I wish you hadn’t done that.

I don’t know what you did. I can’t put my finger on it. Not really. I’m not sure. That’s where we are so different. I question. I waffle. I can’t commit. You just know. Knew? It was what it was. Play. A formulaic story we’ve all heard but twisted on itself to mock what it was supposed to be but isn’t. It is “isn’t,” right? It wasn’t.

person wearing red hoodie

I don’t know. I don’t have the words. I couldn’t find them if I searched deep inside myself because–I don’t know–maybe I’m just another half-human masquerading as a heroine in a tale I’ve spun in my own mind from a jumble of letters thrown on the floor after having been cut unevenly from newspaper headlines, torn haphazardly from magazines telling stories I would so love to tell but I don’t have tales worth telling so I tell myself a half lie–not for my entertainment. Because maybe because it is pathological. I’m pathological.

Maybe I’m whistling for wolves that will never come because the most depraved parts of me crave the shrill, breathy, unsatisfying sound my lips make when I try to produce a tune–maybe I like that unnerving, malaise of a melody over silence because I have nothing of substance in my mind to keep myself occupied in its absence.

I don’t know–I just know it makes my shoulders reach, almost imperceptibly and only for a moment, to my ears when it comes up. When we joke about it. Maybe my shoulders are trying to close the daunting space around my ears that haunts me. The space around my body that seems to teem with a slight, itchy kind of static that isn’t quite there–not there enough for it to actually exist but just possibly there in concept if I subconsciously unravel the overused ball of yarn used to weave the same old stories. Like Alice in Wonderland. It’s too normal. It’s too much of a Tuesday to be anything more than any old Tuesday. But maybe Tuesdays are twisted more than we want them to be–or maybe they are just twisted in our heads because we are so bored we have become twisted ourselves and warp our external world as an imitation of the reductive, baseless souls we occupy in our internal worlds.

It’s crude that I would wonder. It’s indecent. It’s disloyal. It’s a brutish gesture of thanks in which I murder one of the people to whom I owe my ability to withstand some of the toughest moments I have seen. The person who righted the ship I lazily let slip off course, who navigated for me when I couldn’t tell up from down, north from south. What was or was not.

It’s crime. A stab in the small intestine. Unforgettable but without warrant. Your kind, concerned eyes were lighthouses that drew me from my worst nightmares when you held your hands to my cheeks, my chin nestled in the roots of your palms. The same palms which pulled my head up so you could see if the moment of panic I was having was memory or mirage, whether I was under the hood of terrifying moments that stole me away from my childhood or merely affected by where I’d once been but knew I could not possibly be as an adult, in my own apartment, where I paid the bills and knew where I would sleep from month to month for the whole, impossibly infinite duration of our lease.

It’s an assassination of character, but silent because I am so much a coward I dare not say it, even in my mind and only to myself–while also being the loudest, most cowardly, self-serving, ostentatious outburst I could ever have sitting at the precipice of my lips, guarded by the remnants of a conscience and any decency I might repay you for what you’ve done for me. To me?

Time and time again, you held my face in your hands with fear wrought across yours–and your gentleness was the only thing that grounded me, reminded me that my worst childhood experiences are not the reality of actual men. You stopped me and made me unafraid even when a part of me–some part sitting in the dark, damp, moldy corner of my inner lack of character–had the audacity to wonder–had an innate, insatiable, and invalid thirst for septic blood so sickening that I can’t issue a verdict and move past it, allowing you the exoneration you must deserve. Right? What else? Maybe it’s a baselessness of which I can never wring my feminine hands so soft by nature that you forget they can hold self-serving daggers for moments of boredom.

I sit there with a question on my serpent tongue and all you can do is look at me like you believe I’m beautiful and say with wonder and love, “what big eyes you have.”



Photo by sebastiaan stam on Pexels.com

What kind of person cuts off her parents?: an experienced reflection on an article admonishing Meghan Markle to involve her father in her life.

