Love Languages

If you want to show me that you care about me

Be gentle

Be non-judgmental

Don’t bully me or pressure me, manipulate me or coerce me

Don’t try to imprint your paranoid delusions on my mind

Don’t ever tell me what to do, when, or with whom

Control is not my love language

My love language is freedom

Acceptance

Shining light in darkness

Healing and growth

Leaning through the veil of illusion

Not argumentative protrusion into the autonomy of others

You asked me if you were ‘other people’ to me

Absurdly

Like a child wailing from ego injury, I reassured you that you were special, that you are important to me. You are, but for different reasons than you think you are.

Though we are separate, we are also not separate

We are one spirit

You have forgotten

May you remember

Until then, you babble on

Rambling brook

Carrying messages in bottles

Smashing against the rocks of my enlightenment

If you want to win the game, you have to play

To play, you must be playful

Stop making everything so serious, so grave

Stop pretending that you care about oppressed people

As you actively oppress me

You shout for the voiceless, marching with your fist in the air

As you silence my voice without a care

If you care about me, let me be myself, let me live my life

You have your own life to live, your own love language of anger and jealousy

To communicate, we must learn each other’s languages

I think I’m learning your language of anger when I want to shout at you, ‘Leave me alone, I’ve always wanted you out of my life, I’ve had enough of your abuse’.

I refuse to be controlling and jealous like you.

Perhaps you will learn my language and say, ‘I accept you as you are without judgment, I love you unconditionally, I support you as you follow your heart’

Labels

Labels

I was labeled cute

I was labeled sweet

I was labeled shy

My anxiety and depression went unrecognized, intentionally overlooked by those with the power to help me when I was a child. My social anxiety drove me to act as anyone but myself.

My parents had not accepted and confronted their own anxiety and depression, and they trained me to follow their approach to life: suppress your feelings, be only what others want you to be.

I was labeled smart.

I was labeled hard working.

I was responsible.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I took responsibility for everyone else’s feelings. I took care of other children when I was still a child myself.

I was labeled a slut and a tramp by teenage girls.

I was labeled a tease by teenage boys.

I didn’t know how to say no, I didn’t know how to not lose myself in the desires of others.

Sometimes I was glad for the non-verbal language of physical affection, although I was just as incompetent at saying ‘no’ physically as I was verbally.

I was labeled an escort, a call girl, though I was just trying to make ends meet, girl.

I was labeled a graduate, with latin honors.

Though I worked as a prostitute, survived unnumbered abusive relationships, including the abusive relationship with myself, now they call me doctor.

What my patients don’t know is how much I’m still learning everyday- learning how to take care of myself as I ask them to take care of themselves.

In my daily practice of being my best self, I practice un-labeling through non-judgement.

Labels limit our minds.

Labels snap a stagnant picture from the moving scene, robbing us of the limitless possibilities of the present.

The Sting of the WASP

I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, it’s just that

I have some long-standing frustration to express.

My personal experiences with the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant culture which I was born into are not meant to characterize everyone who identifies as a WASP.

The WASPy culture of my home community is one in which
everything is wrong, but nobody talks about any of it.

This illusion of perfection only fools ourselves

In reality, we are just as lost, anxious, depressed, alcoholic, drug addicted and trapped in abusive relationships as any other community.
From the outside, everything looks fine:
Picket-white fences, freshly mowed lawns
The house has been painted and the windows washed.
On the inside, our bodies are ravaged by insecurity and fear, leaving us worn down and raw like the bulimics that we are: caught in the binge and purge of a life of vanity.

We’ll do anything to keep up appearances even as we disappear further from our authentic selves.
Putting such effort into pretending to be what we are not is a tremendous waste of energy.
We strive to keep up with our neighbors in an empty shell of consumeristic existence, even though it costs us the true richness of our souls.

We go to church and recite prayers monotonously like mindless drones.
Can any discernible note of true worship be heard when we are only regurgitating printed words without feeling?
In our daily lives, how much are we really doing as Jesus would do in our thoughts and actions?
From what I have seen and heard, we could do much more.

Even as a young child I felt that attending my WASPy church was a time and place to desperately try to save face-
Emphasis was put on what to wear,
Instead of how we felt on the inside, in our hearts and minds.
We went to church to trick ourselves into feeling like we were living our lives right.
When actually we were living quite selfishly,
Without true regard for the suffering of others.
Our capacity to give was far greater than what we actually gave.
Even in giving, we were narcissistically trying to feel better about ourselves.
The same people who faithfully vowed to ‘judge not’ in church
Could be heard loudly judging their neighbors before and after the service.
I don’t want to judge WASPs on being judgmental.
I know they have suffered a lot and are doing the best they know how.

In a sincere wish to help them live their happiest, most fulfilling life

I want to gently remind them that they will suffer less when they judge less.
I’ve noticed that when I judge others, I only hurt myself.
Mentally separating ourselves from other humans by labeling them as ‘other’, ‘inferior’ or ‘defective’ only separates ourselves from our own humanity.
No wonder we often feel that our lives are insanity.
This rings true for judging ourselves too.

