Cortisol

This cortisol currency you pillage out of me from depths unseen

Cannot mean as much to you as it means to me

Your hands remain empty as I am depleted

You are the storm-maker but I will not be defeated

I’m recycling my resources

Your hot air will run its course

I will hold steady

So go ahead, shake my tree

I have plenty of cortisol, from depths unseen

Enough for you and for me

Safe

Why are you hurting still?

Do you feel ill?

Why are you a bleeding heart when you could be a beating heart, and dancing

Why do we clutch our pain so tightly it dominates our brain

Why are you hurting so

You are loved more than you’ll ever know

Feel supported and safe

I’m here, you’re ok

You see everything as a knife pointed at you

A threat to your life

I should know, I’ve been pulled by that undertow

Feel the earth below your feet, stand tall and listen to me

You don’t have to feel bad, you are allowed to feel glad

You don’t have to build walls

It’s a long way up for you to fall

There is love all around you

If only you knew

How can I express ultimate truth to you, except through song

Triggerfinger

I wish I wasn’t so easily trauma triggered
It doesn’t take much to push me out of touch with feeling safe
A slightly raised voice makes me lose all choice but to
freeze and collapse
The physiology of my stress response takes over
Though I try to stop it, my heart races, my pulse pounds, a heaviness crushes my chest, suffocating me, it feels like I can’t breathe
How long has it been since I last took a breath?
Now I make a conscious effort to unclamp my rusted-shut jaw from my tongue but the battle is not so easily won
Years later the everyday trauma tape continues to play on loop I feel like I’m still in those moments when I didn’t know what to say, the epic fail drags me down into a pit of mental battering and spirit shattering
‘Good enough’ remains just out of reach
I hold the tension in my body and the voices of my aggressors echo between my ears
I’m caught between anger and tears                                                                                Regretting the past and fearing the future
I worry that if I ever get married or have a baby, my ex-partners will come after me in fits of blind jealousy
The ex’s that have expressed ill-will and death-wishes to me,                                                the ones with guns, violent tendencies and criminal histories                                               God, will I live my whole life without ever feeling safe?                                                    Mental abuse is physical abuse: you can see it, feel it, measure it in my body                       It is detrimental to my health and wellbeing                                                                                    I meditate on being held in a sphere of protective light                                                          and pray that I won’t have nightmares again tonight                                                      Healing the mind is not easy                                                                                                               I am humbled at how quickly I slip into depression and anxiety                                           my constant companions of which I am never truly free                                                       The next time my trauma gets triggered, which will happen soon                                      May I relax the grip of my fingers and remember that I am held in safety                      even when it feels impossible to believe                                                                                          I find peace in remembering that not even my trauma,                                                      which seems to be at the very core of me                                                                                      Is mine to keep                                                                                                                                   All things end eventually

Weapons Trade

If cortisol was currency
I’d have already paid enough you see
Cut open my veins
Behold my riches
See that I’m debt-free

For any wrong you think I’ve committed
I’ve paid far more in physiology;
My over-achieving stress response that over-taxes me

My innermost body is ragged
From being invisibly ravaged
I try to hide from the naked eye
How much I am falling apart inside
Although I feel like I am unraveling in plain sight

I’ve never spoken my mind freely, not once in my whole life
Can you imagine what that does to a body?
Maybe you don’t have to imagine
Maybe you know

My teeth are ground down to the nubs
My tongue is a caged panther imprisoned by my jaw
Aching with atrophy and unrealized potential
I try to open my rusted jaw but it clamps down bitterly on my tongue
I have to remind myself to breathe at least once every few minutes
I consciously try to rearrange the puzzle pieces of my face
To form an expression other than my overly nervous smile

When I am not in service to others
I struggle to hold myself together
I am only comfortable in the giving role
Perhaps because everything was taken from me before I received it

Child abuse robs the child of their whole life
I am fighting to reclaim myself
My weapons are inner peace, hope and understanding