Darling, though we’ve never met
Alice had her heart broken
Emerging from the emergency room, gasping to find my breath, I weep.
My patient had hypovolemic hyponatremia
His serum sodium was low, and we all need salt in our blood to live
Overall, he was dehydrated- dry, though his blood pressure was high
I looked at his moist tongue, and didn’t see the storm clouds amassing in the sky
Until my attending physician came thundering down
Pummeling my eardrums with his voice so loud
Taking lightning strikes at my fledgeling ego
Making me feel scared, small and trapped
How dare I not approach this case the same way he would
How could I take a vast constellation of data points, and see a different image than him?
How dare I not know everything he wants me to know when he thinks I should know it.
The audacity of me!
I went into this job to help people, but who helps me when confronted with an abusive boss, the way I am all day every day?
I have grit, and that’s it.
How can I justify the harm I inflict on myself by trodding this path of not harming others? Am I not also a person worthy of non-harm?
I drag myself through another day of sheer exhaustion, violent levels of stress, junk food scavenging, flooding my veins with the same poison I encourage my patients to avoid.
I practice this art of self-abuse day after day, year after year.
I don’t have the time or personal space to cry, until many hours have passed by, and my work, imperfectly executed, is temporarily done.
Tomorrow, more work will come at a nauseating pace, in unpredictable swells and storms.
Tonight, I cling to the knot I’ve tied at the end of my rope.
At home, my partner speaks to me, but I do not hear him.
He softly reaches out to me, but I do not feel his touch.
He serves me dinner, though I do not feel hunger.
I try to breathe through my shell-shock, remind myself that I am safe, worthy, lovable.
As if concussed, I feel foggy, irritable, and want only to cry.
I close my bedroom door, and I finally let my tears fall, though I don’t know how they will ever stop.
I take stock of the things I am grateful for.
I have energy to release:
I visualize a cord of light between my attending physician and I, solar plexus to solar plexus, and I send his rageful, toxic energy back to him, riddled with his scathing judgement.
I send him back the shame he so generously tried to pile on me.
That is his energy, not mine.
I feel the sting of tears as they dry on my cheek- my personal Sahara.
For a minute there, I lost myself.
I feel raw, delicate.
I cried so much, I have lost volume and salt like my hypovolemic hyponatremic patient.
This time, I know the recommended remedy: fluid.
Keeping myself fluid, I bow in respect and gratitude to the teachers on my journey- those who still trick me into believing that I am lesser-than, who make me temporarily forget that I am a dreamer in this cosmic kaleidoscope.
I bow with respect and gratitude to water, and salt.
Adverse Childhood Experiences
Most of us have had adverse childhood experiences
Some of us more than others-
Traumatic experiences with catastrophic consequences which ripple out from our core to the edges of existence
Some of us have lived a life of consistent resistance
We were struggling, fighting uphill battles
When we should have felt carefree, playing with rattles
Experiences so awful and early
That rigid prison bars were imposed around our developing minds and bodies
Restricting our growth
I’m not writing an excuse for my shortcomings
I’m fueling my fire to heal humanity
Enough already with the insanity
Trauma tangles our DNA, the epigenetics way
Turning off certain genes and turning on others,
But we can be better than our fathers and mothers
We don’t have to pass it on
We can heal ourselves
Do something each day to heal yourself, your body will guide you in what to do-
quality sleep and fresh food to eat
energy healing visualization, repeating positive affirmations
I won’t ever be the person I might have been had I not had all those adverse childhood experiences- every form of abuse and neglect
raised by people who were unwell, making my childhood a living hell
However, because I am a wounded warrior, I have a burning desire to share my fire, let my inner glow light the way for others to know that a better life is possible
You are your own healer.
There is so much to fear and worry about.
So much to feel sad and angry about.
I spend a great deal of time and energy worrying what others think of me.
This is likely because of the explosive rage inflicted upon me whenever I displeased others while I was growing up.
But they were displeased to begin with.
Their happiness was never my responsibility
And now I feel like everybody’s happiness is my responsibility
But it is not
I am only responsible for myself
It is enough to mind my own mind- check in with my thoughts without worrying about what everyone else is thinking all the time.
This is a practice, and practicing is enough.
Constant dripping of water hollows out a stone.
My pain is the stone, and my healing is the water.
Like water, I do not stop when I encounter an obstacle, I keep flowing. I heard that all rivers flow to the ocean.
Your healing is natural, it is part of the universal life force.
But you can help it along- how you treat yourself is the most important action you can take.
Oh Great Spirit, may I stay on this healing path.
I have taken many exams, however healing from my ACEs is the most important test I want to ace.
Thank you to all the healers, all the hard-working professionals who help raise awareness about ACEs, help prevent trauma, and help blaze the trail of recovery.
