Something’s wrong. I fall to the floor. I can’t swallow.
He laughs at me. There’s nothing wrong with you.
Nobody is listening to me. I plead the guests to help me, and finally someone drags me to a back bedroom and leaves me on a mattress. My limbs feel heavy. A woman comes into the room. She’s holding the hand of a little girl. Your daughter wants you, she says. The little girl is dressed in a pink princess gown. She smiles when she sees me, and rushes across the room to lie next to me.

I am not beautifully broken

I am not beautifully broken.
I was shattered
twisted like old plastic.
Bent

There was no kintsugi
no gentle piecing back together.
I held all the broken parts of me tightly
so tight they cut through my skin.

My broken pieces are held together with red tears
skinned knees
my determination.

I am not beautifully broken.
I am a stomped flower.
A torn page.
Cake crumbles

I’ve just learned to live through it
Around it
like a stubborn vine.
A weed.

speak up

“I made a choice that I didn’t want to be controlled, and in walking away from everything, I learned the value of listening to the voice in my head telling me what was wrong and standing up for what was right. Being the lone voice of dissent is hard and almost always inconvenient and there isn’t usually instant gratification. However if you don’t speak up, you will most likely regret it and will have to live with the results. In my experience, often, the only reason that the church was allowed to get away with its abusive behavior is that people failed to say no. Saying no is difficult, even brutal at times. But, in the long run, many others will appreciate your courage, even if silently, and someday it may lead to them mustering up the courage to stand up for themselves.”

-Jenna Miscavige Hill, from her book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape

christmas eve

i woke up this morning, peaceful. I had dreamt about camping next to a rushing river. i had a plate of pancakes on my lap, hot and smothered in syrup. i decided i wanted  a pancake breakfast, complete with bacon and eggs.

i cracked the eggs into a cup, then added some cheese and salsa. it’s pineapple salsa with a touch of heat, and i love it. it’s the first thing i get every grocery trip.

i carefully lined a pan with bacon, then set to getting the pancakes ready. Half way through, a childhood memory came into mind, and i decided i wanted waffles instead. There’s nothing quite like a crunchy, syrupy waffle.

Now my plate is in front of me, warm and steaming. The house smells like bacon, and it’s raining outside. i’ve got the windows open – i set off our smoke alarm while cooking. it’s always such a jolt, hearing the alarm go off, but i knew what i was getting into when i asked for the sensitive alarm.

Snow is usually what people want for Christmas, but it’s supposed to be unseasonably warm this weekend. i think i’ll go for a walk tomorrow. The neighborhood will be still. The magic of Christmas.

For the first year after leaving home, i was lonely. It’s an adjustment, going from a planned holiday to having to plan it yourself. This year i decorated the house, and planned a simple, calm Christmas with my boyfriend. i hid away the gifts i got for him, and made a list for Christmas breakfast.

The moment to rest is now. Time to relax my shoulders and enjoy the fire crackling in the fireplace. i’m happy. i’m at peace.

And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.

I’m 25 today!
I’m so grateful for the opportunities I was given this past year. I’ve grown by leaps and bounds, thanks to some lovely people and my own determined spirit. I was always told I was stubborn and rebellious, and they were right! I’ve turned what was meant to be hate into a firm foundation that I’m building my life on. Stubbornness saved my life. My rebellious spirit shrugged off chains placed on me so I could fly.
I went from cowering and crying to standing tall. I’m taking risks and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Growth is the only path from here. I can’t wait to see what lessons this year will bring!

Noises closing in from all sides
Warning all the ways to die
They say “you’d better give up
You’d better give up”
I say
“I’ll never give up, I’ll never give up”

I’ll be an army, no you’re
Not gonna stop me getting through
I’ll sing a marching song and
Stomp through the halls louder than you
-White Flag by Joseph

me

How to get over an ex

We’ve all been here. It’s difficult, yes. But with a little bit of work and these few tips, you should get over that girl easily!

1.) Stop stalking her on social media.
This seems to be a no brainer, but sometimes the temptation is overwhelming, so you end up blocking her and then unblocking her on Facebook every two days. You’re confusing the poor girl. One week she can see photos you tagged her in years ago, and the next she can’t find entire albums! It took her a second to figure out what was going on, but she knows now, and it makes you look like a little bitch.

Don’t visit her blog every few days at 2 in the morning, going over and over her posts, especially that one with her photo in it. She more than likely has a tracker on her blog, so why risk it? Plus, it just makes you look like – you guessed it! – a little bitch.

2.) Take a step back and think about who you were as a partner.
Did you let your friends bully her and you, and then did you defend them? Did you not have your own brain, and had to run to mommy and daddy for everything? Did you claim to care about social change, but continue to cave to peer pressure and be an asshole? Did you make excuses for assholes who were – and definitely still are – using you? I could see how that would be a bit of an issue in any relationship. It’s difficult to be your own person when you’re still attached to mommy’s/female friend’s apron strings.

