He Said

He said, ‘You have seen things you didn’t want to and done things you didn’t want to.’

He said, ‘You are insecure and untrusting because you don’t trust yourself.’

He said, ‘Forget the abuse you suffered as a child.’

He said, ‘You couldn’t be a librarian, but you could be a writer, you have a writer’s soul.’

He said, ‘You can’t change the lines on your hands, but when I cover them up, you can’t see them.’

He said, ‘You talk in your sleep and are afraid of what you say.’

He said, ‘You are the daughter of a goddess, and you shouldn’t cut your hair.’

He said, ‘You live in total service to others, but no one appreciates you.’

He said, ‘You are sensitive all over your body.’

He said, ‘Go forward in confidence, with firm steps, express yourself, go out more, form important relationships with the people you meet.’

Mantra

I have a false belief that I should be able to handle all of my mental and physical ailments without any assistance; no therapy or medications.

This false belief comes from the mantras of stoic ancestors echoed by my parents that I am fine simply because they say I am fine

In fact, I am pretty fucking far from fine, and have hovered over the abyss of suicidality most of my life

When I made the mistake of mentioning my thoughts to end my life to a friend at age 13, I was not met with concern but consternation and reprimandation from my mother, who was called by the school guidance counselor

She yelled at me ‘only crazy people go to psychiatrists’, naturally implying that I was not allowed to be crazy, because to be crazy would mean to be less than perfect, less than what she desired, which was forbidden

She pronounced the word ‘crazy’ with disgust and disdain, with smug judgement, as if it were an abhorrent personal defect, an unforgivable sin

I learned to ignore my feelings, emit the illusion of perfection at the cost of stunting my personal growth

To be myself was inconvenient for others, and to be an inconvenience was to be unlovable

Though I remain chained by fear, I am ready to break the shackles of false beliefs that have held me back and kept me from receiving essential help for too long

One mantra rang true: I am strong

Swallowing Fire

My unspoken sadness and madness

Burn like hot coal in my throat
My sore neck holds the tension of another night’s nightmares
Running from persecutors with unknown motives
Even in my waking life, I don’t know why some people get so mad at me
How tempting to cut them off like a gangrenous limb
I hesitate when my persecutors are my family
Stubborn old fashioned tradition of gritty endurance
Ancient dynamics, drama on loop
My sister, abusive and oppressive
My parents either didn’t notice or didn’t care
I used to want to be saved, wanted my parents to protect me, to show my sister that I mattered. That will never happen because it hasn’t happened yet
My rescuing is entirely my responsibility
We are grown as hell
I notice and care about the years of mistreatment and terror
I will protect myself
Though I’m not sure how
Though my throat is scalded with all the fire I’ve swallowed
Fire I’m getting ready spit when I tell you what you are

