Tag Archives: fear


One place starts to look like all the others I have been
There’s another lonely face painted up to make the scene
Hollow laughter fills the air
Hiding hungry hearts too weak to care
It’s a shallow little game called solitaire

Ice cubes clink in glasses as thoughts click behind eyes
Making empty passes; telling empty lies
Lips mouth insincere words while saying all the proper verbs
With smiles frozen in place, the patterns never swerve

We wear the masks
until we think
it’s who we really are
and no one asks what lies behind
they would have to reach too far

We’re islands connected
only by surrounding air
locked in isolation
playing solitaire

The conversations float off into meaningless sound
The rules strictly in force, we pretend it’s all profound
I stand detached and watch the play
with its subtle moves that don’t betray
how high the stakes, what a toll it takes to play solitaire

I’ve seen it all before and it’s a game no one can win
Keeps us on hold, posed like a store-front mannequin
We become so good at playing roles, never realize we’ve sold our souls
Survival builds a strong and mighty barrier

We wear the masks
until we think
they’re who we really are
and no one asks
what lies behind
they would have to reach too far

We’re islands connected
only by surrounding air
our lives locked in isolation
playing solitaire

Locked in isolation
playing solitaire



Mixed Messages

The world is confusing.  It is especially so for a young child.  Antennas are fully extended.  Nothing is understood.  Everything is happening quickly and it’s being assimilated, sorted, processed and classified just as swiftly.  A massive amount of information is being filed away in their vulnerable heart.  In their curious mind.  Coming to conclusions.  They are feeling their way along. Trying to avoid anything that explodes newly laid foundations.  Trying to avoid anything that is too scary or painful.  Trying to chew before swallowing.

They listen to the words adults fling back and forth around them.  The adults who are parenting them.  Who matter the most.  Those words they speak carry much weight.  Much more weight than the words of others…at least while they are young.  They listen.  Catch those words.  Ponder them.  And learn.

Yet, actions speak louder than words.  Which is why confusion descends, wrapping them in a thick, unrelenting fog.

Sometimes, the mixed messages cause so much dissonance, the child fractures.

“We love you so much!”  But in the dead of the night, the daddy sneaks quietly into her room and uses her as a living, breathing sex toy.  Or the mother slaps her and drags her by her long hair because she didn’t complete every chore on a 2-page list between the time she got off school and when her mother arrived home from work.

“We prayed for a little girl just like you!”  But her brother is the one who gets dental care, who is taken to the doctor when he is sick, who doesn’t even have to do chores.

“If only you would…lose weight, make better grades, smile, be more popular, clean the house without being asked, like the clothes I want to wear…”  “If only you had…blonde hair, a better personality, a prettier face, slimmer legs, a smaller butt…”  There are lots of “if only” messages.  If only, then we could love you, accept you, like you, be proud of you, want you.

We love you…if only.  We love you, but oh, you’re not as mature as we thought you were.  You’re not as resourceful as we thought you were.  You’re not as worthwhile, valuable, nice, pretty, smart…as we thought you were, thought you should be, wanted you to be, expected you to be, needed you to be.

We needed you to be so much more.

We love you…you were supposed to fulfill our dreams and meet our every need, make our life wonderful and make us happy.  Instead…you’re too much trouble, too much work, you’re a disappointment, you’re a failure, you’re making things harder for me, you need too much, you aren’t doing everything we want you to do, you’re not acting like we want you to act, you’re not performing up to standard, you’re not living up to our expectations…

We love you.  We hit you because you deserve it.  We abuse you because we own you. Because you owe it to us to make us happy. We reject you.  Your needs don’t matter.  We love you.  Smile, dammit!  Do what I say.  Don’t tell anyone.  Don’t look at me like that!  What do you want from me?  We love you.  Not now.  Leave me alone.  I have too many problems of my own to deal with without having to think about you.  You’re not making my life better.  Or easier.  What’s wrong with you?  You’re so fat!  Clean your plate!  I don’t care what you need.  Or what you think.  Clean the house.  Keep the secrets.  We love you.  Do you know how expensive it is to go to the doctor!  You had better be sick enough to justify all that money being spent on you!  Mow the grass.  Clean out the refrigerator.  Mop the floor.  Dust the paneling.  Clean the kitchen.  Vacuum.  Wash the windows.  Make me whole.  Make me feel good about myself and how I’m doing as a parent.  Fix my life.  Why can’t you be more like her?  You’re making us look bad.  Keep your mouth shut.  We love you.  How dare you!  You’re so disappointing.  We can’t be bothered.  Go to your room.  We love you.

