Are you still suffering?

I was on my 24th consecutive hour of work; sweaty, hungry, dehydrated, and raggedly exhausted when a patient walked into the urgent consult office where I was posted on call, sat down and said:

‘A long time ago, you fell in love with someone who was not as in love with you, and for that, you suffered a lot.’

I was the clinician, yet without asking a single question he arrived at an accurate diagnosis of my neurosis: perpetual heartbreak.

I felt somewhat violated when he proceeded to tell me that I had one birthmark on my upper thigh and another under my breast, and that I should take off my clothing and show him. He wasn’t spot-on about the birthmarks, but he was correct about the heartbreak. Maybe we all have heartbreak in our pasts, but he really got me when he asked, ‘Are you still suffering?’.

If the imprints on my energetic field from that loss of love are obvious enough for some rando creep to read them like a news headline, I want to change the vibe I’m giving off.

I was still suffering, and in trying to escape my suffering I became a physician, hoping that the overwhelming process of medical training would take my attention away my broken heart- a treatment that provided a temporary distraction at best, but not a cure.

Now with spiritual healing on a level even deeper than heart break and reciprocated love in my life, I am still suffering, but less so.

Too Much

Are you upset because you feel that you gave too much, darling?

Too much love and affection, only to end in rejection?

Too much energy and time, too much of your body and mind, did you spend too many of your dimes?

Too many gifts, too many kisses?

You were too much for me

I risked my life for you, with every imposed act of unprotected sex

Your arms were prison bars to me, your body was a wall I couldn’t make fall

Finally free with the help of geography, I set to work separating you from me

I told you so many times that your love was toxic for me

You cared only for yourself, I was an object on your shelf

We both gave up the chance to be with dozens of other lovers

I gave you the best years of my life and you riddled them with strife

I thank you for all of that, even though being trapped in an unhealthy relationship damn near killed me

You were my drinking buddy and my drunk enemy

You never kept the peace for long

A loud grievance about how the world did you wrong was perpetually erupting

Despite the fact that you were a spoiled, silver spoon over-fed blond haired, blue-eyed white American male

Honey, your complaining is still ringing in my ears

You gave me the time of my life, never after

Our friends went out of their way to keep us apart because the damage we caused each other was so painful for them to watch

Our approaches to life are opposite

I ask what I can give

You ask what you can take

No wonder you were so fond of me

You want without end

I could never satisfy you

I am at peace now, and I wish the same for you

I no longer feel torn by my simultaneous love and loathing for you

I feel only grateful to have survived our relationship

It was almost too much

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

The Color of Fear

I visualize fear in my body- a pale yellow space in my abdomen where my third-chakra should be. Fear is the hole through which the wind blows; the whims of others buffeting my core unapologetically as I give my power away with barely a hesitation.

I breathe into this space not to exhale my fear, but to join my breath with fear and thus transform fear into power.

The yellow acquires rich undertones and depth as it ripens and becomes full-bodied. My insecurity becomes my empowerment. My fear is my friend, not my foe.

I feel my strength take form, self-protection armed with experience, primed to use fear as fuel

Though I fail every day at saying no, I keep trying

I do not retreat from the world

Though I have not yet put words to my fear, I study it

My frozen mouth thaws around radical words like:

My feelings matter, my health matters, my time matters, my sleep matters, my sense of safety matters

I soak up the golden yellow light, burn some sage and turn the page

Seen and Unseen

The world wants young women to remain untouched, yet everybody wants a bite of my apple.

Decades after the act, I calmly consider filing a lawsuit against a classmate who raped me in high school. I learned this from you, America. Though there were countless violations on my body by unnumbered people throughout my life, he might be the one person I could track down in my small hometown.

I’d rather talk it out, let him know how hurt and disappointed I felt, and ask him to kindly make a donation to my charitable organization, without involving lawyers.

I’ve heard it said that there comes a time in every relationship when you will have to forgive, and I do. Yet I still doubt that I will receive forgiveness from others.

‘How will he ever forgive you?’ asked the abortion clinic worker when I told her that I hadn’t informed my partner of my plan to terminate the pregnancy. She listed the procedure steps while I pretended that I hadn’t received two previous abortions, acted like I wasn’t a medical doctor. I always play dumb.

The weight on my chest is hard to sustain, crushed by the burden of the guilt I maintain. I endured excruciating pain to try to avoid womanly shame. Perhaps my effort was in vain.

‘Think 10,000 times before you write something down’ said the Guru to the crowd. I felt like she was talking to me, though I knew that I would keep writing, despite her sage advice.

I can speed read but I prefer to savor the words on my tongue like I’m a sommelier tasting a fine wine. I read to gather knowledge to orchestrate my epigenetics and retrain my brain:

I inherited from my Dad the ability to work hard yet remain helplessly poor, both the hero and the victim, riding the complain train in circles, never catching a break or a taking a breath.

My mom taught me to neglect and abuse myself, and let others do the same. Nauseating silent car rides were punctuated by explosive anger- the only emotion she ever expressed to me. She taught me that my survival was dependent on being what others wanted me to be, and I must always smile.

Throughout my life I have sacrificed myself, let the predator humans feed on my energy and body. I keep hoping that if I just give them enough they will be satisfied, yet the more I give the hungrier they get and the more they demand. I stay soft and sweet under their bitter bite, as I wear a maddening smile I can’t shake and continue with trauma-informed communication even as I am traumatized.

