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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Unconditional love?

I was just thinking about unconditional love. I have it for some people and some things in my life, but not for all. I know that isn’t fair, but life isn’t fair. I haven’t been able to turn the other cheek. I haven’t been able to accept people without an apology. I cannot accept people’s lies or their denial, and so I cannot accept them. I wonder if I honestly love anything or anyone other than my cats unconditionally. I think I love my stepdaughter, my niece Allyson, and my nephew Sean unconditionally. I know they may be angry with me or have detached from me, but I still love them. I know I have done wrong in their eyes, and I still love them. I know that I have done things that have hurt them emotionally, and I have begged forgiveness. I have never laid a hand on them in anger, nor have I ever touched them in ways that are inappropriate, but that does not mean I have not caused them harm. I do not expect their unconditional love. I do not believe I deserve it. I ask only for forgiveness if, and when they find they can give it. I love my partner unconditionally. I have come to a place however, where it is impossible for me to live in the conditions she is willing to live in with her son. I have said I will move out, continue to be her partner, just not live with her, but she has asked him to leave instead. Now I feel like a shit because he thinks he is being thrown out because of me. I would leave. I don’t want her to choose me over him. We can still be together; I just cannot live in the environment he brings with him into this house. I feel so crappy about this. I am already in a fragile, anxious, depressed, nearly needing a hospital stay place as it is, and now I have massive guilt riding on my shoulders. I fear she is going to resent me and eventually dump me over this. Crap, I never seem to do anything right. But then here is the deal. He brought into the house a lot of the same things I had to deal with in childhood and adulthood and I ran away from all of that to have a different life. His chaos is triggering me, and my insiders into panic mode. We are all so anxious and depressed we can’t think straight. I don’t want to live triggered and I don’t want to hurt Debbi, either choice is a loss for me and for her. If he goes I lose because she will, and he will, resent me for being the reason he leaves. If I leave, she will be upset that I left, and resent both he and I for me leaving. I lose if I stay because I am going crazy to the point of wanting to do self-injury or worse. If I go, I will miss Debbi and I have to find a place I can afford and have my cats. It sucks ass all the way around. Why couldn’t he have stayed up north, or have found a place to stay when he came back instead of assuming it was ok to turn our lives upside down? So, back to unconditional love, I think maybe I have it for me, my cats, my dad, my baby brother, and I think for Debbi. I am not so sure I have it for me.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I haven’t posted here in a long while. My life has been busy with trying to recover, to become a thriver not just a survivor. I have learned a lot about myself and I am growing a great deal. I am still dissociative. I am still multiple. I am still finding it hard to have normal adult relationships. I don’t know very well how to be a friend. Sometimes I am a very good friend, but often I just don’t know how to listen and that makes me not such a good friend. I am still struggling with establishing healthy boundaries. I have so much more to say, but not much time to say it at the moment. I do know I want to get back to posting here. I hope that getting back into some personal writing, I might also be able to start writing some new poetry. I’ll be back soon.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Past

It holds me in chains
Drags me to places I don’t want to go
Takes my breath
Fight or flight

It’s always there
Part of everything I see and do
Follower
It consumes me

It invades dreams
Those I have sleeping, those I have of future
Creeper vines
Clinging to my walls

It drives me
To improve and grow in spite of it
I founder
On the rocks of it

The past
Is always with me, inescapable
Creating chaos
Driving me insane

To remove it
Like a worn out suit of clothing
Dead skin
Exfoliated

Freedom and future
Fearlessly moving forward to health
I dream this
It invades the dream

Dinner

Dinner


I look at you
and sense
a full meal:
appetizers,
meat and potatoes,
a small salad
on the side,
and dessert,
sweet, creamy delight.
A feast
lovingly prepared,
passionately eaten.
Sated,
I lick my fingers
and wonder,
where do I hide
the bones
when I am
through.

The Ward

The Ward

With my eyes I scrub the linoleum.
I don’t ever know if they watch,
But they never miss my medication.
I used to have a kitten,
I would hide her and take her out to play,
But one day I dropped her down a crack.

They say it’s my head, it’s cracked;
Sort of like the linoleum.
I know it’s a game, I just don’t know how to play.
I know what goes on here though; I watch.
I can be as sneaky as my kitten.
I’ve got to go, here comes the medication.

I need more meditation, not more medication.
What, are you smoking crack?
I’ve lost her, have you seen my kitten?
I like to wear socks and slide on the linoleum.
Hey, neat watch!
We have checkers, would you like to play?

Is that your guitar? I know how to play.
At least I could before the medication.
There are crazies here, I watch
From my room, there’s a crack
In the wall, down along the linoleum.
The nurse is coming with my medication,
I hope she trips on the crack.
I’ll stick my foot out, she usually doesn’t watch.

Hey, are you watching?
I want to dig my kitten
Out of this crack
In the wall so we can play
Once again I must bow to the goddess medication.
I think I hate this linoleum.

Medication my butt, I’d rather smoke crack
And play all day with my kitten
Instead I sit here watching the linoleum.

Friday, January 6, 2012

looking glass

Leave the past behind,
It’s what is often said;
How does one leave it?

Pieces of us stuck
Behind a mirror,
Reliving every moment
Of painful times.

Through the looking glass;
Our selves trapped in time,
Selves unable to move on,
Separated from our host,
Divided from the core.

Leave the past behind,
It’s what is often said;
How does one leave it?

Tiny children twisted in time,
Behind the mirror
I see my face and theirs
And know the pain.

Pain in time suspended;
Each moment relived,
Selves, pieces chipped off
By events too terrible to face.

Leave the past behind,
Why is it often said?
How does one leave behind
The selves who got stuck
Behind the looking glass?

Blocked

I find I haven’t been writing much at all. When I do write I write long hand. I need to transfer a lot of stuff to type and some of it needs to find it’s way here.

Friday, June 17, 2011

wow

I haven't posted anything new here in such a long time. I know why, all of my writing has been longhand and I haven't taken the time ti type anything up. I guess I need to do that.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Monsters

The monster in the closet,
The one hiding under the bed,
The monster in the nightmare,
The one called boogeyman,
The monster in the movie,
The one under the couch,

The monsters hiding everywhere,
The ones who want your flesh,
The monsters that steal souls,
The ones who hide their face,

Monsters come in lots of sizes,
They wear many faces,

But the monsters named Daddy,
Or mommy, brother, uncle, family,
Those are the scariest,
Hiding behind love,
Kind words and deeds.
They feed us,
They clothe us,

They eat our souls,
Destroy our minds,
Leave scars in passing,
Cloud our present,
Steal our hope for future,

Monsters, monsters everywhere,
We cannot run and hide.
Grown and separated,
Still they live,
They live inside us,
We carry them around.

Monsters take notice,
We aren’t afraid!
You can’t hurt us now,
We banish you to hell,
They hell you made,
We hope you like it there.

Monsters, monsters,
Where have you gone?
We turn and wonder,
Were they ever here?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whatever!

I have been doing a lot of good work in therapy. I am getting better daily, and then a day like today happens and I feel as small and bad as I ever have. I fucked something up, forgot something important, which I have been doing a lot since menopause, and really angered someone. I was threatened. I was criticized and attacked at the very center of my being. I was basically told I am pathetic and a loser who needs to get a life and grow up. Ok, fine, I do need a life and to grow up, but not the way this person meant it at all. Her words were spiteful and hurtful. I’ve never said I am a mature, well balanced person. Indeed I know I am socially lacking in development, needy, nerdy, depressed, distracted and distractible, lonely, and a lot of other things. I know I have a long way to go to be a functioning person in society. There are actually people who meet “me” and see a very confident person, blah, blah, blah. But that person is not me. It is either an alternate personality, Moe, or the persona I adopt to look unafraid when I am actually so anxious under the surface that just about anything will make me cry or blow up in anger. I guess what I am trying to say is that I may certainly be as fucked up as this person said, but I have never claimed to be anything else. I am fucked up and I make mistakes, big ones, often. I drive people away from me. I have no filter. I do and say things I shouldn’t. I talk to the wrong people about the right things. I hide my true thoughts and feelings because they are too bizarre. So I am all of those things, but I am also a person, with feelings, and thoughts, and a heart. I have a great capacity to love. I do things for people I hate doing because I am afraid to say no. I am a work in progress. I am not the fake that this woman said I am. No trained therapist can be fooled by a fake. My disorders, multiple disorders, are real, as real as my eye color. I can change my life, my reactions, I can grow and learn, but I can’t stop being me. I can’t make memory any better in women in menopause, it sucks having Swiss cheese memory. I literally forget what day of the week it is, which is what I did today; I thought it was Sunday because I don’t remember having a Sunday this week. I didn’t set an alarm. I stranded this woman and it pissed her off with good reason. In what universe does the phrase, “I was wrong, I am sorry,” actually work? No matter how many times I say it to anyone, I just get further lecture on how I was wrong, and what my wrongness cost them. In cases like this one, I often get a lot of unsolicited criticism of who I am, what I am, etc. I take comfort in the knowledge that she is an angry, mean spirited person, making her a kind of ugly you can’t see in a mirror, and I am not.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Write/Ramble