The child tries.  Tries to sort through the words.  Tries to comprehend the meaning of what they are saying.  These very important people who are shaping them. Tries to make sense of their actions.  Tries to get the pieces to fit together.  Tries to find a way to make it make sense.

“Love” is nothing more than rejection hiding behind sweet words.  It is abuse, using, hitting.  It means being tolerated if you remain silent.  If you perform to standard.  Yet the standard is constantly changing for the bar is steadily moved higher when you come close to succeeding. You have to earn it, this thing called love.  And the price is high.

Being loved means being judged and found lacking.  It means having no value or worth.

It is the only way to get the mixed messages to fit into one coherent concept.  It is the only way to resolve the distortion, the startling clash between opposing perspectives.  It is the only way those opposing perspectives can exist together in the same room.  Or be spoken with the same breath.

For the other alternative, the one that CAN’T BE TRUE NO MATTER WHAT is that what they are showing you, what they are doing to you, what they are asking of you and demanding from you…isn’t actually love…at all.

I Hold My Breath

I hold my breath.  Hold it in.  It’s what I have to do.  To keep all the painful emotion inside.  All the disgusting yuck inside.   Inside where it must stay.  To inhale…to exhale…both would give me away.  Both would allow everyone to see my defects.  My brokenness.  The “yuck” that is me.  So I hold my breath.  I hold it all deep down in the depths of me.  Where it can’t escape inadvertently.

I hold my breath to keep from confirming everyone’s suspicions.  They know I am not like them.  They sense I’m different.  A different species.  Alien. They suspect there are things inside of me that aren’t inside of them.  Ugly things.  Dark things.  Things that need to be held in, never shared, that should never see the light of day.

I hold my breath because I’m not sure I deserve air.  I’m not sure I am worthy to partake.  That I have done enough to earn the right to breathe.

I hold my breath because I am afraid.  Of everything.  I wait, cringing inside, for the blow that is sure to come.  And I am afraid because I don’t know if I will be able to survive the next one.  I’m afraid because I’m not sure I will want to survive the next one.  I’m afraid of what the next blow will cost me.  For I am sure the price will be too high for me to pay, even if I find I want to pay it.

I hold my breath and smile.  Acting as if all is well.  Pretending to be who I was supposed to be, but will never be because that person didn’t survive her childhood.  Walking dead woman…can’t let it show.  Some secrets are not meant to be revealed.  Not ever.  So, I hold my breath.  Hold it in.  Even as it explodes inside of me.

I hold my breath and perform to the best of my ability.  Try to be good enough.  Try to do enough.  Try to do it all without breathing.  Without bothering anyone.  Without causing ripples or stirring the still, silent air.  Never daring to relax enough to cautiously take a tiny, simple breath.  A sip.  Never daring to let down my guard.  To let my mask slip.  To allow my fractures to show for even a second.

I hold my breath so I won’t offend unduly.  For I have come to understand, by simply existing, I offend.  I am a freak of nature.  Unspeakable.  Horrible.  If I hold my breath, I can almost remain invisible.  If I hold my breath, I can be a ghost.

I hold my breath because I’m not at all sure I deserve to live.  Nor am actually I sure I am still alive.  Dead things, you see, do not need air.  They can’t perish without it because they no longer require it to survive.  So, I have come to wonder if I’m holding my breath because I have finally died.    If the time for breathing has passed me by.  If I can finally exhale.  And finally let everything I have been hiding and holding in place for so many years…quietly go.


