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.

 

 

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

 

 

#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…

Missing you…

One of the terrible things that happens when you start to shed layer upon layer of a person you don’t want to be, for the person you truly are underneath, is you lose people. I have lost a very best friend, a mother, a sister, a step-father, and countless acquaintances… all after the loss of my grandmother to her passing.

So when you find yourself alone, and in flux, with little to hold onto and few to reach out to, you look with in for the first time. You search your soul for the missing answers, you find your own unadulterated opinions. You find out your true feelings without the input of others and their expectations.

Now that would be great if we were solitary creatures, but we are not. We are pack animals, we crave connection and many of mine are now gone. I come to this point and realize that I miss these people. I miss having them in my sphere to talk to, to bounce ideas off… but more and more I realize I don’t miss them specifically, I miss the connections.

Mostly… there is one person whom I do miss with all my heart. However, I cannot even begin to mend that relationship right now. She is so far gone down a path I cannot follow her on any more. She is someone I don’t know now, and I am as well. I hope she will one day see that I just wanted the best for her, and that I was too hurt by it all to go on with her.

It’s terrible to say I don’t miss my family at all… I hesitate to even write that but it’s true. I’ve been more like their parent than a member of the family so at this point it’s like a vacation for me… which I imagine is an even worse sentiment. However, I have made it a point to be transparent here, warts and all so there it is.

I keep my eyes peeled for like minded souls, I keep those that are still involved close to to my heart, and I keep an open mind at all times. People, like circumstances, are ever evolving. Change is constant, and one day these people might start down the path that leads to you, and you want to be there to light the way.

I miss you, I see you, and I’ll keep the lights on.

 

 

Becoming Me

I have been through hell and back in the last few months. I lost myself, my grandmother, my husband (almost, and maybe still), and the rest of my immediate family (save one sibling). Family secrets, trauma, bullshit, and the mourning process (both for my marriage and for my grandmother) shattered me. I fell completely to pieces… but I think that’s the only way I can put myself back together again.

I am on a journey with myself to myself, and I don’t really know where it will end. But I’m ready to go. I am in the Fuck off phase right now. Doing what I want for me and what I need. Trying to discover who I really am by doing what I want and not what others expect from me for the first time.

This is both terrifying and elating all at the same time. I hope the flames burning around me keep me warm on the cold nights ahead. The only thing I know is all signs point to being at the beginning of the process… I’ve got a long way to go before I am me.

Let’s go!

In memory of Anthony…

How does one go on when the ideal you held… when the person you aspire to become one day, does the unthinkable?

I was hoping to be “like” him someday, I looked up to his wit, his writing, and his sense of humor.

I thought if I could just hang on, I can get that far… but what are we hanging on for?

I see so many suicides, so many people who have lost the struggle with themselves… it has mattered not station or situation, the outcome has been the same.

I sit here in tears for a lost soul that I didn’t know personally, but makes me think.

What makes me so special to think I will be able to beat this monster?

What makes me think that my life will not end the way his did?

Nothing…

All signs point to an early check out.

All signs tell me that if my aspirational leaders can’t make it happen then what hope do I have?

I’m defeated today, in sadness and trust that tomorrow I can rage in hope and in your honor… but for now I mourn.

“As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life —and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” – Anthony Bourdain