3.) Stop thinking she misses you.
The only time she thinks of you is when she sees you’ve been on her blog again. She didn’t cry after she broke up with you. She completely forgot when your birthday was – was it March or April?
Never fall into the trap of nostalgia. I can guarantee she doesn’t. She remembers very, very clearly all the times you fucked her over. She remembers her diploma being stolen, her shit hatefully tossed into boxes. Her valuable childhood mementos treated like trash because you are still suckling at mama’s tits and she fights your battles for you.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking she has even sort of amicable feelings towards you. Don’t think absence made her heart fond again – it didn’t.

She’s changed, boy. She’s not that innocent young girl anymore. You were lucky to get her in the beginning. She was always out of your league. She’s a goddess, and you never deserved her. That’s why you lost her. Suck it up and move on. I’m sure there is some girl with low self esteem who will put up with you and your friend’s crap.

Now, go on and cry to your friends about what a terrible person your ex is. Maybe you could give out the right address out this time? Gotta make sure the person who threatened her has the correct location this time (God it would suck if your ex filed a police report, amirite?).

A special song, just for you. ❤

 

 

What Does PTSD feel like?

I’m alone in the house. My boyfriend is out running errands. I’m sitting at the computer, studying. The front door is open. I’m aware of the trees in the wind, the sound of a leaf blower down the road. I feel mildly uncomfortable, but I’m focusing on studying. I turn my attention back to the computer, but I am constantly aware of the open door. It’s a nagging itch in the back of my head.
I’m getting antsy. My shoulders are tense, and I can feel the beginnings of a headache. I notice the breeze from the open door, but it makes me even more uncomfortable. The outside is invading the inside – my safe space, the place where my mind is at rest. I decide to get up and get a knife. I keep it on the desk in front of me as I continue to study. A few minutes later, the uncomfortable feeling has turned unbearable. I keep imagining someone barreling through the door, determined to hurt me. My heart starts to race, and I feel clammy. I have to get up to close the door. I get up, run over to the door, and slam it shut. I lock the main lock and the dead bolt, then sit back down and continue to study, my fears relieved. 

                                                                         ~~~

The grocery store is packed, even early in the morning. I get up as early as possible to avoid the crowds, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. I keep close to my boyfriend as we quickly grab what we need. We’re halfway to the register when my boyfriend stops short.

“Oh, we forgot the eggs. Can you grab them?”

My chest feels tight. I nod, but I want to say no, run into the bathroom, and never come out. I turn around, lift my chin up, and march back to the refrigerated section. Faking confidence makes me feel confident, and I keep my eyes focused on the path ahead of me. I feel like everyone has their eyes on me as I walk past the makeup aisle. I stop short at the produce section – a woman turned the corner without looking. She apologizes, but I hurry past her. The eggs are the only thing on my mind. My heart is pounding in my chest. 
The dairy aisle is empty, except for a guy. He’s minding his own business, but I am filled with dread. I remind myself where I am, and what I’m here to do. The eggs. I grab them, make sure they’re not cracked, and hurry back to the register. 

                                                                            ~~~

We’re watching TV. I made the mistake of not checking to see what was in the movie, and an upsetting scene comes on. I freeze. My brain feels like it had short circuited. I can’t talk or move. I’m back in a bad moment in my life. Fear courses through my body, and I feel icy cold. I keep forgetting to breathe. My boyfriend quickly turns off the TV, but I’m already crying, heaving, choked sobs. I spend the rest of the day trying to scrub that memory out of my head and move on. I have nightmares that night.                                                                          

                                                                           ~~~

I’m in the exam room, waiting for the doctor. I know the doctor is a man, and I’m so tense my jaw hurts. He comes in, bright and cheerful, but my heart sinks when he closes the door. I know it’s normal, routine. I remind myself that my phone is in my lap, he’s a doctor with good intentions, and in ten minutes I’ll be out of here. The doctor, seeing my discomfort, asks if I want a female nurse in the room. I nod quickly, and he calls in a nurse. I’m at ease. She smiles at me and my shoulders relax. After the exam, I take a klonopin and cry in the car.

~~~

PTSD symptoms are different for everyone, of course. Some people experience one symptom more strongly than another. Some people have physical flashbacks, some have emotional flashbacks.
These are real life experiences I’ve had in the past. I’ve been asked what PTSD feels like, and this post is the best way I can explain it. It’s an overwhelming feeling of dread. You don’t feel safe – imagine a tiger is loose in your town, but you don’t know where it is. Crowds makes me anxious, new places and people give me anxiety. Therapy has been a lifesaver, and reasonably forcing myself out of my comfort zone helps immensely. What some people consider simple – grabbing the eggs – is an almost insurmountable task for me. My body is always on high alert, looking for the next threat.
Thankfully, I’ve improved greatly this past year, and these moments are less and less common. Baby steps. ❤