To the Left of Me

She lives just out of sight
to the left of me
I catch glimpses of her
from time to time
her battered wounded body
bruised and broken
a quivering mass

My eyes do not linger long
not wanting to look too closely
not wanting to see too clearly
not wanting to know
what has been done to her
to make her appear
so horribly ruined
She is little more
than a pulpy mass of torn and beaten flesh
So grave are her injuries
she cannot escape the moment
where she is frozen
in time

I’m not sure of her age
don’t know
her features
for I never look too attentively
Yet, even if I could bear to study her
I doubt I could describe her
in any detail
she is too badly fractured
she is too deeply wounded
she is too hideous to carefully observe

I do not acknowledge her
in those rare moments
when I catch sight of her
out of the corner of my eye
there to the left of me
I do not give her
even the slightest
friendly sign
I look away
turning from her
telling myself she is not my concern
not someone I want to get to know
or spend time with

Sometimes thoughts of her prick my mind
and I wonder about her
what she is like
why she is there
what happened to her
who she is
But I sense the answers are intensely painful
causing apprehension to shoot through me
like liquid ice
causing me to squirm inside
to sweat fear from my pores
So I quench the questions
before I can finish the thought
swiftly close the door
turn the key
in the lock
and I walk away

Yet when I am alone
in the deep darkness of the night
I can’t help but ponder
I can’t help but
contemplate her fate

I sense she is a child
with unruly golden hair
one who used to love to run with the wind
whose limbs were strong and growing
I believe she danced in the sunshine
twirled in the cool green grass
caught snowflakes on her tongue
breathed deeply the crisp fresh air
I believe she was alive once
I think she must have laughed with delight
at the beauty she saw
in rocks
and leaves
in stars
and trees
in clouds
and fields
She was a child
who was fully alive
like the wriggly trusting puppy
she loves
with all of her heart

She was animated
and knew the joy of life
abuse stole her spark
left her dark
and pulverized
She could no longer dance
or laugh
and she watched the wind
without her

I think she withdrew
deep within herself
in a vain attempt to protect herself
from the crippling blows
the horrible physical
sexual abuse
the violent environment
the nightmare of her world
The lack of love and nurture
broke her
into a zillion pieces
annihilated her
mutilated her
decimated her
crushed her
and left her as she is

She is bloody
isolated behind her walls
She is deathly quiet
shunning oxygen
existing on emptiness
but not thriving
not living
not alive

What does she want from me?
Why is she there?
I feel her watching me
feel her pleading eyes follow me
as I go about my day
She is like a scratchy sweater
too warm and too tight
pricking, itching, scraping me
binding, squeezing, restricting me
I am so uncomfortable with her
wanting her to go away
wanting her to leave me alone
to release me from her prickly
painful touch

I fear her
for I am afraid
she is not simply an elusive ghost
haunting and unsettling me
dwelling where I can’t quite see her
to the left of me
I am afraid
if I look too closely
I will find
she wears my face
shares my heart
sees with my eyes
cries my tears
tastes my fear
and that it is my blood
she is bleeding
my blood
running through her veins
spilling from her wounds

I can’t bear to look at her too closely
because I fear
this broken
horribly disfigured child
is me

And So Begins Another Year

The fireworks just ended.  Moments ago.  I noticed the clock on my computer and the time on my phone are a full minute apart.  As a result, strangely, my phone entered 2017 before my computer did.  My dogs are snoozing on my lap, unimpressed and unconcerned.  The “booms” and “pops” of the fireworks didn’t interrupt their sleep nor trouble their dreams.  They didn’t open an eye.  Or even twitch.

I, however, twitched.

Here we go.  Another year.

All that pristine snow spread out before me.  No pathways have been forged to guide me in any specific direction.  A chapter in an unwritten book.  A meandering book with a horrible plot; one that isn’t likely to inspire anyone, nor to have a Hollywood ending.

I’m standing on the cusp of this new year.  Alone.  Except for my dogs sleeping on my lap, snoring peacefully.    I am thankful for their company.

And so begins another year.

I’ve begun quite a few of them in my lifetime.  Ended them too.   But there will come a a time when I will enter a year I will not finish.  I will glimpse it, if only briefly, but not see it through to the end.    In fact, this could be that year.  The one I have just started with fireworks and dogs snuggled on my lap.  The one my phone entered before my computer.

I am hesitant to move forward, to leave footprints.  I don’t know where to go.

