Terrible, Self-Indulgent “Poetry” Vol. 3

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She Tries

She tries to be good

She is never enough

Hushed

Mussed

She tries to fit in

She is always too much

Awkward

Unheard

She tries to stand out

She is never on trend

Frumpy

Dumpy

She tries not to care

She is always too soft

Weakling

Freak thing.

She tries

She can’t

She tries

She won’t

She tries

She isn’t

She tries

She dies

 

On Greatness

First pain

Then fear

Then choice

What choice?

Death

Or devastation?

This is no slum

No favela

No third world shack

Clean house

Bright street

With trees and

Unbroken sidewalks

Liberty

Happiness

Life by Her torchlight

Not now

Lights out

A new dark age

The new poor

Spoonless

Silverless mouths

Is this it?

Did you win?

Are we Great Again?

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Other Writings

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I’m just finishing up my creative writing class and it’s been incredibly cathartic. I’ve already shared the poem I wrote for class, along with others I’ve written since. I’ve been writing non-stop (what up, Hamilton?) to the point where I’ve got notebooks squirreled away in different places so I always have one handy.

I thought I might like to post some of the pieces I’ve written for different genres in this class as well, because I really have to get over the phobia of letting other people see my writing. They’ll be on their own pages, not blog posts, so if you follow the blog I don’t know exactly how they’ll appear, but watch this space. Noth this specific space. Just the general area. You get the idea.

Seeking My Weird Knight in Shining Tinfoil

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(Image found at https://goo.gl/images/ApQER4)

Many years ago, I went to see a psychic, just for fun. I’m a skeptic, but she told me several true things about my life up until that point, and made several predictions. Over the next few months, each of her predictions for the near future came through. The last was aimed at the distant future.

Her name was Maria and she was getting ready to retire. She wasn’t what I envisioned a psychic to be. There was no pretense of having some mystical sight, not one candle burning, or crystals hanging from the ceiling. She was soft-spoken and motherly.

She pointed out the initials of two men I’d cared for and how they hurt me. She picked up on the fact that I hated my job, but predicted I’d soon have a better one, until I was betrayed by someone I trusted, but that I would then find a better job that would pay less, but be long term. Nailed it. I was a VIP Concierge at a Rosen hotel and despised it. I got an interview for an apartment leasing position, and was hired by the district manager. He sold me on how impressive my resume was and how great a fit I was, even going so far as to tell me that raises didn’t happen for a year after hiring, but he’d do his best to get me an increase after three months. He was charming and I believed every word he said. Every time he was in the office, he had kind things to say about me.

After three months and pulling them through a difficult audit, the assistant manager let me know I’d only been hired to work the audit and that I was no longer needed. Not even the manager – I was fired by the assistant manager. When I reached out to the district manager who’d lied to me from the start, he refused to reply.

I was desperate, so I registered with a temp agency and was immediately placed in an office where I remained for 11 years. Two and a half years in, I was hired full time, and the pay increases kept coming, bringing quarterly bonuses with them. She made a few other predictions that quickly proved correct, but the final one meant a wait.

She’d predicted that I would find an extraordinary love, the kind you pretty much only see in movies. She said it would happen when I was older, but “not 40.” I always assumed this meant before 40. When I turned 40 last year, I was disappointed, but then I realized she only said “not 40.”

I turned 41 yesterday. By the beginning of this coming January, I’ll start attempting online dating. I’m awkward, weird, sick, and not very social. I have unresolved daddy issues and low self-esteem. I’m a catch. My lovable weirdo is out there somewhere.

