Read When You Feel Unworthy

Remember the time you drove all the way to Rhode Island, in a blizzard, just to see me?

Remember the times you helped me when I cried over school?

Remember the time you helped me through a panic attack before a big project?

Remember the time you dropped to one knee and gave me a huge sapphire?

Remember the times you carried me financially?

Remember the time you gave me your car so I could get back to school?

Remember the time you took me to DR and got to meet Lynette and her family?

Remember the time you encouranged me to meet my father?

Remember the times you lifted me up when I felt insignificant?

Remember the times you forgave me for hurting you?

Remember the times you helped me move?

Remember the time you purchased a bed with me?

Remember the times you wiped away my tears?

Remember the time you stood up to your family for me?

Remember the times you rescued me from not having a car?

Remember the time you forgave me for fucking up your scion?

Remember the time I broke your heart and you still forgave me?

Remember the time you came over to take care of me?

Remember the times I tried to push you away and you stayed by my side?

Remember the times you let me come over to get away from my family?

Remember the times you reminded me that I have friends and I am worthy of love?

Remember the times I hit you and you still forgave me?

Remember the times when you Loved me and I couldn’t love myself?

Remember the times we went to weddings and felt truly blessed?

Remember the time I stalked you and you still let me in?

Remember the times you wrote to and about me?

Remember the times you dropped everything to be with me?

Remember the time you asked me to be the luckiest woman on the E-arth?

Remember the time you let me plan a big wedding, even though you didn’t want one?

Remember the time you moved across the country to start a new life with me?

Remember the times you worked an awful job to help me pay for our wedding?

Remember the time our family cheered when we got married?

Remember the time you took me to the doctor after I split my lip?

Remember the time your best friend visited my grandma?

Remember the time you took me to Springfield?

Remember the time when you let me use our tax return to pay off the credit card?

Remember the time you stayed in that apartment so we could buy our dream home?

Remember the times you made me feel Loved and secure?

Remember the times you supported my biological family?

Remember the time I almost killed us in the car?

Remember the time you encouraged me to take her in?

Remember the times you helped me talk about my abuse?

Remember the time when you didn’t judge me for my mistakes?

Remember the time you gave me a chance to Love you?

Remember the time I crumbled in your arms at the loss of my grandma?

Remember the times you supported me even though we were planning to separate?

Remember the times you held me when I cried?

Remember the times you arranged for dinner when I was too sad or sick?

Remember the time you stood up and protested with me?

Remember the time you took me to 417 to leave a piece of grammy there?

Remember the times you helped me not puke?

Remember the times I did and you were still there?

Remember the time we first talked about practicing?

Remember the time you forgot how amazing you were, and I told you I would write you a “short” list of reasons to remember?

 

DaDoo

Don’t think about it just feel it

Anyone can do it but not do it well

Destiny can be tricky but never avoided

Determination on both ends got us here

Offering  unconditional Love will guide us forward

Opportunity is here and our mission is clear

Delicately raise another beautiful soul

Love them and instill them with all that we know

Ensure they are protected, help them grow

 

 

 