I hide my unhealthy habits on the dark side of the moon- sex, sugar, and workaholism. Yet I am building my medicine kit, healing myself. My tiger tongue remains trapped in the tiny cage of my teeth.

Even when the worst happens, how fortunate I am to have had abundant opportunities to prepare, to demonstrate resilient strength and flexibility, to remember that I am safe, loved, and cared for by forces both seen and unseen.

Energy

Why is it that male energy becomes irritable under stress?

Are you incapable of being kind, of grace under pressure?

Do you feel threatened? Is that why you behave as if you are under attack?

Your judgmental words hit me like blows, sending me under duress against my behest

Blindsiding me at this hour.

Head spinning, I try to cry but still feel too surprised

Why are you so rude?

I have compassion for you

It isn’t easy carrying a killer beehive in your throat

The constant pressure to be perfect I know all too well, it’s a personal hell

You look down on me; an easy target for your stinging, patronizing critiques

I don’t think your motivational interviewing classes are working

Think of me as you will

At least I show up on time to work and communicate professionally, without putting others down

You must be lonely on your island of superior intellect

Forgiveness is hard, especially of myself

I wish I wasn’t bothered by mean boys, wish I didn’t care what you say or think

Maybe it’d be easier to brush you off if I didn’t physically feel your energy in my body, or if I didn’t sincerely care about your spiritual wellbeing

Your energy is directed at me, but it isn’t about me

Your energy is yours, I have my own

I stumble home, pulling briars out of my skin

So grateful to be feminine

Basking in the energy of our Earth mama

Hold me mama, help me to forgive

Hold the hurting, mama, help them heal and live

Instead of destroying, I prefer to create and preserve peace- don’t get me wrong, I know when to let go, but I try to connect to the

Present moment, wonderful moment

Though I do not speak my boundaries, help me maintain energetic boundaries mama

Help me protect and repair my energy

I am an empowered empath, I am strong

Strong enough to feel it all and heal it all

Or at least heal myself

I wish you peace in your heart, love in your home, healing on your journey

My energy has survived worse than you

I collect my energy together, powerful and shimmering

I’ll need my energy again soon enough

I need it now

I feel it now

Strong

Let’s start where we are

At the end of my rope again
Wanting to kill my body to liberate my spirit
Free myself from the grips of your jealousy
Your hands can’t grasp the air, can’t contain that which is intangible
Only the heart can do that
I want to throw a wrench and stop the drama-go-round with a screeching halt
Would it shake you awake from the illusion of reality?
Would it finally lift your veil?
I have felt hunted by you my whole life
How refreshing to be the one to hold the knife
I want to get out of my own way
I balance a negative thought with a positive one
Remind myself that I create my life each moment through perception, attention, intention
Even now, you are another a poppy in the field, trying to keep me knocked out instead of awake, empowered, enlightened
Wrapped up in visions of destruction, I remind myself that I have a choice every moment
I turn my mind’s eye to that which uplifts me, and give a wink
How much more energy would I have for that which I love if I let go of that which I loathe?
I don’t have to prove that I am strong anymore
I don’t have to take your shit anymore
You are the one who needs strength
At my best, I pray for you and the healing of our relationship
At my worst, I fantasize about taking a shit on your grave

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

Off My Chest

I need to get you off my chest

I’ve never felt relaxed in my life because you raised me in the war zone of your wrath
Bombs of panic explode in my mind all day every day
Choking me with your smoke and mirrors even though you are far away
My ears ring with your shouting
You were the biggest little tyrant
Not even two years my senior
Yet always more needy
Mandating, yet begging
I didn’t realize the power I had over you, and still do
You were the one dependent on me for affirmation, not the other way around
I didn’t have a choice then, but I do now-
To live a life without your storms brewing on my horizon
I’ve never slept well in my life because I thought you were going to murder me in my sleep throughout our childhood and adolescence
I used lie in bed wearing a cross around my neck with a note attached to it asking you to think before acting, waiting for dawn to break, dreading another day with you, feeling trapped and hopeless with no end in sight
I never felt protected, respected, seen or heard by our parents
In moments of desperation, I wish you had killed me
Instead you continue to torture me passive aggressively, and I am passive passive aggressive
Silenced, as if buried alive
I toss and turn, tormented between insomnia and nightmares
I’m trying to think before I act
I am upset that I’m even thinking about you now
I am upset about how you get upset ‘at’ me: you throw your rage at me and have me clean up the mess, time and time again, left to calm your ass down as if your reactions were justifiable or somehow my fault
It was never my fault
I am not responsible for how you feel
Leave me alone you evil bitch
I want to scream at you with the force of 35 years of repressed anger and tears
At the same time, I am trying to let go of the hot coal which burns my palm
I am trying to let the rippling waters of my pond be still
I am trying to not be irritated, for only then will you no longer be irritating
I am trying to take responsibility for my thoughts and feelings
I am tired of trying so damn hard
I am ready for ease
I am ready for peace
I am ready to breathe
Please, get off my chest
I don’t need to ask- I am responsible for how I feel
I’m not sure what to do next
I’ll probably meditate and self-medicate with raw emo poetry
Like the note pinned to my cross-necklace, you will probably never read this
But maybe those who matter will
Those who feel they are suffering alone
May find healing in this onion peel
And breathe just one breath more freely
For this I humbly pray
Namaste