Doc

My patients come to me and say, ‘Doc, I have pain’

All of life is pain and comfort, my powers are few in the face of this universal truth

We try all manner of pills, topical treatments, injections and various therapies, yet the pain persists

Soul pain lies beyond the reach of western medicine

My patients come to me and say, ‘Doc, I cannot sleep’

All of life is fear and relief, effort and rest, I’ll do my best

I send multiple prescriptions, adjust doses, fill out piles of disability paperwork

I work extremely hard so that my patients don’t have to work at all

Although we share the same afflictions; anxiety with panic attacks, depression, insomnia, PTSD, nightmares

Perhaps my patients are doing more for themselves than I will ever do for myself

They are allowing themselves to be helped, although nothing we’ve tried so far seems to help much

No cure in sight, just a lifetime of refills

I’ve yet to outwardly acknowledge the inner storm that rages below my placid surface

My family conditioned me not to feel my feelings, trained me to exist only in service of others, to live for their benefit

The few times during childhood that I made the mistake of showing that I was human, that I was hurting, I received swift and searing backlash

Perhaps my patients are healing me by showing me what it looks like to be vulnerable, by saying ‘I can’t do this’

Yet I fear that I am keeping them unwell, allowing them to accept the sick role without hope of cure by signing their disability forms, by saying ‘you don’t have to do anything’

How will they ever heal themselves if they don’t have to?

How will they gain meaning from their experiences if their feelings are dulled by the drugs I prescribe, if I enable them to spend their life alone and inside?

I show myself how strong I am by forcing myself to function full-throttle in the world despite my invisible disabilities

How will my patients know how strong they are if their strength is not tested?

Am I secretly as callous as my parents, though I act with compassion?

Should I be more like my patients; take it easy and ask for help, or should my patients be more like me and tow their own weight, accept the normalcy of adverse human experiences, work even though they haven’t slept in days, like I do?

I have PTSD, nightmares, insomnia, panic, crippling anxiety and depression, but I carry on because I have to, or so I believe

Maybe I don’t have to do this anymore

Even though I work like a dog and pay my own way through life, even as the taxes I pay in part to support my patients’ disability benefits bleed me dry, I prefer the freedom to create my own life to dependence on a system that provides too little too late to survivors of child abuse

I want to stop asking my patients what is wrong and start asking them what is strong

We are all warriors

May I be a warrior of peace

May I heal myself in order to light the way for others on their healing journey

Good

I no longer strive to be labeled as ‘good’ by others

Like a trained fucking dog

I don’t want to act sweet
When I feel salty and bitter
I never wanted to fit into a box
Or stay between the lines
I don’t even belong indoors
I am a wild, free woman
If that means I’m not the angel you thought I was
Then light up the fire and brimstone
Too long have I carried the burden of trying to save the world while looking cute and put-together
Always satisfying other’s needs like plugging holes in a dam and I’m about to burst
I tremble and ache to let go of the many ropes which bind me
So many roles to play and expectations to meet
No wonder I have no time or energy left for me
I am the only person I can save, and my liberation doesn’t require fake smiles or insincere social pleasantries
To live my best life
I must aspire to be more than simply good
I must liberate myself from the ribbon I am wrapped up in
Rip off the docile doll’s dress and burn it,
Warming my hands and illuminating my night
I must feel my body and ride the waves of my emotions with shuddering ecstasy
You want me to be good
But I want to be better

Take it Back

I feel the knots you’ve tied within me

Stains on my energy
Pains in my body
I observe the damage
Tension, nausea, sensation of suffocation
Insomnia, dizziness, diarrheal defecation
You made me feel powerless for too damn long
You beat me up but my spirit is strong
This shit isn’t mine
This was never mine
This is yours
Take it back
Take it all the fuck back
The trauma and the drama
The hurt and the dirt
Keep your hands and your mind out of my skirt
Don’t tell me what to do
Your mind games were never fun for me
Were they fun for you?
You can win the prize, I offer it freely to you
I won’t play anymore
Your ego will have to deal with the fact that I’m letting my sanity heal
I’m learning to put myself first
Through radical acts of self care to restore my happiness and health
Your energy is yours
Take it back

Trafficked

It was the perfect storm

I was trained to be cute, sweet, polite, considerate, generous, charming

To smile, to be physically fit yet seductively feminine,
to carry a conversation that made those around me feel at-ease, with never too long of an awkward silence and never a word to question or confront the person before me

I was trained to look fresh and smell like a flower,
to say yes

I was trained to not listen to my body, not speak my truth, not honor myself

I was trained to put the lavish wants of others before my basic needs

I learned to disassociate from my body every time it was violated

Too early and too often it was violated

Outward I smiled and said yes, while I silently I screamed within- a deafening din

Time after time, girls, boys, women and men did horrific things to my body- looked at me, touched me, prodded me, left their bodily fluids in places I couldn’t see

Though I was dying to, I didn’t say no, not out loud at least

On top of my disempowerment, I was impoverished

So of course I became a prostitute- it was the perfect storm

My childhood sexual abuse left me well-trained to be an escort, a sex worker

Pleasing others came naturally to me- it was easier to me than breathing

Even though I was disgusted

It was all I knew how to do

When an advertisement on Craigslist sought out cute, easy-going girls and promised to pay a wage that would allow me to both pay rent and buy food, of course I replied- I was the perfect candidate for that job

I reached rock bottom and crawled out when I could afford to-
I quit all my call-girl jobs: 4 different body-rub ‘happy ending’ massage parlors, and too many gigs in the houses of disturbed men

Although I still attract toxic situations into my life, my situation is infinitely better now, the skies are clearing and the future looks bright

Now when I do home visits or see male genitalia, it is in my work as a physician.
I have gathered hard-earned skills which pay my bills, and best of all-

I feel my heart blossom open after a long, harsh winter

The glow from my spirit is melting the love that was frozen within me- love for myself and for all beings

I salute the sun

I exhale

And bow in gratitude