Baptism

Remove every strip of who I was

release me from my broken mind

this body holds more anguish than I care to admit

Wash it all away and let me begin again

Who I was is not who I am

my mistakes make me stronger, smarter, better

your Love passes over my being like a wave of fire

Wash it all away and let me begin again

Clear soul, heart, mind, and conscience now

I present to you my bare naked flesh

be careful with my wounds for some of them still bleed

Wash it all away and let me begin again

Take me in your arms, show me Comfort

Take me in your heart, show me Love

Take me in your mind, show me Trust

Wash it all away and let me begin again

Sister

I wish I could peek in your mind and see what you hide

There are moments I see where the real you resides

My dearest half-sister we are so far away

not just in our age, also in how we behave

But there are actions of yours, opposite of mine

that lead me to think it’s finally time

For me to reach out and actually ask

about the awful things in our past

But your telling me no, and refusing my help

saying I need to leave you to yourself

So now that the past is affecting your present

you want me to be there, but I won’t consent

I too am broken, and need some healing

I just can’t be here when you aren’t listening

I’m afraid that what I’ve done is just too much

that you’ll never be open to my rules and such

But I want you to know, if ever that changes

that I will be here to listen to all of the rages

Not just to theirs, but to mine as well

even when I hurt and the tears start to swell

Should that day not come, and our bond break

I hope you know that it is never too late

I am still broken, but now I am ready

to be the support you need to be steady

What happened to us, is not our fault

we don’t have to pretend our heart is a vault

That the lies we’ve been telling are not the end

that we really are worthy of the love that we spend

You are a human with faults and trauma

who always seems to be starting the drama

but if you ever decide to give that up

To open the vault and let it erupt

I’m here to listen and honestly say

that I’m sorry our family treated you this way

That the shit in our past doesn’t negate

all the awesomeness we have innate

You’re strong and great, it’s time you know too

that Ashlee I am actually very proud of you

The fact we survived, is more than most

and I will never forget the hurt we host

This gift I give you is the wisdom of time

even if it came in this strange rhyme:

Don’t let your past define your future

You dear are stronger than our abuser

 

 

Daddy Dearest

To my Dearest Father,

Where were you? I needed you.

Your absence in my life has caused me more paid than I can even begin to explain. I  know I have said over and over again I didn’t need you, but that was never true. I was trained from birth to be strong, to be independent, to not show weakness. I had to create a brick wall around myself and my feelings. I became so strong I was made of stone. No one came in, nothing mattered. I could cut anyone out at any time and never let anyone know I needed them. Why? Because I don’t know how to need someone, I don’t know how to trust. I needed my father to show me what love from a man looked like, and without that I became hollow inside.

I was abused by my uncle for as long as I can recall. I developed an eating disorder at 9, and lied my way through middle school. I allowed a boyfriend to beat me. I allowed myself to be assaulted by an older male boss in high school. I was groomed by a much older man from when I was 15. I was drugged in college and almost assaulted. I have abused others because I thought that was “love”, and let loved ones abuse me thinking I deserved it. I am broken from what happened to me and having no one to talk to. I never had a male figure in my life I could trust and so I never learned that men were trustworthy. I self sabotaged my marriage and every relationship I had because “all men will leave you in the end”.

I became very good at wearing a mask of independence and strength. I had to learn to turn off my emotions, otherwise I would have crumbled. I had very strong female role models, but none to show me what love and trust really look like. I missed the bond that every girl craves, and by the time a semi-solid male figure showed up I was already well trained to not NEED a man… so I didn’t let him in either. I don’t blame you for what happened to me, nor do I blame my family. It’s MY story, it’s part of who I am… but it’s not who I am anymore. I have been working really hard in the last two years since taking over my Grandmother’s care and I want you to know.

I want you to know that it did hurt me to not have you. It hurt every time I thought you would show up, and didn’t. It hurt me to watch you blame my mom, my aunts, and everyone else but yourself that we didn’t have a relationship. You need to know at the end of the day, that was on you. You could have made it happen, you were my father. You knew where I lived, you knew my grandmother loved you, and you knew my mom worked. You could have come come for me… I wish you did. I wish you were at my wedding, I wish I could have have that moment. I didn’t need you to give me away, but I needed to know a father’s love before entering into a lifelong commitment. It hurt my heart that you didn’t even send a card or a note. You didn’t even acknowledge the biggest moment in my life. I didn’t need you there, but I wanted you there. I never said that to anyone because I thought it would make me look weak, and I was never that on the outside.

But I am on the inside, I’m still that little girl who didn’t get to have her daddy in her life. Father daughter dances make me crumble. I cry and I can’t stop it. Every wedding I go to reminds me that I’m still without that love. I hate that this makes me look weak, and I don’t want people to know but I have to get it out or I won’t heal… and that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m growing now. Now that I am free from the chains that tie me to my abuse and my abusive thoughts I am becoming a woman… and I forgive myself and I forgive you. I know you did the best you could with what you had. That you were broken too and just child yourself then. I understand why, and while I wish it wasn’t true, it is.

I never showed you how grateful I was for the times you were there. For the car, for inviting me into your home, and giving me another extended family. I didn’t know how to react to it then, but I am thankful for it now. While neither of us can go back and fix the past, I need you to know that it hurt me. I need you to know what it did to me, and that I’m sorry I hurt you, and that I hope all can be forgiven, even if it will never be forgotten or fixed. I need to me able to move on with my life and I can’t without getting it out.