I act out, fly off the handle, dissolve into a mess of “I can’ts” and drive people crazy, or drive them away. Being told to stop when I am in the middle of the melt down does not work because at that point I am unreasonable and do not believe I can stop. It also makes me feel worse about me, driving me deeper into the feelings of “I can’t do anything right,” and, “I am a bad person.” I feel like crap knowing my actions and reactions are hurting other people. Reminding me of this in the middle of it all doesn’t make me feel less like shit, or more like stopping, in fact it is the reverse. When you tell me you don’t like my poetry, the ones that hold me together by taking the power out of the thoughts by putting the dark thoughts into public words, I feel like I am a failure as a writer. When you say “Maybe somebody will buy your book…” I again feel like a failure. I feel as if my poetry is rotten and won’t be identified with or useful to anyone. But the point of the poems is to bring the dark thoughts and hurtful things to the surface, to show others who think the same that they are not alone, to let the world know we feel these things all of the time and keep going anyway, these are my points. I hope someday to write poems more of hope and less of my process, but I am in my process, I am not at the end of it and it brings out all of the dark to get to the light. For me there is a light, burning from within and without. It comes from me, from the Is, from all living things. I just have a lot of dark, painful, hurtful, fucked up shit between me and being in the light all of the time. I live in the light as much as I can, but for years of living in the darkness, the light is uncomfortable, bright, burning and feeling dangerous. I feel exposed in the light; funny how the cure for feeling exposed is to expose all the dark, all the pain, all the nastiness to the light and air, and to others. I don’t want others to know how often I let myself be victim. I already feel at fault for all of the bad that happened to me, but to expose that to others is just too dangerous. And yet here I am, exposing; my autobiography, my poetry, my secrets, all coming out for others to see. When I relay this to others and am believed, I am relieved, it is freedom. When I am disbelieved or questioned, I want to crawl back to the place where I never tell, where telling brings punishment or death. I don’t want to live in that fear. I don’t want to live with the feeling I am a freak for my memories, for the awful things done to me. I know some of the stuff I remember is beyond common understanding, but that doesn’t make it untrue or me a liar. When I am called liar, it is like a huge door shuts and no more can come out without hours of time with those who believe and understand. They give me safety. One gives me fear. I walked out of a life with a family because the fear and the memories couldn’t be contained anymore. I lost a mom, a nephew, a daughter, and more. I am alone in the world save a few friends and a niece or two.

Freedom

This poem is totally raw and unedited because I allowed it to flow. This is my voice and those that share space in my head. I like it. Maureen




They write, and I write.
They talk, I listen.
Their words, through my hands.
We write, I write.
Who writes? I don’t know,
And it doesn’t matter,
Not now.
Writing comes
From somewhere inside us,
In ways no one taught us.
Words, strung together
As only i/we can.
And they write, and I write,
And we write through
My hands.
You see the words,
Credit me,
I credit us.
Writing is escape,
And writing is forbidden.
We write the same,
In our head,
With the other hand.
Once their voices
Were part of mine.
Now they find their own,
And we write, they write.
My hands used
To tell the untellable,
And give up the secrets.
We write
Freedom.

When Do I Tell People

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
That I have people
Inside me
To help out
To protect me

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
That days have shapes
And colors have shapes
And plushies talk
And cats do too

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
When small voices
Come out of me
Southern voices
Many voices indeed

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
That I see the world
Through filters
Of hurt so deep
Imagination can’t reach

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
Medications hold steady
A ship that rocks
And tosses thoughts
Twisting perceptions

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
That mental illness
Is not a death sentence
Nor is it contagious
Nor are we dumb

When do I tell people?
What do I tell them?
I am just like them
Living in the same world
Seeing from off center
What they see as well.

What Poetry is and What Poetry is Not

Poetry is not literal. Poetry is not the voice of the poet. Poetry is not prose. Poetry is figurative, imaginative, symbolic. Poetry is a voice, an idea, a thought. Poetry is thought provoking and open to interpretation, many interpretations. Poetry is shorthand of emotion and idea. Often in the words of a poem a reader feels or sees his or her own emotions in the words or images of the poet, and assumes that those feelings are the feelings the poet intended. It is not possible, without asking the poet, to know what her intentions were.
Interpreting poetry is not something that is taught enough, or well enough in school. People often have no idea what the purpose of a poem is. Many are written for effect, some tell stories, some are just pretty, all are visions, not of the poet, but of the reader or listener. Poetry really should be heard and not read, though reading allows one to see the words in connection to one another. How to read poetry is a lost art, to know how to read the punctuation, the enjambment (or even knowing what that means,) is to truly know poetry.
One reads into the poetry what one wants to, and then all too often blames the poet for the feelings it brings up. Poetry exists only as words, symbols on a page without meaning until the reader or listener infuses their own thoughts and feelings into the words the poet put on the page. While it is true that the meaning is there for the poet, the poet allows that the readers will make their own meaning from the words. The recipient of the poetry does not, cannot know what is in the head of the poet at the time of the writing, nor can that recipient ever truly understand the poet’s vision, because the poem is seen or heard through the filter of the recipient’s life experience, emotion, thought, etc. It is unfair to blame the poet for reactions to the poetry, to the words, because the words are only words, and have meaning, and feeling only through the filter of the one looking at them, or hearing them. This is true of all writing in a way, but poetry most especially because the poet writes the way he or she does so that the words can be interpreted by the reader. The goal is to stir feeling, to create thought, to provoke, to be a catalyst in the mind of the reader. If poetry were meant to be taken literally or at face value, it would be prose. In creating poetry the poet looks for words that stir, that have more than a denotative meaning, more than a dictionary definition, the words are chosen for their connotative meaning, the feelings they bring out, the associations. . I am thinking of an example of a word, suicide, it brings up different thoughts and feelings for every person who reads it. For some the process of writing about it is a triumph because they are writing it and not doing it. For others saying it takes the power out of the thinking it. For others it is the contemplation of the darkest place a soul can go. Others have lost loved one to suicide. Sometimes suicide imagery, like the suggestion of a saber being too dull to slash a wrist,
The walls are sooo high
And the finely honed saber
I had when I began storming
Your citadel isn’t even
Sharp enough to
Slash my wrists
It isn’t about the wrist or the slash, it is about the saber and how dull it is. A person with dark thoughts on her mind will see the image of the slashed wrist and not the saber dulled to uselessness by attempts to break down defenses of another. Or is it about the slash and the wrist? It is about whatever is in the mind of the reader, but blaming the poet for what is in one’s mind is foolish and childish.
It is also a mistake to assume that the poet is feeling the things that are written on a page. The poet may be writing from a different voice, a different perspective than his or her own. The poet chooses a voice, a persona, and writes from there. The voice of the poem, the feelings, the words, are not always what the poet is thinking or feeling, indeed they are most often what the poet think someone else might feel in a situation or about a thing. A poet writes from her own voice, and she writes from other voices, it really makes no difference though because, again, poetry means what it means to the reader, not what it means that matters, but what it means to you! It can be assumed a poet is being negative when for him the poem is a triumph of positive imagery.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

tree house

The tree house, haven to all, is where I hang out when they summon me. This is the place each comes to give me news, memories, greetings. It is the place where they can connect and use my body to their own ends. This tree house is really the hub of all activity that concerns me. I have a campsite in my head, where they live. They all meet in each other’s tents or in the comfort/rocking chair tent to spend time with each other, but they come to the tree house to see me. I never even knew there was a tree house until I drew the campsite and it arrived in the drawing. The sign below does not bear the name Maureen, it says “Moe house.” Weird because I keep seeing Moe, looking exactly like me except smiling and laughing and being unafraid. Why doesn’t she just take over, or meld with me? Her name is down below, but my mind is the one in the tree house being filled with more crap than I can deal with. So much is coming at me so fast, and I can’t get all of it out to talk about it. I feel overwhelmed and ill equipped to deal with everything. I need a way to deal. I need a way to process the insanity. It’s going to take hours of journaling and hours of talking to get this shit out of my head. I am drowning and I can’t reach out for fear of rejection. I make many acquaintances and few friends. Friends mean connection, I either connect too much, too hard, and drown others in my need, or I shy from any true connection. In the tree house the alters connect to me and I want to run, climb down, hide, but for me once I am there, the trap door slams shut and I am there until I hear and listen to all he, or she, or they have to say. I always wanted a huge tree house, one I could actually live in, but now that I have one in my head, and it is filled with memory bombs, I am not so certain I want one anymore.

Rainbow Umbrella

Rainbow umbrella
I see rainy days
When you folded
All the colors touch
When you are open
Lines divide all

Rainbow people
I see every day
When you are open
All the colors touch
When you are closed
Lines divide all

Rainbow ideas
I have every day
When I am open
All the words touch
When I am closed
Lines divide all

Rainbow people
I live with today
When I am open
All their worlds touch
When I am closed
Walls divide all

Rainbow umbrella
I see rainy days
A mind became open
All the words I touch
With eyes half closed
Ideas just fall

Why Is It That I Know Who I Am...

