Whiny Fucking Baby

I feel guilty.

I feel guilty about having a dissociative disorder because the more I think about it, the more I think that nothing THAT terrible has happened to me. So I can only conclude that I am a whiny fucking baby and I have just been unable to confront minor every day life struggles.

Is incest a normal every day life struggle?

Maybe I’ve just blown everything out of proportion. My father’s suicide, my mother running out on me, the molestation, the child pornography,  the rape in college, the suicide attempts, the drug binging.

I really don’t have anything to complain about, or be “broken by”- I made it out alive and there are others with actual, real issues. Yet, here I am, continuing to self-harm because I blame myself for my parents leaving, for my cousin sticking himself in me, for allowing myself to be raped and abused.

Whiny, selfish, dramatic, stupid, and worthless waste of space.

The Phone Call

I spoke with my childhood abuser last night.

Out of mania, or compulsion, impulse, or maybe just the simple need for closure, I sent him a Facebook message yesterday asking him to please talk to me.

My childhood abuser is my cousin. When I was 12, I was raped and repeatedly sexually abused by this man, then 38. For years my family swept my trauma under the rug (they still do, for the most part).

Yesterday something pulled me to message him. I’ve done this before. I’ve texted him, called him, have pleaded for him to acknowledge me in my adulthood for the pain he’s caused me. He has never responded to me; until last night.

I received a phone call and I knew it was his number. My heart kind of froze. I thought for a split second about not answering it, but I did.

His voice was eerily comforting. I almost… missed him. I felt relieved to hear his familiar lowness, the scratch in his voice.

He thanked me for the message, that he’s happy I reached out. He was happy to see me at our cousin’s wedding a few weeks ago. He cares about me, he loves me. He wants to talk to me and give me that acknowledgement.

My logic told me to be cold and angry, yet I found myself asking him (as I’ve always done before), “How are you? Are you okay? How are the girls? You’re still working for the same company? Thank you for calling me… ” It seems the effects of Stockholm Syndrome were still present.

My body was shaking from the adrenaline, yet I felt nothing. There were no emotions on the surface, nor deep down. There was nothing to pull out. No anger, no fear, no sadness.

He wants to set up a time to meet with me and talk. I want that, too. I want so badly to hear from him, face to face, what he did.

The Pretty Blue Bows

Every now and then
I miss the lull
and low buzzing of a good high.
Wow!
What a thrill after you
plug it into your arm.
Liquid lightening climbing
through the empty spaces of
yourself.

All those spaces that mommy
dearest left deserted
void, cut up
like coupons in the garbage.
And father wasn’t much
help at all
taking it away himself
with a heavy load.

That incipient surge
that belts out,
all the while
making the eyes tumble
backwards,
staring off into
the tiny cranial stars
making up
tiny cranial constellations.

Of course I couldn’t
slip the steel into my
own arm at first.
He would tie such beautiful
tourniquets
that would make girl scouts
wet themselves.

Pretty rubber blue bows.

I was kneeling on the
bathroom floor,
bending over like a virgin.
Spreading my legs out
and panting out loud.
I couldn’t tie a pretty blue bow
but a decent one I did.
Minutes carried on and
I heard the child within myself
scream
before I got the guts
to inject it.

I guess it does make me
feel a little bit sad now.

Anyhow,
my hands were wet and
slippery.
I didn’t know what the fuck
I was doing
but knew what would happen
if I wasn’t doing it.
In it went and off I went
into this land where I
drool on the outside
but blissfully float internally.

Anyone that tells you that
drugs aren’t worth it
has never ridden the heroin dragon
over snowy peaks of china white.
And how lovely you become,
about thirty pounds lighter
than August,
eyes about five shades darker,
lips beautifully cracked, bleeding,
unkissable.

I am the Reverend
of my own ritual.
Delivering the wine into
my thirsty throat,
but the bread never comes.
I just kneel at the pew
and worship.
Prayer makes to forget .
Prayer is better than sleep.
The more saturated I become
the cleaner I become.