I dream of you, my favorite lover
Though it has been many years
Since that sparkling summer
When I was 18 and you were 17
I was unprepared to fall so deep
Your hand on mine
Was enough to stop time
I stayed awake all night
Electrified by your touch
And more terrified than I realized, to mess it up
It was my fear that froze me and left you out in the cold
I thought my feelings for you meant that we would never part,
I thought surely you must feel the same way in your heart
But our relationship didn’t even get off the ground
The engine of my airplane is still churning ’round
I wish I had been more reckless-
Gotten drunk with you, had unprotected sex and let you impregnate me
I’d give up my education and prestige of my career
Just to hold you near once more
Instead, my unrequited feelings for you became misplaced on others,
Those many unwanted lovers
No one holds a candle to you-
My heart is a bonfire burning blue
In my dream, you once again hold my hand
I feel the magnetic touch that I’ve missed so much,
Feel the electric current flow between us.
I feel blissfully happy,
Until I wake up to the real nightmare-
that you are married and have a kid.
I feel so happy for you and so sad for me.
In dreaming of you, that sense of magical love is awoken in me
As if I might turn the corner and find love staring back at me
And this time not drop the ball at my feet
But more likely,
I’ll open my eyes to the love all around me
Or look within and realize that I’ve always had it all
Rather than the wish,
I am the well.
I mistook the feelings you brought out in me as something that you alone could give me, like you were my heroin dealer, my poppy seed
I mistook you for the source, but you were the springboard
Off of which I catapulted into the abyss
Tumbling through the dark, I held onto to my spark
Let it glow and grow
And now I know
We are all source-
We are love manifested into physical form
The feeling of losing your love threw me for a loop
For a minute there, I lost myself
Perhaps without you,
I would not have come to realize
That we are all love itself
Without the exquisite pain I felt in your absence
I would not have had to comfort myself
by curling up under the blanket
woven by the in-separateness of all
You, me, and everyone we know
Are golden threads in this tapestry
Leaves on the sole tree of life
Poetry won’t stop leaking out of me
My hands get a tingle
My mind sings a jingle
I search for paper on which to scratch
Anything within reach
Backs of receipts, napkins, old scraps
All other activity falls to the wayside
Until I see the poem before my eyes
I write about the unspoken suffering of my life
Of being brutally silenced
Since infancy I was trained not to cry when I wanted to cry
My feelings were an inconvenience to those by my side
I came to understand that my needs were not important enough to be expressed, and if I made the mistake of even showing how I felt through my face or my body, such truth was beaten out of me by those closest to me
Far worse than the violence was the mental abuse
and even worse than the mental abuse was the neglect
Sometimes I felt invisible and other times I felt like I wasn’t invisible enough
I wished that I could fly away
The shouting was so loud, where could I hide?
I locked my door but they always burst inside
I cried in secret silence everyday
I learned that I existed to be what others wanted me to be
I delivered what was required
Though inside me raged a fire
The primordial desire
To be free
I’d give anything to live just for me
When I became grown, I left home
But my well-trained brain followed me wherever I roamed
Autonomy is foreign to me
I met many lovers but they always chose me
Because I pleased them easily
I never returned the favor
Of serving up the criticism they so abundantly showered upon me
Joyfully, I recently discovered that the suffering of my life has a name; Narcissistic Abuse
There are healthier ways to love, ladies and gentlemen
I want more harmony and less harm done to me
I am trying to create a life that I want to live,
One where I give from my heart instead of feeling like a marionette jerked around by the malicious hands of fear
I want to tell others how I feel and what I am thinking
Speak from my heart
Release my throat chakra
Weave a tapestry with the golden thread of my truth
Relentlessly I work at this nearly impossible task
Like a seed below the soil, the only place I have to grow is toward the sun
But healing my mind feels like building a castle on quicksand
My efforts collapse, fall and fail every day
I must remember to give myself compassion, the way I try to give my abusers compassion
I have succeeded before in speaking my mind
With every break-up, no matter how clumsy my wording or how long it took me to work up the courage
I want to tell my exes that when I hurt them by finally breaking up with them, it was because I was trying to reclaim my life and honor both of us
God, have I suffered at the hands of men
When they hurt me, it was because they were trying to get a rise out of me, or hurt me out of spite
I want to tell them: Get a life, you jerks
May they stop terrorizing me and find inner peace swiftly
I feel awful about the things I’ve done that I didn’t want to do
Especially the things I’ve done with men
The sex was violent, violating, painful and humiliating
If only I could forget it, but even my body remembers
I think I will always see men as perpetrators, even though not all of them are
An overwhelming amount of the ones I’ve known are
I struggle to shake them off me when they’re ready to rape me yet they’re nowhere to be found when I’m ready to abort our unplanned pregnancies
That excruciating physical and emotional pain is just for me
The bloody landscape of no man’s land
I understand that as an adult survivor of child abuse, I attract abusers
I’m developing a repellant
By noticing patterns and breaking them
Prevent problems before they start
The best defense is a good offense
I still worry
Worry that my heart will always feel broken
Worry that the countless times I was raped will catch up with me in the form of STDs or infertility
I worry that I will always live in fear
I worry that I will always worry
I worry that I will feel sad and mad all my life
I worry that I will continue to suffer though I shouldn’t worry about that because suffering is guaranteed and worrying will do no good
Life is pain
That’s the rule of the game
I can still win the game of life even though I was born with disadvantages, for my advantages are greater still
I have hope and heart
I’m writing a happy ending to my story
I am writing with a golden pen of glory
I am writing unstoppable poetry
Until victory, always