and somewhere, somewhere in the middle of the day,
l i f t e d
and somewhere, somewhere in the middle of the day,
l i f t e d
I have all of this proof
Physical proof of how good I am, how talented, how good, how kind.
I have emotional proof.
People say lovely things, in front of other people.
About me they say these things. Lovely things in front of other people.
It can be an entire day of people saying lovely wonderful things about me, showing how much they appreciate what I have to offer.
And all it takes is one motherfucker to bring it down.
I was already in trouble when I woke up yesterday morning.
My only goal was to get home to Mojo.
To keep that in my head to get home to him, to make sure that he was eating, that he was feeling okay.
My only goal, my far point was Mojo.
I talked to myself all through my shower to make sure that I brushed my teeth.
I brushed my teeth.
I was still not okay when I got out of the shower. I was not okay when I got dressed.
The entire drive. Not okay.
Knowing my far point.
Got where I was going. Shared that I was not okay. Shared enough fast enough to be as clear as possible.
Eyes bright and wide.
I know that when I am like this
(you know how you get)
I know that when I am like this I have to protect myself at all costs because to not do so would be dangerous for everyone.
The day went. Carefully.
Shared my work to delight, to lesser delight.
To what seemed cursory, perfunctory, obligatory.
I want people who love, truly.
I don’t want someone uncaring, not in any part of my life.
Other skills, gushed over. Lauded. Delighted in.
shared out loud.
All day all day I had teetered on the edge, this rollercoaster poised and threatening at the very top.
LOUD VOICES CLOSE
loud and close and disharmonious and unyielding
eyes slitted, accusing
I can’t be, there.
I excuse myself away, not far enough but out of sight
but not out of tension’s grasp.
The only thing I have left to help is disassociation because I cannot physically get far enough away.
So I go away.
Eyes burning into the computer screen
totally focused on the pen in my hand
and the rage behind it
summoning internal music to fill my skull loudly
drown out the screeching noises outside and in.
I share. Bits of what’s happening.
To exorcise it. Flush it out.
My face is a mask, deadened expression, eyes down. I comply when needed.
The only thing I can remember now is this:
“I know you get anxious when it’s loud and there’s a lot going on and and and but you can’t let that SHOW. They said you’re always angry.”
i cannot anymore.
I am not okay.
finally a spate of cooler weather of breezy
easy-breezy chicken francese
head less on fire
brain, still convoluted and badly tangled, untangling.
thoughts racing and tangled more, faster
I don’t know less what?
Less rage, more anger.
Less fury, more sadness, and disappointment.
Less fire, more ice.
There is no
“what did I do to deserve this?” or
“I didn’t do anything to deserve this”
Those thoughts begin to bubble up and are stopped at the first word.
No. I say no.
I will not begin to embody those thoughts.
This has nothing to do with me.
Not ever again.
it has gone on so long now that there is no coming back.
there is no balm,
no quiet murmured assurance,
no comforting touch that will ever, ever save me.
Not from this.
I thought I knew you.
I suppose I do.
You know what you have lost.
I see now what I have gained.
summer is full of fire.
summer is full of rage and fire and heat and no.
summer is full of can’t, of won’t.
summer is hateful and vengeful and all together too much.
the rage in my brain and the rage on my skin
on my body
it is boiling my brain,
i can feel it shrivel and pucker
it is pulling inward all my tendons, my ligaments
it is contracting my soul, dessicating it
my plant is thirsty.
the planet that is my body is cracking under the drought
i am feeding her, watering her
it is barely enough.
it is enough to coexist on the slightly softer edge of civility
but the near-constant TARDIS-like screaming of the emergency brake
the cacophony of heated elements in continuous collision
heating too quickly for safety
safety is nowhere to be found.
it isn’t even looked for.
not for me, no.
not for me but for another.
her safety, her (((relative))) sanity is my priority.
through her i have found salvation.
so when i see, when i observe
when i walk into a scene and e v e r y t h i n g everything is tangled
a nest of snakes and snarls because someone isn’t listening
almost at once i can see
oh gods i can see! I can see what needs be done
and i turn, slowly.
and i direct my rage, my fury funnelled
directed as a firehose would be
put the wet stuff on the red stuff
i am using my fire to put out a potential backdraft
i am raging and it is working, slowing the progress.
again, though, someone isn’t listening
someone is risking everyone else for their what, big dick move?
someone is risking everything.
summer is full of fire, and don’t, and no.
it is my place to draw the line here, it is
i am one hundred per cent sure of this.
for the first time in my life, backed up on this.
in every single other case
in every other single moment in my life.
every single one.
you are too much.
you are too intense.
we got this, you can stop now.
I am not too much.
I tell this man he needs to stop.
I tell this man
“you need to chill the fuck out right now and stop.”
and he looks at me, stops, hesitates.
I can see his body wanting to continue.
“you’re not listening and you need to listen.“
he isn’t, but he is looking at me intently.
“who are you?” he thinks
I don’t care who the fuck you are.
I have never done this before, this woodfire but i do understand science
I do understand and so should he.
I don’t care who he is, only that he doesn’t care to listen
and so I am outrageous in my language
I am extreme.
Righteously raging and definite.