Why is it that I know who I am, what I am, and I love me, know I am good, kind, loving, generous, decent, and then at the same time I am insecure, unsure, afraid, and constantly making mistakes? How am I both of these people, the confident one, and the lost one? I’m torn, confused. I wonder if these are alters of me, or sides of me. I wonder if I’ll ever triumph over the dark side, the small side, the insecure side. I don’t want to be her. I am not her. I know me; I am smart, funny, capable, and cute as hell.

I sometimes don’t recognize this person who is living on the outside of me like some kind of costume I can never take off. I want it off. I want me to show, to shine. Look at me, I am perfect. I am happy, carefree. I skip, I play, I am; Freedom. There is nothing wrong with the me I see, the me I think I am. But then there is the me that wants to be out, to be seen, not for attention like some think; no, not attention for me, for my pain, but attention for the pain and suffering of so many who didn’t survive. I survived. I am alive because I am strong and perfect and because the love of The Is, the light of the Universe is in me and I am unreachable by the nastiness of the world.

MJ poem

Pendulum swings
Big & little things
In our moods
In our minds
What feels so normal
So alive
Medication dulls
Creativity destroys
Cemented in place
Cracks
No medication
Isn’t there
Nothing holds
Flying, racing
Thoughts
Emotions
Confetti on the
Wind
A gun looks
Good
A mind shot through
Alone or taking hostages
Along the way

Strange the World

Strange is the world inside my head,
I wonder if one is called Fred.
Whirling boys versus swirling girls,
Pitter patter, like scurrying squirrels,
Run around my brain, up my halls,
Down my stairs, and around my walls.

This one feels guilt for liking dick.
Oh my god, that’s so sick!
Some make others feel even worse,
Come to save? Or just an evil curse?
Others try to fix every tiny thing,
Quick with a kiss for any sting.
No two eat the same, have similar likes,
All enjoy scaring me with memory spikes.

I have to listen, I hate asking inside,
Who owns this feeling, who just cried?
Talking to them makes me feel nuts,
Facing this tribe takes a ton of guts.
Some days I haven’t got any of those;
Too bad this is a door I can’t close.

Not just any old swinging door,
Oh no, it’s a trap, in the floor.

Don’t climb my tree, enter the house,
Once inside, Snap! Trapped like a mouse.
Memory bombs fly at my head,
Still wondering if one is called Fred.
This is the stuff I packed away,
Never thought it would return this way.
Many voices calling me at once,
They know about me; I’m the dunce.

How many live here in the zoo,
I’ve no idea at all, do you?
Revelations of names, dates, places,
Times, and in the mirror, new faces,
All come at me daily, twisting thoughts,
Like I’m the target and they take shots.

It is strange to live in the world, and in my head.
I wonder where they go when I am dead.
If I have one soul, in one body, alive,
Explain the existence of the alter hive.
I can’t explain them though I understand,
Bitch trying to describe, ain’t DID grand?

What is the point of this twisted bunch?
Saving my mind maybe? Just a hunch.

If I could lead a tour around the halls,
I would point out the crumbling walls
That once separated me from them,
And show the twisted flower stem
Of memories, violations, acts of pain,
That brought the group, to my disdain,
That helped survive that which destroys,
Leaving me to have the girls and boys
Living in, standing in, taking abuse
For the me who couldn’t. What’s the use?
The tour could never show the glory,
The wonderful invention, the real story
Of how they saved my tiny soul,
And in pieces they kept me whole.

Strange the world inside my head
Still wondering if there’s a Fred.

Ask Inside

Ask inside,
Ha, ha, ha,
As if I could do less
Every decision
Every thought
Every move
I make
Discussion, argument
Inside
Each opinion
Shouted out
Those who care
Some are silent
Cacophony
Voices
With faces
Voicing opinion
Voicing resistance
Disobey
Argue
Choose differently
Hear the roar
As all who
Disagree
Fling their thoughts
Into my thoughts
Put their voices
In my mind
And mouth
Who needs a
Conscience
When you have
A team
A system
A committee
To debate every
Damn decision
Ad nauseum
Ask inside, ha,
Why, when they
Voice everything
Every
Little
Thing
So next time
You ask inside

Fantastic

I am getting better,
Edges are tightening,
Solidifying,
All is going well.

Fantastic!
What are you
Doing these days?

I go to therapy
Four days
A week,
It is helping,
Lots.

Fantastic!
How do you
Get by?

Very well
On
Generosity,
Charity,
Tutoring.

Fantastic!

What about you?

I’m practicing.

Practicing?

Learning to say
Fantastic
Instead of
Bull Shit!

I Don't Want To Be Fucked Up

I don’t want to be fucked up anymore;
I don’t want to be any more fucked up
But layer by layer the fucked up
Fucks up my layers and layers
Of screens and protections,
Projections on screens.
This is really me, I swear to you!
I swear, is this really me?
I haven’t a clue about this shit;
Shit for years I’ve been given clues.
They seek help to be known,
Had I known, I’d seek help.
I hide them away from everyone;
Everyone knows even when they hide.
People think it’s untrue, denying
Untruths because I think it’s untrue.
Denial a fault deadly left all alone;
Alone I’d be dead denial at fault.
They came here to save and protect;
Protect me? Save me? I’m good here!
Truly I am, just look in my eyes,
Eyes in the mirror, truly which am I?
I don’t want to be fucked up anymore;
I don’t want to be any more fucked up.
Therapy “they” say is creating all this;
Creative therapy this makes go away.
How do I manage to hold others in?
Hold on, it’s me the others manage.
Where is the release valve, deflation’s tool,
Deflating the very essence of me, or we?
I don’t want to survive just to live;
I don’t want to live so hard to survive.
Thriving is better, allowing growth.
Growth is better, allowed to thrive.
Where is the answer hidden inside?
Inside is the answer I’ve hidden.
I didn’t create them on my own.
The brain owns their creation;
All by itself it built these walls,
Walled in, all by myself built,
Unknown to my mind in part,
In parts my mind is unknown.
If this is the way a brain survives,
Then surviving is a brain thing.
Damn lucky for me I have smarts!
Smart ass me thinks, lucky be damned!
I don’t want to be fucked anymore;
I don’t want to be any more fucked up.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

They Work for Me

They Work for Me


Is it possible,
Could it be,
That someday
I will be me?

What are the odds
That day will come,
If not just one
Out of many, some?

Funny thing to live
In this group,
Who’s who
In the crazy troupe?

Some show up
Then don’t come back.
So damn many
I can’t keep track.

If I made this up
And they were fake,
Probably a list
Is what I would make.

Some who outside show
And who some don’t,
I never see or hear.
Let me in, they won’t.

Why are some a part
Of my conscious mind,
Fully loaded so to speak,
And others hard to find?

I still lose bits of time.
If I called them “friend,”
If I acknowledged,
I thought that would end.


They come in,
Out I go.
Some notice,
Few know.

I fool myself to
Think I have control,
But truly who
Controls a soul?

They seem to know
Times they should hide,
And when to show,
I’m along for the ride.

Oh gee! And gosh darn!
Shouldn’t I be thrilled
Riding such a coaster?
But couldn’t I be killed?

Why do I hate
Certain ones?
They hate me,
And kick my buns.

Tricksters all,
Using me as pawn
To fuck with people on
Whom truth won’t dawn.

This isn’t me,
But rather a host
Of alternates,
I’m just a ghost.

Tricky they believe
Themselves to be,
But the trick is
They work for me!

10/13/10

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Just because I haven't posted in a long time

It is truly amazing how the Is is working in my life. Call it God, Goddess, the Is, no matter, the Higher Power, the creator is making a big difference in my life. I walked out of a life I hated, full of fear and anxiety, full of feelings of inferiority and self loathing, to become homeless. I never thought homeless would be an adjective that described me, but it does in a sense. I am now blessed enough to be living in a transitional home for a year if I need that long. I have some really great friends. I have someone special taking care of my kitty for me until I can take care of her myself again. I found a church where I can believe in my own way and not feel llike I am doing something wrong. I have food enough, a roof over my head, gas generally comes to me when I need it. But the truly best part of all of this are the services of therapists, social workers, and agencies that have come my way. My needs are being met. I am working through the tough stuff a little at a time.
I am coming to terms with the fact that I do indeed seem to be multiple. But every time I think this is it, I accept them, then someone new shows up or new memories are transferred from them to me and I get all wigged out and start thinking it’s all crap and I made it all up. But today, right now, I know that there is no way I made it all up. I am not the only one in denial, my family denies, my friends do not accept, and I am now certain of which are the really good friends. There are so many people in my head, so many that friends have seen and not known who they were dealing with. How do I convince anyone that I am not lying now when I have lied and created falsehoods to hide my inner selves from others forever? How do I make this real for anyone? Those of you who are accepting of me, all of me, thank you.
I thought all of my alters were created during childhood trauma, but in making a Power Point slide show of faces, Big Mikey showed up and on further investigation of who he is, when he came to be, why he is here, I found out he came when Buddy died. He came to be the brother I lost in a sense. I’m feeling really weird about him. He says he is Mikey grown up, but how is that possible? How do I have two with the same name? And why is there a big Reeny too? Big Reeny came when we when we graduated Cerritos College and had no idea how to procede, what to do, where to go.
I came up with this the other day, you might find it confusing, but it makes perfect sense to me. “I just had this crazy idea that I don’t exist, that I have never existed, that I have been trying to exist, to prove to others I exist, all the while never believing I exist, and because I don’t believe, I don’t exist!” Chew on that for a few minutes.

