Sadness

Sadness, this overwhelming feeling of shatteredness. Sad is all I can feel and everything around me is blue and sad too but never you. The dreams of a future lay slaughtered on the floor with no consideration of the mess they have made. Once upon a time I thought I could have it all. Imagined a world where I was loved and seen. A world where someone thought theirs was better with me in it. When the Dr. says congratulations I again cringe because there is no happiness, no joy to congratulate one for. Alas all I can do is smile and stuff my sadness down until I get home where I can unravel in the safety of the space we once shared. This home is a prison of emotion. Everything I see and touch is a constant reminder of the life I can not have. Once upon a time we believe we could have forever, where I could change my name and this day would be full of happiness. Happiness has never been our forte. Our first love is perfect, her face a beautiful reflection of God’s plan. The second left before we could feel anything but sadness. Now this, I can not feel the hope I deserve to feel. This time the fear of never holding this hand of love plagues my soul. Anger should never be the go to emotion when someone you love is in pain but it seems my pain can only be met with his anger. My moments of happiness only bringing rage, striking fear into my already busted heart. Three hearts have beat because once the two of ours united to pulsate in unison. Will I be left with only one? My heart feels as if it stopped thumping, settling for a rhythmic lullaby putting my soul to sleep. Am I prepared to make a life alone when all I crave is a life within his? What have I done to deserve this? Why is the reaction accusatory and filled with passive hostility? Life is supposed to be a blessing, a gift to cherish and give thanks for. I feel no gratitude for this fresh life, no joy, the blessings clearly lost upon me. I scream inside but it goes unheard just as it always has. Years have past, screams turn to tears silently running down my flushed cheeks as my spirit is beat down so far it disappears. To love so deeply only to live alone with unrequited adoration, is to die inside. Sadness. It seems that all we are, all we have been is sadness. The could-be no longer exists, nothing to work towards, nothing to achieve, no goals, no light at the end of the tunnel just sadness. I am the only one broken, I am the only one in pain. My sadness is now a set for three. He is gone, feeling nothing for me as I wade through the ashes of my world. Sadness, deep blue sadness.

What Is Enough

Sometimes I cry myself to sleep. So much of my day is spent wondering why I was never enough to be loved. Was I too fat, was I too needy, was I too boring, was I simply too? What about me is so unworthy of being loved? Day in and day out I am beat down until I have no feelings left. Unable to love myself or see anything beyond what I am told. Worthless he says and worthless I see. It is as if my entire soul has been drowned in his hate.

I love you but I resent you. I love you but I hold a grudge for ruining my life. How can someone live on that? How can I crave love from one so unwilling to give it? I give and I give until there is nothing left and I am screaming inside. I scream to be seen and it goes unheard. I scream to be enough but it never is. I scream and I scream, rage on and rage on like a pathetic little person with nothing left but dwindling hope. Hope is dangerous these days, it leaves you vulnerable and open for more pain.

Hopes and dreams of a family and a love story to tell my grandchildren about how we over came the obstacles with deep love ,have disappeared. There are only lies here, a fa├žade we put on to look normal. There was never a truth to this image. No honesty, vulnerability is weakness and I am never allowed to see it. His face stoic and cold as I beg on my knees to be enough just barely enough to be the only one. No emotion, no pain no sadness just straight faces and empty eyes. I am unable to be enough and he is unable to care. Beat my soul down, smash it down, rip it to shreds and then laugh as if I am the crazy one. Worthless, weak, nothing, I am not even enough to be anything.

I used to be strong once upon a time. Before this love became my death I was once a person of substance. Seeing myself as worthy was something I had finally achieved, a reflection I could embrace. That reflection is gone, she was burnt to the ground and this shell that is left is empty and rotting. Shattered and decaying I cling to the dangerous hope of tomorrow. I cling to the scraps he throws at me, hope beating fiercely in my heart. It is a futile fight for that which does not exist. I fight to keep the lie.

I love you, I love you. That is all I can muster through the tears and frightened screams. For in my deep hope lies the pending true death of my soul. One day it won’t be just my heart he breaks. Bruises have faded but the fear that I may not survive this love is ever lasting. The sight of his body on top of me and the weight of his knees taking the away my precious breath away is seared into my mind every time I close my eyes. This fear I have never felt before and the realization that our love may take away her family. One day this argument is going to go too far. Snap he will go and he will take the last breathe of life from my body only to blame me for my own death. I am not crazy and this is all too real no matter how much I try to deny it or spin it into a prettier picture.