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(Image found at https://goo.gl/images/i7ywRE)

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Looking For Attention

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After months of aggravation, I finally finished the last of four math classes in a row. On Tuesday, I started a class I’ve been excited about for months — creative writing. My excitement didn’t last. It started innocently enough, but rapidly went downhill. There was an assignment to watch or read JK Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech, and comment on what we thought of it. I posted that I admired Rowling for her attitude about failure because I’d fallen on hard times myself. I mentioned that this coincided with writers’ block, and my instructor asked if I kept a journal, because that can help with writers’ block. Harmless. right? I responded, saying that I’d recently started a new blog to help work through physical and mental health issues. Her response completely floored me when she basically said that no one likes reading cathartic blogs about upsetting issues and that the people who write them just want attention.

What?

I probably should have kept it to myself, but I was so upset that I pointed out that the attitude that people talking about depression or other mental health problems are attention-seekers is exactly why so many of us fear speaking up and the result is a frighteningly high body count due to suicide. I don’t think she liked being called out, though I didn’t adress her directly and was very polite. Every exchange we’ve had since then, she’s made it clear she doesn’t think much of me.

As for bloggers being nothing more than attention whores if they write about things that aren’t super happy and the fact that no one likes reading what they write, I present Allie Brosh and Jenny Lawson as evidence to the contrary. Both women are bloggers with an enormous following, successful published authors, and write about mental and physical health problems.

Regardless of my awareness that what she said was absolutely incorrect, it still stings. No one living with any kind of major illness needs to be told that they’re just looking for attention and that no one cares to listen to them. This isn’t the first time someone has done this, there have been people in all areas of my life who have used various versions of this to tell me, “You don’t matter. You’re not good enough. Everything you do is wrong.” Please don’t ever do this to anyone you know. I can assure you, those thoughts are already in their head. A second opinion will not help.

You don’t have to save me from drowning, but don’t tell me to stop trying to get attention when I’m gasping for air.

When I Was Just a Little Girl…

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waveIt’s not as if I don’t know I’m ridiculous. I am no one’s dream girl, manic pixie, or otherwise. I dated my first boyfriend because I was sixteen and had never had a boyfriend. Most of the time I couldn’t stand him. He was not bright or attractive and, at the time, I believed I was enormously fat and repulsive, so I was glad for the attention. He treated me like my father did, and back then, I thought that was normal. I don’t think I can list all the reasons I thought I was fat, but I know now, looking back that I wasn’t. Fucking hell, I had a 27 inch waist. And I wasn’t repulsive. I wasn’t great at doing my makeup, but that’s something I still have problems with. I did have relatively clear skin and long, glossy hair. My legs looked fantastic in my show choir uniform of shorts and fishnets. Anyway, he cheated on me with one of my friends, and the self-esteem monster convinced me I deserved it. Being incredibly awkward kept me from trying again.wave2

My weight started to yo-yo when I was 13 and discovered the power of binging and purging. Life spirals out of control, find something you can control. (Just make it something good. Exerting control over your life by hurting yourself is never the answer.) Years of the cyclic self-destruction took their toll. I met someone, and even though I knew he’d never love me, it drove me to “improve” myself. I stopped binging. I stopped eating regular meals. I took diet pills. I was almost as thin as I’d been in high school. Guys were looking at me like I was attractive. Maybe if I wasn’t so fucked up I’d have realized what I was doing. xmasI got scared of the attention. I ate. And ate. And ate. People don’t look at you at all when you’re morbidly obese. It’s almost as if they’re ashamed on your behalf. Adults, anyway. Kids are assholes and will say whatever comes to mind. My favorites were the child who said I was too “wide” for the moving sidewalks at Universal and the other who stopped his yappy little purse dog from running after me by yelling, “No chasing whales!”

When I was 28 I decided I needed to get healthy. I was doing really well. I worked out five days a week and I ate healthy food. Then the battle with autoimmune disease stopped me in my tracks. It was like the Universe saw me finally starting to get things right and said, “Fuck you,” and suddenly I could barely walk.

Depression and suddenly being sedentary led to a gain of 50 pounds in six months. Even though I eventually reached the point where I could walk without too much pain, I’d given up. I just kept getting bigger. I’d learned there were words for what I was living with. Bipolar Disorder. Social Anxiety. I built a wall of fat around myself. It was safe.

