Monthly Archives: February 2011

Over

I watched our beginning
From outside myself.

Saw the crash
Before we hit.

Glass shards
Jabbing our open wounds.

Crushing the potential
Our future held.

Backs turned against ourselves
Let the duel begin.

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Desire

I am
Not the woman
You bring home.

I am
Your fantasy.
Sexualized for your desire.

Red hot lust
Burns through us.
Intesity crushing the doubt.


Visceral

Solitary,
Waking to silence
The hollow bitterness
Of alone.

Sexualized,
Under appreciated and  used.
What a pretty smile,
You hide behind.

Fragmented,
Pulled and pulling,
“Where do I belong?”
Not here.


A Breakthrough…of Sorts

First things first, I do have new writing and it will be going up here…just not today. I’m in the midst of editing so once that’s done I’ll have some new stuff up. Lots of new stuff actually, some nonfiction a bit of fiction and of course some more poetry.

In the meantime I’ve got this:

A year ago I weighed 270 pounds, yes I’m really putting that up here. I weighed myself 3 days ago and I weigh 215, that’s 55 pounds of difference. It’s also about 6 inches off my waist and nearly 6 clothing sizes smaller. I should be proud of myself, right? Happy I’ve manged to do what I wanted to do, happy that in April (the deadline I set for myself) I will have (more than likely) reached my goal of losing 70 pounds in a year.

I suppose in some way I am proud of myself, I can look at the numbers and see the difference, however when I look at myself I don’t see the difference. I have a terrible body image and pretty shitty self esteem. I know it’s this way of thinking that causes me to flirt with eating disorders, it’s also a main factor in my problem with cutting, as well as a prominent factor with my depression. I see in myself the same obsessiveness I’ve seen in anorexic women, that same quest for perfection and that same feeling of crushing defeat when I realize I have not and probably will not achieve it.

I look at my body and all I see are flaws, the things I want gone and I assume that these flaws are all anyone else can see. I assume everyone looks at me the same way I look at myself, which is through a lens of hatred. I thought losing the weight I disliked would help me, it hasn’t. I can still pinpoint every tiny, insignificant thing I dislike about myself.

 I see myself inching closer and closer to some very dangerous territory, the kind of territory I was in during the summer (collapse at work because I hadn’t eaten in three days). I pulled myself out of it then mostly out of neccesity, I had to work and my job was physical which meant I had to eat. But I see myself heading right back for it. It’s a frightening prospect because I don’t know if I can stop myself again, I don’t have a catalyst like I did over the summer. I’d like to say my own safety would be a catalyst but it isn’t, and that’s part of the problem.

What I want is to be happy with myself and I don’t know how to do that. How do I stop that voice in my head who tells me everything that is wrong with me, how do I see past the flaws and things I don’t like? How do I stop equating my worth as a person with my weight? How do I stop looking at food as the enemy and feeling guilty when I eat?

I know I’ve made progress, I’ve almost reached a goal I deemed impossible. I ought to be proud of myself. Reading over this made me sad for myself, I feel like there is a switch in my brain that is broken or a line that needs to be re-wired. I don’t want to be this way, but I don’t know how to change my thought process.


And For You Dear Capricorn

According to my horoscope this is a time of introspection, that the decisions I make now are going to effect the rest of my life.

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection, trying to figure myself out. I realized at some point last year I was hiding from life so now I’m trying to figure out how not to do that anymore. So I suppose my horoscope is right, this is a time of introspection and whatever decisions I make about my life are going to effect the rest of my life.

I know I’ve written a lot about me and what’s been going on in my mind, this was not what I’d intended this space for but it is what has been on my mind and what most of my writing has centered around. I feel this introspection is not just important for me personally but also for my writing.

When I think about the past 12 months I tend to think about it in pieces, separating the parts I enjoyed from the parts that left me thoughts of suicide even though a lot of the time those pieces sat right next to each other in the grand puzzle of my life. I find it interesting the way I had so many good experiences and at the exact same time I had some truly awful experiences. A lot of the time they occurred literally at the same time, I remember hanging out with someone and having fun while also having an very heated and hurtful argument via text message. I spent so many days going back and forth between tears and laughter. I honestly don’t understand how I came out of that with any semblance of sanity. Maybe I didn’t.

There’s a line from a a Wallflowers song, “man I ain’t changed, but I know I ain’t the same.” That sums up how I feel about myself. I look at myself and I don’t feel different per se, but then again I look at myself and I don’t recognize the person I am now. I had so many sink or swim moments and I suppose looking back I swam. I feel a small bit of pride for surviving and for finding some reserve of strength to actually flourish.

I’ve said before that over the summer of 2010 my writing took a huge turn, it’s like I broke down a wall and learned how to take what was inside and turn into something other people can find relatable. I’ve come to realize a lot of this breakthrough has to do with me learning how to relate to other people without fear. I’ve always hidden behind a wall, I kept so much of myself from other people and I was alone because of it. There were people who came into my life who forced me out of that shell, forced me to take a chance.

For a long time I felt disconnected, not just from other people but also from myself and my creativity. Sometime around August I reconnected with myself, I rediscovered my own creative spark. I’ve tried so many times to express this reconnection and the best way I can describe it is that it was like falling in love, except instead of discovering another person I found me. This rediscovery is completely at odds with the fact that I still have no idea what I’m doing in and with my life, however I’ve also discovered that I don’t care. That’s not to say I don’t care about my own life because I do, what I mean is that right now I’m simply relishing life, not forcing myself to become obsessed with “making it,” whatever the hell that means.