I judge myself and others every day, and every moment is a new opportunity to practice non-judgement, which to me is the highest form of spiritual practice.

I feel the heaviness that judging leaves in my heart, and I am ready to lessen my load.
Changing mental habits is a practice, not a perfect.

I feel lighter and happier when I connect through my heart to humanity.

I pray for spiritual awakening and liberation from suffering for all.
It is a goal as lofty as the tallest church steeple-
It is my dream, big enough to include all people.

The divine light within me bows to the divine light within you.

Triggerfinger

I wish I wasn’t so easily trauma triggered
It doesn’t take much to push me out of touch with feeling safe
A slightly raised voice makes me lose all choice but to
freeze and collapse
The physiology of my stress response takes over
Though I try to stop it, my heart races, my pulse pounds, a heaviness crushes my chest, suffocating me, it feels like I can’t breathe
How long has it been since I last took a breath?
Now I make a conscious effort to unclamp my rusted-shut jaw from my tongue but the battle is not so easily won
Years later the everyday trauma tape continues to play on loop I feel like I’m still in those moments when I didn’t know what to say, the epic fail drags me down into a pit of mental battering and spirit shattering
‘Good enough’ remains just out of reach
I hold the tension in my body and the voices of my aggressors echo between my ears
I’m caught between anger and tears                                                                                Regretting the past and fearing the future
I worry that if I ever get married or have a baby, my ex-partners will come after me in fits of blind jealousy
The ex’s that have expressed ill-will and death-wishes to me,                                                the ones with guns, violent tendencies and criminal histories                                               God, will I live my whole life without ever feeling safe?                                                    Mental abuse is physical abuse: you can see it, feel it, measure it in my body                       It is detrimental to my health and wellbeing                                                                                    I meditate on being held in a sphere of protective light                                                          and pray that I won’t have nightmares again tonight                                                      Healing the mind is not easy                                                                                                               I am humbled at how quickly I slip into depression and anxiety                                           my constant companions of which I am never truly free                                                       The next time my trauma gets triggered, which will happen soon                                      May I relax the grip of my fingers and remember that I am held in safety                      even when it feels impossible to believe                                                                                          I find peace in remembering that not even my trauma,                                                      which seems to be at the very core of me                                                                                      Is mine to keep                                                                                                                                   All things end eventually

Dance with the Devil

I’ve met the Devil plenty of times
He’s a man with a drink in his hand, asking for mine
He’ll buy me a drink and drop a few dimes
But in the end, he’s just another waste of my time

I’ve seen the Devil at close range
I feel his eyes on me; he looks at me strange
When I hesitate to perform his every wish
(Whether or not I know what his wish is)

At first I make him happier than he’s ever felt before
Until I leave his heart panting on the floor
I survive with him til I remember how much I’d thrive without him

Like anesthesia, my amnesia wears off eventually

And when it does it’s like I wake up in the middle of surgery

Open heart in a bloody mess, I struggle to pick myself up and get dressed

Headed for the horizon, under duress, yet determined and strong, I sing my single song

Until I meet my sacred Devil again

And he gives me another chance to burn, another opportunity to learn

How many times must I learn how to get out of a toxic relationship?

Please, let this be the last time

The key lies in prevention, so I laid down a one simple rule:

Never be alone with a man behind closed doors, especially when alcohol is involved

The Devil likes to dance naked with me
His dick points at me like a compass needle
And I’m due-North, though I’d like to head South
His dick feels like a poison mushroom in my mouth
I want to spit it out, and shout:

Devil be gone- we’ve been dancing too long!
My feet hurt and they’re caked with dirt
Haven’t we made each other suffer enough?
Surely, your attachment to me feels rough
When I rip myself away

I’ve ripped myself away from the Devil
Plenty and plenty of times
I hope that I can quit him for life
You are my witness by reading this rhyme

I Know You

I know you
With your love for women’s bodies and booze
You blast your charm loudly
You walk big and talk proudly
I remember you
We’ve met so many times before
You want to buy me a drink
Which means sleep with me
Which means impregnate me
And leave me to pick up the pieces
At night your drunken demons resurface
Chattering of insecurity and fear
A horrific dialogue that only I hear
But honey, I don’t need to bear your load
I’ve got enough to carry on my own
So don’t put it on me

I know you
Bestowing me with bottles of wine and hotel rooms
you even insist on opening doors for me
Yet the only thing you don’t give me is the one thing I want from you,                                            if you were to ask, or to listen:

Respect in the form of safe sex,                                                                                                      which is the only sustainable great sex
I will think of you with bitter regret
When I get tested for HIV, long months from now

You are there to bed me, to liquor me up and strip me down
But you are not there
When I am spending time, money, sweat, blood and tears
On emergency contraception, pregnancy and STD tests

Thank you for making it easy to move on                                                                                      Until we meet again                                                                                                                                     I hope to recognize you then                                                                                                               I know you