Blame me, use me and play the victim. Accuse me and abuse me, strike fear into my spirit but still I crave him. Is my intense need to be enough going to be the end of me? Who is this man, do I even know him? Do I love him or am I afraid that I am unlovable? Will anyone ever want me or see me? Will anyone ever care about my needs or see my light? Do I even have any light left in me or has it all been smothered and extinguished? What is enough? Was I enough when he said he loved me or was that a lie? Have I always been less than or did I over stay my worth? Am I ever going to be enough for myself? What the hell is enough anymore? Worthless he says and worthless I see. One day I will be enough but that day is not today and that man is not this one. I need to be my own true love to be enough for my daughter so she still has a mother. Reality hurts.

Empty

Some days I can survive on a single smile or glance from him. Other days I feel I could die from the loneliness of loving someone who can not see you. No matter how hard I try or throw myself at his feet, I always fall below his gaze. Slowly the life has been sucked from my heart and the only love I have left is for the tiny human who shares his face. Day in and day out I struggle to love myself. Years I have spent trying to be someone worthy of love, someone worthy of kindness and adoration, someone that belonged to someone. I dreamed for years about meeting another soul to compliment my own. My person. The partner who could see all of me, damaged, broken and afraid, loving each of my pieces. When we got pregnant I soon realized that dream was over. I would never have that person, he does not exist in the man I chose. I fell for the lie.

I love someone who can not see himself. So much time is spent trying to build a broken ego that evertyhing else goes unnoticed. The deep pain reflected in our eyes glitters in the light like a story of two lost souls in the night. We are walking this path but in seperate ways. The closer I get to the light the farther into darkness he creeps until we loose sight. Blinded by the blackness of our eternal nighttime, we continue to wander with no direction. Frustrated and worn down the way back to one another seems like an impossible journey.

Every moment feels like it could be the last, everyday may be the day we have to let go. On eggshells we sneak around one another in terror. What mood we find eachother in is anyones guest but the result is always the same, emptiness. The emptiness of this love. should you even call it that, starves you until you are hollow. The starvation for attention and love can unhinge even the most solid of people. Hollow is not a way to live, eventually you collapse.

We know this is shattered yet we still try to hold it together with emtional shoes strings. False promise after false promise of fruitless efforts to even fake affection. The meer sight of me makes his body twitch and his mind cloud with thoughts of resentment and rage. Nobody wanted to be here but again we wake in this house of lies with the four walls that have seen the slow dismemberment of what we could have been. Should have been.

Nothing left to fight for, no love left to give just emptiness and self doubt. Daily subjection to bitterness at choices I can’t make for him. I can’t make someone happy who blames their own self deprivation on everyone else. If a person can not take responsibility for their actions can they really take responsibility for their own happiness? True joy comes from a heart that is full, peace is an inside job. My energy has been sucked out trying to do the emotional work for two people.

Here we are again, betrayal and deceit back in the driver seat. We are racing down the highway of life at a speed we never intended. Cruel words and vicious violations of our dignity spew at one another with such force you never seen the ground until you fall onto it. Body cold and shaking I lay here night after night crying alone below the eyeline of the only gaze I yearn for. Pleading for love is no way to live but here we are.

Love is complex, can we love truly love eachother if we can not fully love oursleves. Can we really be there to support one another when we can not open ourselves to it? We have a problem but where do we go? We can not go where we have been and the future doesn’t look as bright as it once did. The paths I have to choose from all look dangerous and unappealing. No direction seems safe, everyone with be bruised and beaten by the end no matter what we choose. For the first time in my life I am choosing my pain instead of being over run with it. I have chosen this love to fight for but my knuckles are bloody, my sword is broken and all I have left before I am killed in battle is to beg mercy from demons he can’t control.

Nothing seems ok anymore, nothing feels like it can ever be healed. The wounds feel too deep, the pain leaving scars too visible to attempt to cover. I sit quietly and wait for him to come through the door praying today is the day he chooses to love me but it is always a disappointment so I pray and we repeat it all again tomorrow. Empty and alone I go on living on a love for 1 when the table was set for 2.