I have two overwhelming concerns.  There are two opposing forces at work, pulling my thoughts first in one direction, then in another.

First thought:  I don’t have any control.  It’s all been decided.  I simply need to walk and nature or fate will take me where I’m destined to go.

Second thought:  I will probably make a mess of it because I have too much control.  I’m sure to get off course, take a wrong turn, do the wrong thing, go where I shouldn’t go.

No control.  It feels as if my path has been predetermined.  As if there’s nothing I can do to change the footprints I will leave behind once I take the first step forward.  It doesn’t seem to matter the direction I might take.  Somehow, it feels as if the script has already been written.  Written without my input.  I am but a puppet on the stage, waiting for the strings to be pulled.  Those who hold the strings will propel me to do what I must.  What is required.  The strings someone else pulls will determine the path I take because past choices have determined future options.

Too much control.   I’m good at making messes.  At fighting the strings.  At walking in the wrong direction.  I will walk forward as best I can, but it’s hard to take the first step with any degree of confidence.  I don’t want to mess up the snow.  I’m very good at messing up the snow.

And so begins another year.

The fireworks ended but a moment ago, marking the new year.  And yet, the fireworks ended long ago.  Long, long ago.  Before they even had a chance to get started.

I take a deep breath.

I take a step.

I enter the new year quite some time after my phone.  And after my computer.




Ricochet  ric-o-chet
Noun:  A shot or hit that rebounds one or more times off a surface.  (The action or movement of a bullet, shell, or other projectile when rebounding off a surface.)
Verb:  Rebound one or more times off a surface.  (A bullet ricocheted off a nearby wall.)


Crazy thing about all that abuse when I was a kid so many years ago.  The gun was loaded.  The bullet fired.  Head shot.  And one point blank to the heart for good measure.  But the damage didn’t stop there.  Those bullets ricocheted around inside of me for decades, causing more and more damage.  Until the abuse that happened years before took an irreversible toll, leaving me brain dead.  And my heart, what remains of it, lifeless and numb.  Destroyed.

Did a number on me, as they say.  Ricocheting all over the place the way bullets do.  The shots fired by my parent’s abuse changed me.  Forever.

As such, the bullets that ricocheted off the wall of my head and heart during my childhood were massively destructive.  They bounced from one thought to another, laying waste to any particle of a healthy ability to see myself through eyes of acceptance.  Or to have the ability to find any worth within me, if there was any to be found.  They tore through me, shredding my heart and leaving me in unbearable pain.  Pain I could not process.  The backlash was ugly.  Healing was limited.  Diagnosis: impairment permanent.  The numbness felt like relief when it finally enveloped me.  Until it became my normal state of being.

I didn’t know at the time what was taking place inside of me.  I didn’t realize I was forever being altered by the shots that reverberated through every piece of me, slicing me to bits as I fought to hold myself together.  Fought to keep walking.  To keep going, in spite of my deadly, mortal wounds.

When you’re a child, the walls of your heart and mind are pretty weak.  Ricocheting bullets created bloody holes, weakening any protective layers I’d managed to devise before they bounced again, ripping through tissue, personality, thought processes and emotions.

In spite of the mortal wounds, no one could tell from the outside how damaged I was within.  The blood I bled was not visible to the naked eye.  No one knew the secrets I kept and how much those secrets were hurting me.  No one could see the impact of the ricocheting bullets that tore through my soul again and again.

Now, things other people can do…they’re really hard for me.  Things like taking showers.  I have to close my eyes and curl up my toes just to step in a bathtub.  Because the feel of that wet porcelain takes me right back to when I was a kid.  My dad soaping me all up before he slipped his penis in me. Or rubbed it all over me.  Made me dirty, in spite of all that soap.  The kind of dirty you can’t wash off.

Even eating is hard.  More damage from the ricochet.  I’ve struggled with eating disorders and food almost my entire life.  And I’ve had them all. Binge eating disorder.  Anorexia.  Anorexia bulimia.  Food and I, we’re all mixed up.  A total mess.  Don’t know why, but the simple act of properly nourishing myself is not permitted.