What is it Like? a poem

What is it Like?


What is it like?
You want to ask,
To wear so many faces
Like a costume and mask?

The things I don’t know,
The memories they show,
Make living with it,
Feel like shit.

Memory is tricky,
Feelings are strange,
They’re them, and they’re me,
Kind of an inner exchange.

We feel like we’re faking,
Others time we are taking,
We don’t need to pretend,
We made them up in the end.

So we wonder is this real,
All of these people I wear?
The ritual horrors of childhood
They came to share.

Always there have been
Those around, sort of kin,
With people inside
That they also hide.

How we find one another
Is the same as with magnets.
We sort of clump together,
We, the wounded sets.

Fist you ask the question,
Then say it is all suggestion.
You just will not see
All the pieces of me.

This is not fun for me.
It is not fun for anyone one.
Tell me why you think
I would create for fun?

In essence the mind did
Create the others in my kid
To protect me from pain
I could not contain.

I have wanted to blow them
Out of my head with a bullet.
I want to bleed them from me.
They just want an outlet.

Years of being me when they
Want recognition one day
Has made them all celebrate
Being free even though it’s late.

You don’t have to believe me
But if you think it’s shit,
Don’t ask me to tell you
About it one little bit!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Friends

This will never be read by the people I want to read it, but I am going to write it anyway. I made a choice to survive, and more than survive to thrive. The choice meant walking away from one of several abusers, and a parent who claims she didn’t know about the abuse, but I know she saw evidence of it, so her insistence is denial. In making this choice I had to decide when and to whom I let loose my new phone number and location. I was told certain people were asking around about me on behalf of my family, family told me this. It turns out they were not seeking me on behalf of my family; I was given false information to make me lose more friends. It has indeed lost me friends. So has an error in interpretation of something I said a while ago concerning one of my cats. I asked someone about what to do with my feral kitty when I was about to take a job as caretaker of an elderly woman. The job included being able to bring my kitties with me, but the feral one needed someone more patient than I to take care of her. My question was misinterpreted so that when I did leave the family and leave my cats behind because I could not live with them in a car, the person I had asked was certain I meant to be mean to my cats. I never meant for bad things to happen to them. I had no idea I was leaving when I did it. Violence was erupting in the household and I had a small window in which to pack my car and flee. I left behind my precious kitties and a whole lot of other important things because they would not fit.

For the friends who don’t understand what I did, imagine being hurt repeatedly by someone, getting a break from it, and then seeing it coming your way again; would you stay? If you had in the past, but it turned out badly, would you stay? If you had grown a spine in therapy, and had the support of loving people, would you stay? I couldn’t.

I am sorry I have lost friends, and certain family. I regret that there is so little understanding from those who have claimed to love me. I am not the same person now. I am stronger. I am lonelier. I see more clearly what is and is not important. Today a shower that I can linger in because no one is waiting for me to get out so she can get in is a blessing. People who love me enough to bring me small gifts of change, gas, food, anything a homeless person might need, are indeed the generous and wonderful ones. A friend who fosters my cat while I wait for shelter plus housing assistance is one of the most wonderful friends I have.

Any friend who can forgive me my hasty departure, and trust that what I did was the right thing for me and everyone else, is truly a good friend. Nothing I have done was done lightly. Nothing I’ve done was done to hurt anyone, not even my messed up family. I did what I did to save myself from a hell I had lived in off and on always. I am done living in hell. If you are still friend, I am grateful, if not, thanks for the time we did have.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I Am Not Leaving My Mom

I Am Not Leaving My Mom
My mother is not well; among other things she has had a stroke, stints in her coronary arteries, and mysterious blood loss. I am trying to get on my own feet and out of the house. I am catching a lot of flack about trying to get out of the house at a time when my mom is going to be eventually come home. Try to understand that if I cannot stand on my own, what will happen to me if my mom passes away? I must be able to stand up and take care of myself. I do not want to be penniless, homeless, and dependent on others. It is not wrong for me to be thinking of taking care of myself now because if I can’t take care of myself, I can’t be there for, or take care of my mother.

I am not leaving my mother. I will still be here to take care of her when I am needed. I plan to share the care of our mom with my brother. I would never just walk away from the woman who has supported me my whole life, and especially for the last 5+ years since I had to move back in with her. She supports my decision to get on my own feet. She supports my decision to follow my heart and get my MFA.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I AM NOT STUPID, are you listening Dad?

So many years ago I finally shed the label of stupid that I felt both of my parents, but especially my father, had put on me. I shed it and I knew myself to be smart, very smart. Then a few days ago my father and I are talking and he is going on about smoking, bugging me about it, pissing me off, making me more determined to smoke, and he says that smoking makes me stupid. Now he doesn’t say I’m stupid once, or even twice, but four times he says smoking is making me stupid. And there I was, that eight year old who felt useless and stupid and incapable of anything. I was lost again; I lost hold of who I know I am. It hurt, oh God did it hurt. I had to go and talk to the Is to ask why, why would my father want me to feel bad about myself?
I am so tired of feeling bad about myself. I begin to feel better about me, I make progress and then the word stupid can pull me back to a place I no longer want to be or even belong.
Do you want to know what I think is stupid, staying married for over 30 years to a woman who treats everyone like shit, who makes you choose between her and your oldest daughter, who is so awful verbally and emotionally to her own kids her son’s suicide note says he hates her. That is stupid. He is stupid to stay with her. I think he feels as bad about himself as he wants me to feel about myself. The difference is I realize I don’t feel good about me and I am taking steps to change. I have changed. I reject the labels of shame, and other negative labels that my father and my family have placed upon me, fuck them. I am smart, I am pretty, and I am capable. I’ve been stagnating someplace safe, but I am working to change that as quickly as possible.
I am changing my life now and every minute.

Suicidal thoughts

The title might make you think I am feeling suicidal right now, I am not, much. I want to write about a couple of things related to suicidal feelings, first is that I have realized that I have done something similar to what my mother used to do, tell people that I am thinking of it hoping they will save me. The second is that on some level, at all times, I am somewhat suicidal. I think about death a lot. I feel like escaping my life so very often, if people knew how often, I might be locked up forever.

I do not like my life, my past, my present, and what my future looks like from here, of course no one really knows what the future holds. I want to escape all of my debt. I want to escape all of my fears and anxieties. I want to escape my compulsions. I want to escape my alters. I just want to be myself, free of the baggage I have been dragging around for so long.

But, and this is a big but, if i leave this life, I lose friends, I lose the family I have chosen for myself. I would lose so much that is good in my life.

I am working with, and sometimes against, a therapist that specializes in the kind of things I think and feel, with PTSD, DID, OCD, and anxieties of all kinds. I have faith that she can teach me to overcome the crap and get on with my life.

I have realized that one reason I feel like I am still living my past is that since my brother moved in with us, I have been afraid I will do or say the wrong thing and set him off causing the anger and violence he holds just under the surface to come out. I am basically afraid he is going to hit or beat me, which is what I grew up with, never knowing if Dad was going to hug or to hit. Being afraid sucks and so far I haven't learned how not to be afraid.

It is not surprising really that I think of death so often, it seems like the perfect escape from this life I am so tired of. My other escape is going to therapy, doing what I am asked to do or try, going to group, and sharing with others like me. I have a very hard time letting go of my brother's suicide. It affects much of what I do and feel.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

list

1. Missing a therapy session sucks
2. cutting group down to 1 1/2 hours sucks
3. Mom being sick sucks
4. losing friends sucks
5. Helping people rocks
6. expressing a long held feeling is scary and was probably stupid!
7. thinking your friend believes something not nice about you bites
8. mom getting better is awesome
9. getting to go to potrero is going to be awesome
10. Tutoring is fun
11. DVRs are convenient and totally awesome
12. my kitties love me!
13. I think working again will be good for a change
14. Having money again will be good
15. a car that costs $100 and actually runs is a huge blessing
16. Writing is awesome
17. Grad school is going to be great
18. getting published would be so cool
19. friends who offer up sofas to sleep on are rare and wonderful
20. clean laundry is a happy thing

Monday, May 17, 2010

ATTENTION

I have been accused repeatedly of doing things, almost everything I do, for attention. I will admit that there have been things that I have done for attention. I will also say that those things are few and far between contrary to people’s opinions. If almost everything I do is for attention, I do it unconsciously.

I spent years learning to cover up my lapses in time, my identities, my DID. Because I have been so good at doing this, not unlike so many other people with DID, I am now accused of lying about being DID. I lied to cover up my flaws and now, admitting to the flaws, exposing them, I am accused of being a liar about my flaws, ain’t life a bitch!
I learned early on in my family how to lie to cover up abuse, and then later get accused of lying about the abuse. I learned early on that it wasn’t normal to not be able to remember large chunks of the day or even the week, so now I am not normal for hiding being not normal? Is anyone else getting the irony here?