What kind of person cuts off her parents? I ask myself this fairly often. While I had no interest in or emotional connection to the recent royal wedding, or any royal wedding for that matter, the confident, opinionated commentary on the relationship between Meghan Markle and her father has been of particular interest to me. I’ve been intrigued primarily because I’m curious to see how the world perceives her decision and the judgment it hands down. Is she a brave, sensible person who has enough self-confidence and self-respect to do what is emotionally sound for her? Or is she a selfish, cold-hearted spoiled, snobbish individual who is icing out anybody who is of no use to her? Is this occurrence evidence that blood isn’t always thicker than water or is it an example of an inhuman abandonment of the unconditional love and loyalty popular culture associates, and basically prescribes, with family life?

Is she a brave, sensible person who has enough self-confidence and self-respect to do what is emotionally sound for her? Or is she a selfish, cold-hearted spoiled, snobbish individual who is icing out anybody who is of no use to her?

While I do not need the public or media to form an opinion on this, I have been curious to see her handle this very personal and intimate issue in one of the most public spheres in the world. As she tries to merge lives with a royal family and create a new, shared life with another person, she is also trying to negotiate significant familial dysfunction. It’s almost like observing a phenomenon in an experiment which is surprisingly common but placing it under the most stretching and intense conditions. I’ve been curious to see if Meghan has all of the answers to these questions because I’ve yet to form my own.

I should start by saying my personal rule in life is that I cannot make a judgement on anything I do not personally see and hear myself. I can have feelings and opinions about the hypothetical situation presented to me or supposed actions a person is said to have taken, but I am generally reluctant to commit to a harsh judgment or fervent, positive appraisal of a person’s character based on hearsay. Only in extreme cases–where it is blatantly obvious and the festering reality is so thick you couldn’t cut it with a knife and would need a hacksaw (I’m looking at you, Donald Trump and company)–do I move towards a more definitive opinion. Although a very passionate person who sometimes loses check of this value, it keeps me oriented in about eighty percent of situations.


Is this occurrence evidence that blood isn’t always thicker than water or is it an example of an inhuman abandonment of the unconditional love and loyalty popular culture associates, and basically prescribes, with family life?

I explain all of that because I believe context is everything and it is so hard to know a context without witnessing it firsthand. Just as victors write history, any description of context is shaped by the intentions, beliefs, and prejudices of the person relaying it. That makes situations like Meghan Markle’s, which people are often all too eager to weigh in on given the domestic nature of the issue, particularly hard to judge. While I may be wrong, I am reluctant to confidently assert Meghan should put family first, do what is natural, and let bygones be bygones–because I know from personal experience that this sort of thing is so disorienting, dysfunctional, complicated, messy, politically fused within a family, that Meghan Markle may not understand the situation or her feelings herself.

So when I was laying in bed, trying to wind down, naturally the most sensible thing I could be doing was reading the news on my phone, (Fox News of all things which hinges forcefully on the emotional). Sometimes their human interest or other stories not trying to convince us the White House isn’t burning down while the hems of their pants and suit jackets begin to smolder from the giant fire behind them (which generally means they are intended to be a distraction), can be thought-provoking. Occasionally, I will see some reason to an article but generally it is abrasive sandpaper preaching close-minded, restrictive and completely unrealistic social norms to a willing choir and calling them “family values.”

Clearly I have a lot to say on this topic so I’m going to break it into two posts. That way it’s more digestible. Some of the questions I’m working through are personally relevant to anybody who has biological family (so all of us) and I hope you stick around to read it and tell me what you think. I’ll post the other half by Friday 6pm Eastern Standard Time (EST, United States).

In the meantime, and before I tell you what I think, I encourage you to read the article: Meghan Markle is ‘playing a dangerous game’ with dad Thomas, royal biographer says.

I’d also love to hear what you think about situations like this. If you have thoughts, please let me know!


I need people and community.

PTSD makes being around people too much work, always. But now COVID19 is making being around people an impossibility. Also always, for now. But I need people. I don’t want to need people. I don’t want to say I need people. It feels hippy, ridiculous, all those things I know are just distortions. But I don’t want to say it because I don’t want to open that door. I don’t want to be vulnerable because I know from experience that vulnerability and humans often mix potently. And we are a world that operates on empirical knowledge if nothing else.