A simple thing, like talking to people, is fraught with danger.  Especially people with power.  Seems the fear of people and authority figures in particular makes it really difficult for me to feel comfortable enough to simply be. To quietly exist. I always have to prove myself.  Work harder.  Longer.  Do more.  Provide more return on investment.  And even then, I can never let my guard down.  Because those people, the normal ones who rule the world, quickly discover I’m worthless. An object to be used.  Abused.

That’s what my parents taught me.  When they fired the kill shots.

Those steel bullets that pierced my heart and sliced my brain all to bits just keep bouncing around inside of me.  Tearing more flesh.  Ripping fresh holes.  Keeping the old ones open and bleeding.  Time hasn’t taken the bounce out of them.  If anything, their dance has become more frenzied with time.

I feel the bullets still bouncing around inside of me.  I try to catch them in my hand.  To stop them.

They ricochet off my fingers as I vainly attempt to grasp them, slicing through my soul yet again.  Undeterred.  Doing what bullets do.  Still ripping me to shreds.


Silent Prayer

My life has been one long, endless silent prayer.

I haven’t always known to whom I should pray.  Although I sort of believed in God when I was a child, I didn’t actually meet Him until I was 23 years old.  Before we officially met, my prayers lacked focus.  But even then, before my encounter with Him, I prayed.  Without making a sound.

“Please help me…”

“I don’t know how to get through this.  Can anyone hear?  Can anyone see?  Is there anyone there?  Does anyone care?”

Once I came to know God as more than an abstract, distant, invisible spirit, my prayers became more pointed.

“Please heal me.  Help me pick up all the pieces and put myself back together.”

“Show me what I should do.  Help me to recognize the best path…to make the right decision.”

“Please lead me to a person who can love me; someone I can share my heart and life with.”

“Please love me.”

“Please forgive me…I am such a failure…so imperfect…”

I prayed, yet only spoke the words internally.  Played them in my brain.  Spun them around and around in my head.  Never released them to the air.  I figured God could still hear me, even if I didn’t say the prayers out loud.  And there wasn’t anyone else around to listen, so why waste my breath?

As you know by now, thinking and writing come fairly naturally to me.  But talking…especially talking to a person face-to-face, has never worked well.   I shut down because I fear being vulnerable.  I hide because I am ashamed.  As a result, the outcome has not been one that is desirable.  It has been painful and embarrassing.  And discouraging.

The silent dialogue continues throughout the day.  Every day.   Begging, pleading for a break.  To be heard.  For understanding.  For guidance.  For strength.  To be led to a road that leads to fulfillment and love.  To find purpose.  To be given hope.  To be forgiven.  To become wise enough sidestep trouble and to remain undeterred when the right thing to do is the hard thing to do.  And always, I pray for healing.  Because I know I’m a mess.  Far more imperfect than most.  And I know there is little hope for me if I remain fatally flawed and unacceptably messy.

Like Voyager, hurling through outer space year upon year, broadcasting a message our ears cannot hear, nor could we understand if we did, so am I.  Constantly transmitting without disrupting the quiet, nor disturbing the vast void through which I travel.  I move swiftly through the darkness.  My path has already been determined.  The trajectory has already been set.  In fact, it was determined decades ago.   I can but stay the course and pray, silently pray there is a reason for this journey.  And that, at some point, the good that is to be found in life, whatever good there might be for someone like me, will stumble upon me.

I seek, but I do not find.  I make my requests known, but I find no comfort, guidance or relief.  And yet, I pray.  As I drive.  As I walk the hall at work.  When I go to the restroom.  When I wake in the middle of the night, terrified of the terrain that lays before me.  Still wondering how I am going to survive the day that is soon to dawn.

There was a time when I was full of hope and I believed that dawn would reveal new and wonderful horizons.  I believed the day of my healing was near.  That life would be joyful and full.  There was a time, oh, so long ago now.  Even then, I prayed.  Even then, my heart had things to say that were never spoken aloud.  Even then, I conversed in the language of silence.  With the voice only my own soul could hear.