Who the fuck am I?

I don’t know what I enjoy. A normal person could identify favorite foods, music ect. and things they don’t like. Normal has never been my thing. I liked what people told me to like, looked the way others suggested, everything from my hair color to the way I liked my burgers was entirely based off of who others made me. I have been a human paper doll as long as I can remember.

I spent the last week seeing in the flesh all of the things people hate about me. I saw all my biggest fears standing in front of me. I can see myself in all the worst parts of my mother. I see the worst qualities of my mother in her mother. This cycle is done. I have suddenly seen the curtain pull back and the voice of Oz is a lie. Everything I know about who I am is starting to blur.

Suddenly I question who the fuck I am? How much of what I remember from my childhood is a reflection of her prospective? Everything I hate about myself comes from the environments in which I was raised. Am I actually crazy or was I raised by crazy and thus my idea of healthy and normal is vastly incorrect? I just want to hide under a rock sometimes because it would be easier.

Shopping is difficult because I don’t know what I like. I know what different people in my life would choose and I go based on that. Most of my clothes are my moms hand me down and it’s like I am a fat version of my mother. From my voice to my bitching and my horrific tendency to make nasty judgmental comments about people. The lack of boundaries and my mothers need to be the center of everything causes such intense disturbances in my ability to have my own life.

I’m fucking angry! All I want is to be a good mother and a good wife. I long to set roots and become a part of a community and build bonds. As much as I desperately cling to these ideas of suburban bliss I know I am not ready. I have so much to change and work on as a person before I feel that I am worthy of my dreams. People with the cruel streak I have don’t deserve to have it all.

Being raised by people with the incredible ability to slice you into piece turns you vicious. Like a dog trained to fight I will attack in the most aggressive way possible. I verbally maul you until you fight back. Unfortunately when you spend years being the attacked you tend to cower away in sheer terror when someone makes you remember where you came from. Everything in life is frightening when you have no clue how to handle it.

Marriage. children, love stories that last, people who don’t physically assault one another or throw things? What the hell am I supposed to do with that? Full acceptance without question, what is the motive? All I have ever known is that you can trust no one but your own. My mom was the only person I could trust because everyone else was against me. Somehow she was always made to be the savior. My father always the villain, though there is sufficient reason for a vast majority of that title.

We accept the love we feel we deserve right? What if you have no idea what you deserve or even want because all the versions of love you have been shown are totally fucked up? The women in my family are verbally abusive, overly critical and have a serious case of the “look at me’s.” I have great examples of the love I would like to receive from the men in their lives but I don’t think anyone deserves to be treated the way they were. That stops here as well. I will not wake up one morning when I am widowed and alone and say “I wish i would have appreciated what I had”. I will not belittle someone I love because they didn’t jump when I instructed. I will give them same respect I expect.

I want to cry because I feel so torn between loving my family and seeing the reality of how damaged everyone is. My perception of my childhood has been shattered with the glimpse of what could be. Everything I want in life is the opposite of what I have known. All I know is I refuse to be who I am. I refuse to be this miniature version of all the generations of trauma that caused the evolution of walls I was born into. I can not base my life on the darkest parts of everyone elses past. I can not project my own darkness on the future of my child. The world is beautiful, people are inherently good, God is more than being seen at church on Sunday, no person is better than another, giving up is not an option and love has no conditions.

Who the fuck am I? Not sure but I am discovering slowly that I can be someone I genuinely like. I can love without allowing myself or my child to be exposed to trauma or unhealthy relationships no matter who it may be.

I am more than my trauma.

I am more than where I come from.

I decide who I want to be.

Birds

If you are a bird, I am a bird. That is the premise of love. Birds fly together lifting above the the perils below. Safely in their nest at night with one another.

Crows travel in groups as large as 15. All together with respect, looking out for one another. They call it a murder but we would call it a family. Strange synonym in my opinion. I’ve spent forever with a so called family when I was searching for my murder.

Families are instinctively wired to protect one another but some people have a short. Crows see one of their own hurt and they will avenge their loved one. Humans in my experience are less about their loved ones and more about themselves. Love is given when it’s beneficial. I long to be a crow where I am never abandoned and where causing me pain is considered an offense to them all.

