More on Arlo

LOOK AT THIS FACE! LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS!! HELP!

Arlo the service pup IT has been going on some pretty spectacular adventures.

Since having him, my social anxiety has dramatically improved. I was getting severe panic attacks before leaving the house to go pretty much anywhere- especially new places. But now, I hardly experience them. We even made some new friends at the dog park! There are regulars at the park by my house and they are very friendly and have wonderful dogs. Arlo’s best friend is a Husky Malamute named Spock. Spock’s human also suffers from depression and Spock has helped him get out of the house and make friends, too!

Arlo loves being out and about, running errands with me. He politely tucks himself away at restaurants and is the best companion.

I’ve noticed that I feel more responsible and more apt to handle things that come my way. I don’t feel as paranoid anymore since I rely on Arlo to be attentive to my surroundings. I feel safe and I finally feel like I can relax. He distracts me during anxiety attacks and provides tons of love with I’m feeling low.

My girlfriend has been amazing and SO supportive. Arlo loves her! She’s a great trainer, too. I plan on having him task trained soon, to meet more specific needs.

It’s been great with him so far. I seriously love this dog.

 


  

  

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.

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.

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?

Ceramics: How to Piece it Back Together

It was a rather dangerous few days the past week, mentally speaking. I felt MUCH better yesterday, and feel entirely more put back together today.

Everything is quite jumbled in my head regarding what the hell was happening in my brain. At some point, I had taken a razor to my skin again. I remember crying a LOT. I slept beneath blankets, clutching my dinosaur, Chompers (my girlfriend endearingly nicknamed him Charles Buchompskis, and I think it’s fitting), and staring vacantly into the bedroom wall in front of me. I found myself lurched into a research project of how I could possibly end it all. There were moments where I would “wake up” in my car, shaking and crying from hearing voices. Something was dying inside of me and it was imploding.

Depression, a break down, what have you. The point is, it was a fight for my life, in a way. It seems dramatic, yes.

On Saturday, I went to therapy with my girlfriend. She expressed (again) that she wants to know how I’m feeling, or if something is going on. I seem to have forgotten this. It made me feel instantly better being reminded of how supportive she is. And protective. I also made a reminder for myself to make an appointment to get on birth control… I also tend to forget that I was diagnosed with PMDD about 3 years ago, so a quick fix for my intense mood swings can be as simple as a little pill. Sorry, babe. Here’s to better months..

Sunday morning, we went out to breakfast. It was BEAUTIFUL outside.  The entire day was cold, rainy here and there, and the clouds were large and white. I felt as if I had just come out of the rehab center. It’s hard for me to articulate what I’m going through as I’m going through it. All I know, usually, is I don’t know who I am, where the feelings are coming from, but I want to die. It’s awful. I don’t wish it upon anyone.

Anyways, after breakfast, we stopped by her parents’ house to pick up a few things. She led me upstairs to her grandmother’s room. Aligned across the walls where pictures of her as a child: wide-eyed, dimpled and adorable. We sat on the floor as she carefully opened a box full of ceramic pieces she had made. I think she assumes she has no talent, but I was greatly impressed as she pulled each piece, one by one. Her eyes beamed with a hidden pride and enjoyment while she explained the process of making them. Each bowl, cup, pitcher, all seemed to sum her up in some way. As some of my poetry paints me as I am, so did her pottery. I loved each second of it. I began to cry. I love to see her like this: happy and nostalgic of a time in her life that she valued so much.

As I ran my eyes over her childhood, my heart swelled at the thought of her letting me deeper into her past- allowing me to experience her. In moments like these, I fall more in love with her than I thought possible.  My girlfriend is beautiful. I’m already in love with her eyes, her nose, her lips- all the things in which lovers find divine in the other. Then, slowly, she unwraps herself with new, incredible truths and stories and I fall even more in love with that. It happens all the time. I am very fortunate, especially as a writer, to have such a mysterious and wild creature sleeping next to me at night. Even the way she sleeps makes me happy.