The language of silence.  My native tongue.  It is the only language I speak well.   And so, I pray my silent prayers.  I pray for a day when my voice is no longer muted, when my feelings are not suppressed or watered down.  Numbed.  I beg for an end to the terror that paralyzes me; an end to the airlessness and vacant stillness of my world.  For an end to the darkness of the universe through which I travel and for an answer to the unspoken prayers of my ruined, weary heart.

Could Have

1010925_302635853207272_2040033364_nI know it’s pointless.  But I do it anyway.  I sit here, pondering what was and is.  Where my course changed.  Where I lost my way.   Where I lost all hope of becoming who I could have been.

Maybe it’s the gloomy, rainy, dreary, stormy weather that has me in this somewhat depressed and reflective state of mind.  This dark state.  This unproductive Boolean loop.  I am being sucked under.  Circling the drain.  Contemplating what could have been had certain things not happened.  Had others not happened in the way they did.  Had others come to pass.

It’s hard not to think about what could have been.  Who I could have been, if only…

What could have been if someone had taken an interest in me when I was a child?  A child who was being abused by my parents.  If only someone had seen me; invisible though I was, broken, terrified, shamed little girl who was terrified of everyone.  Because I knew more than most of how ugly people in power could be to those who have none.  If only they had taken a moment to consider what might have been happening in my life to cause me to shy away from everyone, to walk with my head down, navigating as a ghost ship through the corridors of life.  If they had wondered about my somber expression.   The pain in my eyes.  The way I flinched on contact and shut down when they wielded their authority.  If only their curiosity had been piqued, they might have realized something wasn’t right.  They might have started to ask questions.  They might have seen the truth.

What could have been had they noticed, listened and subsequently rescued me?

What might have happened if I had been able to go to college after I finally escaped from the nightmare of my parent’s home?  I left when I was 17, having accomplished my goal, two weeks after my hard earned graduation from high school. I wonder what might I have achieved if I hadn’t had to work long hours in factories for pennies, trying to make enough money to afford tiny roach-infested apartments, ancient cars, retread tires and used up 4th-hand clothing.  If I hadn’t had to worry about anything but making good grades and hadn’t had to struggle to pay utility bills or make auto insurance payments and somehow stretch the $5 I had left over to feed me the rest of the week.  What if I didn’t have to worry about making myself into a “presentable” image wearing my used up 4th hand clothes as I sought a job that would give me a little more financial freedom?  Freedom to pay for an education.  What could have happened if I had obtained my degree and gotten my foot in the door at some reputable company and, as a result, started down a path that would lead me to a better future?  To a place where I could  accomplish something worthwhile and realize my dreams…and potential.

What might have been if I hadn’t had to spend my life trying to prove my value again and again and again because I didn’t have that piece of paper?  If I didn’t always have to achieve twice as much to prove my worth?

What could have happened if only there had been someone in my life who loved me?  Oh, yes, I’ve been a mess for a very long time.  And maybe, as a result, I don’t deserve any love.  Maybe I am utterly unlovable.  But what if?  What if someone could have accepted me in spite of my brokenness? Seen something good and of value in me. What if, instead of tearing me down even further and casting me aside, they had helped me to pick up the pieces of my soul?  Because they accepted and believed in me?  Wanted me?  Thought I was worth the effort?

There are so many things that could have drastically changed the direction of my life.  So many little things that could have led me to a different outcome.  An entirely different future.  To becoming a completely different person.

The rain drums on the windows of my tiny home.  I am permeated by overwhelming sadness.  Drenched by the rain of despair that falls relentlessly.

I am still scraping to get by.  Trying to find a way to put myself back together.  Trying to pay utility bills, buy tires, make myself presentable while wearing used clothing I buy from eBay.  Praying the little I have will last long enough to cover basic expenses. I’m still trying to earn acceptance and prove I have something worthwhile to contribute.  And after all this time, I fear I am still standing on the starting line, though I know I am nearing the finish.  I’m still working twice as hard, trying to justify my existence; trying to be worthy of the air that I breathe.

What could I have done differently to change my course?  To change the outcome?  There are so many things that could have been that would have changed my life.

But they never were…and so here I am, staring out the window, seeking sunshine but finding none.

I search the dark gray sky for answers.  But all I discover are more questions.  More desperate questions that will probably never be answered.