We know the sun is going to go rise today because it rose yesterday and the day before. I know people, out of conscious choice, lazy misdirection, or subconscious intention are going to leave me feeling unworthy, invisible, or worse. It is empirical. There are people who are great in my life. I am lucky to have the best man I have ever known in the world as my significant other. Better than I would ever have imagine a man could be. But all humans hurt other humans, even in small, daily ways that mostly wash away. Minor abrasions from unintended, spur of the moment scratches when something is worded the wrong way, or forgotten. He didn’t do that today or yesterday. He was great. But there is no possible way for humans to be so close in contact, in any type of relationship and even parent-child, without expecting even minor collateral damage. We are humans and we hurt sometimes. Sometimes it is a hurt we do actively, creating it like a new force in the world. And sometimes it is a hurt we absorb into ourselves, taking that created energy and holding it in because there can only be so much negative energy in the atmosphere before the world rips. So we all become dehumidifiers, air filters, for the pain we as humans inadvertently cause because we are so very imperfect.

I started this out to say I am reading a great book about running and its way to combat PTSD or demons for people in the worst states of their lives who may or may not like running, maybe for people who have never been runners. But here I am with only a vague inclination of how I got here, which is pretty typical of life, talking about hurt. Granted, as the blister on the foot is silently screaming in its most angsty tone, running and hurt go together. Maybe that is why I am trying to become a runner. Because if I am their air filter for pain, I need a place to filter my pain so I don’t become a storage facility for the hurt I absorb from the world, the nightmares I have. Because as great as my significant other is, as safe as he is, as trusted, as much of a giant wall of security as he presents, he can never fully be the filter for all the fears and nightmares I slogged through before I knew him. I live in a house, for one of the first times in my life, where I don’t worry that if things get too heated a man will strike me today. Hell, I don’t even expect him to raise his voice even mildly at me (not that it wouldn’t be understandable given I can get heated myself and we should move past double standards as a society). But by nature as a human, he is permeable. I am permeable. My present is not inviolable to the captured senses of my past. Even on a treadmill, they will revisit me. Quick, blinding flashes that make me mind freeze in cringe and my spirit shrink in defense.

I always thought if I found my way to a good man, and I have, that all the things bad men did would wash away. The infections they caused have been soothed. But they don’t go away. As humans we hurt as part of our nature sometimes. We choose to heal but because we are not naturally emotional healers, our powers are limited. I am trying to run and become a runner not because I want to run away from those memories but because I want to run into them. I am tired of trying to seal myself up from them. It doesn’t work. I want to bathe myself in them, dispel them, make them part of my armor rather than assailants to it so that I can stop monitoring my percentage of vulnerability in any situation. I want to be my situation and threats, or recollections of them, are factors I am equipped to deal with. I want to get there.

Nobody cares where you got your scars.

And I’m right over here–but why can’t you see me?

It’s so ironic–growing up, and even now, if you had asked me what super power I would want, the pure part of me would want something incredible but that practical, tremble always at the ready, side of me would say “invisibility.” Hands down. People can’t hurt you when you’re invisible, in theory. There comes a certain freedom with invisibility. As long as it doesn’t veer into isolation that is. But, as I have found out, so many things that are dreams in life are simply stale realities. The very thing that haunts me is that I always feel so incredibly invisible to the world, but not in a hidden way. Invisibility lite. Or invisibility without the necessary translucent quality when there is little to no recognizable material that builds you into the human who stands and moves before others.

I’ve always been a spiritual wallflower. I played sports growing up. I had plenty of friends in theory. But somewhere along the line, right after realizing the necessary securities that come with invisibility, I got my wish and it sank into my bones and eroded all of my being that other people would find valuable. Life sucked the marrow out of my existence, breath by breath, breaths I held out of fear, breaths held while waiting for the inevitable dish taking a chunk out of the dry wall only to meet its shattered and inevitable end against worn, unwashed tile.

window with broken glass
Photo by Jan Koetsier on Pexels.com

Paint fades. Carpet fades and bleaches in sunlight. And people fade, especially children. And that decay and the process of erosion, it is terminal. Once you first realize how embarrassingly small you are in the face of all the things you’d dare hoped when people said “what do you want to be when you grow up” and those small, warm air pockets–bubbles of love and security poised on pins and waiting to be popped as all bubbles are meant to be even before they form–begin to dissipate, you hop frantically from pocket to pocket, trying to stuff yourself into them in hopes you won’t be hurried back out into the dank, damp, half-darkness like the pounding isolation you feel as one-by-one your friends go home to what you assume are safe homes where dinner is served and as all of the others in the game find their chair in each musical round.