Unbridled

I finally found my life partner, my love

We’ve lived together for more than a year, peaceful as doves

Happiness pours like sunlight into my life

We wanted to make our union legal before starting a family so we applied for a marriage license
I let my two sisters know the good news- one sister was warm and loving, the other sharp daggers of ice
The first sister offered to sing a song and bake a cake
The second could not be present on our tentative date- so she rained down anger and hate
She was irate that I might celebrate the day without her in any way, however small
Her tyrant insecure ego ruled all
So I gave in to her, as I do
And excluded the rest of my family too
I am trying to understand her thoughts strange and cruel
Why should she have a say on how I carry out my wedding day?
I am a grown woman
She is unwell, wrathful as a demon unleashed from hell
She took the day dedicated to my happiness and love and made it about her anger and pain
That’s what narcissists do: they take your plans and shit in your hands
I was about to take flight and she pulled me back down, the way she does
Like everyday of my childhood, she still can’t kill my hope
Now if I do have a ceremony in the future, I wouldn’t want her there
Forced and coerced, I’m frozen in PTSD
I don’t want her in my life at all, too long have I suffered abuse and trauma from her disproportionate drama
Growing up I wished for her death for my liberation, but that’s not the way
I must be brave, face her and say
Your presence in my life is toxic
You ruined my childhood and now the day of my marriage too
How many ruined days of my life will be enough for you?
Never enough, I know that much
I ache to break free from your trauma-bonds
My brain throbs from the damage of abuse
The blade of my tongue dangles, hungry to cut you loose
In trying to tie me down, you only tied your noose
Your tight grasp only pushed me away
I’ve got this strong itch to tell you you’re a crazy bitch
If you want to stay in my life, stop being a dick
The narcissist and the co-dependent is an act I’m tired of playing
That’s how I know my man is right for me- he is giving
You have an insatiable appetite for my energy
You can’t imagine the pain you inflict on me
As you claim to care about me
I don’t want your conditional love
Love is unconditional, you’re the one who is fucked up
So I cry and kick and punch the air, wonder if you feel it out there
I hope you have nightmares about me in your sleep, that I set fire to your sheets
I learned terror and violence from you
I want to scream
I want to shout
I want to let my feelings out
A deafening roar presses behind my teeth, that old jangly door
I could drown you in my tears
We are both angry: you were born angry, and I am angry that you impose your anger as my problem; you blame me for your meltdowns which are your responsibility alone
If only everyone did what you wanted, there would be peace, or so you’d have me believe
Peace comes from within, stop your deafening din
I am not responsible for how you feel
You are the one who unleashes your anger
I am the robotic doll with no apparent emotions at all
I am also the bride, and there is no room for you in my sphere of love and positivity
With each breath I regain space for myself
By meditation or medication, I wish you well
On second thought, go to hell
It is OK for me to speak my truth
In the eye of your drama storm, I followed my heart and wed my true love
Amidst healing from your narcissistic abuse
I unite myself with self-love
You always tried to break me, but it only made me more unbreakable
You poisoned my wedding well-  I don’t want to sip from it again
You silenced my wedding bells, not knowing that the ringing in my ears cannot be suppressed
When we were little girls, I believed that I was responsible for your feelings
What an impossible task- you’ve always been mentally ill!
I believed it again when I didn’t stand up to you about getting married- when I took responsibility and cleaned up your mess by hiding my marriage from everyone else so that you wouldn’t feel left out
I hurt myself in the name of not hurting you
Yet you are hurt nonetheless, despite my best efforts, my ultimate sacrifice
I’m so fucking exhausted by this awful game
I hope that I fell for the lie for the last time
Armed with understanding, I slay the dynamic between our archetypes
There will be more tears to shed until the day that you are dead, and probably after that too, just to have known you, to have had my developing neuroendocrine system deformed by you
I struggle between wanting to make amends, to be sisterfriends
and to speak my truth, tell you what I think of you
Here is my unbridled rage: fuck you
Your misery is not my responsibility
I may not feel free yet, but with the pen I can write my revenge
Liberate my thoughts even though you may never read this
For a minute there, I lost myself
All these asshole experiences- with family members, exes, bosses
Simulating that I am a hunted and trapped animal
All this elaborate illusion to challenge me, push me to the limit to see if I can remember under pressure
That I am one with everything, that everything is one
In the quantum field, I tap into my innate healing energy, and radiate healing energy out to those motherfuckers as well
To the haters- though you are hurting, you are still loved
I may not like you, but I can assure you that you too are one with everything
Though you may never believe it in this lifetime, that is your loss, that is your spiritual amnesia to recover
I pray for the swift and complete liberation from suffering of all beings

Finding Sukha

Sometimes I feel angry
I could blame my parents for the anger they passed down to me through their nature and their nurture
But they are only survivors of abuse and neglect themselves, victims of inter-generational psychological torture
I like to think that they were doing the best they knew how
With limited resources at the time
It was a different world back then;
There was little awareness and poor preparedness,
Less information and more isolation

Sometimes I feel sloppy
My movements get choppy
I crash, splash and make a mess
I only hope that I don’t take anyone down with me
When I slip and fall
Reminding me that in my haste, I don’t save time at all

Sometimes I feel on edge
I am irritable and my mind carves a ledge
Off of which I can easily slip
Into a hellish well
Of memories echoing back at me
Little things that seem big disproportionately when viewed at close range

Like the time an ex gave me condescending lip
When he proudly pronounced the word ‘dukkha’
Then judged me on how the Sanskrit word (not the concept, mind you) was unfamiliar to my vocabulary at the time

Dukkha is commonly translated as ‘suffering’, which is an important concept in Buddhism because the Buddhist path was designed to liberate people from suffering by helping them first overcome their desires/selfish cravings

I am all for liberation, but his elitist attitude was not resonating with me
That fool tried to school me on suffering like I’d never suffered a day in my life, when I’ve suffered every damn blessed day of my life

So I gave him a lesson in letting go of attachment by leaving him

I thought he could stand to benefit from the lesson and

I don’t need to take shit from a privileged prick about fancy words that I was too busy earning a living through sex work to have the time to learn from a text book

Books are hella expensive anyway

That’s why I gladly share my writing freely

Cuz I want it to reach people like me

People who were born into economic or emotional poverty

Through these simple words I string together

I humbly hope to help alleviate suffering in others

Perhaps it only helps alleviate my own suffering, but even that would be enough

I am a person, too

Also, writing feels like free therapy to me

I’ve still never been to actual therapy

I hear the prices are crazy

But I digress…I don’t have the energy to deal with fits of vanity

from spoiled boys who get off on looking down on me and the rest of the world

I think that instead of judging anyone who hasn’t heard the word ‘dukkha’
It would’ve served him better to find sukha
Sukha means ‘ease’

My point is this:
Everybody experiences dukkha (suffering, pain, unsatisfactoriness or stress) and hopefully sukha (happiness, ease, pleasure or bliss) in their lives
Everyone around the world attends the school of life; we are born, live and die in that classroom
But not everybody has access to the luxury of learning outside of their immediate human interactions
However that makes them no less educated than those who have the resources for recreational reading
At least in my book

So I’d tell that ex (if I could stomach the thought of communicating with him, which I presently don’t)
That if he thinks he is superior to others
Because he’s so well-read
Then maybe he should know
How to fit his ego back inside his head

With compassion, I recognize that fear of inadequacy lies at the root of his speaking boastfully

Here are some lessons that I’ve learned, and they aren’t in Sanskrit:
The ego inflates easily but deflates again eventually, and when the ego balloon gets stabbed by a needle it can be a long, hard fall down to the ground                                                                                                    Liberation from our egos and freedom from our desires is the ultimate gift
Money can buy a book but it can’t buy wisdom
Material wealth will get you inside the ivory tower but it won’t shelter you from suffering

Just look at my ex; he was rich in his wallet but impoverished in his heart-mind
Leaving him so that I could be poor but happy
Was a decision that put me at ease,
At ease like sukha

Sometimes I need a lesson in letting go too

Sometimes I find sukha

Pockets of Bliss

Pockets of Bliss

Hard-scrabble
Uphill battle
Stoically strong
All my life long

That was my marching song

Yet if I let myself unwind a bit
I find myself basking in pockets of bliss
Soaking in satisfaction, abundance, gratitude
It feels like the ultimate kiss
As I both receive and radiate
The generous glow of the sun

My mind usually tells myself that I don’t have time
For such indulgent, frivolous nonsense
That I’ve got to push push push
And forever rush rush rush

I fooled myself into believing
That I didn’t deserve the luxury of deep breathing
That rest and relaxation were only for the privileged rich
Such was my justification for prioritizing everything else                                                       Before my own needs

For too long I wrongly bought into the ideology
That my life was not to be enjoyed
That I should run hungry all my days
As if pursued by a ravenous wolf in all kinds of ways

But today I re-realized that I am the wolf
And also the prey
Only I have the power to say,
‘Enough of being tough.
I am ready for ease!’

If only in pockets to start
Because old habits are hard to break,
Just ask my heart

So it is with patience and persistence,
Guided by gentle wisdom
That I fill my pockets to overflowing
With bliss bliss bliss

Borderline

You and I walked the line-
The thin border that separated us
We got as close to each other as we could

Your mood swing shook the ground, turning the crack between us into a canyon
Sprawling vastly between us, there was no way to stitch or suture us back together
I was shaken down by your rumble
My hopes for us buried in the rubble

Slowly, we picked ourselves back up again
Separating the pieces of you from the pieces of me
Resurfacing, scratched and bruised
Older and wiser

You seem borderline
Leaning so close in
Then so far away
I might be borderline too
We swerved toward and away from each other
At a dizzying pace
I’m trying to figure out
Where is the line with you?

You crossed the line with me
Too many times
It was my fault
For not drawing a boundary, not staying true to my heart
But I’m drawing it now
By cutting you off
Instead of cutting my skin

You kept invading my body and my life
I’d rather do other things with my time
So please, darling, mind the line