When Will I Wake Up

I went to sleep.  A long time ago.  And I’ve never been able to wake up.

I went to sleep.  When I was a little girl being abused and rejected by her mother and sexually,  physically abused by her father.  Emotional abuse all around.  Rejection in heaping quantities.  I went to sleep so I could survive until I could graduate from high school and leave home.  I went to sleep because the pain was too much.  Too much to bear.

I went to sleep so I could survive.   Survive. Just survive.

That was my only goal…to survive.

Survive to fight another day.  Fight for the possibility that I might have a future.  A good future.  Worth living.

Survive and then…thrive.

I went to sleep believing I would wake up in a few years.  I believed I would wake up with time to spare.  With life to spare.

I went to sleep and I dreamed away my life.  I inadvertently dreamed away my entire life.

I started waking up when my second husband left me.  He left me because, in his eyes, I was unlovable.   I was defective.  Always had been unlovable and defective.  I was never, ever, ever good enough.  We were together for 22 years…me trying to be good enough and never, ever being good enough in his eyes.  Never measuring up. Never being someone who was worth loving.

It seemed wise,considering the situation,  to stay under.  To keep slumbering.  To wait until it was safe to open my eyes just a little bit.

It was never safe to open my eyes.  Even a little bit.

I wanted to wake up.  I wanted to understand what had happened to me.  I wanted to live, to love and be loved.

I loved.  But I was never loved.  That was a hard pill to swallow.  That kept me asleep.  Because sleeping was better than being gutted by the pain of not being wanted.  Of being weighed and found sadly wanting.

I put myself under on purpose.

Dumb move.

I couldn’t find a way to wake myself up.  Considering.

Considering sleeping seemed to be the way to go.  Considering it seemed to be the best option.  The best option for survival.  The best option considering I wasn’t a lovable person…for some reason I couldn’t quite understand or comprehend.

I slept my life away.

I slept until I was…old.  An age that society considers…old.  I slept.  And slept.  And when I started to think about waking up, it was too late.  Too late to change the course of my life.  Too late to change the ending.

I went to sleep.  A long time ago.  And I’ve never been able to wake up.

I’ve tried to wake up.  I’ve tried to live.  But it hasn’t worked out for me.

Abuse delivered the overdose that put me in a coma.  Abuse and rejection smothered me and kept me anesthetized.    Abuse and rejection stole my life away from me.

All I wanted was to live.   To really, REALLY live.  To experience the goodness of life.  To experience the reason most people cling to life.  Even when it’s less than ideal.

All I wanted was to wake up.  And to have a chance to live.

All I wanted was to wake up.  And find that life had not passed me by.  To find that there was still time to taste the goodness.

When will I wake up?  Will I ever wake up?  Does it even make sense…to wake up?

Will I ever truly live?

Is life worth living?  Will I ever wake up and find what other believe is worth living for?  Will I ever actually experience life…the part that matters?

I went to sleep.   I’ve been asleep for a very long time.

When will I wake up?

Will I wake up?

Will I ever wake up?

Will I ever live?  Really live?  Really, really, truly live?

Will I ever wake up?

Is it too late, even if I wake up?

Is it too late?

Questions.  So many question.  Bottom line…I’m asleep.  Bottom line…is it worth it to wake up??  Is there any reason to wake up this late in the game?

When, if ever, will I wake up?????





The Scary Thing

The scary thing is simply this:  We were all young once.  And innocent.  And then, we aren’t.

We all began at some point, a point at which we were incredibly vulnerable and insecure.

We will all end at some point, a point at which we will be incredibly vulnerable and insecure.

Between these two point of utter vulnerability and insecurity, life happens.  Life happens as we travel from birth to death.  Whatever it involves, one thing is certain.  It’s a grueling, confusing, painful process.  For many of us.

A long time ago, but not that long ago, I was a newborn baby, laying in a nursery in the hospital where I was born.  Hours old.  Knowing nothing.  Unable to focus or to comprehend what had just happened to me.  Trying to take it all in. Cold and crying.  Hungry.  I had never been hungry before.  There had been nothing for my eyes to see.  Now, there was too much to see for me to take it all in.

This is where we all begin.