So you get out early. You become a wallflower. And that wall is both your shame and your post and your prison in so many ways. But fear freezes you and, if you’re good for nothing else, you learn quickly that humans have such a capacity to hurt and be hurt but so little to connect and empathize, to see. So when they do see, they only see that which is special. And you learn pretty quickly you’re not the main event, the halftime moment, the cherished memory, even the refreshing second–you’re the vessel, the gritty popcorn cup laying to flatted by the dull march of exiting feet under the stands after somebody consumed the inside of you and dropped you absentmindedly while searching for their keys.

When you’re a kid, the person who consumes and drops you is the same person who conceived you. And then either you tell the universe that is what is to be done with you, the natural order of things, or you project it, you ask for it, or the world just has ranked you low in the classes of usefulness and your insignificance is the gravity that chokes the life out of you for all long as your body tries to force it through your lungs.

I am my own iron lung and my iron lung is my captor in a prison people have long forgotten about, much less visit. Nobody wants to visit somebody the world locked away so long ago when there are so many diversions and wonders on a revolving carousel surrounding every individual whoever forgot to forget about you. So you drift away and you realize that some of us weren’t made to matter and just like hope can be so damaging, the more you try to believe otherwise, the more you plague yourself.

Childhood Trauma Doesn’t Stay in Childhood.

Sharing this good article and some of its quotes. Sometimes people closest to me are flabbergasted by how complicated I make things. “Just” gets used a lot. And I get it. But while “just” for some people is a simple word, to me it is a giant, overbearing one.

Every choice I make has to be stuck on this carousel that circles between the experiences I would like to have, how I should behave, the consequences of each, and whether or not I should just take a nap. Things that are easy to a lot of people are rocket science to me, like picking a place to eat or what to eat. Somebody close to me, who is very observant and often right more than I begrudgingly admit, is spot on when he says I treat these decisions as if they are my last meal and make it “too much of a thing.” And he is right. And I hate that about myself. But it isn’t so much fear of when I will eat again or what or where. It is that I don’t enter a restaurant and hear a dish sliding on a table or wobbling a bit when sat down without hearing the palpable aggression in fear that I head as a child. I hear dishes slamming into floors. I take a dish from the cabinet and, when it is a heavier dish, I remember the times I winced because I knew when a family member had a dish that was heavier but I didn’t know if it was going to be thrown my way.

A lot of family dysfunction happens when the family is all together. And families tend to be together (and in my family, drunk) at meals. Which is why I am really glad we stopped eating together as a family. But when something happens for over twenty years of your life, you build up such anxiety around food and meal times that it seems as innate of a reaction as a person salivating while looking at something incredibly appetizing. I get trapped under all of these feelings that I don’t know how to sweep away because I know, as a rational adult, that they aren’t really there. And as much as I am good at making something out of nothing, I come up short when it comes to the magic of making things disappear.


How My Childhood Trauma Affects Seemingly ‘Simple’ Choices

“It’s a constant battle in restaurants and cafes. My friends and family are perplexed and sometimes annoyed by the musical chairs generated by my need to feel safe.”

“My fear-based brain is still trying to keep me safe even when there is no imminent danger. When we grow up stressed, our bodies adapt to a constant state of fear. As infants we can’t tell the difference between being left to wallow in our own distress and imminent physical danger. For babies, there just isn’t any difference. Survivors of chronic trauma have been left with a hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis that is permanently skewed by toxic stress.”

I come and go.

Pretty much like my energy levels. Lately I have been interviewing for jobs and have started teaching for VIPkid (which I love) so I have been distracted. I guess I just feel compelled to post things like this sometimes to reassure myself that it is okay to do what works for me and I don’t have to be on a professionalized blogging schedule or anything like that. I can do this just because I like it.

And as much as I know that, I will probably have to remind myself a few more times because I feel so compelled to spend my time on utility and productivity (which is why I think more and more people have anxiety and depression because it seems to be a trend that goes beyond me).

I Can Hear The Wolves

As I slide my back hard against the barren tree behind me, some of its gnarled roots reach up from under its peaceful grave into the biting chill of the wind that cuts down everything in its path. The points of my shoulder blades poke the edges of the tree awkwardly and I become immediately sensitive to the fact that my neck is exposed as are the parts of my body that stretch wider than the tree.