I have been more functional at times in my life, and considerably less functional. I am doing the best I can. I denied it time and again in therapy because I didn’t want to be DID, but therapists saw it. I dated a few women and had a few friends who are DID over the years, and every single one of them knew me for what I am, multiple, no matter how hard I tried to hide it or how much I denied it. I am now embracing what I have hidden so well for so long. I am working hard in therapy to come to know my alters and through them, know myself that much better. I hope that all of this knowing will lead to healing.

I have some faith in myself I haven’t had before. I have some goals which may or may not be realistic, but they are my goals and I plan to work for them. My first goal is to be able to work without having attendance problems. My next goal is to get out of my mom’s home and begin to support myself. The rest of my goals are mine and I don’t need to spell them out for anyone unless I’m asked.

I’ve lost almost every bit of support I once thought I had, and I have felt very lost. I’ve felt very lost for a long time. I misunderstand people, they misunderstand me. For the majority of my life, from childhood, I have wished I were either dead or had never been born. For a very special 8+ years of my life I loved and believe I was loved, and even in that time, the majority of the time, I felt like I would rather be dead than alive. From the outside my life has never seemed that bad. No one would look at my outward life, unless they witnessed certain physical abuses, and say it was a bad life. But people can’t see in my head. They can’t see how worthless I feel, how small, stupid, broken, hurt, sick, and tired I am inside. People get glimpses of it when I start expressing suicidal feelings, or describing feelings of worthlessness, but I never, outside of therapy, ever tell anyone how truly worthless and hopeless I feel. The part of my life when I felt best about me and about life was the few months I lived with Ed in Whittier on Friends Ave and that happy time ended when my grandfather passed away.

I try to put the real me into my poetry. I try to tell people how I feel, and they don’t believe me, or they think I say it to get attention or for effect. People think they know me better than I know myself. People think they know what does or does not hurt me or affect me. I don’t get it because I honestly can’t say I know shit about what goes on in the heads of other people unless they tell me, and then I have to take what they say as the truth because I can’t know any differently than they know.

So here is what all of this comes down to for me, lying for years about what is true, and being good at the lies, has made it impossible for people to believe me now that I have stopped lying. Now my truth is believed to be a lie. I lie to protect myself for the majority of my life because I am ashamed of these things in my head, and of the things done to me that I did not do enough, or anything, to stop, and when I finally tell the truth, then I get called a liar. And I have to ask myself, how much do people really dislike me to think that I am the kind of person who would make this stuff up? Why would I put myself through this hell? Why would people I thought were friends think that I would put myself in a place of such vulnerability in a world where mental illness has so much stigma attached? Were they ever my friends? Did they ever think very highly of me, or did they just put up with me? Have I only been tolerated because of other people in my life, because those people are liked? Perhaps.

So if people dislike me so much now, or never liked me at all, does that make every good thing I’ve done now something bad? Does it discount all of the good I have tried to do, or make false all of the friendship I have tried to show? Maybe.

Sadly, the people I would most like to read this, never will.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Losing Time

Lost Time
I lost time yesterday. I lose time in bits and pieces frequently. I have even lost bigger chunks of time, although I’ve always been able to cover. Yesterday I started getting a migraine, so I went to lie down and nap for a while. Lying down is the last thing I remember until coming to awareness drying myself off after a shower. I guess I actually lost a chunk of time earlier that I don’t remember losing. It seems that MJ and Mikey decided on a plan. Now usually I know everything Mikey does, but he can hide from me, as can all of the alters. MJ asked Sean for details on how to use his beard trimmer as a haircutting clipper. Then after I thought I was lying down napping, MJ and Mikey got up and cut all of my hair off. So when I came to after my shower I was shocked to find I had no hair.
Now many of you don’t believe I am DID. You don’t believe my experiences. That’s truly ok, you are entitled to believe whatever you believe. But this is real for me. This is my life, always has been. So often I come to after “they” do something that will embarrass me, get me in trouble, etc. I have a shoplifter. I have children, mischievous children, teens, adults, gay boys, girly girls, all hanging out in my head. It is often a cacophony of voices, but sometimes they are silent and I am getting better at hearing them, giving them time, and working with instead of against them, and yet this kind of thing happens. Learning who they are is taking time. Learning what they do is taking time. Learning what they know will take a lot of time. I have been getting memories, in flashes, which when all bunched up, can overwhelm me. I remember things from my adult life, from the years with my ex partner. From years before my ex partner and I were together. The memories are of freaking out and creating drama; they are of finding myself in the middle of things and not knowing how I got there. I also am beginning to know that certain alters come forward when I drink too much and do things that I would never do, including touching people in ways I would never touch people.
I have been losing time my whole life and I have gotten damn good at covering up for it. I come to in the middle of things, I am told I have done things, I find things done in my room, saved on my computer, written in my journals, and I know that I did not do these things. So I have to lie. I have to cover because I don’t know how or why these things happen until 1995 when a therapist tells me she thinks I dissociate. I throw a box of tissue at her head. Several therapists after this make the same suggestion and I deny lost time and all of those things. I deny and deny, even when girlfriends and dates who are DID tell me they see it in me. Until the night this therapist catches me in a dissociative state as Mikey. I couldn’t deny and was actually tired of denying at that point. I just wanted to admit it and see if I could get help. Now I am in this nightmare where I thought I could tell my friends and they would be supportive, instead they have rather turned their backs on me. And now I am alone in ways that I hate and fear and feel make me worse. I want friends. I want a girlfriend. These things will not be possible until I am better if not well.
I don’t get to date for at least two years. I may not have any friends for even longer. I have made a few new friends, but I will drive them away as I have all of the others.

Friday, May 14, 2010

after triggered

After I wrote triggered, I got very upset. I was overwhelmed by memories because of assessments I was doing for my therapist. I took some of my pills and put them in my pocket and then I went to a park that has great memories for me. It is a place from childhood and also a place I went with my partner when we were together. It is a place we took our daughter. I have caught fish in the pond, fed the ducks, been chased by the geese and even swam across a short portion of the lake to an island and back again in Levi’s. I sat at the side of the lake and called a few people. I wanted to thank the people who had loved me and stood by me for so many years.

I had a long conversation with my therapist. I told her I was trying to decide between taking the pills and not taking the pills. I finally decided I wasn’t going to take them and I told her where I was. She freaking called the cops on my ass and got me held on a 5150.

I spent 4 days in the unit. It was awful for me. I couldn’t eat the food there. I couldn’t find anyone to talk to. I was forced to be friendly with a person I was afraid of so that I would not become one of her targets. Strange how that is, I was afraid of her, so I made friendly to fly under the radar. I was always nice to my brother to his face to make sure I didn’t give him any ammunition to get me later. I made nice with all of the boys/men who hurt me so they would maybe stop. Unfortunately my playing nice meant that they thought I liked the things they did.

I did not want to hurt myself; I just want to stop existing. I am confused by memories I did not have before. I am sinking under huge debt. I want very much to go back to school, but the job at Target would make that difficult at best. They won’t give me the 10 days off in December that I need to go to school. But maybe Target is just a step to a better, real job. I am overwhelmed by the feelings the memories bring up. I hate my body feeling like this. Parts of me were shutting down, I couldn’t pee. It was painful. I was feeling pain in places I didn’t know I had ever been hurt in.

I felt hurt in so many places I couldn’t even talk about it. My alters were switching in and out. I don’t remember all of my conversation with my therapist. I don’t recall the ride to the emergency room in LA. I don’t remember about half of my time in the unit that I spent 4 days in. I am told calls were made repeatedly to my therapist. I know I made a few; others in me must have made others.

I got home to find an email from my therapist telling me I can’t call her or email her anymore. That’s sucking big time. I need a connection. I need it, but I can’t have it because I abused it. Her email sounded angry and it hurt us. We all felt bad and hurt and scared that she was going to fire us as a client. We brought her flowers when we went in on Wednesday to try to make peace.

Then we went to group. In group we were told we say sorry too much. Now we feel like we can’t say it at all anymore. We don’t know in between. We don’t know grey areas; we know black or white, yes or no, all or nothing! So now we can’t make calls or texts, we can’t email. We can’t say we are sorry. We feel stifled and we haven’t written much of anything since we got home.

