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.

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.

To My Abusers

To my abusers:

I forgive you.
However, I’m still hurting.
This may not matter to you,
but I thought I ‘d let you know.

I believe you are human.
I don’t think you’re awful.
I don’t think that you are beyond repair.
Maybe that’s my fault for always seeing
the good in people.

I think- I hope (perhaps foolishly)-
that sometimes you regret your actions.
I am a good person, I’m worthy of love.
I did not deserve your abuse.

When you raped me, I didn’t fight back
because I thought maybe this was the
only way you would feel wanted,
the only way a person would open themselves to you.

When you needed help, even
years after your attacks,
I still listened with an open heart.
I didn’t blame you; I  simply wanted you to feel loved.

I’ve been told by several people that
I am too forgiving, I love too frivolously.
I wanted to take their advice,
but I don’t believe that to be true.

I think that if you were loved,
I mean really, really loved unconditionally
with support and encouragement,
maybe you wouldn’t have done those things.

Maybe these words won’t make a difference
in your life, or your month or day.
But I want you to understand that you
hurt me tremendously- but you did not break me.

I’ve spent years trying to recover from
what you did to my body and mind.
Years in and out of therapy and rehab,
thousands of dollars to fix your mess.

I’ve tried to forget about what you did
by injecting heroin into myself, drinking
to the point of hospitalization, cutting into
my skin, losing 30 pounds in two months.

I even tried to kill myself, three times.

It takes one night for you to get drunk with
your friends, unzip my pants and have a good time.
But it will take years for me to love myself fully again.
It will take years to undo your one “crazy” party night.

I refuse to let you walk away without at least
knowing that your actions will forever be remembered.
There has not been a day that has gone by
where I haven’t looked at my body and have
seen “worthless” stripped across my ribs.

Slowly, every day, I’m learning to love myself again.
I’m learning to accept my scars,
both physically and emotionally.
I’m reclaiming my self-respect, my story.

I hope you find what you are so desperately
missing from your hearts.
I hope to God it doesn’t happen to your sisters,
your daughters, your friends and family.

Dear abusers, I was your victim.
But you did not break me.
I am strong enough to forgive you
and I am strong enough to forgive myself.

#breakthestigma

 

 

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.

Homecoming

The trigger.

I had been a heavy pendulum, rapidly swinging from lamented fragmentation to utter confusion. I believe my breaking point had been on the hardwood floors, thudding my hands against the lenses of my eyes, trying to take control of my body… his hands on my shoulders trying to ground me.

The Rabbit. Hallucinations haunted me. Fear.

Sometime between talking to her on the phone and peeling myself from his arms, we had wielded a knife in his direction.

My mind was swimming with pieces of a memory I couldn’t grasp. Fleeting feelings would burst before my face, yet the shutter was too slow; I couldn’t capture the emotions nor the pictures.

Finally, the release.

The trigger.

I asked him to scare me. His hands wrapped firmly around my throat, slowly cutting off my oxygen. We had done this many times before… several times… then WHAM! His hand met my face. He had never slapped me that hard before. Instantly, my ears rang and I could hear children laughing in the distance… a playground?

(This has happened once before while we were in the middle of a scene. He had choked me to the brink of unconsciousness and I heard the laughter vividly. A piece of a memory…)

The trigger.

The laughter was fading. Not this time. I couldn’t keep doing this- running away from the trauma. I begged him to slap me again- hurt me- choke me- anything to chase the memory.

He did. My face burned and tears exploded out of me. Gradually… I began to remember.

A flashback: my face hitting the tile, the sound of his belt buckle clinking, the zipper, the feeling of him in my mouth…

Rogue, once strong and relentless, has been cemented in suicidality.

In this moment of rocking shut into a fetal position, the emotion would quickly dissipate until I felt numb. He wouldn’t let me dissociate. This is what I had been wanting. He pushed me and pushed me to chase the feeling, hunt it down, and fucking feel for once.

It was as if the room went dark. There was a sofa. I sat in the middle as a spotlight shown brightly on me. Rogue walked into the room, sat next to me, and looked forward at the memory. In front of us was our 14 year old body on the bathroom floor, being orally raped and thrown against the shower glass.

She showed me what happened as she carefully unraveled the memory from her oenomel. Rogue allowed me time to process one thing at a time- the feeling of his hands, the smell of blood, the sound of the zipper, the event itself… walking me through it with great compassion.

The film was over. This is what she had been hiding from me. I wasn’t ready until that particular moment. She kept it locked away because she loved me enough to hold on to it.

I hugged her and told her I loved her in our spotlight. I suppose, psychologically speaking, I was accepting my pain, myself, and my experience. It was the moment that I looked inward and told myself “I love you and you did nothing wrong.”

As I began to awaken from the flashback, I was guided by his voice behind me, “You are not a victim. You’re safe. None of this was your fault. I love you.”

I felt the flames settling on my skin- sizzling. The sadness melted away and all that was left was us. The system. The collection of immovable, determined persons.

And so I did what any survivor would do after reclaiming their experience:

I laughed and lit a cigarette.

tumblr_moai7xkmwl1qlj6xoo1_500

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.

Flashbacks on the Shed Floor

The last thing I remember was pulling down Senka’s arts and crafts down from the high shelf because she wanted her coloring books.

Next, I remember laying down on some kind of a wood floor, a man kissing me, making shushing noises, telling me to please be quiet. I felt hands go over my mouth, up my shirt, and down my pants. I heard children in the background and I could hear myself screaming, but it didn’t feel like I was screaming. He smelled like old cologne. I remember a police officer asking me what DID stood for. I asked the officers for a rape kit, but they wouldn’t provide one. I remember them asking me to identify him. I thought I was raped. It’s blurry…. I remember being in her car… it blurred again. I woke up and he was laying next to me staring at the ceiling.

I dissociated for hours.

My ex-girlfriend, roommate and he have been filling in the details and missing pieces. Senka was coloring, then I – or someone – left to use the restroom. I locked myself in the room. He was trying to get me to come out. I climbed out of the bedroom window and bolted down the street, I’m assuming. My ex found me in a shed at the Home Depot by my apartment. I was panicky. The man that was in the shed with me was giving me $60. He claims that I told him I needed money, so he was just giving me money to help me. He said he didn’t touch me or harm me. Even if I was having a flashback, I remember so vividly his hands and lips on me. I wish I knew what was real.

The police were called. They got statements from everyone. In the end, they concluded that he in fact hadn’t harmed me and I was just having a flashback.

I haven’t dissociated that intensely in a long time.

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.

Daughter

Roots with the blue-corn husk
the stalks of weepy spines bend.
He spits into the plum-smoked dusk
where the tired scarecrows tend.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

Here I am, just merely eight.
The wrinkles on my collared dress
have seen my hard Father’s hate
while he rapes me to confess.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

The little synagogue between my thighs
spills with holy water that burns his tongue.
A spinning wheel whirs within his eyes
and I am, there, the helpless one.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

I’ve plucked the threads from my mound
for he would surely punish me.
When he grabs me, full and round
he makes me red and count to three.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

When I stood in the age of sin
with a dead child in my womb,
my father pulled it from my skin
and sent it to its watery tomb.
I could sleep with my palms to the sky.

Thank you Father, for my worth.
I am your baby of a bullet skull.
Tomorrow will be my new birth
when I am shipped to that limbo lull.
I will sleep with my palms to the sky.