Pressing against it, I had hoped to prepare. To have to suspend worry about one side of myself but now I know that was futile and carelessly foolish. An involuntary gasp for air shoves what feels like a block of ice down my throat and into my lungs, sharp on its sides and scraping everything on the way down, so large a burst of air I don’t think my lungs can contain it, my stomach ballooning out as I try to contain myself. Suddenly it is sucked out of my as suddenly it came and, only seconds ago feeling burden by breath, now I am desperate in its absence.


I form fists halfheartedly, noticing my knuckles have begun to bleed, having been dried by the unforgiving air. Relentless. It’s relentless and no matter how much I know the cold will always come for me, I am never prepared.

I feel pathetic, releasing my hands, knowing I’ve no means of defending myself. There are too many of them. I can hear them exchanging howls, feeding off each other’s excitement and the thrill of finally having a new chase. Each cry into the air more eager, expectant for the spoils that they will find.

I would be overwhelmed by them, devoured before I could let out a cry. I will be. I will be devoured by them. I’ve known my whole life that that would be my fate, my broken, unpromising, miserable, unavoidable fate.

photo-1563889958784-7d0a4a068edcI have chosen not to join them. I made an active choice to leave my pack in the dead of night while they were all curled around their meager fire, some tails ratted and others dowsed in spilled beer. I chose to leave their pack. Because it was never mine to own. It was mine to serve, no matter how dogged it might be after I had seen so many other ways of being through traitorous glimpses into the clouds. But only when they could not spy my gaze. Of course, I forgot their ears are trained to hear movement and their senses of smell overwhelmingly intense. I am exposed. They always knew I was looking. Felt it. Heard it. Smelled the betrayal dripping off my panting tongue, increasingly losing the stamina needed for our desperate drives into the forest.

How stupid and egotistical of me to think by gaining new senses, all of mine were elevated compared to their own. I never gained new senses. They just changed.

Maybe I could join them. Just, give in my juvenile dreams and fall in line–but I know it’s too far past that. I’ve been domesticated. Now I can never be wild like them. My mind is changed. My body language. How I see the world. I could never hide it. I’d be found out. As much as they have forgotten how to speak, drawn into the kill and the beastliness of the existence into which they leaned too heavily, their ability to feel, to smell weakness is as astute as it has ever been. They can taste my doubt hanging onto the cold droplets of air, miles away from where I wait to be taken down.


I’ve made my choice. And they’re hungry, having long over-hunted their tired terrain. It was only a matter of time before they would need to turn inward for something to eat, and I am so much a different creature now that it is no longer cannibalism. 

I can hear them and I know they’re coming. All that remains to be seen is which one will tear off the first piece of flesh.


***There will be a follow-up to this entry.

Photo Credits from Unsplashed (in order of display and with links to their pages)



Nobody ever worries about the shell.

We talk about the chicken and the egg in this trite, shallow way in which we try to determine the catalysts in the cyclical pattern of cause and effect. To have a chicken in order to have an egg, said chicken has to have at one point been an egg. And to have been an egg, that chicken would have needed another chicken to produce her. And for that chicken who produced her to have existed…and on. and on. and fucking on.

And we have these debates over and over again like they are the first fucking time and anything new is going to develop.

Sure. It’s an interesting question. But we’ve got the point and nobody fucking knows. And they’re not going to know. Not going to happen. Put two lawyers in a room–or two philosophers (how different are they really minus their motivations?)–and you can make a case for either.

Yet. We talk about this damn question like there is going to be something fucking novel and do you know what that whole question misses, like every other societal conversation we have, what happens to the fucking shell that is necessary for both the chicken and the egg to reproduce and to be born?

But that shell is an object. It produces offspring which can therefore be used for society’s purposes–likely against the awareness of the chicken who keeps reproducing because she is forced and that’s what chickens do. And that’s all we expect of chickens. It’s fucking simple. Vessel for an output we can use for economic gain.

Sound like anything familiar to you?