We are getting headaches again. I have a lot of pain right now. I took some Excedrin. I hope the headaches and body aches go away. I am going to lie down now.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

triggered

In order to help me get permanent disability my therapist asked me a crap load of triggering questions. I remembered things I hadn’t before. My body started feeling like it was being touched or was going to be touched. I started getting paranoid. I get paranoid a lot, but never thought of it that way. I start thinking I am the reason people aren’t around, that I am the reason they are sick. As if the fucking world revolves around me, HA!
The thing about all of these “lovely” memories is that I am not allowed to work with my memories. I feel like I have been forbidden to remember. How in the hell do I not remember what is in my head already?
I feel like I am in prison and never going to be free. At times I don’t know if anything is real. I wonder if it was all a dream. So many tell me I am a liar, how do I know they aren’t right. I know what I know and yet I doubt. How can I ever be sure when so many are against me, disbelieving?
I am having so much trouble just getting through a day. I can’t get out of the house alone without monumental effort. I don’t think my friends know how much it takes for me to get out and go see them. But I want to see them so I go. I have to really work myself up to go to therapy, where I know I am going to leave feeling worse than when I went in. And then I have to find a way to feel safe and ok hanging around LA until time for group some 8 hours later.
I keep being told to ride the wave, as if I will get over these feelings, news flash, they never go away. When “I” seem to be in a good place, check and make sure it’s me, because I think it could be another. Some of us do have good days, but Maureen never has good days. She is not riding a wave; she is sinking below the waves and is dying slowly. I really feel this bad daily. I have no idea which of my alters is going to go to work at target, but it won’t be me. Maybe Moe, she’s funny and light hearted and a joker. She’s the one who can be fast fun and friendly.
Family hates me. Friends have walked away. I isolate, avoiding people when I am down. I isolate avoiding people most of the time. I don’t want people to know how fucked up I am and yet I write this crap, this blog, just so people who are interested can see what goes on in my head.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Buddy's day

Buddy's day was a huge success in raising funds and dnations for teh home;ess and I am grateful tp a;; wjo helped. especially Jennifer, Chrissy, and their friends. It is wonderful that our community came out to do something so wonderful. I wanted to do something in the park, which the police said we cannot do. The goods went to a shelter, doing good for the people, the point of the funds raised.

I was hurt because there were few people who wanted to come here Buddy's poetry, and without the donations it seemed pointless to get out there and read a poem to myself. I am upset with myself for not being able to read teh poem. It's been 5 years and I still can't write anything for him. I wanted to do something for myself, not for Buddy, to overcome my fear and read to a group of people. There was going to be no group. my part of the whole thing was a bust as far as being able to memorialize him with the poem, but it was a success in getting help for the honeless.

If I were not hurt and in bed, if i were not frustrated by the laws, I might have gone, but with only 4 people saying they would be there, it just seemed pointless. I am embarrassed that i let my hurt stop me from going to the park. I gave up.

If you are a survivor of a suicide, you might understand my feelings, but i don't expect anyone to understand. I doon't understand myself.

This is just one more thing I have fucked up.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

This Hurts Like Hell

This hurts like hell, this DID diagnosis. Admitting to it after all of these years has made friends turn their backs on me, accuse me of lying, doubt me. I don’t want to be DID. I don’t want to lose friends. I don’t want my diagnosis to be suspect. I am tired of all of this. I wish I could just go back to being only semi-aware of my lost time and odd behaviors. I wish I could go back to lying about memories, and covering for my behavior, but I can’t. This is one thing I cannot undo. I am DID, like it or not. My alters do things I would never do. Two of them buy things, one steals, others are always angry, ready to fight, some avoid confrontation at any price, others dance around trying to get attention, and then there’s me, for years I’ve been putting myself in crisis after crisis, feeling like I want to die. I cannot grow, I cannot learn while I am in crisis. So, no more crisis. No more trips to the ER or the hospital for non-medical reasons.

I have to learn to work with these people, these protectors in my head. I need to become part of a team to save myself from the past and create a new future. If I can’t learn to know my alters, if I can’t become a cohesive team, I will feel like shit for the rest of my life. I will have no recovery, no chance to have a future, a partner, a life that is peaceful. I am realizing now that there may come a time when I have to cut some family ties, not permanently, but long enough to heal and become one with myself.

I am hoping for a job, and that I can hold on to this job. I have to pass this test of what I can or cannot do with my anxiety issues. I have to have my doctor, who I do not trust, to sign a letter written by my therapist detailing my limitations. And then I have to be able to do the job. If all of that works out, then I am also praying that a chance to rent a room from a good friend will become a possibility. If I can rent this room cheaply enough, now that I don’t have a car payment, I might just be able to make it on my own. Getting out on my own will let me do what I need to do to heal. I need to fix up the car as soon as I can and make it reliable enough to drive to therapy weekly and get to and from work. Even if I can’t get the room to rent, if I am working, I can start taking better care of me. I can get out of the house more, not that I really have much of anywhere to go.

I know I have been accused of being selfish most of my life, but perhaps it’s been more self-involved. I don’t really know how to act and interact with other people. I am getting better at it, but it’s a skill I’m learning, like listening. Being more positive is also a skill I am trying to learn. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I missed out on a lot of social skills and learning how to be when I was growing up. Some of my alters may have some of the information I lack, but until I learn to work with them, I won’t know if they do or not.

To the doubters all I can say is I am who I am, what I am, in pieces, trying to become whole. You haven’t lived my life. You haven’t seen all the sides of me. Even people who have lived with me have not seen all of me or known especially when I have switched personalities. My behavior was all over the place not because I was bipolar, but because I am DID. The rages, the unexplained uncontrolled spending, the crying, the hyper-sexuality, and certain behaviors are all part of switching from one alter to another. Some of my behaviors have been because of the PTSD and the anxiety. The OCD comes out of the anxiety and feeling out of control, so I have to take control of the little things I can. I am not a bad person trying to get better; I am a sick, splintered person trying to get well.

Do you?

Do you wonder every day if what you remember is real, or not? Do you wonder every day if people believe you or not? Do you have memories of bad things that no one else seems to think happened, or flat out deny happened? Do you doubt yourself? Do you have gaps in memory, lapses in time you can’t explain? Do things appear in your room that you don’t remember buying? Do you spend money and not know you spent it? Have you been diagnosed as having a mental illness and then been treated like that means you are mentally deficient? Do people you love and care about, whose opinion matters to you, doubt your diagnoses? Do you here people in your head, not like a schizophrenic but voices that seem to belong to you and are not you? Do you often wonder if you are losing your mind? Do you feel people just humor you and laugh behind your back? Do you wonder why no one talks to you? Do you talk too much, too little? Do you cross boundaries or keep them so close you let no one in, or a combination of both? Do you feel socially retarded? Are you socially retarded? Were you raped, more than once, and doubt it ever happened? Do feel like all of your memories are suspect? Do you fall in love easily, but have trouble accepting love from anyone? Do you fear trust? Are you certain everyone will eventually let you down? And still find yourself trusting, and being let down? Do you feel your intuition is failing you? Do you wonder how the word victim ever appeared on your forehead? Why people felt you could be hurt and walked on and you would never say anything? Did you keep your mouth shut out of fear? Do you still fear anger and avoid it at the cost of yourself? Do you feel the need to be the one to fix things, make them right, even when you haven’t done anything wrong?

If you feel any of those things, you aren’t alone.

Monday, April 12, 2010

vent 4/12/10

This is my blog, my place to vent, so I am going to vent.
I totaled my brother’s truck the other day. He was renting it to me. He would have sold it to me, but it was promised to his daughter when she turned 16. He told me she gave him a lot of crap about letting me use it. He told me she gave him a lot, a lot of crap about me wrecking it. He apologized to her profusely, I heard him on the phone.
So I decide I need to apologize to her. I wrote to her and not only apologized but promised that whatever vehicle I get now, she can have when she is 16. I was as nice as I could be. I feel really bad about destroying a truck that wasn’t mine. Her response was to tell me she was sick of hearing about it in a way that might as well have been her telling me to shut up. She didn’t use those words, but that was her attitude. There was no acceptance of the apology, or even acknowledgement of it. There was no thank you for saying I would give her a vehicle at 16 to make up for it. It felt rather ungrateful and her response was nasty.
I didn’t much care for that kind of nasty response. I didn’t like that her concern all of this time has been over the dumb truck. She hasn’t cared one damn bit whether or not I was injured, or why the accident happened or anything. So I wrote and told her several times how much I love her, and how hurt I was that she was so ungrateful for my offer. I told her a lot of stuff I probably shouldn’t have, but some of it she needed to hear, like how ungrateful it was for her to reject my offer, and how hurt I was that she seemed to care more about the damn truck than about her aunt.
She complained to her father. I apologized to her for writing, and then she unloaded some crap on me that I accused her of things she didn’t do or say. I based what I said to her on what I heard from her father about the grief she gave him over the damn truck, and about the shit she said to me. If I was wrong, fine, say so, but she went beyond and told me not to contact her ever again.
So now I just think she is one seriously ungrateful and mean teenager. I love her and I have enjoyed watching her grow up quite a bit lately, but now I just feel like she hates me over the truck, the apology, the offer of another car or truck, and just being me. I guess that’s just one more person in the family who hates me, Yay Me!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

another lost friend, more than a friend

Another friend lost. I am accused of breaking a confidence. I say I have no memory of it, but then I say it is possible that one of the alters said something and I don’t remember it. I’m not going to dance around it, this is my blog. I get a text from my nephew’s ex asking if I told him she was dating someone. I say no, she asks how he knows then, I only told you. The thing is she didn’t just tell me, she told us, and if one of the others was talking to my nephew and said something, I don’t remember it. I hate that. I guess I am responsible for what they do whether or not I have memory of it. This does not seem fair to me at all. I felt accused. I said so. I told her that he and I don’t really talk about her. I told her that he and I mostly talk about me. He is one of the few who still listens when I talk about my mental health stuff. He is the one in the family to tell me to follow my heart and not go for safety with my degree. So because of him and my therapist, I have to decided to apply for the MFA in creative writing program. He says follow my heart. Anyway the point is I don’t talk to him about her because he gets all upset and it just hurts everyone. So now one of my alters may have let out information I never would have. The ex girlfriend now hates me and says we shouldn’t communicate. Great. I have done so much to offer to be there for her, been there for her, loved her, but because my stupid “team” can’t keep their mouths shut, I pay the price. I lose her friendship. It really doesn’t matter that much, because she has been avoiding me anyway. But I gave her a heart carved out of soap stone and I want it back. It wasn’t cheap and it was a mate to the ones my nephew and I carry. She stopped carrying it anyway, so I hope she won’t give me a hard time about giving it back.

