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.

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.

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.

When I Went Rogue

I woke up and the moon raped me. 

I was just dreaming about my girlfriend when I found myself kicking the air violently and swinging my fists. I had been dreaming that I was attending group therapy with my girlfriend and some man was interested in her. He had his arm around her shoulder and his other hand on my wrist to prevent me from throwing a punch. I fought him off.

I have been plagued these past hours with haunting memory of the past night. I had been driven to a breaking point somehow. Rogue came out. She is ruthless and violent. She hurt my girlfriend and she hurt me. I am tending to a bruised face now- my bruised face, from punching myself. 

  
I am terrified. I am terrified of being given up on. I am terrified at the idea that I physically inflicted pain on the woman I love. I am terrified that she has had enough and will leave me, alone with my alters and alone in the crux of my trauma recovery. I am terrified that I am toxic to her; I believe with all my heart and soul that I’m good for her, but this process may hurt her too much. 

I feel guilty for unleashing myself, for splaying out all of hidden trauma and anguish. How could I be so selfish to burden her with such heaviness? Why can’t I piece it together by myself?

A truck came flying at me, so to speak, and WHAM! I had been hit by flashbacks of when I was much younger. 5 years old. My cousin had been taking care of me and my aunts house. It was a Saturday. She was at work and we were home alone. I don’t remember much of the surrounding incident. What I do remember is him asking me to play a game with him… In which the end goal was to give him oral sex.

My body hurts. I am fighting a war within myself everyday specifically with these memories. 

Protecting My Perpetrator

I had a very difficult therapy session today.

The topic revolved around my cousin, my family, the house I’m staying in. I purged my recent thoughts and struggles regarding him. While I talked about him, I felt absolutely nothing. She asked me how I felt talking about it. I think I was feeling anger, but it would sink back down into my chest. I felt nothing. I was completely detached from it.

I recalled a moment today that stung me when I thought about it. My cousin’s primary “purpose” for spending so much time with me back then was to tutor me and help me pick my grades up. Not surprisingly, my grades plummeted even more so. My grandma had said to me, “How could you do this to him? He sacrifices so much time away from his wife and children for you! This is a slap in the face to him! You’re so ungrateful!”

In that moment with my grandmother, I remember feeling abandoned. I was angry, I felt betrayed, but I took the reprimand and protected my perpetrator.

And now the question that is haunting my heart is, “Why am I still paying for the crimes that he committed?”

Why am I, at 23 years of age, still protecting this person, still carrying HIS guilt, still not forgiving myself? I broke down in tears at work today as I mulled this quandary in my mind. I have to forgive myself. I have to love myself.

My therapist asked me, “When you stay in your old bedroom, what is that you remember?” I don’t know what hurts me more: remember the sexual acts that occurred, or remembering the aftereffect.. of him using the restroom to relieve himself while I crawled into my closet, shaking, and rocking back and forth. I feel so heartbroken for the girl that was attacked and couldn’t tell anyone or at the very least seek solace in another human being.

I couldn’t contain my feelings at work and I let them flow out of me. Dormant emotions of abandonment, betrayal, worthlessness, anger and fear came tumbling from some space within me.

I’m so angry at my family. I’m angry that they didn’t protect me. I’m hurt that they even questioned me. I’m so exhausted from carrying this around.

I’m sorry this post wasn’t better written; I just needed to get my thought process on paper.

The Danger Nextdoor

My anxiety level today: 8
My depression level today: 4
My craving level today: 7
Med compliant? No
Goal for today? To stay sober and safe

I’m a little worried about myself. My lithium runs out tonight. I’ll be alright on my Seroquel for another 3 nights. I booked an appointment for Thursday with a new psych, so hopefully I’ll get a refill then.

I’m pretty sure it’s just anxiety because my auditory hallucinations have been kicking in more than usual. I have to stop and really access my surroundings to make sure that I’m hearing correctly, if that makes sense.

I miss group. I miss having that structure and the freedom to talk candidly about my mental health and whatever was going on in my life at that moment, or talking about cravings to self harm or use drugs. Like last night for example, I was Intervention with my cousin. The new episode revolved around a girl who was using heroin. Maybe I’m just in a vulnerable state of mind, but I started craving it so badly. I almost felt as if my eyes dilated. I wish I could erase part of my memory.

I’m happy moving back into my old stomping grounds. I just wish I could not have the knowledge of nearby dealers around me. I know I have to take my safety into my own hands. I’m an adult. I need to be strong, move forward, and consider the awful consequences if I were to falter and fuck up now- this far into my recovery.

I think moving into the house is also stirring up a lot of past trauma.

I keep suppressing the memories of my cousin, mostly….him having me pinned to the floor in the dining room, taking a knife to chest by the back porch, his hand over my mouth on my old bed, blood and spit spilling onto the kitchen floor… It starts flooding back. It’s just something I have to live with and get through.

I guess I’m using this blog today as a bucket to purge my feelings into: anxious, weak, sick, symptomatic, craving heroin. I also have the constant feeling that my body isn’t connecting to where I am spatially.

As I always say, I’m tough, I’ll get through it.

Suppression, Smiles, and Seroquel Slurs

Tomorrow is my first therapy appointment and I’m pretty excited about it. I emailed my boss at work letting him know that I’ll be taking a much longer lunch than usual because I had a doctor’s appt. He called me into the office, asking if this was a one time thing, of if my “condition still exists.”

My friend called me last night. He was my very first friend when I was admitted into PHP, and he’s been my friend since. He’s out of state now enrolled in a different PHP program. I was really happy to hear from him.

Today, I feel vaguely nostalgic- as if I’m living in my early teen hood body. I don’t know if it’s the weather, or what is happening. I just feel very different, again.

The seroquel is making me exponentially groggier in the morning. I stumbled out of said bed today and whammed my leg against my bathroom door. I hope I get used to it soon!

I’m going to go see my grandma this weekend. I’m actually very nervous because my cousin- the one that molested me for months and months when I was 12- is going to be at the house. So, I’ll have to suppress that a much as possible Maybe that’s why I have this ultra odd nostalgic, weird, fuzzy feeling. Not sure. Silver linings, I’m happy to see my grandma and my other cousin, who I really love.