At its core, trauma can be thought of as the psychological wounds that persist, even when the physical ones are long gone.
D(r)ead - A Memo
One might never live to see themselves unpleasantly crawling through gallons of rain water just to fetch a measly bite of a rotting scrap of someone’s thrown-out and forgotten mid-day meal. I wish the satisfaction of release had come upon me earlier on so I could join those who have not. I was only twenty-two when I was evicted from my one bedroom apartment. A two month streak of late rent payments was my ultimate downfall. I presume the day my fiancée perished had brought me into those times of turmoil and confusion. Overtime I have felt too much pain to consciously connect with the emotions brought by dwindling on the topic of her death, so I rather pretend that it was just ‘maybe’ the reason.
When Your Dad Tries to Kill You
First, I’m going to make it very clear that my biological father, who lives in Canada, is NOT my abuser. My mother, who was very abusive and neglectful, left my biological father sometime before I turned two. I want there to be no confusion. I have met my biological father, and he’s not the “hitting kids” type.
Sometimes, It's Not That Simple
Start writing...Everyone starts out, at least in the realm of creative minds, as a dreamer - we dream of being the writer, being the artist, aspiring to heights of those that inspire us. I was one of those dreamers; my childhood was a wonderland of inspiration, with inspiration flooding my young mind at every turn. I wanted to draw everything I saw, learn every song, write stories based on whatever irreverent cartoon had captured my attention that morning. This continued into my teens, and I constantly strove to fine-tune my talents for expressing the world through the eyes of an eternal explorer. I was eventually accepted into an accredited art school, where I discovered photography as my true passion in short order. Then the accident happened. I'll spare the graphic details of my near-miss with the hereafter(that's another story entirely), and jump to two weeks later - waking up in an intensive care unit, wrapped in bandages and still hearing the freight train roaring in my head with every minor twitch and spasm. It was a rough and long road to recovery, in which I had to re-learn practically every voluntary motor function from scratch. I had suffered a massive head injury, and as a result even the most elementary of daily movement was a lesson in willpower. Fast-forward yet another year - I had fully recovered, and aside from a permanent limp and some equilibrium issues, I was back to functioning with a semi-consistent level of normalcy. Or so I thought. It started with whatever process takes place, when the image in one's head is transferred to the artist's hand - it was like a firewall had been installed, to prevent the communication from happening. Try as I could, even the most fundamental aspects of graphic art was suddenly terrifyingly alien... So I panicked. I tore through every medium I knew, with the result being the same every time. My first passion, it would seem, had left me. I jumped back into photography, as that was something that had always come naturally -- and couldn't manage to remember even the most simple rules. Writing proved as equally elusive to me, with hours spent staring at my computer screen with no idea where to start. I felt betrayed by my own mind, abandoned by the only true comfort I have ever known. I plummeted into alcohol-assisted depression, and gave up on life. Then the platitudes and criticism started flowing from friends and family. "It'll come back to you, give it time!" "It's just art, I'm sure you can find a new hobby" "Have you tried just *doing* it? It's that simple, just start drawing or writing and it will come back eventually" That was just under a decade ago; only recently have I been able to dip my toes back into the world of writing, the 'simplest' of art mediums. It's taken three days and insane focus to write the 498 words that you have read to this point. Whatever happened that day on the train tracks, rewrote something in my brain that killed a part of who I am as an individual. It changed my personality, perspectives on life, everything about me on an intrinsic level - the most terrifying part, is that there was no amnesia involved. I am consciously aware of who I was before, and accordingly I spend most days feeling like I'm inhabiting someone else's body. I still struggle with chronic depression and anxiety, with every new interaction triggering a bout of Imposter Syndrome - if I'm not me, how am I supposed to know if you are you? It has effected every aspect of my existence, yet I still get up every morning and put on a mask of relative stability. Life used to be simple, carefree, and fun. Unfortunately, dearest reader, sometimes it's not that simple. Life can turn itself upside down in an instant, leaving you with nothing where everything stood just moments before. This isn't some sickly-sweet platitude or motivational speech, telling you "ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE LOOK AT HOW I TURNED MY PITIFUL LIFE AROUND"; this is me, doing what it takes to regain some semblance of who I was before. Five days and countless cigarettes after starting this, we come to this point; if I captured your attention for a few moments and made Hunter S. Thompson roll over in his grave, then know that that means more to me than I probably realize. ~fin~
The Beauty And The Narcissist
Okay, leveling time ya'll.. I need to start this off by saying a few things. That's right, you guessed it, another list! 1. I am not a victim, I was aware that there were so very many things wrong and I stayed even when I found out how bad it really could get. I stayed when it was at the worst. I have allowed many lines to be crossed that I normally would not.