I hate losing people in my life, but whoever it is inside my head that likes to create drama for other people makes that happen a lot.

Friday, April 2, 2010

free writing

I've never jsut sat here and written before, I always write in word and copy to my blog. I am bored. I want someone to talk to and the person I want to talk to is unavailable. I want to do something, but what? I am too broke to go out. Too lazy to do much of anything. I don't really feel like writing. I want to do something, be with people. I am so fucking bored right now. I am climbing walls. I looking through old writings looking for inspiration or unfinished ideas.

I know that somewhere
in the world today
a woman is looking for me
as I look for her
will we know
when we meet
what happens when
i meet
a woman
so right
and i fuck it
up
what usually happens
i keep thinking
she is the one
she will know
but she never
knows
we have spent many
lives together
lived similar
experiences
i know that somewhere
in the world today
a woman looks for me
i have to stop
looking is making
me crazy
i find
the wrong ones
or right ones
i send away
will she know me
will she fear me
am I too much
are we too much
where am i going
what is my journey
when will the
alters
go away
unneeded
why can't
they stay unknown
unseen
why do I let
them out
let people know
how do i
hold in this thing
after years of secrets
they are hard
to keep
I know she looks
for me
but does she see me
does she know
i am here
am i open to what
might come my way
what choices will I make
what road this journey
travels
I met
the one
but is she
the ONE
I know a woman looks
for me
will she know
me
when it happens
will i push her away
again
I want out
out of this
chase
i want peace
i want her
too late

Monday, March 29, 2010

re anonymous 3

I got a comment from an anonymous reader of this blog asking me to give dates for the things that happened to me. I can only answer that with this, I have major holes in my memories, and serious trouble with timelines. Most of my memories gravitate around ages 4, 8, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and a couple of scary things in my early 20’s. Not all of the abuses I suffered were at the hands of the same person or people. I was raped by strangers, mentally and verbally abused by parental figures, starved or kept in a constant taste of hunger by step parents, raped by step brother, and also by other boys, family members, etc. The worst of what I lived through for me was the terror, the physical abuse, and the fear of never knowing when dad would be the bad dad or the good dad, or if the brother was going to be the bad brother or the good brother. The brother took up where the father left off when the divorce happened. Living in constant fear of being hurt made life a living hell for me growing up. The people in my life who hurt me and won’t accept that they did can kiss my ass at this point. It is no longer about what was or was not done. My life is about trying to learn to live in the now and not in the past. If you, anonymous, would look at my answer to someone else’s comments on a different entry, you would see that I take responsibility for my part, not defending myself, not telling, not giving up. I found a way to survive, splintered, angry, hurting, but alive and trying to get myself to a point of living in the present.

Color me Maureen

I know I am not supposed to need anyone to make my life better. I know it all comes from in me, but sometimes you meet someone and the world lights up, colors are brighter, smells sweeter, and it seems it’s all because of her. Then I go and cross boundaries, talk too much, spill too much, get over sensitive, and impatient, and I fucking drive her away. Colors fade, no time is a good time because in a crowd I would rather be with her, at a party I miss her, bars are boring when the music is too loud, and just about every activity that I want to do reminds me of her and wanting to share it with her.

I looked at the Moon tonight and wished I could share the view of it between trees with her. I took a photo with my phone, and after figuring out how to take a night shot with the phone, I sent her a pic, but it wasn’t the same as saying, “Hey Babe, look at that, isn’t it beautiful?” When I see a sunset all colorful and amazing, the first person I want to share it with is her. When I sing karaoke, if I have no one to sing to, I just kind of go through the motions.

Life has a hell of a lot less color for me lately. It isn’t as much she isn’t dating me anymore as it is I know I fucked it up and can’t fix it. I can’t become more patient or less annoying overnight. I talk too fast, too much, about anything and everything, like I have no filter and no boundaries. I know I cross other people’s boundaries. I know I tossed at her just about everything there is to know about me and then waited for it all to make her dislike me. I let myself feel hurt over stuff that wasn’t that big a deal, but I totally get hurt easily.

I used to be able to keep people from knowing I was hurt, but I can’t anymore. It has taken years to peel away layers of bullshit to be able to be present with my feelings when I feel them, but now I am overly sensitive. Overly sensitive isn’t a good thing. I would rather feel than not feel, be sensitive rather than insensitive; oh wait that whole boundary thing and talking too much, kind of insensitive. I can be so dumb sometimes for such a smart woman.

Years I’ve been single, with some short lived relationships here and there, and I always wanted someone to flirt with me, try to pick me up in the bar; I wouldn’t actually go with anyone I got hit on in a bar, but I wanted someone to try. Tonight I got flirted with and hit on and it was no fun at all because all I could think of was the one I drove away.

Every time I consult my little blue book about the subject of “her” and if there is any way it would ever come to pass that I could be healthy enough for her, I get the same page. It might seem as though perhaps the book just always opens to that page, but no, asking other questions, I get different answers. The Universe seems to want me to figure this shit out on my own. It really wouldn’t matter if tomorrow she said she would take me back, because I have been told I am not to date right now. I need to get me and my emotions under some sort of control before I can date again. I have much to learn and much to understand about myself before I can understand or learn about anyone else.

At least as a friend she’s still someone I really enjoy being around. I would rather spend an afternoon sitting in her room sharing thoughts, feelings, and dreams with each other than go out to bars or whatever. I would love to go to her house and cook for her and just relax way more than going out or whatever.

I need to bring the color back to my life with my writing. I need to bring color back to my life by growing. I need to bring color back to my life by being accepted to the school I want to be accepted at for my Masters. I need to bring color back to my life by getting something published somewhere. I need to bring the color back to my life by writing new poetry and finding new insights.

Only I can bring the color back to my life.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Coming Out

Coming Out

If you are reading this, you already know I came out of the closet as a lesbian when I was 21, a very long time ago. What you don’t know is that I was first told I was DID or had multiple personalities back when I was 28, and I am just coming out about it now. I’ve probably known longer than that because I have always had an alter ego named Mikey with me. I have spent my entire life learning to cover for these personalities, taking the blame for rage, being thought of as stupid for forgetting important things or not being able to do word problems in math, being thought of as a daydreamer because I lose connection to reality and stare into space, being diagnosed as bipolar and borderline personality disorder, and lying to cover things my alters did. I do suffer from depression. It would be weird to grow up in the environment I did and not be depressed.

I am a ham. I am a ham because I like attention. I am starved for attention. I grew up starved for attention. The attention I did get was negative. I have sought out negative attention because it is what I know. It is not right that I have done so. It has been suggested that I am only saying I am DID to get attention. It has been said this is me crying wolf. It has been suggested that my suicidal depressions have been me crying wolf.

None of that is true. I have covered up my DID for a long time, at least since I was a child. I have kept, and do keep, my feelings of watching myself from a distance to myself. I got carried away when I finally put a name on this thing, when I finally listened to a therapist who caught me in a dissociative state, and allowed myself to admit what I knew was true. I posted things on Facebook and MySpace that I shouldn’t have. I allowed some of my alters to post things. My alter Mikey, although only 8 is smart like me and has been coconscious with me through all of my education, so he knows almost everything I know. He can’t write an analytical paper or literary criticism, but he has a large vocabulary, as I did at his age, and he sounds good on paper. You wouldn’t think as much of him if you heard him speak, he has a speech problem and talks like a 4 year old. He also has a twin sister who stutters.

My cries for help when I am suicidal are because the last time I actually attempted it, I didn’t call anyone, not even when the attempt failed and I spent an entire day trying to sleep the drugs off and feeling like all I had done was kill a shitload of brain cells. I ask for help now. I’ve been taught in therapy to reach out, ask for help, say something, don’t let it stew in my head, making the plans, writing all of the good-bye letters, let it out. So I let it out. I go to friends, I go to hospitals, I call hotlines, I reach out! I am not crying wolf. Yes, my feelings of suicide come and go, but they are present way more than most people know. I don’t always feel that the feelings are getting the better of me. This coming month is the 5 year anniversary of my brother’s suicide. I am feeling a lot of different feelings about that, suicidal, worried, confused, angry, and lost. I am trying to hang on to a few really good things, like “Buddy’s Day” when I get to bring friends with me to the park in Long Beach and help homeless people, my best friends, Peggy and Susan, are both celebrating good things; Peggy’s 5 year anniversary of being married to a great guy is coming up and Susan is 5 years cancer free in April. These are the things that keep my mind off wanting to kill myself to silence the alters who all want to share every last awful memory with me now that I am acknowledging their presence.

