April’s Fool

It’s always April Fool’s Day and I am the fool.

My own mind plays tricks.

Yesterday it was grief.

Overwhelming,

soul-crushing,

depths of despair, grief.

My mind screamed at me to feel the loss

feel the hopelessness

and let it wash over me,

to drown me.

“Grieve!” she yells to my heart.

“Grieve what?” I ask.

“Does it matter?” she wails.

So I grieve

I ache

I despair

and I hate all of it,

but it won’t stop.

She won’t stop.

Thoughts turn dark

and I yearn to end the pain.

I survive, but barely.

But today I wake

and it is again April Fool’s.

Today it is anxiety.

Before my eyes even open,

there is anxiety thrumming in my veins.

She shrieks that there is danger around every corner.

Adrenaline floods me as my body roars

in its fight or flight response.

I try to reason.

I try to talk her down.

“I am safe.

I am loved.

I am secure.” I whisper.

None of that matters.

My body howls

and my mind cries out in anguish.

So all day I fight against lashing out at the ones I love.

I fight to keep myself from grabbing the keys,

hitting the highway and watching the numbers on the dash hit triple digits.

I fight my mind and my body all day.

I finally fall into a fitful, terror-filled night,

only to realize that tomorrow

is again

April Fool’s

and I am always the fool.

 

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Too dark to see

*tw depressive thoughts*

lighted candle

Photo by Rahul on Pexels.com

 

It’s dark.

The future

the present

the past.

So my thoughts go dark.

On paper it’s clear,

they would each be better off.

“They need you”

is what I’m told.

But it’s pretty hard to see

when the black fog blankets each relationship.

“It’s getting dark

too dark to see.’

 

 

 

 

Transitions, precious and painful

It was my first visit to the water in months.

As I rounded the bend and the blue horizon came into view,

tears of joy sprang to my eyes.

My heart was giddy with finally being with my longtime love.

I walked her ice-covered shores and knelt in the snowy sand.

I grew younger breathing in her air.

I spent as long as my body would allow,

but as I walked back to my car,

she handed me one more gift.

My first piece of sea glass for the year.

It was rougher than most,

and I was almost tempted to leave it to soften more,

but something about this piece pulled at me.

It was still in transition.

Yes, some of its edges had been softened,

but it was still clear what it had been in a past life.

I could still see the striations in the glass where it had been broken.

It was not as soft and smooth to the touch as is desirable.

It was still fairly raw and unfinished.

I realized then why I loved it so.

I have been broken, buffeted, and forsaken in the past few years.

I have been angry, bitter, and overwhelmed with fear.

But, slowly, painfully, my edges are softening.

My battle scars are still obvious

and to most, I hold no appeal or worth as I am.

To the careful observer though,

they may see what I have the potential to become.

True, holding me in this state may bring the bearer pain,

but one day, I hope, I am worth it all.

I pray to one day

be a treasure.

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White and blue

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Give me the graveled, pothole filled parking lot

and the uncombed, raw beach

with its wild grown trees.

I don’t want my nature manicured and sanitized.

I crave the stillness of frozen lake edges

and the silence of icy shores.

Give me a view of unending white and blue.

Warrior Child (for Cassi)

Her perfectly crafted facade slips.

Her voice cracks around the words,

“It’s not fair”

“You’re not supposed to be this sick”

As a few heavy tears trickle down her face

I get a brief glimpse of the young girl

with the weight of the world

on her thin shoulders.

She is still a child

but she bears the worries

of an old wrinkled woman.

It’s not fair.

I know that.

I have no words to comfort her.

Then in the blink of a weary eye,

the facade is raised,

shoulders are squared,

tears are wiped away,

and she becomes the fierce warrior

that most see her as.

But I saw.

I saw the crack in her veneer.

I saw the weakness behind the strength.

And it kills me

that I am the one that caused all of this pain.

Five times and what I learned

(TW for sexual assault)

The first time it happened

I was 14.

It was my first time on the subway.

I was on a school trip.

The subway car was packed

so we shared the same pole

to steady us from the shaking train.

One particular hard jostle and

he bumped into me from behind.

He didn’t step back though.

He continued to press.

Harder and harder

he pressed.

Soon I could vividly feel him.

Feel his erection

shoved into the cleft of my ass.

I was 14.

I was in public.

I had friends and even teachers around.

I was frozen in place.

Surely, this wasn’t really happening.

Maybe I was imagining it.

But then the forceful rocking

and the barely muffled moan

made it abundantly clear.

I was terrified.

My cheeks flamed red with shame.

I put my head down and squeezed my eyes tight,

desperately waiting for my stop to come.

I left the train without a glance back.

I had learned my place.

The second time I was still age 14.

Two men, several years my senior,

slipped something in my drink.

I had been dancing with a friend

(my own age) one minute,

the next these men were telling me I was tired

I needed to rest.

They led me to lay down on the seat between them

Everything was so hazy

Then I remember them holding me up

as we walked down the sidewalk.

I remember a lot of yelling as two friends

forcibly pulled me from the men

and led me back inside.

I don’t remember anything else from that night.

I had learned that I was only a toy.

The third time I was 16.

I was closing up the restaurant where we worked.

My boss was always so careful about protecting

the teens that worked for him (especially the girls).

There were always three people closing up.

I had to be the last one out

since I had to lock the door.

One coworker walked out the door

but the other one stopped suddenly.

I could was stuck in the small hallway

with a teen boy that outweighed me by a good 75 lbs.

He had asked me out a few times,

but I had always declined.

He was angry.

He shoved me up against the wall

and with his hands wrapped around my throat

he lifted me off the ground.

I couldn’t breathe.

I don’t even remember what he was hissing at me through clenched teeth.

I could see my other coworker walking to her car through the window

But I had no breath to scream.

I was getting dizzy when he let me go

and I dropped to the floor.

He slammed the door as he left.

I locked the door behind him

and curled into a ball and sobbed.

I learned I was never really safe.

The fourth time I was 17.

I was on a double date.

We were making out in the back seat

after my friend and her boyfriend went inside.

Suddenly he had me pinned beneath him

and his cock was in my face.

He bragged to me how big he was

how he was going to split me open.

I tried to shove him away,

but he only pushed harder.

He finally let me up

when I lied and said that I had an STD.

(I was a virgin)

I told my friend later.

She just laughed and said it was a brilliant idea

to tell him I was diseased.

I had learned that I was worthless.

The fifth time it happened

I was 20.

He was one of my best friends.

It was the night before my college graduation.

We were walking around campus

and happened upon one of our favorite spots by the lake.

We sat and reminisced.

But then he began telling me that he loved me.

That he had always loved me.

I began to stand up,

but he pulled me down.

He splayed his body on top of me

and while he ripped my shirt and tore my jeans,

he professed his love.

Yet again,

I was pinned down.

I felt alone

helpless

afraid

and embarrassed.

Somehow, I was able to scramble away.

He chased me all the way back to my dorm

calling after me

blaming me.

I threw my ruined shirt and jeans (my favorite pair) away.

Everything is blank until the next day

when I stood up to walk out for commencement and blacked out.

I spent my graduation in the ambulance and the emergency room.

The doctors couldn’t understand what was wrong.

I insisted I was fine.

I didn’t tell anyone what happened.

I had learned I could trust no one.