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?

 

Brunch

He climbs into her car and inhales her sweet body splash. The adrenaline rush from sneaking around makes them both shake as they embrace.

“We have to leave, we can’t stay here she’s shopping nearby. Let’s go.”

The driver takes off to the motel as he pulls together the cash he carefully squirreled away without his wife’s notice. They only have a few hours together and can’t waste a second, so the typical area traffic makes them both even edgier.

“Two hours please” she says as they grab the room key. The place is what you expect, a shitty roadside motel. The kind of place built for affairs and day hookers.

The room itself is gross but they don’t care. They have been talking, dreaming, writing about this moment for over a year and won’t let anything ruin it. It’s not about the room, their spouses, or anything else other than their own passion and desire.

The hours fly by as they entwine themselves with reckless abandon. Not a care in the world as they shower off the stench of their betrayal. He texts his wife as they leave and head to the diner for their cover story.

They cuddle up in a booth, play footsie, kiss, and chat. Relive the memory of their deepest darkest secret, the one they will take to the grave. He knows her husband won’t stand for this, even if caught he’ll deny this ever happened. He must protect her and this at all costs, even if it means he loses his wife, he cares not.

No one will ever know the details, even they will have different versions of the same stolen moments. However I like to think that the reality of the story, is far more scandalous than I could ever dream up.

If I never get better

What if, it never gets better. What if this is all there is? Can I learn to accept that I might never feel better? I might never feel worthy or worth it, I might always feel like a burden. Though this happens less, it still happens. Dealing with my trauma and healing from it makes it wax and wane, but it’s always there.

It’s there in the smile that I missed, in the kind words I didn’t hear. The feeling has nothing to do with my actual worth, and more to do with my illness, but still it remains. As I heal it can get better, but the truth it it’s like any recovery: it’s forever. No matter how good a handle you think you have on it, the universe finds ways to throw you that curve ball.

So I ask myself again, can you live with yourself? Can I go on forever knowing that I will always have this feeling that I am not good enough. That I may never believe anyone will love me unconditionally? That because I don’t have the ability to trust myself, I won’t be able to trust others? What if this is who I am now?

It’s not, right? It’s not because even as I go back now and look at my writing the weak caterpillar, yes woman, blinded by success and money is no longer there. I’m in flux, I am changing, I am capable of change… and I have to see that. If I am ever to break free from this cocoon I must remember a few things:

  1. The only constant is that everything changes
  2. That recovery is forever but it gets easier with time
  3. The time it takes for you to grow is the time it takes, it cannot be rushed or forced
  4. Before you can feel unconditional love from another, you need to have it for yourself
  5. I am a flawed human and will make mistakes
  6. That in the cocoon only at the very beginning and the very end do you know what you are
  7. The in between is just messy goo, self digested and ready for rebuilding
  8. Until I can digest all that was, I will not be able to start putting it back together

Back to eating shit for a while I guess… but hope renewed. Even if I never feel better, I will at some point learn to love and forgive myself for issues that will come up. That I will learn from them and move on. And that even if my trauma wins, I have already done so much good work, and so much good for others, that I should be proud.

If I can learn to have half the compassion that I have for others, for myself, then I am going to make it. You will too.

 

 

The late night call

He gets a text and says, I’ll be back in a bit, I have to make a call. Probably be back in about an hour…

Fine right? Nothing weird here… except Anxiety!

He’s down there talking to someone he doesn’t want me to know about, why can’t he tell me who it is? Why don’t you just ask? Because if he wanted me to know he would have told me who it was. Why doesn’t he want to tell me? Is it because it’s her? Because I’m fine with that, he knows that then why not tell me? Why go down stairs?

DAMN IT! I lose and while I am going to tough it out, and get through it my anxiety has written a beautiful short story about it.

It’s her, you’re telling her that you have to stop talking like this. Sneaking around is no good for either of you. That you guys are both married, and that you should love the one you’re with if you can’t be with the one you love. You talk of how it could be, how you guys love each other, and long for a different world. You talk dirty to each other and exchange pictures before clearing your histories and hopping into bed with your spouses.

The Anxiety Gremlin

All day pacing the halls of records, touching each instance of good with her uncertainty

Which memory shall I ruin today, she bellows down the caverns of my mind

Running her long razorlike nails against the title on each cover she stops for a moment

“Do I dare?” She questions under her breath as she pulls out the album out

No dust here, I come often to look at this but typically its in bad times

I draw on my experiences this day as they are true to my heart

They ground me, keep me sane

“Please don’t” the wind whispers and she opens the page…

 

A million paper cuts

I keep playing them over and over in my head. Yes brain let’s rehash how fucking stupid I am and how much he hates me while I try and keep from killing myself… great idea. Fuck, this train won’t stop at a station so one more time from the top…

We were mid conversation again, what happened? You just looked at your phone and then walked away. I just asked you a question, did you not want to answer it? I must be annoying him, just let it be.

I love you… but no response. Everytime you say this in bed with him you feel this way, why do you do it? Clearly he doesn’t want to, and you keep pushing it. He loves you, he doesn’t need to always respond… but why doesn’t he? In this most intimate moment? Its because he doesn’t feel the same way and those moments are the most honest.

When he was standing there was he intentionally ignoring me when I asked if he would marry me again? And why? Or did he just not hear me? I swear he was looking at me, but not for sure. Damn.

The heavy sigh, the eye rolls, the frowns… are those for me? They come after that sweet smile and a blown kiss, but are they meant for me? Is that him saying “ugh, this bitch”, or showing me how tired he is of me?

The universe is a shitty place that has no grand master plan, he’s the love of my life but clearly you’re not the love of his. He’s just here because you’re alone. You have no one but him and his friends and he’s staying with you out of pity. He’s afraid you will kill yourself if he leaves, or feels bad that you’ll truly be alone. No family, no friends…

… so there is no one, I truly am just a burden for him to carry, I am a burden to many but at least I have walked away from most of them. The easiest thing to do would be to leave this earth as quietly as you came into it. Give him his freedom and give it to yourself too… you’ll be doing both of you a favor.

The world will be better with you not in it, you are making it impossible for his true love to find him because you are being selfish. Your mental illness should have killed you years ago leaving him ready to find “the one”, the person who can save him. He will have the money and the house, he can still get the tribe together. He’ll have so much to write, he’ll be free, everyone will be better off, and all I have to do is finally give into the voice.

Death by a million paper cuts sounds like a dream…

 

#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.