Sometimes I watch birds fly and I wish I could just be free but I not wild anymore. My natural instinct for freedom is diminished to dependence on life as a pet. My flight is contained within the confines of my cage, I am content.

In this cage I feel nurtured and safe. I am fed and affection is given but mostly I am alone inside this tiny space. I have forgotten what it is like to be free, to fly into the sky where all the dangers are below you. This cage I have built of fear and anger keeps me locked in. I tell myself it’s to be safe from the outside world but now I can see my murder in the other side.

My family of birds sits visible between the bars of my cage the door wide open for escape but I can not go. My instinct to fly is shoved away by my captive sense that I must stay in if I want to survive. I know this new family will avenge my pain and hold me close in their nest. I will not be alone and I need not be afraid but the path to them is in the open and that’s a dangerous place to be.

I have an opportunity to become a part of something whole and solid but have to let myself out of the cage. Every bar I have placed is a dark thought, a piece of learned behavior that I have to deconstruct. It takes so long to build that the process of tearing it down takes all the power you have and not amount of time will ever be enough.

So I’ll poke head out of the cage as I ease myself free. Each try I get a little further. One day I will be brave enough take flight and leave this behind for the safety of numbers.

Toxic Relationship

“Toxic” seems to the most broadly and overused term for any relationship with hurdles. I don’t me rocky points or jumps, I mean full on leaps that must be taken to get over the bar and move forward. I have had more than a few of those relationships in my life. I’ve had them all from a romantic partner to an unhealthy friendship and family members but nothing has been as toxic as the relationship I have with myself.

As long as I can remember I have disappointed myself. I never quite fit in and I either became friends with whatever kid I could find that also had a dysfunctional household or the kid everyone picked on, with the exception of 1 girl who loved me anyways and still remains a great support but mostly I was never enough to be one of the “normal kids.” Which in that area just meant their parents had known each other forever and these kids had well established bonds by the time this 6 year old with glasses showed up talking about gay people and AIDS let alone the fact that I had divorced parents. This is Bible Belt Tennessee in the mid 90’s, I might have well had 3 heads.

By middle school I was overweight, extremely insecure especially since my 100lb mother was always concerned about her weight and my father thought anything with a curve was fat. One of the most important things I have ever learned is that if you body shame yourself and others you inadvertently tell your children they aren’t worthy. Being insecure, lonely and picked on leads you to become mean or people pleasing. I somehow became both. If you were mean to someone I was going to tear you down piece by piece. On the other hand I desperately wanted to be loved and have friends. I was very giving and very kind if you got past my walls. Those who did are lifelong friends but everyone one of them came from an “different” home like I did.

By high school I hated myself, hated my body, hated life and my desperate need for affection and acceptance put me in positions that would change me and break me down. I loathed myself, everything I did I judged. I would cringe when I looked in the mirror. I cried myself to sleep and thought if I just died it would be better than this, emotions I still struggle to control.

My entire life I searched for reassurance that I was loved and I was enough. From my relationships with men where I allowed myself to be bullied, broken and used up to friendships that cost me everything, unhealthy relationships with my parents who both struggle with their own personal demons even if they don’t see it; I searched for something I never found. I continously attached myself to the things I hated but found comfort in, the chaos and tragic darkness that consumed most of my life. I wasn’t ready to see myself as I was.

My biggest issue in life is not the relationships I have it’s the way I handle myself in them. Nothing is toxic unless you allow it. Instead of loving myself and staying strong in my worth I lowered myself to either cut back stronger than they could, until it cut so deep you couldn’t ever really heal it. Sometimes I cowered in the belief that I was responsible for the things being done, the words being said and the physical violence I endured. I chose to be that person because of my own toxic self belief that I am not enough.

Now I am seeing a different side of my toxicity, the one that has the biggest effect on me. I have come to a point where I am so desperate to feel worthy that instead of standing my ground and saying “Yas queen I’m proud of you” I have gone to a place where I judge myself, I am disgusted by my reflection both inside and out. I have gained physical weight and I have gained emotional weight.