It takes away the sin.

I forget how I’ve been
torn apart limb by limb.
I forget the men that came by
the apartment to see me hazy-eyed,
panty-less
propped up in a cheerleader’s
costume.
I forget how he said to smile
and they exchanged money.
above the bed.

Here I go… nodding off.
Prayer is better than…

I forget how old he was
when he sat me on his lap and
pulled my hair back,
pushing into my prepubescence.
I forget how they all denied it
when I came crawling
out for help,
still raw.

Sometimes when I’m praying
I begin to feel that
I am more beautiful
when I am soggy with poison
and bruised from a grip
and broken into.
Kissable.

But then I begin to remember
when all of the fairy dust wears off.

On Michael (trigger warning, incest)

Michael. Green eyes, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 38 years old at the time. Intellectual, jaded by the army, twisted, and witty.

Myself. Brown eyes, 5 feet tall, 12 years young at the time. Artistic, impressionable, twisted, and mischievous.

I remember the day well, when it started. We were in my bedroom sitting on the floor, listening to music, exchanging stories from our own experiences. I was intrigued by him, and I listened intently to his articulate anecdotes. I sat between his legs as he wrapped his arms around me, breathing in my just-washed hair. Slightly rocking me back and forth, I felt him harden against my back. I didn’t know what that meant. I had absolutely no idea what it was, but I could feel his energy shift. From that, I realized that I had aroused him. It frightened me.

Over the stretch of the next few days, he began testing the waters by grazing my cheek softly, embracing me just a little longer than usual, longingly kissing the corners of my mouth (but never directly kissing my lips, I noticed), brushing stray hairs from my forehead in more than a parental way. The touching turned to caressing, the caressing turned to that indelible fire in his eyes which had nearly all at once consumed my innocence.

Then came the one night that I believe fed the flames into combustion. He laid there on my bed, I came to say goodnight to him. I asked him, “Can I do something and you won’t get mad?” He already knew. I kissed him on the lips, withdrew, and my eyes locked onto the predator inside his shell. It was then that he saw the monster in me.

There was nothing anyone could have done to turn his switch off. Like an animal, the only scent he could now smell was my juvenilia, the emergence of my own magnificent pubescence. I was in a crucial time in my life. He sank his claws deep into me and I let him.

For months, this game went on. Every now and then, I would find myself in a dangerous situation; razor blades to my skin, threats made, being suffocated. Yet I still loved my predator.

I was sexually abused.

But how  my heart still tore itself into fragments when 4 am reared its face, his fingertips on the front door, car keys in hand, seconds before he walked out the door. On some nights I hated him for leaving. I distinctly remember his cologne permeating my skin as he hugged me goodbye. We stood on the porch and it was springtime.

I became an expert at the game. All it took was one coy glance up, a gesture, or a pouting of the lips to send him into a tourbillion. I would act as if I had no idea what I was doing. Meanwhile I jotted down mental notes. I knew how to make him think he had me trapped in his cage- when in reality, he was my experiment.

He was sick in the head, polluted with pedophilic thoughts and broken morals. There is an absolute certain quality in him that I had found and couldn’t help but dissect. I became obsessed with it. Somewhere along his development, contagion set in. I have seen it since in other humans close to me. I can spot it a mile away.

Along my studies of his pervertible nature, I found myself appreciating the shadows of his disease. Perhaps it wasn’t all disease?

My very unpopular belief is that there is a fine, delicate line between a pedophile who wants nothing more than to fuck a child and a pedophile who is a passionate madman wanting to consume his prey. (Though both morally wrong, I admit.)

I’ve spent years trying to decipher which side my cousin fell on. I’m beginning to come to a conclusion that he is too stupid and dull to fall on the passionate side. Yet, he did have that subtle glow… in any case, he allowed me to practice my detection of said glow. I strive to understand him, my predator.

I often wondered if he ever understood me.