I don’t know if we’ll ever be close, I don’t know if my sisters will ever be friends of mine. It’s the situation and decisions you made in the beginning, but we both made in the end that brought us here. I hope you can take responsibility for your decisions, as I have for mine. I hope that knowing that frees you a little bit too. I love you dad, even if I’ll never really be able to show you the way you want to see it. And now I know you love me, even though you may never show me the way I want you to. You hurt me, but I can now see beauty in the darkness and pain. It made me who I am today, and while I’m still a work in progress I am proud of what I’ve done so far.

Love,

The Daughter (you left behind)

 

 

#MeToo

It’s dark, it smells like weed, and I don’t want to be there.

I’m in the basement with not just your door locked, but also the door to your bedroom

You’re watching what I think are cartoons and tell me to pay attention

I look back and your hand is in your pants and you’re mad

“Turn around!”

I turn around and don’t remember anything else.

***

It’s too hot to sleep up stairs in the bedrooms, only grandma has AC in her room

We sleep in the dining room on the floor, there is an AC there too

I recall the smell and taste of your cigarette stained tongue in my mouth

I dry heave, and then vomit

You tell your mom that I’m sick

I wake up on the floor in grandma’s room

I don’t recall how I got there

***

You lay your full grown up body on top on me and kiss me

I cry to be let go, I scream, I’m crushed and clawing to be free

I yell that your breath stinks, you blow in my face and lick me

I’m told “that’s family you have to be nice to family”

I lay there and take it… this happens weekly

***

I overhear a doctor tell my mom I need another urine specimen

I should not have results like this one, that would have to be in pain

They ask if I’m sexually active, I’m 8, I’m not

Jokes on them, I’d been complaining of pain and they have been ignoring it

I get an antibiotic, a lesson wiping correctly, making sure I wash my hands before and after the bathroom

I have my first UTI, I get them a lot until I get my first period

I don’t get my next one until I do become sexually active

***

Mood swings, suicide, eating disorders, drug use, anti-social behavior, self harm

Teenagers can be unpredictable, but I am violent and angry

Doctors say there must be some trauma, parents say no

They tell them I’m “just dramatic” and looking for attention

I’m told I have an overactive imagination, and I’m reminded that I’m lucky

***

 

Sex is complicated, fun, and guilt ridden

Emotional consistency is shit

I rock and sway, I sometimes recall terrible feelings with smells

… but no visual

I avoid my family as much as I can, but say “I’m all about my family”

I am a walking contradiction

The part of me that is strong and moved on

and the part of me that is still hiding in the shadows

I will never stop trying to remember all that happened to me

But I am okay knowing just this:

Whatever happened, it wasn’t right, I didn’t deserve it, and it wasn’t my fault.

Phases of Becoming

So I recently read a little something out there that spoke to me, and I needed to share it with the world. It’s been the framework with which I am measuring my personal growth. It’s been accurate to a T as to what I’ve felt and how I’ve been moving through the phases. As I write this now I am in Phase 4: Lilith, and am anticipating a grand move to Phase 5: Witch. Since I’m writing a few things that reference this, I figured why not link to the original here and explain a little below?

Stage One: The beginning

Phase One: She

When you do what you’ve always done because you never bothered to question why. You live in your self created prison until you realise that you don’t have to. This is the moment you know that there is only before this moment and after this moment.

Phase Two: Becoming

Chrysalis… Simply me right now… stuck in the middle.

Stage Two: The burn down

Phase Three: Eve

Surrender to the process and the “fact finding” phase. I love research and I’m hungry for all the knowledge I can find.

Phase Four: Lilith

Dancing in the fire, yup… dancing around in the turmoil now. I still don’t KNOW things… but I am getting there. Discovery has been a “trial by fire” time and I embrace it fully.

Phase Five: Witch

There is a KNOWing that comes with this stage, and acting on that knowledge that I just can’t muster the strength for yet. But soon…

Stage Three: The birth

When you emerge with your knowledge as your true self.

Phase Six: Goddess

Time to show the world who you have become.

Phase Seven: Me

Enjoying your true self and teaching others.

As I begin my new set of positive affirmations, I hope to push what I have learned so far into forms of knowing. Being able to believe and know in my heart what I have found is true, and then being able to use that knowledge to affect the world around me is huge. I have never had control of my own life before, it has always been varying degrees of beholdenness to the ideas others pressed upon me… I can’t wait to be not just free but confident as well.

To me! Eventually…