I hear from people I care about how much they dislike themselves when they clearly weigh less than me, I get told “I hope your kid doesn’t have your metabolism” or “you need something to suck all that in if you are gonna wear that” and I hate myself. I cry more times than I care to admit. The fact that my partner doesn’t tell me I am attractive gets to me because I feel unwanted. Which is not the case, he never hit on me before I got fat either lol but having to suggest a compliment is embarrassing which makes me feel pathetic.

Feeling unwanted be it true or not compiled with already feeling disgusting can put anyone in a dark place but stack it with a history of secrets and lies, that’s enough to make your mind melt. This rage builds up inside because I want to be wanted no I NEED to be wanted, 28 years I have begged to feel wanted and worthy and I search for that gratification from others.

A lot of the deep pain and trauma from life has left a void in my heart, one I have tried to stuff with physical relationships, emotional relationships, people I loved, people I barely knew and worst of all people I left damaged in my wake. As much as I have been hurt I have hurt others. I have lied to lovers, cheated and felt nothing, loved what was not mine not caring who got hurt, committed sins that can not be forgiven, screamed at, belittled, thrown things, sadly even physically struck people who meant everything to me because I didn’t know how to deal with the world around me. I have hurt myself with my actions. I look at myself in hindsight and it’s hard not to see the damage I have self inflicted over the years by not understanding you need self love to love others.

The way I react to life and to pain is my own issue that flows over into everything good in my life because all I know is toxic. This is not to say that the actions of others are not wrong and that I am not justified in my pain but how I handle it and the respect I give myself determines how things move forward. If I strike back with rage than rage will fill that space and no good can come of it. If I crumble into pieces and sink into a depression there can be no forward just back. The only way life can flow is if I let go of my own behaviors and take responsibility for my own self worth. If I respond to the hurdles in life with dignity and self love, respectfully and with civility then I can break the cycle of unhealthy relationships. Toxic relationships are a personal choice. You can either break the cycle or you can continue to allow yourself to be less than you are. I have to be the shining example for myself of how I want and deserved to be treated. I can not expect that from others if I can not expect that from myself. Self love and self worth are the cure and fix for all that is toxic because when you love and respect yourself you either walk away with dignity or you push forward with strength and class. Easier said than done but everyday is a new opportunity to be a better healthier version of yourself. Never stop growing, evolving or loving. You are worthy!

Moments

Life is made up of tiny fragments of time, memories created as glimpses of the past, dreams creating grand visions for the future. Moments sealed in your soul creating the backdrop of your world. Moments, just tiny pieces of stolen time you tuck away in your mind for safe keeping.

One of the best kind of moments are the ones that come unexpectedly often in the stillness that surrounds. When your child falls asleep on your chest and you could watch them sleep forever just memorizing their face or when your lover reaches for you in the night. Moments when you are so filled with love for someone you can’t look away. Those moments create a place inside where you feel overwhelmed with joy.

Some moments don’t sink in until after they have gone. You can walk away from something not realizing you’ll remember it forever. Like a midnight ride to a Krispy Kreme or watching ET in you pajamas. Long talks on cool couches or musical singalongs so bad your throat hurts after.

The most important moments are the ones that transcend, the ones where you feel like time stops. The first time you laid eyes on your baby girl. The moment when you tell someone you love that letting go is ok and the peace you see in their eyes. The moment when you see the joy in people’s face when they are trult happy. Sometimes theses moments feel like scars for a while but time has a way of making peace of things.

Every second is a chance to make a moment. Memories, fragments, screenshots of the things that make up your heart. We are but moments in history, here and then gone. So make the moments, take it all in. Use your words, use your time, watch the movie, take the drive, go hang out for no reason at all, laugh every chance you get and hold love as close and as long as you can. Money doesn’t make the moments but being able to buy snacks is always a plus!

Home

The idea of home evolves over time. When we are younger it is the physical location. As you get older home is the place you feel safe and loved. As a young adult home was the new place where we made our own family of friends. For me home was always a town or house until now.

As a child I had many homes. We moved a lot. I always felt like my mother got bored and moved to a new house because she wasn’t ready to settle down but never wanted to go far. As an adult I can see there was a lot more to that and I feel a tinge of guilt for my childhood frustration. It doesn’t change the fact that I never did feel settled and I just tried to be around as little as possible.