A Puzzle Piece Poem- What does my DID mean?

You look at me and see
One whole piece
But what you don’t understand yet
Is you’re looking at me: 3, 5 and 13

Welcome to DID.

D is for dissociative.

For most, It’s when you finish the chapter to the new book and have to go back and look, to reread it because you weren’t paying any attention in the first place.

For most, It’s the moment you catch yourself behind the wheel of your car and you have no clue how you got so far

For some, It’s the moment you fall and skin your knee and tears start pushing out from your eyes until you realize. you feel alright, even though youve stopped feeling altogether

For me, It’s the moment when I had to find a hiding place in the bathroom, angry voices tangoing back and forth in hot and unforgiving Spanish, it’s me at 5 looking down at my wet dress from the plummeting sadness begging for my dad to come home to save me from the sounds of an alcoholic monster. Only to look up and find her- my first friend. The southern belle with the little pink bows. My best friend who no one else can see – this is DID.

It’s the moment my new best friend told me “honey everything is okay.” And then I stopped feeling that day because she started to feel for me.

It’s the moment when he walks into
The room and i know he’s coming for me
Yet all I can do
Is pretend to be asleep as he peels
Off the sheets and splits my little
Legs open like his Christmas doll.

It’s the lull of the eyes
When a hand flies to meet my
6 year old cheeks because my bedtime was at 8.

It’s the rate of my heart beat
When i hear my father has died
On the streets of LA
Probably with a heroin needle in his arm, anyways …

This is DID.

I is for identity.
That’s easy enough… But…Who is me?

Identity is the funny little cloud that has been following me around, shifting, twisting, sometimes white, on Sunday’s black, lightning licking out of me with anger and confusion.

It’s the constant trust issue because i never know if it’s going to rain, or snow, or be bright.

It’s the moments I wake up in someone else’s clothing in the middle of the night.

It’s the reason why I’ve been a Catholic, a Buddhist, a Hindu, a Muslim, and a slew of other worshipping devotees.

It’s the reason why I come to and find coloring books scattered around me like a beloved book fair.

It’s my hair how’s it been red and black and purple and shaved.

It’s how I have ten different names

This is DID.

D is for disorder.

It is the carousal of diagnoses, medication, clip boards and hospital gowns.

It’s being on lock down after I tried to end my fragmented life.

It’s groggy mornings when my eyes won’t open from my slurry Seroquel state.

It’s seeing shadows and voices and feeling men’s hands running down my thighs in the middle of a flashback.

It’s checking into rehab, withdrawing from pills.

It’s the thrill of going to group therapy and trying to explain that THIS shit is DID.

My DID.

My DID is a novel of childhood, trauma, rape, incest, brainwashing, addiction, suicide attempts, lost relationships, lost money, lost time, lost me, my selves and I.

If you must know, no it’s not all bad.

My DID is an intelligent narrative of poetry, calculus classes, a published book, a theatre admission to Juilliard, it’s the reason why part of me can drum and the other part can’t use chopsticks.

It’s tucking myself in at night with stuffed animals and sippy cups. It’s wearing cowgirl boots on Monday and a combat boots on Tuesday.

It’s always having someone to talk to.

It’s being the most colorful crayon in the box and knowing even if I’m broken, I can still color the entire rainbow.

You look at me and see
One whole piece
what you might understand now
Is you’re not only looking at me: we are system of multiplicity.

This is DID.

The Gun.

We know the trigger. We know it well.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
She sticks out her tongue, thirsty and writhing
from the scepter, the life-giving gun.

Thrusting, polishing the tool with her mouth.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
When he’s done, she’ll be painted in glory come.
Twist the head, the bone-aching gun.

Hold her hair back, wet with spit (whose?)
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
Slam into her soft, small throat,
head against the wall, the scream-muting gun.

The same blood courses through her.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
Bookends to a home ends at the
bell basin, the pearl-spilling gun.