Soldiers? What do you need to make soldiers? Yet talking about supporting the troops is noble and talking about women’s rights is outrageous, shameful, entitled, and aggressive. Ultimately, I would argue, rich people don’t care about soldiers either–if mothers are the chickens and soldiers are the freshly born chicks, their future has limited options and is ultimately up to the man who chooses how he wants to use them, as consumables or as tools for gain. Farmers are pretty worthless without their seeds and their animals. Because they can’t create life from either. It’s the same thing for the fables rich men promote in society because they need people to work in their factories, buy their shit, and produce the children who will defend their rights and property. After all, who will go on to fight their wars so they can make deals on the seventh hole to have the government pay them to build supplies for military campaigns so they can have extra mansions and an apartment in the city where they can screw their mistresses because being a billionaire and having everything, including a beautiful family that wants your love, isn’t enough.

Why, in the seven circles of hell, do we waste our time talking about the chicken or the egg when we ultimately only care about the farmer? The chicken, the egg, and the shell are all just means to an end and that end is determined by a man who has no actually role in that process.

We only care about the farmer. Everything in this world revolves around what powerful men want and what they can do to gain more money they don’t need. And we call that pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and what a wonderful manifestation of the American Dream we have here, in front of us, on a white picket-fenced farm in Pleasantville, USA where a man lives harmoniously among creatures that are controlled, work for him, and can’t exercise any will of their own. And if they could, he wouldn’t want them there because there is no place for their will. The whole thing functions on them falling into line and serving the functions necessary.

Just like the broken, discarded shell that once gave nutrients and bore life is forgotten. It has done its job. It lays, shattered in a chicken coop, speckled in shit I am sure, if the chick is given the chance to be born. It is used to hold this innocent, defenseless chick (an incredible feat if you think about it) until it can care for itself and then we forget the very thing that would not provide us with the chicken or the egg should it not fulfill its obligations.

We don’t talk about what’s broken. Because we have no use for broken things and in a world where you can get everything cheap to function just as long as you need it and get a new one for cheaper rather than restore it, we trash things. And we trash and discard people. You see it all the time in universities, organizations, everything. Once your utility has met its limits, you are no longer viable.

And, worst of all, shells don’t form protective double-domes because they are holding our breakfast (and don’t get me wrong, I love eggs but that isn’t my point). So what happens when we take that shell, break it open for our uses, and consume its contents? We throw it away and, a little grossed out by the snot-textured inner walls, we go to wash our hands.

Sure, animal rights are important. But as we talk about birth control and abortion, I can’t help feel like the shell, not the chicken or the egg. Because I am a vessel. Meant to carry something. Should I be permitted and able to carry it, I will give life. However, should somebody pluck me prematurely from my warm, idyllic nest, and crack me open because of what is inside me, I could potentially have no more choices than that shell. Somebody else decides they want what is inside of me, how they want it, and when they want it. They take it for their own purposes, be it the production of life or enjoyment of its contents, and move on. They speak about the treatment of the defenseless chick, which is worth discussing but never consider what it might be like to be taken against your will, broken up, and consumed. Fractured beyond repair, once strong enough to sustain and protect life and now too structurally weak to hold itself up.

We break shit. That’s what we do. We all break shit for our own gain or turn our heads to the people who are broken because we have no more idea what to do with broken people than we do with broken shells. Garbage dumps are littered, I’m sure, with broken shells because we have nowhere else to put them. No longer in any form to be used for utility or decoration.

I am so sick of being that shell and so sick that we aren’t human enough to talk about those fucking shells who walk along us and beside us every day. I am tired of waiting for somebody to crack me and inevitably throw me away. I want people to care how fucked up it is that these broken shells did not ask to be shells. They did not ask to be appealing to farmers, or, probably more accurately, hunters who are hungry and looking for something they can take. All we can talk about is the chick or the food that emerges from that shell afterwards. We don’t care so much about what carries them. It is in its nature to be cast off when we are through with it. If it’s no longer a part of the process after its utility, who cares where it came from and where she went? It has served its purpose. Onto the next shell.

Depression might be the actual MVP of my life and I’ve dogged it for way too long.

You should start that playlist before reading. Everything is better with music. Let’s be honest here. At least this particular post is.

It’s ironic that the same thing which heals me–at least as much as I can be healed–is the same channel by which I’ve been damaged and thereby needing to be healed. I don’t think this is what Mufasa was talking about. But maybe it was.

Think about it.