I always had two separate lives one in the south and one on the west coast. Two lives, two homes, two places that I never belonged. I always felt loved but I never felt normal. By the time I had sleepovers in 3rd grade I had become aware that my homes weren’t like anyone elses.

As a child both homes I shared with my parents were volatile. Toxic love lives filled with fighting, objects being thrown, scream, yelling and crying spilled into every aspect of life. My father socially drank to excess and basically ignored me unless he was expressing disappointment for most of my life and my mother always had someone who was more important than me. I always felt that everyone was more important than me.

My true home in both my lives was my grandparents. The most consistent places of love and comfort belonged to my Oma and my Grama. On their couches and in their loving arms I was home. I was safe. That safety was an illusion. One home was a constant parade of drugs, thieves, violence and the ever nagging knowledge that death was inevitable. That was normal but there was love, chaos but love. The other seemingly picturesque had a dark underbelly that I was blissfully unaware of as a child, something I am eternally grateful for.

My Grams and Gramps gave me the only normal safe place I have ever had. The only place in my entire life I knew I could run to and someone would always want me and I never felt forgotten or in the way. They gave me the only consistency in my life, structure, faith and my love of others. I learned to give and love because of my Grandfather and my Grams. You always felt loved and everyone was welcome.It wasn’t perfect but it was my grace.

Over the years all of those places began to crack and crumble, people died, people changed, and our home, the home I made all my memories is was now someone else’s. My anger from the shattered reality these “homes” provided ate at me until by 16 I was a teenage nightmare who was ready to run away from everything and I did. I ran for years, building and destructing home after home until I found myself in a bottomless pit with no home, no safe space and relationships so damaged that many of them will never be repaired. I have fought everyday of my life. I have been the victim and recently I’ve been the monster.

I have run from myself for years. I have run from my marriage, my family, my past, my reality, my addictions, my reputations, my mistakes, I always physically ran away from home. I thought home was the city I was in. Nashville, Cape Coral, Clarksville, Monterey; every place I ran from never feeling like I belonged.

When I came back to California last year I had no idea what home meant. They say it is where the heart is but mine was always confused and torn. My heart always ripped and shredded not knowing where I was from or who I was. I figured home was going to be this town… again. I’d settle in and become a townie like everyone else. I had settled on being a Collins in a small town. I was just going to have to be ok with that.

Fast forward a year and I know where I belong. Having a child makes your whole world flip upside down. There is no love like that love. I have never wanted anything more than to give this beautiful person a home. A home where she always feels loved, where she feels safe and where she sees love the right way.

I can’t say that I have been incredibly good at it. I’ve constantly made the same mistakes as my parents. I have yelled and I have allowed yelling. I have belittled and attacked, I’ve allowed myself to be belittled and attacked. Worst of all I have been violent while cowering in fear from the situation I created. This is not the home either of us want her to see.

I have to let go of the homes of my past. Those places and feelings have to be left behind. The versions of home I once accepted as normal have to be replaced with a new ideas. It may not be entirely possible to unlearn 28 years of my home life but I have to try. I have to try to not be all the things I have seen and become the things I craved.

Everyday we wake up and start fresh. We push forward and we work on being better. Together we are creating a new idea of home. The home we all deserve. She will never be confused about where her home is.

Home is not a place. No physical building, city or state can ever be home. Home is wherever your soul finds peace. My home is in this tiny family we have created. My home is in my child and in my partner. We could live any place, have it all or have nothing but home will always be where I am with these two.

Linger

I hate the word “victim”, it feels dirty. It’s one of those words like “moist” that just bothers me for some inexplicable reason. I don’t ever want to be called a victim but as far as definitions go, I am. You grow out of being a victim at some point and then you become my least favorite term “survivor.”

Survivor makes it sound as if my life was in jeopardy and I am lucky to be alive. Survivor makes it seem as if I have overcome the obstacles. That isn’t really the case at all is it? When you survive cancer or a health disorder, a car crash ect. you are alive after it. Survivor isn’t the right term for me.

When you experience something traumatic, something so horrific your mind has to compensate by trying to cut the memory out; you don’t survive. A part of you dies, the person you once were is gone and she never comes back. You don’t survive things that break you, you have to be born again.