Thumb on the violaceous mark.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
“Sweetheart, where are your eyes staring?”
At the swollen childhood, the lip-splitting gun.

“Say ahhh… tongue out proud.”
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
A mercury nun collects the words.
She is born, Jude, beneath the still-growing gun.

The crucifix pendulum hangs around his neck.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
Pray to her father, his father, their father.
The rosary breaks, the half-holy gun.

Hold onto her jaw, two hands at a time.
The gun, the gun, run the gun.
Here it comes, here it comes, “tongue out proud.”
Bathed in white beauty, the swallowed-down gun.

We know the trigger. We know it well.
The gun, the gun, get the gun.
“Say ahhh…. tongue out proud.”
Open mouthed, pull the trigger, the brain-blasting gun.

Twelve -another rape poem

it was the first time of twelve.
the clock’s hand slammed and hammered in
the pulse of his desperate, soused breath.
my blooming plum wept.
they had left the house that day.
December’s paternal comfort was long lost
in the convoluted patterns of wetness,
that which flowed from my mouth-
drooling foolishly at the thought of concern.
sudoral beads bubbled to the tops of
his shoulders, his brow.
this was unfamiliar to me, the ways in which
his eyes looked past me, now.
no longer was I his little gem.
(Oh, the eyes, I will never forget the
infliction- that which infected my matrix.)
now, four months before I knew menstruation,
I bled from the sceptre.
I glared at the back of my skull,
fixing my stare on anything but his big, bright grin.
behind me, my hands flew upward in
a futile attempt to crush his throat.
my face met fire when his hand came down.
minute explosions of starry embers filled
the room. Black, black, black.
my sad, white sheets were destroyed with crimson.
the plum wilted with guilt, lulling with uncertainty.
(should I not have poured out to him?
should I have screamed out?)
soon the palliative tears welled in his eyes.
I, the child of forgiveness, welcomed the man
into my arms, into my chest with budding breasts.
did I not please him?
did I not soothe him?
did I not stay still enough?
did I not say thank you?
he purred into me, onto the floor
and promised one day I would hate him
-for this moment.
my little panties clutched in his left hand.
how could I hate him like this?
so pathetic and woeful.
I licked the lithophanic pearls from his cheeks.
my innocence and bewilderment of the world,
were engulfed in his lust, his sickness.
they live there now in the dark corners
of my childhood bedroom.
they are captured within the stitching of my baby quilt.
they are dying in his brain, the ever-relenting memory
of the virgin blood on his hands.
daughter of abandonment.
daughter of abuse.
daughter of Michael.

Censored Shit

I have mixed feelings.

I’ve published my book. Hurrah! I’m very excited about it. It has gone live on Kindle and will be ready for physical distribution by the end of the month (hopefully). My girlfriend has purchased the first kindle edition. Thanks, babes.

I was sitting at my desk this morning thinking about the description of the book… recovery from incest, rape, suicide… etc…. for a moment, I felt bad about mentioning incest. I had an urge to delete it, to censor my poetry. What if someone from the family sees it? Then the whole can of worms opens up again.

But why should I still feel the need to hide the truth? I felt, again, the familiar need and obligation to protect my family. After all, its ALL of our secret. Its not just mine to keep. Right?

This in itself is a healing process- unmasking the truth of the matter and not feeling ashamed. There is a definitely a feeling of conviction. Why did I have to suffer all those years by keeping my mouth shut and pretending not to feel nauseated every time I had to hug him at Christmas time?

Am I wrong for publishing that for the public? I don’t know what’s “right.” I only know what feels right, and that, for me is to not hide the fact that I was tormented as a teenager.

My godfather briefly pulled me aside yesterday and told me to be careful what I post on social media. I admit, I have a tendency to over-share. I announced my accomplishment with a preface along the lines of, “Look how far I’ve made it from my opiate addiction and my suicide attempt.” The broadcast had no other intention other than to let people know that people DO get better and there IS a way out of hopelessness. Yes, I over-share my private details, but I think that one day it will only make me a better spokesperson for the less-than-vocal victims of the world.