We are born, we come from the ground; we learn language at an early age. We are nurtured by it, formed by it. We use it to figure out how to navigate the world and it is largely the foundation for the processes which form our personalities. If we are so fortunate as to hear predominately positive (or even just neutral) words as young children, words are part of what builds us up so that we can face everything we will need to be able to withstand–

Like when words turn on us. Benevolent, haphazard spears carried by impulsive people around us. It can take us down. Damage us temporarily. Or destroy us, whether mortally or metaphorically. And there is your circle.

Then you factor in that we’re all walking around with broken edges of spears inside us while we carry around spears ourselves, poking some people by accident, and some on purpose (I’ll be honest–I’ve poked some people who really fucking deserved it).

When I picture it, I think about what would happen if you took my wonderful but impulsive and hyperactive six year old nephew, gave him a steady diet of mountain dew and adderall, cloned him by the hundreds of people a person might know at any time, and then set them in a room, all running in circles like chickens with their heads cut off, poking each other and being gored but, nonetheless, compulsively carrying on to poke and be poked again. Not to mention that sometimes we just randomly turn around and poke ourselves–sometimes to see how it would feel and other times by accident and still others because on some level we think we deserve it.

All that logic together and it really is what Mufasa was talking about–words make us in a lot of ways, sustain us, take us down and return us to where we began, nothing. Problem is nothing short of something psychotropic is going to Hakuna Matata that shit.

And that’s why it is both so understandable and so nonsensical but also rational that words would be what heal me. Hair of the dog. I get it in the form of books. Mostly music. It probably isn’t healthy as I sometimes would rather hack off the appendage–that has a bit of spear diving into sinewy muscle and bone and fat and so much blood–and throw it out or lock it away in the vault of my subconscious because I can absolutely feel it if I let that spear sink in. If I let myself feel those words at their full power and not in incremental doses like sometime vile you choke down, I could be putting the most defenseless pieces of myself out, on a damp, mucky, muggy, gravelly and aged sidewalk just after it has raining. All at the foot of somebody who could get the sudden urge to curb stomp what they see as waste, something somebody meant to throw out. Or absolutely obliterate in a way I would feel every second and centimeter of myself being incinerated while having the most acutely painful wounds I have ever incurred to be collectively doused in acid.

Humans are fickle beings. I love them. They are capable of some wonderful things. But they fuck shit up as a result of their fallibility and constantly evolving weakness. And so often the collateral damage of all that fucking up is other people. That’s just who we are. It is a terrible and beautiful thing. You can’t hate them for it. You can’t even be mad. It’s like when you’re standing one minute and somebody puts their hands into your chest and in one firm motion shoves you over so you land on your ass, somehow managing to incur damage at your tailbone, knock the air from your chest, and take a chunk out of your skull that, each time, turns the solid protective cave covering one of your most precious possessions into a tethered and ratted sheet at the mercy of the elements, the intentions, and the goodwill of all those around you. And sitting on the ground, ass stinging and feeling your brain scan like lasers down every inch of your body to search for damage, you look up at the person dumbfounded; because no matter how many times people do it, it is always the first time. All of those wonderful, unpredictable, sometimes awful human beings.

I’ve had the most vulnerable parts of myself at the mercy of some particularly awful or clumsy words a few times in my life. And if I think of them for enough consecutive seconds, I can feel the acid crawl up my esophagus, threatening to cover the rest of me in a rapidly spreading, festering rash that burns and blisters my skin until I can’t tell what is pus and what is the water in which I have doused myself for some relief.

And that’s where I don’t always give my depression the credit and gratitude it so deserves. It’s like those bulkheads, watertight walls in the fucking Titanic. It senses that its system has taken on substantial damage and it slams those metal, dangerous heavily walls down with a deafening thud. It isolates the damage and focuses on saving what it can in hopes that by sacrificing the one unit it can keep the rest of the ship just above water enough that it can breath and tread water.

And that’s what depression does for me. And maybe I have gotten it so wrong thinking of it as a curse all these years when it is my savior/superpower. I sense damage and I can’t entirely feel the hurt because it doesn’t give me time to let it flood any parts of me besides those which were the site of impact. It slams that shit down and, when the echoing rings of metal colliding and a change in air pressure you can feel in your bones finally settles, I can feel in the most hallow way through those walls that there is trouble. Some fucking unit is in smoke or has been impaled by a particularly formidable and unexpected spear tip of ice. There are alarms going off somewhere as a crew scurries about in futile efforts to plug the holes and stop the blaring that makes them wish they would just have been vaporized rather than forced to take on the agonizing and awful feelings of fixing something they know cannot be fixed but the survival systems are relentless and unflinching in the face of the realistic.

