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

 

 

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)

 

 

Goodbye Letters

*Trigger Warning* I am safe, but these letters can invoke some sadness. Please be cautious if you are triggered by suicide.

To my Dearest Best Friend,

I moved away a long time ago, but this is the final time I message you. I will miss you, I hope that now your little family will keep you strong. My absence from your life will not be felt long, please love that little man more than anyone else in the world.

You were someone whom I could really trust, and I think the only person who never let me down. I will always remember the kindness and love you showed me. I treasure all that you did and am thankful I had someone in my life like you.

Sincerely,

Me

 

To my Mom,

I hope the money you put before all of us keeps you warm now that I am gone. You were not there for me like we needed, you let me fall, and treated me like a Parent rather than the child. I loved you so much, I thought we would be friends one day, but your actions during Grandma’s transition and passing showed me otherwise. I hope you wake up and realize before it’s too late for Ash and James… you need to step up and be a better mom.

Sincerely,

Angel Face

 

To my Siblings,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, I’m sorry I was such a bad sister. I tried to be mom and sister for you guys but it never really worked out the way I wanted it to. I love you both, and you were one of the only reasons I hung on as long as I did. I hope that this gives mom and Mike the wake up they need to be there for you like they should be.

Remember, you are stronger than I am. You can and will make it… just hang onto each other.  Stay in each other’s corner. Help each other.

Sincerely,

Me

 

To my Spouse,

I release you from your ties to my awfulness. You have stayed with me through the worst and while I wish I could say it was enough to make me stay. In the end it was this that made me walk away. I truly feel like nothing more than a burden to you. That you are staying with me out of pity, or just out of boredom. I feel like your heart has been elsewhere since Mike’s passing and I am too far gone to reach it.

Either all these things were true, or I am really that crazy… and we know the answer to that. So I’m doing you this favor. You’re sadness will be short and will bring a creative wave that will launch that career you want. Your friends will gather and help you through this time, and your true love will finally arrive.

I Loved you with everything I had, till the last breath of my body. I wish I was stronger, I wish I was the one, I wish that this pain was fixable… but none of that is true. I am too broken to be Loved the way I Love you. Thank you for everything.

Sincerely,

Chrysalis

 

 

#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.

Night terrors

Try to write but can’t… the anxiety monster has claws in my brain today and it’s now impossible to write or think of anything but this terror. So I lay back and welcome you to my Anxiety Corner, where I drop all the irrational anxious musings that keep me from life.

You’re the reason, it’s your fault

You’re not good enough

Apologize, again apologize

There is something inherently wrong with you

You don’t deserve to be happy

You can’t be trusted, You’re wrong

See that look, that looks says they are disappointed in you

The eye roll, the deep sigh,

you’re a piece of shit in their eyes

Ignore the touch, ignore their words, focus on the negative

You know they are just going to leave you

Everyone is going to leave you, you don’t deserve them

You are broken, you are a bad person, You should be alone

Here is a list of all the mistakes you’ve made…

Rinse and repeat until you fall asleep,

wake up feeling like shit tomorrow morning.

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.