Anyways, I hadn’t thought about the consequences, for lack of a better term, of publishing the truth. On one hand, I feel obligated to protect others, but on the other, isn’t it my time to reclaim my life- my jaded adolescence?

Cut: an Autobiography- Trigger Warning-

Her name was Ally. She was my best guy-friends’ sister. She was older than I was by two years. Ally carried one of those black messenger bags adorned with pins, buttons, and patches. Her jeans were always ripped and her Slipknot shirts were always one size too big. I never spoke to her much. Her brother, Jose, adored her.

Jose and I met in seventh grade in drama class. I was sitting in the second-to-last row and Jose sat directly behind me. Our first day there, all of the students had to whip up a comedic skit and present it that same hour. Jose and I were paired. I forgot what the skit was about, but I do remember it being hilarious. We were friends ever since.

Being the 13-year-olds that we were, we shared secrets, feelings, dreams, and confessions. By this time, I was already being abused and was having an understandably hard time with life. I told him one day on the swing set that I wished, more than anything, to find a way to make the pain stop. He held my hand and thought very hard for a few minutes. Then, gently, he offered a possible solution.

“Ally cuts herself.”

Surprisingly, I had never heard of such a thing. I had self-mutilated my body before in different fashions, but I never knew that there was a name-not only a name, but an entire subculture. I looked at him inquisitively.

“I don’t know. She says it helps her go numb or some shit. She uses a razor blade.”

And just like that, I had found my solution.

That same night after our long talk on the swing set, I retreated to the safety of my bathroom. My grandma was sound asleep in her room and my grandpa was watching telenovelas. I carefully pulled out a razor blade from the medicine cabinet. Sitting on the toilet seat, I raised the left sleeve of my pajamas. My hands were clammy. I rested my arm on the porcelain, pressed the blade against my skin, and pulled. At first, I had only made cat scratches. But as I went on, the deeper the cuts became. My pajama bottoms became stained from the droplets of blood.

I felt an empyreal high. Jose was right. It had brought me great relief. I washed the blade off, and tucked it in a lock tin box I had, where I later kept an arrangement of blades, gauze, a small pair of scissors, and tape.

Now, I know how awfully clichéd this story is. I get it. Half the school, it seemed, listened to My Chemical Romance and wore black and pink checkered wristbands. The campus was full of them: emo kids flipping their bangs out of their face just enough to be able to see the dark poetry they would be scribbling on their hands. For a period of time, I was one of them. I purchased a God-awful amount of merchandise from Hot Topic. Chokers, black and green striped knee-high socks, black bracelets, safety pin earrings.

Cutting was a thing. It was subculture that quickly bloomed like red plush beneath an Exacto-knife. It gave people a sense of community. Misery loves company, I suppose.

I admit at first that I had felt some pride about being a “cutter.” As the scars developed, I was satisfied with myself. It wasn’t until my cousin draped my body over the bed that I realized I had a problem.

It was just like all the other nights. It was 12am. My grandparents were asleep. My cousin, who worked from home nocturnally, took a break. I had done this several times before. I knew exactly what to do. I escaped my body momentarily and watched us from the ceiling. Watched numbingly as he peeled articles of clothing off of me. Off came my pants. A gasp escaped from his lips and he pulled back. I was jolted back into my body. His face softened and I felt a lump in my throat. I had missed this tenderness.

“Baby, what did you do?”

It had been fine before. The cutting, I mean. I never thought it as dangerous. He ran his fingers over hours-old welts. He was shocked. I had at least 300 cuts on my body… my thighs, arms, hips, stomach, chest, anywhere I could reach. “Why did you do this?” I had no words for him. I knew he knew why. He wasn’t stupid. He’s a rapist, a pedophile, and a destroyer- but not a stupid man. He pulled me into his chest and I could hear him begin to cry.

A seemingly juvenile coping mechanism had turned into a ten year addiction.