Through those walls, if I concentrate just enough, I can sense the mania from my old cold, quiet, frozen chamber. Maybe depression does for me what I cannot do for myself. Maybe that is my fail safe in some fucked up way. And it knows it sucks to feel the way depression does when it hallows you out with one of those damn shitty scoops we use to scrape out pumpkin guts–but it also is more capable of respecting that reality is merciless and something has to have the strength to lance the hopeless, infected woods to stave off decay and destruction.

I cling to my walls. I put my head on their cold, dark metal when I need to think and allow the smooth, frigid spot to serve as the antenna for the absolute fear radiating in my body, drawing and pulling it out and swallowing that poison for itself because all things toxic have to go somewhere and they certainly never go away. I hate those walls because they are what make me so lonely but those same walls know the price of connection and can gauge when sometimes it is worth it and sometimes too costly. And in that way, because I can’t entirely ever hug another human being without knowing that I could be poked by a spear while caught in an embrace–whether premeditated or spontaneously, unintentionally, or even unknowingly–I cling to those miserably cold walls like blankets. Security blankets in so many ways because they are my constants. They don’t feed or nourish me but they give me shelter which gives me time to figure out how I can get water without letting the floods rush in with their arms around me, choking when they planned to hug.

You get more fulfillment from the comfort of humans but the potential cost incurred makes the comfort of cold metal good enough for me.


This photo was taken by Tim Mossholder and you can find it (and his other work)  here.


Suck It Up Buttercup: Why the People Who Think Mental Illnesses and Neurological Disorders Need to Take Their Advice…and Work a Little Harder to Remedy Their Outdated Thinking

No less, in a time where there is no excuse to be ignorant because the very device you are using to write willfully ridiculous things allows you access to all of the right information if you just type less words into a search engine than you did into your post.

Maybe these people need to take their own advice and suck it up, as in accept that the world may be more complex than their minds can currently handle because they haven’t pushed themselves beyond a rudimentary explanation of any sort of critical thinking…because it’s uncomfortable to think hard.

And it’s also uncomfortable to have to have the same, validated, research-based, empirically supported conversations with somebody whose knowledge of the brain doesn’t go beyond the partial understanding they have of their own.

I’m tired of it. No excuses. They need to grapple with the scary and overwhelming reality that maybe the world is a little more complex than their lazy processing can handle and they need to either suck it up and say nothing or suck it up and learn something.

I got heated and now I’m not going to be able to sleep because I’m going to be cataloging every dumb thing I have seen somebody say about mental illness, learning disorders, disability, race, gender, etc. While they are different topics and realms of experience, let’s be honest, the problem is the same on all of these topics. People aren’t too lazy to proselytize incorrect information to the masses but they are too lazy to do so much as Google three words and click on the first hit.

Anyways, this is the quote that got me started. It is from Driven to Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey. It talks about recognizing and adapting to ADD, as well as celebrating the gifts that come from it. It also talks about people who have had it all of their lives, were not diagnosed until well into their adulthood, and have other health and personal issues because of it. I would strongly recommend you read it if you have ADD or somebody you love does. It’s enlightening and liberating in a lot of ways.

“For some people [the idea that ADHD is the caused by a neurological condition], this was, and still is, heresy…at the height of the moral model beats the conviction that willpower controls all human emotion, learning, and behavior. Under this model, the cure for depression is to cheer up. The cure for anxiety is to suck it up. And the cure for ADD is to try harder. While trying harder helps just about everything, telling someone with ADD to try harder is no more helpful than telling someone who is nearsighted to squint harder. It misses the biological point.”

What It’s Like To Go No Contact With Parents — CynthiaBaileyRug

People often don’t understand what it’s like sever ties with parents. It’s easy to understand how shocking it can be to some people. I want people who don’t understand to understand, & I hope to help them to do that with this post. Looking from the outside in, most people don’t see an abusive family […]

via What It’s Like To Go No Contact With Parents — CynthiaBaileyRug