Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Storm

Slice of Life Tuesdays












I hear the thunder 
and it makes my heart race.
I want to taste the rain 
and give the lightning chase.

Let the water soak me to the core
and wash away my pain and rage. 
Let me consume the storm 
and break out of my cage. 

Tears mixing with the rain drops
and thunder covers up my screams. 
When the wind blows this all away
I'll be able to focus on my dreams. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tornado

Slice of Life Tuesdays












My depression is wrapped around me.
Snug like a straitjacket.
My fibromyalgia tortures me.
Each stab and break deliberate.

And yet worst of all my heart is breaking
and it's not for my own pain
but the suffering of another,
an old acquaintance on a one way train.

Bad news came like tornado.
Tearing apart a life in seconds.
History threatens to repeat itself.
Need the prayers of sinners and reverends.

Hope and faith, hope and faith.
The mantra held onto like wings.
Try to dispel the thought
of how God allows these things.

Monday, August 17, 2015

#ReflectionDare



I was exhausted both mentally and physically. Still reeling from two days ago when my two year old daughter and I, along with a plane full of strangers, boarded a flight and sat ready to depart until the captain decided to clue us in. Something was leaking and he didn't think it was fair to make us wait on the plane. Out we went only to wait in a line for hours. Time ticked by and soon I knew I had missed my connecting flight. Long story short, I was booked on a new flight leaving in two days. I later heard that my original flight did take off... almost 7 hours later.

As we were walking towards our second chance flight, I remembered my father asking me before our previous attempt if I had gotten a souvenir for my husband. I had blown it off then but now, walking by the shops, I thought I better not jinx us again.

I let Amelia pick out his gift as I struggled with two carry-ons and a carseat. She picked a scorpion encased in a dome of glass which glowed in the dark and said in a small font "New Mexico". She was excited and after she handed it to me she went to examine something else when she accidently knocked over what I think was a clay shot glass or something similar. She was pretty shocked and I sighed, wondering how much that thing must cost. I told Amelia she needed to be careful but as I crouched down to pick up the pieces I told her that it was an accident and accidents happen. I gave her a little hug and somehow managed to carry our "items" to the register while making sure there were no more accidents and somehow got the car seat to move with me (That thing was as dangerous as a toddler in the small shop).

When I went to pay the lady running the shop assured me I didn't have to pay for the broken item. I tried insisting but she said she knew it was a genuine accident and that it was normally adults breaking stuff anyway. As if on cue, I heard a shattering sound as a blushing man who must have been in his forties glanced around as if to see if anyone noticed.

I paid for our scorpion and we were on our way out of the shop when an older woman grabbed my arm. I remembered her because she was checking out with her husband when the accident happened. Her total had been somewhere in the area of $100 (Yes, I'm nosy). We were just outside the store and she pressed a folded twenty dollar bill into my hand.

"For the broken thing," she said.

"Oh, you don't have to," I said, "they didn't make me pay for it".

"I know, I saw. Just take it."

I tried to insist that I didn't need the twenty dollars when she took a deep breath and looked me straight in the eyes.

"Listen, I know what it's like to worry about making ends meet." She said, "I don't have to anymore so let me do something nice for you."

"Ok, thank you." I said, giving in.

"Buy a treat for you two!" She said, smiling at Amelia.

I thanked her again and we walked away.


Did I look like someone down on my luck? Maybe a single mother? Don't get me wrong, my husband is the only one bringing home a paycheck. A $20 bill still looks like a lot to me. But I didn't feel like I deserved to be the recipient of her charity, her gift, though apparently she saw something in me. I found myself eyeing everyone in the airport, looking for someone who obviously needed the gift. I didn't find anyone inside the airport where we've all been groomed by TSA. Here no one sits against a wall with a cardboard sign asking for food, help, money, or work. I kept that $20 bill separate from my other cash. It never felt like mine. I was merely a vessel to get the money where it truly belonged, where it could really help. To someone or somewhere that wouldn't look at it and think, "meh".

I spent the better part of a week after I arrived home wondering what to do with it. As luck would have it I didn't run across anyone with a sign. No family that looked in need. Then I started thinking about charities. There are so many. Thousands of worthy causes. But what touched my heart? The woman who gave me the money clearly saw some sort of reflection of herself in me. Perhaps an older version of herself, in need of help. Where did I see my reflection?

BOOM. 

What organization have I been drawn to since I found it on Facebook? Which is one of the only in my city that that strives to help people like me? Where only $20 in supplies can still make a difference?

I Still Matter. 

"I Still Matter is a community mental health organization that enhances well-being and fights stigma by placing healing art groups for women and adolescents".  

I can definitely see my reflection in this group. I wish it had been around when I was younger. So I decided to use the $20 bill (and some of my own funds) to donate some needed supplies to I Still Matter.


So, my challenge to you is for you to look inside and all around and find an organization, project, person, or charity that you feel somehow reflect who you are, were, or will be. Donate $20 or more or less. Whatever you can. Every penny is a pebble in the pond. Make ripples, make waves! I dare you! Then send me your story and I'll feature it on the blog.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Death

The house is filled with light
but I cannot find my way.
My vision is dark and unsteady.
My demons want to play.

They read the list of my transgressions.
The name of every friend lost.
They promise peace and silent rest
but I cower at what I know is the cost.

Memories and pain collide against me.
Stifling my hungry, gasping breath.
My demons, they whisper gently.
Calling for my surrender and my death.