Despite the countless nights of enduring my cousin, I had missed and longed for this paternal part of him. Perhaps it was Stockholm Syndrome. I let him cradle me and I felt safe. Little did I know that this act in itself was potentially more dangerous for me then the abuse; I quickly learned that my self-inflicted wounds served as a protective shield. The cuts bought me time. With each gash, he took on the paternal, caring role. Now, I realize that this was HIS game. I would take my clothes off willingly, because I was under the notion that he would check me every night out of concern. I thought that he cared. I often look back on my very visible scars on my thighs and remember that night on my bed, as my cousin held me, weeping.

I’ve read somewhere that the victim of incest and early sexual abuse can become wildly sexually confused and could essentially muddle compassion with arousal, so on so forth. I am ashamed to say this, for multiple reasons. However, I will say it in hopes that A) I’m not alone and B) maybe someone could know THEY’RE not alone. During some of these nights of check-ups, cuddling and “therapy” talks, I became aroused.

The cutting continued. Slowly, my family members began to notice the scars and long sleeves. Multiple interventions were held in my living room in efforts to get me to consider going to a adolescent rehab facility. While each person read words of concern from tiny sheets of paper, my cousin sat next to me, hand on my knee, making sure the family knew that he was my foundation. And no one suspected a thing.

This post was inspired by this Tumblr pic:


It made me think. I had never seen a self-harm picture that resonated with me like this one.

I am still addicted to cutting. The blade, ironically enough, has saved my life on many occasions. I struggle with it nearly every day. It does bother me that cutting has been equated to a fashion trend. It’s not. It’s cunning, dangerous, and destructive.

If you’re reading this and you also struggle with self-harm, I’d like to personally let you know that you are worth more than this addiction, and I love you.

The Church – Trigger Warning- Poetry on Incest

The plush resurrection of my veins
Comforts me. The push of a steel crucifix
has fixed my clear, white eyes.
Still, I keep ties on my wrist,
The never-minded furrows in the field of flesh.
I have gone incognito. I am a priestess of pills.
A will has been erected.
They will jot over uncrossed
T’s and double-spaced grievances.
I have been raped by daddy dearest.
My legs, thrown apart, like a tormented ragdoll’s.
My arms, tethered in fine linen, with bruises to match.
Buckles, silver buckles.
My mind has slipped and has curled itself around
Hot coals. The stench of a burning childhood lingers
And sits in our lungs. It breathes. It breathes.
It lives, as you live.
Tall man.
Tall men.
I am the pearl left to suffocate inside a rotting oyster.
A letter from Saint Paul to the Corinthians:
The virgin bleeds.
And bled I did, blood of red,
Half-decade-young mare and I bucked over
To feel you rape me again.
Again.
Ten years of loveless love.
I bite down on the matchbox, lips dry
From starvation.
The least you could have done was finish me off.
By the time you fled into the white room,
Stroked yourself into a frenzy,
I was already buried in miles and miles of sheets,
Bleeding, writhing in confusion.
I am the sinning slut.
I’ve had enough practice.
Thirteen years of growing my breasts for your
Enjoyment. Thirteen years of a wasted childhood,
All for your 15 seconds of shame.
What will it be this time?
Remember how you threw the twenty dollar bill
At the church between my legs?
You said, “Good job. Not as great as last time.”
I took the twenty dollar bill and bought myself a
Journal from the children’s section of my favorite
Bookstore.
In my journal entries, I wrote how I wish you would
Stop
Raping me.
Then, you promised that you would start
Weaning yourself off of my scent, my taste.
I wrote one night in my diary that I was proud of you
For not using your tongue when you came to kiss me goodbye.
For this, I eat the pain-killers, the taste of bitter apathy.
For my fix, my clear, white eyes.
Strange, how I still needed to cling to your chest
Even while you destroyed my body.
I would rather imagine you loved me as you raped me,
Then realize I was just a piece of meat
For you to empty yourself into.