So, I reveled in this dopaminetic state for quite a while. A few hours later, I met up with cast members from the play to run some of our lines. My girlfriend helped us stay on book. We ended up at Denny’s, drinking iced teas and hot chocolates, burning the midnight oil at 7 pm, putting in our efforts at memorizing. We did well. Rehearsal tonight.

Finally, the day came to an end. On the drive to her house, I noticed orbs of shadows and people in my peripherals. I drove a little bit faster than usual to make sure I could make it home. It felt as if a flashback was coming on.

I found myself on the edge of her bed. I think she was brushing her teeth. She walked into the room, asked me what was wrong. At first I said nothing. Then, I told her it was loud. She held my head in her hands and told me it was okay. And it was. I fell asleep next to her, despite the weaving of the voices, and I was happy at this. When I had begun to suffer from daily hallucinations and break downs just a year ago, she was always there, walking me through it.

I fell asleep, content with her comfort and the knowledge that everything would be okay by morning. And it was.

Psychiatric Service Dogs

Looking for some advice from anyone with a psychiatric service dog…

I would like to have a service pup to help with my PTSD, dissociation, and severe bipolar episodes. I would specifically like to have a trained pup to be able to help me identify panic attacks, seizures and dissociation before they happen. I would like to have a pup to ease my concern when paranoia hits (for example, I’d like my pup to be able to let me know that it’s safe to go in the house, especially when I’m home alone). I could get a pup and register him as an emotional assistance animal, but I would really love a trained animal to help with the above mentioned items.

I guess I don’t really know how to go about this financially. I live in California. I’m able to afford a dog, but as far as the initial training- not so sure. Any resources would be greatly appreciated!

Cobra- a Group Writing Assignment

Dear child, dear you:

Grown from a mellifluous poison.
How strong you were on the trapeze…
turning, twisting, suspended for so long
above the cavern of your inevitable demise.

Remember your disguise?
And the glass scintillating and splintering
on your bedroom door?

Combat.

Like a serpent weaving through a
labryinth of a marred childhood.
This saurian idol has wrapped
its black, cold form around
your ankles, your knees, your own tongue.

Its venom filters through your marrow;
like his, like hers, like ours.

Dear child:

You are your golden snake.

Princess of Wales

I had a small nervous breakdown yesterday while at work. It seemed that the flashbacks came on unexpectedly. I was unable to hold onto myself. The walls begun to cave in and I was left pushing the trap away from my body. Unfortunately, the way I currently know how to protect myself is through self harm.

I numbingly hacked away at my thighs, my hips, my stomach, my ribs, some of my wrist and throat. All the while, I was not feeling anything- no pain. Just absurdity at one point. 250 scrapes, scratches, and welts.

(The night before that, I had experienced my first full-force panic attack. I thought I was going to either have a heart attack or stroke. My chest tightened, my body went numb, my eyes went black and I couldn’t breathe. I could barely stand.)

Without going into too much detail, I’m constantly recalling fractions and filaments of my molestation. Now the images are unfamiliar and very, very fucking frightening. Fingers pushing through until I see red. Pressure. “Don’t resist. It hurts more when you resist.”

My ever-wonderful girlfriend took us to a beginner’s pottery class last night. She is well-seasoned in the clay craft. I am not. However, I had tons of fun and it got my mind off of the inevitable suffering that is my mind.

I have another therapy appointment on Thursday. I feel that I have been shooting down the rabbit hole with such ferocity lately. My mind has decided to split into more unattainable pieces. I know that the only way out is through. I’m just having a really, ridiculously difficult time sitting with the pain. A large part of me wishes that I could package this all up again and tuck it away some place that I wouldn’t find it again.

Then, I wonder why I had spun out of control last year to begin with. I remember the day where my girlfriend plucked me from my bathtub, naked and partly lost in psychosis. I remember the several days where I would stay home from work; I’d pull the curtains shut, drink, shoot, crush and inhale until I was floating in my own delirium. I would lie curled on the tear-soaked carpet for hours, staring so intensely into the wall ahead of me, I swear I’ve drilled a hole in it.