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I was close to 350 when I was laid off from my job. I had a mental break a few months later where a therapist suggested I should be hospitalized. I said I couldn’t afford it and I didn’t go back to that therapist. I started to fill my time with long walks and lost some weight, but when I was working again, making half my former salary and having no insurance, I lived on bologna sandwiches on white bread and ramen noodles while taking the only immunosuppressive drug I could afford – Prednisone.

Remarkably, it wasn’t my weight that led to Diabetes, but the steroids. Before I was diagnosed, I began dropping weight quickly and I thought it was just because I was too broke to overeat. By this time I was in my late thirties. My skin was not as springy as it once was and I was covered in stretch marks from years of rapid weight gain and loss and more gain. I moved from Florida to Tennessee and, though my RA was bad enough that I needed a walker, I started walking for exercise again.

At my lowest, I was 206. I’ve bounced around between there and 220 for over a year. I’ve tried to examine what mental blocks are holding me back. For one, I’m almost 41 now and my skin sags even more. I am repulsed by my own body. Continuing to lose weight will not improve that. For another, reaching a weight below 200 signifies that my safety wall is nearly gone. I’m already past morbidly obese. I’m just plain obese now. If I get down to 173, I’ll just be overweight. I don’t know how to be a “normal” sized person. I can remember a time when I felt sort of good about myself, but I can’t remember what it felt like.red

I tried to start a project at the new year, taking selfies every day and posting them online. But my double chin and gross skin (thanks again, autoimmune disease) get in the way, so I work the angles to hide the chin and slap on filters to lessen the redness of my face. I’m a fraud. I gave up the selfies because they were just making me feel worse.

Now I’m at a crossroads. I’m long past the age when people generally find love. I know, at least right now, I’m incapable of loving myself. Part of me wants to accept it and pick up the mantle of spinster cat lady. Part of me can’t let go of hope that somewhere, there’s someone who can love me, and maybe more importantly, make me feel worthy of love.

 

 

I’m Okay with My Crazy

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I picked up this planner for $5 the other day, not because I think 2018 is the year I’ll finally get my shit together and be organized, but because I loved what it said on the cover. I think there are a lot of people who think words like “crazy” are ableist, but I find it’s just a useful catch-all. Multiple mental health issues is a bit wordy for my taste. Not that I don’t love words. I’m writing a fucking blog, for (insert deity here)’s sake. It’s full of words. I just don’t think I need an excess of words to describe the chaos in my head. I’m crazy. I’m not homicidal (except when I have to go to Walmart) and I’m not a Scientologist. I’m just regular crazy. Store brand crazy.

I hate when people throw around legit diagnoses and symptoms like they’re funny. “OMG, this weather is like so bipolar,”…”I have to make sure my shoes match my purse. I’m so OCD,”…”I hate exams. They give me panic attacks.” No. All the no. Weather cannot be bipolar. It does not have a brain. Making sure your shoes match your purse is good fashion sense (seriously, Linda, get it together) but it doesn’t chart compared to someone who, for example, can’t walk away from the front door of their home without unlocking and locking the deadbolt precisely eight times. If you ever actually had a panic attack, you’d wish your pre-exam jitters were the worst you’d ever felt. Panic attacks are terrifying and painful and, if they happen in front of other people, humiliating. This shit is no joke.

Crazy is different. It has a multitude of uses. Cake batter ice cream is crazy good. I’m crazy about The Muppets (the good Muppets, before Disney ruined them), who had Crazy Harry. Granted, he may actually have been an arsonist, now that I think about it, but he’s made of felt, so he gets a pass. Beyoncé was “Crazy In Love.” John Cusack and Demi Moore had “One Crazy Summer.” Crazy is just a multipurpose word that steps in when others are too big or complicated.

I’m crazy. I’m okay with that.

 

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