Snow globes

My Grandmother gave me four snow globes over the course of four winters

Each has a place on my shelf, frozen in time

When I look at them I am reminded of my Grandmother’s love, of that beating heart that gave it’s own blood to bear four children.

Each snow globe holds a lesson

One contains tropical fish swimming over ceramic coral; it reminds me to stay fluid, to keep moving forward in the face of obstacles

Another houses a castle; it reminds me to stay strong, stand firm and feel at home in my body

The third encases a wizard; it reminds me to stay open to the magic of the present moment

The fourth has a family of panda bears in it; it reminds me that I am connected to all living things

I used to have a fifth snow globe which contained a unicorn; it was smashed when I left it unattended, reminding me to take care of what I have

Sometimes I think about giving my snow globes away

They could have a new life and brighten a child’s day

For now, they stay

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

Dragon Warrior

I am the dragon warrior

I use the energy from my fear to vanquish my demons

I use my body to create a better world

I use my mind to visualize my dreams

I follow in the footsteps of admirable heroes

The trails they’ve blazed guide me when I’ve strayed

Words of wisdom remind me that it will be ok

More than ok, my life is great

I am made of true grit and fire-tested strength

I am sound in mind, body and spirit

I am a healer because I was wounded

All healing is within you

Amidst the fog and noise, find clarity through action

Invisible

I grew up in invisible poverty

Not in a city housing project, but surrounded by trees- keepers of my sanity

Unfortunately, I didn’t cling tight to that original green

I left the nature that uplifted me to get swallowed by the big city

I did hard time in the belly of that proverbial whale

I was a natural at drinking at bars and hitching rides from strangers in cars

I ran as fast as I could in the workaholic race without stopping to realize that I was headed away from that which my heart truly desired- tranquility and peace

I recreated the high stress of my childhood without seeing my own role in the process

Perhaps the cycle of trauma is not fully broken, yet I am breaking free

The chains that bind me are invisible, yet I feel them loosen and weaken

I get stronger every day

Babysitter

Babysit my attention

I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts

I babysat young children when I was still a child myself

When I was a sex worker at age 20, I told my friends and family that I was a babysitter;

Both jobs require you to work late hours and pay cash

It was for less than a year, but the PTSD lasts a lifetime

I fell down a rabbit hole of sexual trauma

I was perfectly trained to be a professional rape victim from my real life experiences

There is no protection for sex workers

Clients violate any semblance of boundaries

I tried to shout ‘No!’ but only a soft ‘yes’ came out

Customer satisfaction was prioritized above protecting my body from harm

Every time I took an HIV test I was sure it would come back positive

Maybe if I had said ‘yes’ to the screening questions of ‘have you ever exchanged sex for money?’ some resources may have been offered from the public health worker- why was that the only question I said ‘no’ to?

The truth shall set you free

But I was trained by my family to rely on no one and nothing, to survive on sheer grit and ingenuity

Babysit my attention, inform and entertain me

Here and now, I sit in stillness and embrace the present in deep gratitude

Fairytale

The story of the love of my life was like a fairytale

I followed the promise of the afternoon breeze right to my love

On our first date we went for a walk on a winding, icy path through the woods, during which I fell into his arms repeatedly

The pull into each other’s gravity was too strong to overcome

I got knocked up right away

We planned it that way

But it didn’t stay

I was sick with fatigue, nausea, and depression and didn’t have the time or money to have a baby

I thought he would step up to the role of a caretaker but he had his own self-imposed obligations

Not a day went by that he didn’t lose his phone or his wallet, how could I raise a kid with him?

No one, not even him, supported me the way I needed

As soon as the abortion was scheduled I joined a dating app

Still pregnant, I went for picnics in the park with strangers and drank homemade sangria which had warmed in the afternoon sun

A few bad dates later and my sanity returned to me in the clarity of my non-pregnant state,

I realized that he was actually pretty great

Sure, he didn’t own the condo or the SUV and wasn’t offering me the lifetime of security that the dating app men were, but he felt right to me

So we got back together

I cheated on him once while he was out of town and I was planning on breaking up with him when he returned, except I didn’t

I think I will feel ashamed of my misdeeds my whole life

Then we got engaged, married, and I am pregnant again, except now with more time, money and support than before

He no longer loses important things

We are living happily ever after

Except for every time he rehashes the past

Which is too often

I don’t want to talk about every sexual act I’ve ever done with a man, yet he harps on the topic

I wish I hadn’t created such a horror film of a life

I’m trying to sculpt a happier future

For me and the little one

I keep thinking I will stop swearing and start glowing

Holy shit, I’m pregnant

Although I am wary of parenting because my own childhood was awful

I will do a better job than my parents

Every day is my happy ending

Dreamboat

I dreamt my father piled his toxic masculinity on to me, the way he does

He found my secret stash of poetry and mocked me, reciting what I’d written with harsh tones of ridicule

Unlike real life, in my dream I confronted him

I told him I didn’t appreciate his critique of my truest expression of myself

He tore in, told me I was crazy

I felt pushed to my edge, the way I easily do

Still dreaming, I contemplated suicide, the way I readily do

Then I realized that I am ok with walking away

It felt liberating like a bell ringing, like a sunrise on the horizon of my mind after a lifelong night

If he wants to die alone, that is his prerogative

I’ve got my best life to live- no more will I give my power away to those who throw me away

What is this false belief that I could ever make anyone else happy

I became very unhappy trying to make everybody else happy

Growing up in a home of violent depressives, I didn’t stand a chance

I’m ready for a second chance at life- I will fall many times, but I will always get up

In my dream, I walked away

I climbed into a little boat with the man I love

We floated down a beautiful river

We were as happy as two people in a dreamboat can be

And we are

Nothing Wrong

I giggle at the absurdity of my efforts

Why do I try to fit in with people I don’t like?

Like my racist family, or my manipulative patients who mirror in my professional life the horrors of my personal life, recreating the dynamic of my childhood and toxic relationships with exes

I have a habit of keeping myself safe, my survival instinct is strong, so I play along

But basta, ya- enough already

I only wish that their threats of suicide were real

That may sound cold, but that’s how I feel

This script is getting old, I want a new reel

I wonder how they’d fare on a desert island like me

No one to react to their drama, would they sit silently under a tree?

Growing up there was always a crisis at home

How lovely to realize

There is nothing wrong

Liberation is hard-won, yet occurs in an instant

I hope you catch it before you are nonexistent