When I Kissed the Cement

Last night was difficult. I’m not even sure if I ever fell asleep. My body is tired, my eyes burn, I feel slightly off balance.

I sat out on my back porch steps watching the rain fall. I was on the phone with my girlfriend, sobbing, rocking myself back and forth. Just hours before, I was standing in the drizzle, talking to God like I always did, begging Him to please make it go away. I bent down to the floor and kissed the warm cement repeatedly, waiting to feel absolution.

I haven’t been this despondent since February.

I texted my therapist telling her I felt suicidal and I’m too scared to admit myself into a hospital. I don’t even know if that would be the right move. I keep waiting for this to go away. Tomorrow, it’ll be better again. I’ll be happy and cheery, this mess will be behind me. Yet tomorrow has shown its face over and over again. I’m not getting better.

I feel as if I’ve contracted an illness and all I can do is rest, try to recover. I know I’m not alone, but I feel like I am.

Perhaps going back to group would behoove my mental crises. I have no idea.

Last night was really painful.

A Eulogy to Two Forgotten Animals

I came across two dead animals sprawled on the road this morning while driving to work. Tires swerved and swiveled around the corpses in quick attempts to keep their tires free of wet fur. My body went on autopilot as I controlled the car. I began to imagine what had been going through their minds seconds before impact. Did their small bodies freeze in fear? Were they conscious after the rolling wheels had crushed their skeletons? Was it quick and painless, or slow and excruciating?

Here, I had several moments of silence. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was anyone on that road doing the same? Probably not. Leather suitcases, pencil skirts, scalding coffee in hand…all while paying mild attention to the radio’s reports of traffic jams and celebrity blunders. The whole world kept on spinning. Yet, here on this road were two lifeless bodies, repulsive and mephitic. How many hours would pass before someone would come and collect their carcasses from the roasting asphalt? Did anyone really even care?

And what of the hit-and-run murderer?

The world keeps going and moving and breathing and living. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, someone will notice that we are about to dart across the road before we see the big black truck barreling our way. If they love you, they’ll pull you by your scruff and hold onto until you calm the fuck down. If they pretend to love you, they’ll scream, “Watch out for that truck!” Then, there are the people who you trust with all your fibers who lead you blindly straight into the road.

But the world keeps going and moving and breathing and living.

Yes, these are the things I mull over in my head at 7AM.

My girlfriend and I went to San Francisco for the weekend. We had a great time. On Friday night, we participated in a pubcrawl to 3 different bars and 1 nightclub. We met a lot of fantastic people from around the world. Saturday we walked through the steep hills to visit Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, and other places. We had a lovely nap on Saturday night. Sunday we took it slow en route to the Golden Gate. We headed down the 101 and stayed in Paso Robles. The weekend holiday was concluded with wine tastings and deep conversations. Well, actually it was concluded with a lazy Tuesday, in our pajamas, watching TV and snuggling.

I returned back to my house yesterday. My aunt was at the dining room table and we almost immediately started an argument while my grandma slept in the other room. Long story short, tonight I am driving my dogs to my ex-boyfriend’s mother’s house. She will keep them there until I find my own place and move out. I’m sad, but I know that the dogs will have a much better time there with people they know and two other dogs to socialize with. Plus, I am not the best caretaker right now.

Last night I woke up repeatedly from night terrors. I would wake up drenched in my own sweat, unsure if I was actually awake or not. I had a recurring nightmare…I was laying in bed, I would “wake up” and Morris was standing above me, holding my arms down, laughing. I would try to scream, jolt myself awake, anything. Then, it would repeat. It wasn’t until Goldie came out in my dream. I remember looking down at “my” arms, and it was her. Finally, I actually woke up at 3AM. I spent the next hours staring at the ceiling, red-eyed and dead, as I listened to the voices whispering amongst each other.

My doctor is taking me off of Seroquel. I’m down to 50 mgs now. I can’t tell if this is completely due to my dosage cut, or if it’s situational depression. Perhaps it is an insidious mixture of both.

I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow.