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

From the Breakup Files

Chapter 1: Peace

At an airport in NYC

In the middle of everywhere, I am off the grid

No service waves penetrate these walls, my phone won’t receive your calls

I no longer have a tree for dogs to bark up

By dogs, I mean men

They make noise at me again and again

I only want peace

Here, in the middle of NYC, I found it

Chapter 2: You Gave Me

When you gave me the finest that money could buy, you gave me something new

Yet, you gave me something old

That familiar feeling of owing a man my life in exchange for gifts I didn’t ask for

You gave me the latest technology

Only to bombard me with neurotic texts, emails, and calls

Trying to control me was your downfall

Smothering and manipulating

The tighter you gripped, the more I slipped through your fingertips

If you didn’t get your way, I had hell to pay

But you have no power over me

I don’t owe you anything

That is why I gave it all back

I belong to myself

I don’t have to do what you or anyone else wants me to do

This is my sacred truth

This is what I learned from you, and the many who came before you

Everything I need is within me

Chapter 3: I am My Own

I used to think that I was Cinderella because I often clean up other people’s messes and my family was mean to me.

I used to think that I was Ariel because what I wanted to say, no one could tell.

I used to think that I was Belle because I love to read and thought I could break a Beast’s spell.

Then I met some Beasts: Jealousy and Greed, we wrestled until I remembered that I already have everything I need.

I need no prince to rescue me.

With the help of the Divine Spirit, I am saved and my beast is tamed

Chapter 4: Two and One

This one is for my baby

Even though I paid hard-earned money and endured unspeakable pain to have you scraped out of me

Even though I chose to stop your beating heart

You know that I loved you from the start

I was overjoyed to learn of your existence inside of me

I was so excited to meet you, to show you the best possible world

To teach you all I know, to caress your curls

I took every measure to treat you like a treasure, I cared for you more than for my own self

But when your daddy showed his horrendous true self to me, I had to set you free so that I could be me

Chapter 5: What it is

What it is is that I prefer to spend time with myself than with you

Being with you was beyond unpleasant for me

There is no mystery for you to solve

You don’t have to dissect my every word

You don’t have to feel unheard, or regret anything

You are simply not for me

We could never make each other happy

I know this in my heart

That’s what it is

Shipwreck

I walk the lonely beach which holds the shipwreck of my ego

Despondent, grey, cold, wet

I feel innately flawed because you are once again upset and it is my fault, or so you would have me believe

All these years I was so overwhelmed by your feelings that I didn’t get in touch with my own

I was so busy internalizing your complaints that I didn’t externalize mine

Old habits

The ringing in my ears doesn’t stop

I pick up a small shell of divinity and hold it close to me

I hear eternity

The sound of All melting into All

One endless sea

Gloomy Sunday, I feel sad and uneasy, afraid of the future

Seasick even on land

Disoriented by the drama of my mother’s recent disownment of me

So far the future has been more bearable than the past, even with occasional outbursts from my family which are reminiscent of my hellish childhood

I am no longer that helpless little girl

I am the captain of my ship

Repairs are in order

First, I sit on the shore and listen

Lines

Communication lines cut

Like my teenage forearms, in an attempt to let the pain out

Communication lines cut, if they were ever up and running to begin with

The first lesson you taught me was to communicate inauthentically

Communication lines cut

Through the deafening silence I imagine

The antagonizing and agonizing thoughts, words, and actions you are firing at me

In our power play, who will yield first

You make a mess and wait for me to clean it up

Furious that I’ve failed, yet again, to read your mind

I’m done living pathetically

I used to think that my life depended on keeping you content

Now I realize that you need me more than I need you

I don’t want to enable the toxicity of our relationship anymore

Given that our relationship was only me acting to please you, it isn’t much to lose

I don’t know if I will ever drop a line to tell you

May you experience deep healing on your journey

Spelunking

What if I stopped caring about pleasing you and everyone?

What if I felt safe even around people who are upset?

How much energy would I free up, and what would I do with it?

How much lighter would my body feel, would my breath flow easily?

Would I be able to sleep at night, without feeling hunted by your animosity?

Would my pounding heart simmer down, and my jaw unclench?

What would I think about, if I weren’t worrying all the time how to make you happy?

What if I told you that your feelings are your responsibility?

What if I liberated myself from unrealistic expectations?

What if I let go of expectations for others?

If you love me, it doesn’t feel like it to me.

I want positive, supportive, unconditional love from those who practice humility, humor, and curiosity.

I radiate those qualities when I’m not lost in a cave of depression.

When spelunking, bring a helmet and a light.

A helmet to protect you so that thoughts of suicide don’t become acts of suicide.

A light source as a spiritual anchor to remind you not to take yourself too seriously.

Harder

The more I try to keep the peace in my life, the more wartime volcanoes erupt.

Why do I try to appease assholes, even if they are family?

Lord, let me focus on the people who are a source of positive support in my life.

Let me soften into self-acceptance instead of trying to force my life, instead of coercing others into accepting me by acting the way I think they want me to act, live from authenticity instead of fear.

I’ve got my own diseases to cure

Starting with anxiety and depression which resulted from being crushed by drama giants all my life, leaving no room for me to be- I survived my formative years barely breathing

I am bigger now, though I don’t yet believe it

I feel thunder clouds roll in

Lighting cracks my core

Embodying tragedy and comedy, I’m not sure which will win in the end

Secretly suicidal my whole life, struggling through- expression of my emotions was not allowed at home

I scurried to pick up the shards of my parent’s and older sibling’s emotions like so many pieces of the dishes and furniture they broke

I thought it was my fault, if I could just be more perfect all of the time, if I could more accurately read their volatile minds…

It was a smash

Glue couldn’t hold us together

I swallowed my truth and am choking still

Jesus, Great Spirit, I find peace in your warm light

Please be with my family, may they know peace

May they stop shouting at me long enough to consider how I feel

I know that is too much to ask

They were never interested in me, only in what I could be in relation to them- conform to their demands or die

I never had an identity of my own to lose

I existed purely to please those around me

I feel an energetic shift and for a moment I crack open

A million butterflies pour out

The battle within me rages- fighting for my energy against the vortex of my human family

My tiger has been caged too long and is ready to roar, to chew out instead of get chewed out, speak instead of exclusively listen, insult instead of receive insults, dish out what I have been served

But I don’t want to be like them

I want to set my tiger free, transform my energy, practice forgiveness not to condone but to reclaim my energy as my own

My healer recommended that I meditate on the image that I am a fly on the wall witnessing their meltdown

In my meditation, I am a butterfly

This is a lifelong practice

The burden is massive and heavy

To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders

I bow in gratitude to ancient wisdom

I want to defend myself without attacking, state the facts without accusation

The grinches who stole my life don’t have to steal it anymore, I alone hold the key to my jail cell door

When will I run out of people to hurt?

Perhaps when I run out of people to hurt me

I feel crushed by a ton of rocks- the blows of their words

I meditate on the image of the rocks floating above me, dissolving into sand and falling to the floor

Maybe if I blast you out of my head I can finally be free from this family when I’m dead

I feel deflated but not defeated, battered but not beat

No matter how much self-work I’ve done or awareness I’ve gained, no matter how many workshops I’ve attended, healing sessions I’ve received, supplements I’ve swallowed, books I’ve read to stop taking on other people’s energy, to empower myself as an empath and a highly sensitive person, I am still destroyed by energy vampires- my old survival mechanism to read the room and right the wrongs, but I can’t make you happy, fam. Why do I try? Why was this ever the expectation?

You say you are unhappy and hurt by me: welcome to my world, welcome to life as a human

It is OK to feel hurt- I feel hurt by you most of the time

Do you have any idea how much unhappiness and hurt you’ve been the source of that I didn’t express because I’d only get more beat-downs and rejection if I did, Mom?

It comes to blows, and I’m home

Full-blown crisis mode, no longer communicating by phone

You say the disrespect is unforgivable

I don’t need you to forgive me- that is your burden

In my life I’ve got plenty to forgive you for

I’ve learned many sacred lessons from the pain you inflicted on me

Maybe it is time I return the favor

Alan Watts asks what I would do if I had the power to dream any dream I wanted to

Just like when I’m sleeping, I will escape this nightmare about you by lucid dreaming

I will practice sending your energy back to you, again and again

Even if it takes my whole life

I forgive you, for you know not what you do

Up until now I’ve felt sorry for myself for having you as my mother

Now I just feel sorry for you for being trapped inside yourself your whole life

Walk your path- I’m not gonna stop ya

I’ll keep shining love like a bodhisattva

I’m OK with no longer growing fat from your toxic larder

Staying angry is easy, forgiving is harder

Hard

I don’t know what to do so I won’t do anything

I don’t know what to say, so I’ll sing

How come you give it to me, but I never give it to you?