I use the skill and dexterity and froth that I keep so tightly locked away
the fire that i only unleash in the bedroom
and i direct it all at this man
and he stops, deflated.
slinking away to complain to another
(she knows i’m right, too)
((and what is this, high school? have you learned nothing.))
I don’t care that he is embarrassed
(don’t do stupid fucking shit then, asshole)
I don’t care who you are all I know is that you are dangerous.
You will not rise over me.
You will listen.
Or you will leave.
The fire has emboldened me, lent me her strength, her fury.
I listen to stories of needing the fire, of missing it.
I have understood missing Saturn;
I am understanding the fire, now.
this morning as I sat dissecting the weekend, the experience
as I sat discussing the ineptitude, the abject narcissism of one person,
the overwhelming love and support of nearly everyone else I realized
I realized my gratitude for this asshole, too
that for the first time (a weekend of firsts)
for the first time I was able to use this rage this dysphoria
this reliably unreliable tool
I was able to harness the power of the sun
focus it on something harmful
burn it out like a cancer.
leaving room for new, healthy growth in its place.
Fire burns; fire renews.
She is an explosion of hope.
summer is full of fire.
620p 18th july 2020
do you ever think of me unbidden?
do i ever cross your mind? i wonder.
does my voice pollute your day as yours does mine?
does my face interrupt your thoughts?
i know better than to ask
i don’t want to know, i think.
i finally felt safe, home.
i broke my own heart, leaving you.
i can’t stand to talk to you anymore
the pity in your voice is palpable
i have no idea if it’s real or not
only that it feels real.
desperate for comfort.
so when I think for a second that i want to hear your voice
when i am craving the security I once felt
i do better to remember
that it doesn’t belong to me.
You see this girl, smiling, happy.
This sweet kitty, snuggling this smiling girl.
What you don’t see.
The remade bed, the just-changed sheets
that have needed changing for too long.
The remade bed that until five minutes prior,
I was in, under the covers,
desperate to recall the feeling of the embrace
of a good man, a sweet man.
The soft, welcome heaviness of the weighted blanket on my shoulder,
so close to feeling the way his arm did,
draped across my shoulder, holding my hand, fingers intertwined.
his warmth behind me,
curving into my back.
what you don’t see.
tears staining my face
the roughness of Mojo’s tongue on my cheeks,
the delicate inquisitiveness of his nose at the corners of my eyes.
knowing that the memory of the feeling would have to last
until next time.
I am happy that I can remember,
even though the stopgap measures,
the heavy blanket,
even though trying to not be lonely only makes me lonelier.
This a thousand million googol times.
This different kind of imposter syndrome, what would you call it?
nothing reliable, nothing real
no sure footing
feeling fake all the time, having to adjust my face, my
The thing that most gets me through is knowing
(this tiny, blurry, hazy beacon in the fog)
knowing that it will indeed end, that it will shift because it always does.
not always for the better and many times for the much, much worse
But change, indeed, will happen.
Change always (eventually) for the good
for the evolution
for the revolution.
let go or be dragged.
I am long enough into this diagnosis,
my clinical history starred and asterisked and underlined
drugs and cocktails of drugs given and discarded
I am long enough into this life to know that I am a compliant patient.
I am long enough into this life to know my own body, and what feels right for it.
I have never misunderstood the importance of taking all the medicine.
Following the directions.
Being a good girl.
but what happens when you do everything right, when you do everything you are supposed to do and still nothing works?
When you “soldier on”
as opposed to what?
You wait patiently for spring, then summer to end.
You lean on your friends, your lovers as much as you think they can stand
always risking oversharing, overeverything
reaching the point where it is your literal life on the line and you are
I can barely breathe for the tension I feel
not wanting to overstay my welcome
not wanting to overwhelm others as I am completely overwhelmed
the noise in my head is unending
the thing that keeps me here
the knowing that it will shift
that it will change
that it won’t always be like this.
Until it is again.
I want things.
There, I said it. I want things.
I am so tired of wanting and wanting and wanting.
I am so tired holding my own hands and hugging my ownself.
I am so tired of being exhausted at the thought of cooking a meal for one person.
I am so tired of all of the things that I am supposed to be doing filling my head to the exclusion of all else almost all the time.
I am so tired of the noise.
I am so tired of being woken up in the middle of the night by my own sadness.
I am so tired of being so tired.
I want things.
I want to not be so tired.
I want to not worry about all of the things all of the time.
I want to see a request for penpals in a nursing home in North Carolina and not burst into tears at the thought that that will be me someday,
alone in a nursing home,
begging for a penpal.
That everything about me will be written on a piece of poster board,
begging for a pen pal.
“Lysa loves cats,
the color purple,
and monster trucks.
Won’t you please write to her?
the hopeful smile on my face
plastered there for so long
(no one wants to be friends with a mean old lady so i smile)
no matter how hard it is
no matter how alone i am, have been.
I am so tired.
I am tired of knowing that as much as everything is already crashing down around me
that it will only get worse for the ignoring of it,
the putting off of everything possible
and many things that are not
i am so tired of faking pleasantry and ease
i am exhausted dodging “how are YOU???”
sidestepping directly into “what can i do for you today?”
avoiding, bobbing, weaving
slipping out from under the hammer of
HOW ARE YOU.
my extended silence and thrumming tears not enough of a delicacy for some
i’ve said this before,
my pain must be delicious.