I know my Dad is incredibly nervous about me not being in school this semester and I know it’s because he wants me to have an easier life than he and my mom had. I want the same thing, but I am genuinely enjoying not being in school. I ran myself to the ground, for the last few semesters I’ve had no drive, no desire to be in school, I was just on autopilot. I need this time off so I can find what I want to do and where I want to be.

Introspection is a funny thing, I’ve never felt more lost, more unbalanced and yet more at peace and more connected to myself than I do now. I’m, at the same time, terrified and nonchalant, it’s an odd sensation. I’ve thought more about my age than I ever have but at the same time I’ve thought less about the supposed timeline of what my life is supposed to be. For the first time in my life I think I’m actually just enjoying the present without a constant worry about the future. It’s refreshing and relaxing.

I didn’t really need the horoscope to tell me what this time in my life was for, but it’s nice to know the stars agree with me.


Learning to Read Again

I started reading The Shining by Stephen King last week. I’ve read it before, it’s easily one of my favorite books and possibly my favorite by Mr. King. I like to read for several reasons, aside from the obvious entertainment reason. I read as a writer, I like to dissect the way someone writes, the techniques they use and the ways they deal with conflict and character development. Being that Stephen King is one of my favorite writers I enjoy reading his work in order to dissect it, the problem is once I start reading I can’t seem to retain that part of my brain that wants to critique the writing. I get so sucked into the story, by the time I remember I’m supposed to be reading this as a writer I’m already halfway through the damn book.

So I’ve made a conscious effort to read slower and to bookmark places I want to look over again, which is so much harder than it sounds. The first time I read The Shining I devoured it, I loved it but I completely missed some of the intricate ways he uses writing to make the story that much more complex and interesting.  This time, since I’ve forced myself to slow down and look at the writing I’m learning a lot more, not just about the way it was written but also about the story itself.

This  book is so much more than a horror/ghost story and for people who just watched the Kubrick movie that other element is completely lost. All I can say is Stephen King is a master of figuring out human nature. He packs so much information into his characters but it never feels bulky or long winded, it’s like getting to know a real person. His characters are never flat, his stories are never flat. They all come to life, which is the main reason I’ve been trying so hard to focus on his writing.

The reason The Shining is my favorite King novel is because of how well he weaves the details of the character’s back stories into the main meat of the novel. It is what makes the story so intense and so strong. I strongly encourage people to read the book, not just watch the movie.


Oh How I Wish, Wish You Were Here

For the last few months I’ve had Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” rolling around in my head. I suppose it has to do with the anniversary of my mom’s death (which was yesterday), something about those lyrics just gets me. I do sincerely wish she was here, and I often do feel like a lost soul swimming in a fishbowl. My dad said something to me about it getting easier, “it” being my mom not being here. I suppose it has gotten easier, the first year after she was gone I spent the day on the verge of tears. I told myself I wasn’t going to make an issue of the day, for the next few years I tried to forget about it. That didn’t really work. When I had my big breakdown when I was sixteen all the sadness I’d been repressing just came pouring out (pretty unhealthily too). I’ve run the gamut of emotions concerning her death (grief, anger, depression, sorrow, some more anger, lots more grief and a giant slab of guilt), it’s the guilt that has always weighed heaviest on me.

I’ve had a long time to dissect what the guilt is for, I no longer feel it is my fault she died or that I had any control over that situation. I’ve realized the guilt is that after she died she didn’t get what she wanted. She wanted a specific song played at her memorial (Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum) and she wanted part of her ashes spread in Jemez, another part in Montauk Point in Long Island. The remaining ashes she wanted to stay with myself, my brother and my step-dad. I feel a tremendous guilt that this did not happen. Half of her ashes are in St. Michaels in Albuquerque and the other half are on the mantle at my step-dad’s house. I know in all reality it doesn’t matter, especially not twelve years later. I know how completely silly it is for me to feel guilty about this, yet I can’t seem to shake it. I know death rituals are more for the benefit of the living, and I think in order for me to let go of this guilt I need to do what my mom wanted.

The truth is I desperately miss my mom. It is there everyday, yes, it has gotten easier to deal with but it’s still there. Loss is not linear, there is no timeline for grief. I feel the loss everyday and even though I would give anything to talk to her just once more I am glad she is no longer suffering. Watching the cancer ravage her was nearly as difficult as living without her has been. I used to feel guilty for feeling grief, for not “getting over it,” until I realized that learning to live without her has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and it is an ongoing process. It’s not like one day I just don’t need my mom, I know plenty of adults who rely heavily on their parents and would be completely lost without them. I spent a long time lost and learning how to live without that safety net. I know I have my dad and not to lessen his importance to me (he’s a lot more important that I think even he realizes) it’s just not the same as having my mom here.

It’s hard to explain why it is so hard to someone who doesn’t have that hole in their lives. It wasn’t just losing the woman who gave me life, it was losing my best friend. The person who was always there for me, always there to tell me what I needed to hear (especially when I didn’t want to hear it), the person who was always my biggest cheerleader. No one loves you like your mother loves you and you don’t really understand that until she isn’t there anymore. As a child I never really fully appreciated what a good mother my mom was, but those first 10 minutes after she died were like waking up on an alien planet.

The strangest things ran through my mind, who was going to know how to do my laundry, who would make my sandwiches just the way I liked them? Who would take me clothes shopping? Then the more important things hit me, who was going to encourage me, keep all my school papers, tell me I was so much better than I thought I was? The answer is I learned to do those things for myself. It was a hard, awkward road and I stumbled a lot. I’m still learning and still stumbling, still trying to find who I am and where I belong and I still wish she was here.