I’m waiting for permission that is only mine to grant

I don’t know why- yes I do- you were hurt by me, I was hurt by you

If I were to tell you how I feel, what would I say?

I think you’re less than perfect too

I’ve committed crimes, but so have you

I don’t give you a hard time, maybe you could try that too

I need you to love me gently, instead of hardly

We don’t speak the same love language and I’m talking to myself again

You start fires, I put them out

You get loud and I want to shout

I don’t know what to do, so I won’t do anything

You won’t hear me complain because I don’t

Maybe you could try a little introspection and I could try a little introspection

We could be each other’s reflection, like we are

We’re made of stars

Why is this so hard

Cup

This is it, the big one

The debridement of my most primordial wound

Dissection of what my parents did and didn’t do

Releasing us both from the impossible task of fulfilling each other’s expectations

Seeing them for the first time as the narcissists they are

Pretending to love me only when I made them look good

Spitting on me with their words and crushing me under the boots of their ego when I was hurting

When I needed them most they abandoned me

Like childish bullies, they took no responsibility for themselves or others

I’ve turned my face to them time and time again looking for love, searching in vain, coming up short

They refuse to see the parts of me that they don’t want to

My father told me I was flabby and looked like a monster when I was 15 years old

I subsisted on a high-glycemic diet stolen from my workplace because there wasn’t enough food at home, which resulted in weight gain and horrendous acne

I didn’t see my father for what he was; a negligent parent and an asshole.

Instead I wallowed in sorrow for my innate deficiencies, contemplated suicide because I wasn’t beautiful enough

Don’t worry Dad, I was still attractive enough to get raped enough times to lose count

As if you care

I can’t imagine treating my child the way you treat me

Lord, help these wounds heal

I am ready to move on, to break the inter-generational chain of toxic parenting

To write a new song instead of the broken-record of your critical dialogue

You can live your life in crisis mode, but don’t impose your crises on me anymore.

You imprinted your patterns of anxiety on my developing body and brain

I felt the need to gain the gushing approval of everyone around me

To be the smartest, prettiest and most accomplished in the room

I made many men swoon

I don’t need that anymore

Take your booze and do with it what you will

My cup is full

I depend on no man to keep it filled

Win

In the game of life you may find yourself amidst a family feud

Odds stacked against you, destined to lose

The age-old fairy tale from hell of the narcissist and the empath, which one are you

My eyes have grown weary from struggling to see clearly through all this gaslighting

If you show any emotion in response to their explosive commotion

That is how they win

You’ve miraculously kept your boat afloat despite the perfect storm of their rage

The shore is just beyond your view, keep faith and raise your anchor

Starve them of fuel with your lack of reaction, let them sputter to a lonely stop without you

Adult babies cry, assuming you’ll run to their side as you usually do, but will you?

What if you stepped to the side, got off the ride, wasn’t it sickening for you?

What if you put yourself first, tended to your own hurts instead of those around you

Stop playing their game- you had nothing to gain, they drained your sanity and occupied your brain

Energy-vampire mind-game spinners, tangled you in their mess and devoured you for dinner

You care so deeply for their feelings, but they don’t care about yours

Stop playing their game

That is the only way you can finally win

Womanly Body

I move my womanly body- sway my hips, shake my coccyx

‘I’m dancing like a little girl’ I judge myself half-jokingly

I once again feel like that terrified child- the skinny, shy girl of my youth. I tell myself that I am safe now, even if I don’t believe it

Back in the now; I am a full-grown woman in the prime of her life, albeit a late bloomer

Practicing gentle loving-kindness towards self, cultivating vibrancy

My uterus is a powerful creative cauldron, and I’m due to brew up something magical

In a flash I am an elder, a medicine woman with a wrinkle on her face for each hard-won ripple of wisdom

Knitting in a rocking chair on my porch, with a subtle smile and a twinkle in my eye

Though I do not yet have a rocking chair, nor do I know how to knit

Perhaps I should learn how to knit

No- I knit words instead of wool

Though what I want to impart to future generations is beyond words

I do not know if my body will live to the elder age of my imagined older self

Lord, let me not take my life or health for granted

Lord, be with the hurting children

May they survive their childhoods to heal themselves and serve as beacons of hope for the hurting

We are all hurting

I embody hurting and healing in my womanly body