Sunday, June 22, 2014


written in February 2011

My thoughts seem reflected in the clouds
Silent, colourless in their existence
As the wind tears their edges into oblivion


written in 2008

I am volatile,
Made of vapour,
Riding out the whims
Of an ever-changing wind


written in 2008

Why a flower?
And why not?
When so little has meaning,
find meaning in little.
You need a reason?
Because the sky is blue today

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

written sometime in November 2005

My mind is full of splintered shards and I can't pull together a thought strong enough to survive the senseless violence. And how long until this starts killing me or has that already begun. And how many times will I promise to change and somehow revert to this again.

It's counterproductive and illogical and even still it's a cycle I can't seem to break out of.

And all the symbols of endings were less than symbolic after all, when none of them hold more than a day. I still can't decide whether or not to tell you, tell anyone, I probably won't, but you might grab this from my hand, I might grab it back and shred it and feed it to the oncoming train. And I wish that symbol had been enough, I wish breaking a string - either of them - had been enough, except I've forgotten what nourishment is and blood makes such a lovely ink and I'm a lost cause.

And so I'll vow another empty promise, if there's no difference and I've nothing left to lose then I may as well: by a week and two days I'll somehow pull a shard together and sleep enough and eat enough and maybe I'll look healthy again. Look or be? I'm doubting the possibility of either. I may as well aim low. There's no landing among the stars here, there's only self-destruction and running from it.

And this is why no one should love me, you're asking for pain, it's better to let me smash and scatter myself until the pieces lie forgotten.

Monday, May 12, 2014

written sometime in 2010

Sometimes I still hate me.

Sometimes I still want to cut.

Sometimes I still feel like I'm fundamentally flawed, too flawed and too damaged to ever be happy, to ever make anyone else happy.

Sometimes I still think the only way to redeem my existence is to destroy it, to burn myself out trying to make something better.

Sometimes I still hate the feel of my own heartbeat, hate the sense of space I occupy, wish I could tear off my skin and disappear.

Friday, April 15, 2011

worth saving

I may have mentioned, awhile back, that I was starting a group therapy program for women recovering from trauma.

Next Tuesday is the last day of that.

And there's a lot going on in my head.

I was skeptical, before I started the group, that I would really get much out of it. At that point, I figured I was doing pretty good. I'd (mostly) stopped throwing up and I'd (mostly) stopped hurting myself. I wasn't crying as easily. I was concentrating fairly well.

Basically, I felt as good as I had in recent, and not-so-recent, memory. So I thought, "I'm better. Surely I don't need something like this."

But I tried it anyway. I'd been on the waiting list for so long, it just seemed like something I should at least try after all that time.

And it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, at times. I have a tendency to just get quiet when I'm feeling upset, and ignoring whatever it is I'm feeling. I tried that the second session. And I got called on it; the facilitators asked what I was thinking, what I was feeling. And my first reaction, in my mind, was something along the lines of "Just leave me alone, you're not helping, I can't start crying, I can't."But I did start crying. And it wasn't so bad, once I did, even though I absolutely hated it at the time.

One of the main things I've learned, the past few weeks, is that it's okay to acknowledge when I don't feel okay. I still have trouble with it sometimes - I'm stubborn; I think if I ignore it, it will go away; and I think I don't deserve to take a break and calm myself down. But I'm working on it. It's hard, but I'm working on it. I'm starting to realize that this stuff just doesn't go away if you ignore it - it festers, it poisons, it eventually comes out, no matter what you do. And maybe more importantly, I've started to feel like I deserve to deal with the stuff that's bothering me.

It was amazing and heartbreaking, to be in a room with those other women, with each of us feeling like we weren't worth saving. But we didn't feel that way about each other; we each thought the others were worth saving. So in the end, you are the only one in the room who thinks you aren't worth saving. Which makes you wonder if maybe they're right and you're wrong, after all.

And I've also realized that, if I'm honest with myself, I'm still not okay.

On Saturday, an old man at a store grabbed my arm, then starting shaking and mumbling something I couldn't quite hear. I froze. When he let go, maybe 10 seconds later, I was angry at myself for having froze - I froze when I was eight, and I've never quite forgiven myself for it. Then I was angry at the man. Then I was angry at me again. Then when I got home, I was scared and shaking and angry and didn't eat anything for the rest of the day.

It's been a few months since I've made myself throw up, but the impulse still comes fairly frequently. And it's not all that unusual for me to just stop eating when I'm upset, which isn't exactly healthy. And food still scares me, in general. There are certain things I just won't touch, and I won't go grocery shopping alone.

And I still have self-destructive tendencies. I try to fight the urges - and the fact that I've thrown out my old razorblades helps - but candles are everywhere at home, and burn marks are too generic looking, too easy to pass of as something else. And even if I'm not home, and I'm upset, my nails are long and sharp.

...obviously I still have issues.

I've been worse than this - much worse - but I'm starting to realize that maybe I can be better than this too.

So although this group ends on Tuesday, I'm going to keep with the trauma therapy. The hospital I'm going to has a really amazing trauma therapy department, with different groups developed for different stages of recovery. There's another group program, that's much more intensive - 4 hours a day, 4 days a week, for 8 weeks. I would have to take time off school for it, which means I'd have to get a medical note and formally interrupt my scholarship for (likely) a full term. There's also a six month waiting list, so the earliest I could do this would be the fall term.

Doing this group would mean fully admitting that I'm not okay. And that scares me a bit. But it also makes me hopeful. For the first time, I feel like I'm starting to really address the root of my problems, instead of ignoring them or just dealing with them at a superficial level. I still have a long way to go, especially if all the groups have six-month waiting lists, but I'm starting to see a path I can follow to get better.

I told my boyfriend about wanting to do this group, and he was amazingly supportive.

I'm especially thankful that I talked to him before I talked to Mom about it. She wasn't so supportive. She's convinced it will set my career back. She said "Won't it seem odd that it took you two months longer to do a PhD? Would anyone want to hire you?" I explained that there's a range of finishing times for PhD's - anywhere from 4 to 7 years - so it wouldn't be evident from my resume. We talked some more. She still seemed against it. And that made me upset; and all the urges that come with me being upset cropped up again, as if trying to reinforce in my mind exactly how badly I need to keep trying to get better.

I've thought more about that conversation with Mom, and I realized that, much as I love her and value her opinion, she doesn't always know best. Her way of dealing with everything in her life - her own traumatic childhood, the dysfunctional family I was raised in, her health problems - has been to downplay it and basically pretend that everything was / is / will be okay. I always admired her for that, actually. But sometimes I can't help but wonder if pretending is really such a good idea. If she hadn't pretended her childhood wasn't really that bad, maybe she would have gotten counseling for it herself, and not grown up to be something of a co-dependent martyr. If she hadn't pretended Dad wasn't such a shitty husband and father, maybe she would have left him years ago, and maybe my brother and I would have fewer childhood emotional scars. If she hadn't ignored all the stress she ever felt, and had maybe dealt with some of it instead, maybe her physical health would have been better.

Speculating on all of that doesn't change anything now, I know.

But I also know I don't want to be like her, with all her buried emotions and pain and problems. So even if she doesn't approve, I'm going to do what I need to do to get better.