This story is based on my childhood when I was growing up with my parents before they divorced. It is not meant to bash my father because I do love him, and he has gotten so much better once he married my stepmother. I just want to get this story off my chest because it has bothered me for years and sometimes still affects me when someone I love starts getting angry, even if they are not drinking. I am sure that there are many people who have experienced this just like me and hope that things are better for you as well.
The Narcissist vs The Empath
She spread her wings and flew the nest. On the track to college where she knew things would be different than her small town. She had a bright future ahead of her, she could feel it deep in her soul. She was loved on campus for her beautiful spirit and contagious engery. She took risks, she made strides, she was happy.
The Monster In The Living Room
As a disabled person myself, I am excused from certain behaviors BECAUSE I’m disabled. I’ve had people refuse to make arguments with me because “They couldn’t argue with someone mentally disabled.” I’ve had people dismiss toxic behaviors because I’m autistic. If I’m wrong, I may not understand it, but how can I learn to be better if someone doesn’t openly talk to me about it? It’s infantilization, and honestly, it’s ableist not to hold disabled people accountable for their actions. Disabled adults can still make mistakes, have problematic and hurtful behaviors, be racist, transphobic, etc. Our abilities or inabilities don’t excuse hurting others, and often, able bodied people use our disorders, diseases & disabilities as an excuse to not help us grow and do better. As if we aren’t human enough to be worth the effort, we’re not seen as valid. We can and will put in the work that we are capable of, and not calling us out on things we may be missing, can hinder more than help us. I’m not perfect, no one is, but I also don’t want to be treated like a child because I’m autistic with physical limitations.
I’m angry. I’m so angry. I’m so angry that I want to scream, tear at my skin, break things. But all I can do is sit here and cry.
Helping (Dying) Strangers
Andrew watched the sun gild the swart, twitching man, and then watched him in the shade as it enlivened the woman on the table along. The man was drinking tepid water. ‘Cup of hot water. Please. Please,’ he said, holding out five pounds to the café’s lone waitress while the crown of his bald head pointed at the window opposite. He rejected his change with an aggressive shake, then left the hot water to cool for ten minutes before he drank it in sporadic sucks, as his left hand, his dominant one, trembled subtly rattine over a small black notebook. The man snapped it shut whenever he stopped jotting, then pocketed an old silver pen with a surreptitious twitch into his ersatz tweed blazer.
Word salad. Tossed to ‘n fro. Words tossed back and forth like ping pong. I can’t follow… I’m so confused. Here we go! Ever get into an argument or circular conversation with someone and you started on one subject and then ended up on an entirely different or unrelated subject? Perhaps you even ended up being the subject and got attacked? Things seemed to be going swimmingly, then all of a sudden you start drowning in the other person’s word salad.
Shauna´s Story of Survival
For my first blog, I thought it would be most appropriate to talk about the fact that at times I allowed my circumstances whether past or present to define who I was. Whether I had been in abusive relationships, or have had addiction problems and/or other hardships, I would take on the stereotypes of these circumstances as my identity. For me, the biggest “identity theft” was when I was nineteen years old, and I finally came to my senses and realized that the relationship I was in was abusive. While most of my peers were coming into their own, I found myself trapped. The physical abuse I could take, but it was the mental abuse that had become the real prison.
Childhood is supposed to be a time of joy, fun, laughter, and innocence. A time when the adults in charge of us seek to provide for us to become grown, healthy, functioning adults, to protect us from the evils of the world, and make sure that we are nourished in all the ways that a child should be. They are supposed to hug us when we are sad or hurt, kiss the boo-boos, mend the ripped jeans, and regale us with bedtime stories and tales of once upon a time. They are supposed to protect us from strangers and those with bad intentions, especially when we are ourselves to young to do so. But, sometime life goes wrong and the grown ups don't follow the rules that they should. Sometimes the innocence of a young child is ripped from them in the worst ways.