(Written 8.8.15)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Psychopath

It doesn't feel like it's been a year
since you tried to take my life.
I'm still cleaning up your spider webs.
Still washing the bloody knife.

I'll probably never understand
why I was the target of your wrath.
Perhaps we should stop asking "why?"
and instead look up "psychopath".

Who else would spill their own blood
to steal the happiness of another.
If you had left us on that day
the blame would stain me and no other.

You couldn't steal my life the traditional way.
So you painted a story with a twisted tongue.
Lies that still drag me down to darkness.
Such wickedness in the heart of one so young.


(Written 8.5.15)

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#SJW


As you may already know, I have a habit of browsing through the darker corners of Instagram. I follow the path led by hashtags such as #selfharm, #depression, or #suicide. While perusing through these images and reading their captions I do my best to spread a message of hope and love. Recovery is possible and you are not alone. I have conversations with teenagers who are struggling with mental illness and cannot see past the lies that depression fills their mind with. I hope to be a voice they can look to who has not only been where they are but who has worked my way into recovery where I have found happiness and peace (Though let me say her recovery is an ongoing process for most. It's not easy, it's work. But it is so worth it).

However last night, when I clicked on #suicide, at the top of the page was a poor excuse for a meme which was meant to insult Tumblr and its users. I don't know anything about Tumblr, I've never used it but I was displeased to find that he used the word "retards" as an insult in his caption. So I commented that I thought it did not say anything good about him that he would do that. He told me that if I didn't like it I didn't have to look. I replied that to me it was akin to seeing a man being beaten. I would not turn my back and walk away, I would risk my own safety to stop the beating. I told him that I knew he would not change his actions just because I commented and that he would probably say many bad things about me but that I felt better knowing I did not just turn a blind eye to something I thought was wrong. I used a peace sign emoji (emojis being new to me I find them kind of fun, although I don't know why we don't just call them emoticons like we used to). He bit back with some nasty comment about me and my "gay ass retarded emojis".


He took a screen shot of my comment and posted it on his account with some rude comment. Someone called floppydoorknob tagged me in it so I could see. In the image above which I posted on my account you can see where he says "I'm not scared". Well, evidently he was because he deleted me moments after writing that. Before I even has a chance to respond. So I made the above image because I thought it was hilarious that he blocked me after saying he wasn't afraid of me and acting all tough. I tagged him in it so he knew it was there and had a chance to speak up for himself. Once he caught wind of it he unblocked me and made a comment on the photo saying I was just being stupid and that he hadn't blocked me. He then tagged a bunch of his "troll" friends  to come and harass me. A few of them responded. It was pretty tame, more annoying than hurtful and definitely not creative or intelligent enough to get under my skin. I was really laughing the whole time. He took some of my posts and posted them on his page trying to insult my writing or calling me an "SJW". I had no idea what that even meant.


Before I had a chance to ask him about what this "SJW" he kept slinging at me meant, he blocked me again. I was left to find out on my own. The above definition is the first one I found. This was perhaps the only thing he'd said that verged on insulting me, but to be honest, his opinion means so little to me that he couldn't quite get through my armor and that's saying something considering my low self-esteem. Shallow? Not caring about or believing in? Arguing for the sake of popularity? No, I'm sorry, you must have me mixed up with someone else. I don't play the popularity game and I don't think I ever have. Maybe when I was nine or ten? Which is perhaps how old this Instagrammer is.


To say that I do not care or know nothing about the issue behind the word "retard" and its variations is in itself ignorant. Most people who know me know that I spent my teenaged years dedicated to working with mentally and physically handicapped kids and adults. These wonderful human beings were my friends, my family, my entire life. Those that were able would sometimes tell me heartbreaking stories of the bullying and harassment they received because of their disability. I admit that even I used the word "retarded" growing up as a negative adjective. I think that was the norm back then, maybe it still is. It took conscious effort to remove it from my vocabulary, but I did. I settled it on a shelf in my mind where I keep those words we as a society use incorrectly and in a derogatory manner (eg. gay and fat).

When I hear people use the word "retarded" as an insult, I see the faces of those wonderful individuals who are bombarded with a word that is now just a ugly shell of the medical term it once was. I do not point out your mistake in using the word in a cruel way because I want to be popular or for "points". I do it because this issue could hardly be closer to my heart.


I am not naive. I know that changing minds or people on the internet is much, much rarer than diamonds or pearls. That doesn't mean I have to turn a blind eye to injustice, bullying, harassment, and ignorance. I know this will even lead me to be bullied and harassed. But you can throw your stones, your tomatoes, your insults. Unless you legitimately convince me through careful and logical debate that I am wrong (I can admit when I am wrong), I will not bend. When I stand up for something, I stand tall. These kids may harass me for days or forget about it but either way, my knees will not buckle. I do not tire of my vigil. Call me shallow, call me an idiot. I know who I am and what I stand for and why. If you want to call me a "Social Justice Warrior", fine. I am a warrior.



And if you're feeling like using the "R" word. Go buy a dictionary. Be a little more creative.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Fairy Tale Unleashed

Slice of Life Tuesday















Careless curls 
frame her face. 
She dances through life 
through she may lack traditional grace.

Her blue eyes devour the world. 
Every color, shadow, and angle. 
Only missing her wings, 
this girl is no doubt an angel. 

On tiptoes walking.
Part artist and part tornado.
No dust will ever settle
on the soul that never slows. 

Laughter that could entrance a fairy.
A heart that could love a beast. 
She is courageous and kind. 
A fairy tale unleashed.



(Written 8.4.15)