I didn’t know who the people were who were staring at me through the nursery window.  I didn’t know about love, hate, fear, abuse, rejection, shame or disgust.

I learned.  I learned too soon.  I learned and grew.  Aged.

I discovered how eating made the pain of hunger go away.  I discovered my own hands and feet.  Fingers and toes.  Developed a sense of being.  Of being me.  Unique.  A human being apart from my parents.  I took my first steps.  Stopped pooping in my diapers.  Was awestruck by the lights and the magic of Christmas.  Found out I could run.  Enjoyed the wind, the sun, the stars and the clouds.  Bonded with toys and learned how to play.  I grew.  Matured.

Didn’t bond so much with people.  People were too dangerous.  I learned that early. Very early.

Then, I went to school and another kind of learning began.

But before I was old enough to enter kindergarten, the bad things had already started happening.  They had already started eating away at my soul.

My father had a side that was hidden from most people. A side few ever saw.  A sick side.   It wasn’t hidden from me, though I wish it had been.  That side, that hidden side, was a big scary thing.  He touched me in scary, wrong ways.  He would also explode with anger and hit me – he said it was because I was bad and I deserved it.  He taught me things that he said I needed to learn.  About sex.  But now, looking back, I’m not sure that any little girl needs to learn any lesson that abuse has to teach.  I still knew my own fingers and toes…knew they were mine and mine alone.  But I forgot what it meant to be a unique person.  An individual.  The sick father taught me I was nothing but an object to be used.  He taught me that the reason I existed was to please him and my sick mother.  The sick mother who rejected me, hit me and belittled me.  I was supposed to please them both.  To fulfill them. To satisfy them.  To make them happy.

But I could never do or be enough to please them or make them happy.  And there was no way I could ever fulfill them.  I could never make their world okay.

So, when I went to school and started a whole new kind of learning, I was shy and fearful.  Awkward.  Different.  Ashamed.  I made a few friends, but I never fully connected with anyone.  I was too afraid.  Adults were especially terrifying to me.  I knew I must please them or suffer the consequences – and the consequences were terrible.  So I studied and got good grades.  A’s, B’s, even some A+’s.  But I was never good enough for my parents.  Never did good enough for my parents.  I was always expected to do and be more.

I always failed.  Failed them.

I grew.  I aged.  Matured some more.  Passed grade after grade with flying colors.  Sick father and sick mother continued to teach me I was worthless, pathetic, and such a disappointment they could hardly bear it.  They destroyed me.  From them, I learned depression and despair.  Brokenness.  Emptiness.  Hopelessness.  Nothingness.

Now, I’m closer to death than to life.  Youth is further from me than that point in time when I will cease to exist on this planet.  That, too, is a scary thing.

The scary thing is, it all went by too quickly.  Without my even realizing life was slipping through my fingers and toes.  I let my parents tell me who I was…nothing.  I let them warp my thinking until I believed with all of my heart that I was unlovable.  Despicable.  I tried not to listen to their message, but it happened, I did, and after a time, I couldn’t fight it.  I took it all in.  I believed them.  Even though I knew they weren’t trustworthy.  They told me abuse was love and I believed that too.  They told me it was all my fault and I believed it.  I still believe them.  The message they placed deep inside of me when they raped and abused me bore much fruit.  It was planted so far inside of me, I didn’t even know what they had done to me until it was too late.  Until it was over.  Until I believed.  Until I became what they told me I was.

The most scary thing is that we all start out innocent and full of hope.  But it doesn’t last long.  Everything that happens to us after the moment we are born drains a little bit more innocence and hope out of us.  Inch by inch, everything that makes us wonderful is destroyed.  Until we give up.  Until we are nothing but a zombie.  Until we have nothing to live for.

The most scary thing is that, when we reach this point, life doesn’t matter. We’re too numb to care.  All we can hope for is that we will be able to endure.  All that we can hope for is that death will be merciful.  The most scary thing is that the innocent child dies long, long, long before our flesh begins to rot.  That it’s over long before it’s over.  No matter how hard we try.  No matter how hard we fight.  We die years and years and years before we stop breathing.

That, that, yes that is the most scary thing.  The scariest thing of all.