From the ashes of my emotional death, my murdered sense of saftey, the new me was reborn. I am no phoenix, I didn’t become anything special or majestic. Quite the contray, I came back as something darker and jaded. Years were spent waiting for this rise from the fall but it has never fully come to fruition.

This new person is afraid. Everything is new and terrifying. Without the saftey of the cloak I wore before, the cloak of drugs that covered all the scars, I am left exposed. Anxiety takes over and the thought of new people makes my blood pulsate through my veins. I can feel the terror of the outside, all I want is to crawl back to saftey, alone.

Tears flow so often as I try to cleanse away the thoughts inside. Everyday I have to fight my own mind, my own irrational fears and concerns. The walls are always closing in and everyone is always watching, judging. They all know my secrets and they all know my shame. I can’t convince myself otherwise even though I am well aware of my irrationality.

It is impossible to explain to others that all of your insecurities come from something┬á unrealted. People can not connect the events from the past to a dinner I can’t attend now but its all one. I can not fix it on my own. My current irrational fears have come a long way from the ones of the before but still I fight them.

You can not call me a survivor when I did not live. I am scarred and I am pieced back together with theraputic duct tape and medicinal gorilla glue. It will hold but you will always know I was once broken. Tiny cracks in my armour will always show no matter how hard I try to cover them.

I am no longer a victim and I was never a survivor. I am a lingerer. I ” remain existent although often waning in strength, importance, or influence”. I “remain alive although gradually dying.”

Nothing survives you just linger on what’s left until you are gone.

Forgiving The Fire

Facebook always knows how to cut you with the searing edge of past swords. Burning into my flesh are the eyes of the deepest darkness you’ve ever seen. What once brought smiles is vanished replaced only with emptiness. Memories sizzling into my mind as I try to look away.

When those pictures were taken 8 years ago nobody could have ever imagined the horror that followed. None of us could have ever fathomed that evil lurked beyond the surface. I used to become enraged when these pictures came up every year but now after all this time I have learned to cope with irrational self punishment and guilt for the times of happiness long gone.

There he is in full color holding this glowing angel of a child he would soon turn on. His so face so young and brimming with pride as this tiny beauty smiled at him. These snapshots in history show such a different side of the monster. For many years I battled my inner demons wondering if I was wrong for smiling when I remember the day those photos were taken. It is hard to reconcile the killer with best friend.

I spent nearly a decade blaming myself for bringing together these two people who would implode only months later. It is only after a lot of soul searing that I have reached the conclusion that two people like that would have burnt the world down with or without each other, I had no way of knowing just how fast those flames would travel. So many warnings went unheeded, desperate plea after desperate plea thrown at the side. No one could contain that wild fire once it caught.

The depths of personal hell you have to be in to reach so low as to take the life of child is no place I can begin to reach. Maybe drugs carried away the soul that once was because by the end neither of the friends I held dear existed any longer. These villains are not my friends I knew. Living with that love is intensely confusing.

I can love and never forget. I can give it to God and find my own version of peaceful forgiveness but I can never forget. I can never make the light shine like it did the day before she left. I can never see the world the same. I can not be the same.

Having my own child who reminds me so much of our sweet girl has brought back so many feelings. The anger is different almost as if I am so angry that I feel a strange pity. I have been low, I have been sick and strung out to an unrecognizable version of my prior self. I understand that when you come back from that internal death everything you have done comes flooding back and the guilt in unbearable.

Guilt can push us to numbness. Loosing her brought upon the darkest feelings of guilt and regret pushing me into a spiral of toxicity that took years to walk away from. I have been plagued with suicidal thought and nightmares that never go away. Flashbacks of her tiny face in a tiny box forever haunt me. I can only imagine how they feel now that they have awoken from their drug induced emotional slumber. To live with the knowledge that they took her life must be the most painful experience in the world. Good.

I get some sense of peace in knowing that they will never sleep a night without fear for the rest of their natural lives. Fear that she must have felt, the terror of her final days haunting them for the next 50 years. Everyday the terrifying threat that someone will take offense to their heinous crime and give them the same treatment they gave her.

God tells me it is ok to forgive. I trust in that. I trust in him to make the final judgement on us all. So today I remind myself to forgive them for my own sanity and to forgive myself for having a heart that never stops beating for others. Today I forgive the fire as I cover the scars it left behind.