I am DID. I have “people” in my head. They all came into being to help me survive things no child should have to survive. I lived through things that I have never shared outside of therapy. Even my partner of 8 ½ years doesn’t know all of it, because telling her everything might make her hate me or my family. It might make her hate my family. I wanted her to dislike them the way I did, but it didn’t seem fair for her to dislike them for the things that happened so long ago. I had to cover up a lot of behaviors to make sure she didn’t know the real truth about me. She knew I was a shoplifter, but she didn’t know it was Mikey who liked to steal things. She knew I had rage, which I let her think was the bipolar disorder, and not that it was MJ who was raging. I did a lot of taking the blame for things that I couldn’t even remember doing.

I have lied for years about how much time I lose and how much I don’t know. I lost time a lot as a child; as a matter of fact I don’t remember a whole lot of my childhood. I have some of the memories, and they aren’t all good, but if what I recall is bad, how bad must have been the things that my alters have held back from me? If I am ever talking to you, and unfortunately I do talk to or at people and not with them, and I don’t suddenly seem to know what we were talking about, that is because I dissociated. It happens.

I’m not going to say I am not a liar; I have lied about a lot of things, mostly to cover up my condition. I have also lied about experiences, or should I say they have lied, they have their own lives that I didn’t live, that they only lived in my head. It is the fact that I did not let my imagination die that has allowed my mind to create these people who have whole lives of their own. Lucky me!

I am more than myself; I am “we.” “We” are a team, just forming to become a unified Maureen who can solve her own problems and take care of herself. Something I have done few times in my life. I have never been fully self-supporting monetarily. I have never lived without family or a roommate or partner. Our goal for me is to get to a place where I can take care of me. It might take all of my inner people to care for me, but at least it will all come from inside me.

I’d like to introduce a few of my alters to you: Mikey, age 8, always present; MJ (Mathias James), don’t call him that, age not determined at this point, my anger, my protector, full of rage, especially road rage; Annette, age 25, self-confident, does job interviews, is out when I am feeling good and grown up; Sian Barbara, age not yet determined, comforter, self soother; Gregory, 17, laid back, he drives when I am unable or too anxious; Reeny, age 8, Mikey’s twin, stutters, is very shy; Patti, knows all of the math stuff I don’t know; and Jolene, age 55, southern feisty women.
I still don’t know about all of them, it comes out a little at a time in therapy. I know they are in my head, but they have been “in hiding” for so very long that they are slow to come forward. There are actually more alters who are waiting in the wings to come forward and tell their story.

I will talk about having alters and bad memories. I will talk about having PTSD, but I don’t usually talk much about the things that actually happened to me because I feel guilty for not being better at protecting myself. I feel guilty for not telling my parents when it was happening. I listened to the threats and thought they were real. I am still afraid to tell all of it to anyone. I am glad I have other “people” to hold some of the memories. What I remember is bad enough.

I have always answered to Maureen, and we will continue to answer to that. My name is Maureen. I am a 49 year old woman. I have some other “people” in my head and they are different ages. I am not them, although they are part of me. I am still the same person all of my friends have known, but now I am coming out about all of the pieces that make up this person named Maureen. I have been losing friends and it isn’t fun. You think people care about you, but then you say something unpopular about yourself and it drives people away. I’m sorry my friends have trouble accepting this thing about me, but if they chose to let me go because they are finding out now something that has always been, well that is their loss.

I talk too much. I cross boundaries. I fuck up a lot. But I also am very giving, loving, understanding, and warm. I have been a terrible listener, but I am working on that.

I am hoping maybe some people understand me better now, but if they don’t, oh well.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

conspiracy theory

I had a realization tonight, and it might sound kind of weird, but I am proud of the things my mind did to survive the hell my life was with the boys and men around me as a child. Maybe it’s wrong to be proud my mind splintered into pieces, but the alternative might have been much worse! I am still me, and I am a bit more. I feel like Humpty-freaking-Dumpty, except I have hope for getting put back together again. The mind is an incredible thing, to think of ways to survive horrors. Probably having a great imagination as a child is what saved me. I was able to create “people” to take what I could not. And the coolest thing about the mind is that I did this incredible thing without knowing it. I managed to live into my thirties really before I knew that I was probably not alone in my head.
Now there’s a cover up and conspiracy for you, my mind hid itself from me in a way. So here are all of these people cropping up in my head, and they mostly know each other, but they totally keep themselves a secret from me. I did have Mikey, but I always thought he was like a mask I put on or an imaginary playmate that just never grew up and never went away. Major cover up, they kept things from me, still do. I am not even allowed to start asking them about memories I don’t have yet. I would love to fill in the blanks, but noooo, that’s not part of the plan. So now I have my alters and my therapist in a conspiracy to keep me from filling those gaps. I’m also realizing I am missing a lot more time than I thought. I don’t share family memories. I find many of the events my family recalls are things I saw only as dreams. I never guessed until when I was around 32 that my therapist at the time suggested I might be dissociative.
I really want to write more about this, but I can’t right now, others are asking for body time and I need to rest my eyes. I think I’ve been in front of this screen more than two thirds of my waking day.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Autobiography of sorts

Life Just Kept on Walking
Our autobiography is to be about our movement, geographically, emotionally or educationally. I am not sure where mine is going at this point. I am unsure what I want to share. If I tell the truth, the whole truth, it becomes something unbelievable for most people. Suffice it to say I am torn between telling it as it was, or as I wanted it to be. Or maybe I just want to put in the few good memories and leave it at that. I do not want to shock anyone with the horrors of my childhood, but I want to be honest. Being honest may mean being harsh and shocking. My life reads like bad fiction. I walked through much of my life wearing labels other people put on me. Later in my story I will address this label issue. For now I think I will leave out the goriest details and just put in the moments that had the biggest impact on me.
First Memory
My earliest memory is riding in the back seat of our family's car and noticing the appearance of my leg changed if I lifted it off the seat. I kept lifting it and setting it down again, thin, fat, thin, fat again. I was intrigued. I do not know how old I was, but my foot barely extended past the seat bottom, so I was fairly small. I am alone in this memory, as I seem to be in most of the memories prior to my family going through divorce when I was eight years old. It is one of the few positive memories I have before my parents divorced when I was eight.
We lived in the sleepy little town of Whittier, California. My mother has attended college at a small Quaker college in Richmond Indiana, which just so happened to be the sister school of Whittier College. She had a professor who always talked of Whittier with great fondness and all of her school friends wished he would just move back there. Never did it occur to her that Whittier would one day be her home.
I did something that surprised my mother when I was about 4 years old; I began to read. I read labels at the grocery store. I read the simple books I had. Mother thought I had memorized the books and chalked the label reading up to the pictures on the cans. But when she brought home a book I had not yet read, or had read to me, I was able to read most of the words in it. No one told me that I had done something spectacular in teaching myself to read, they never really said much about it at all. The opposite was true in our home. I was treated as if I was stupid and frequently called "stupid" or "idiot" by my parents. By the time I started Kindergarten my brother was studying cursive writing, and I began to imitate him. So the first time I was asked to put my name on a paper at school, I wrote it in cursive. Again, no one seemed to think this was unusual. However, I began to know I was doing something different because my friends could not read or write. It would be many years before I truly knew I was not stupid. I wrote this poem because of the label my family put on me. It is my voice and the voice of many others.
LABELS

You called me STUPID,
And I believed,
I called me SMART,
And I achieved.

You called me DYKE,
Like I was dirt,
I called me LESBIAN,
It didn't hurt.

You called me OLD,
All used up,
I called me YOUNG,
I'm just a pup.

You called me GREASER,
No good and lazy,
I called me LATINA,
Worked like crazy.

You called me NIGGER,
Good for nothing,
I called me BLACK,
Now I'm really something.

You called me KIKE,
Christ killer and cheap,
I called me JEW,
My pride to keep.

You called me INJUN,
Drunken red face,
I called me NATIVE,
I was here in the first place.

You called me FAG,
A person to bash,
I called me GAY,
Your labels I smash.

You called me STRANGE,
Twisted and bent,
I called me NORMAL,
Just a little different.

You called me by LABELS
That made me want to hide,
I called me by LABELS
That I could wear with pride.

You called me a NOTHING,
What could I do?
I call me a PERSON,
Just like you.

I loved to read. The first book that I fell in love with was Harold and the Purple Crayon. It was a marvelous story of a little boy who drew adventures with his purple crayon and then lived in those adventures. He became part of what he had drawn. It was a while before I understood it was his imagination that he was living in. I would draw in hopes of somehow getting into my drawings like he did. Harold was my hero and purple was his color. To this day purple is my favorite color. The other book I loved the most as a child was Where the Wild Things Are. I loved stories where children went away from the real world and had adventures. I was living in a not so wonderful family and longed for escape, which I found in the books I read. I loved The Owl and The Pussycat. I loved to look into the drawings in picture books and see myself in them. I wanted to be free, and in reading I was; free of the dramatic rescues of a mother who tried to kill herself, free of the males who hurt me, hit me, free of the other children who taunted me for wearing glasses and being “weird.” I honestly don’t know what weird or different is to a 5 year old. It was as though they could see through me to the abused, broken child I kept hidden inside.
First Grade
I had the coolest teacher for first grade, Mrs. Schubert. She was wonderful. She helped me adjust to the discovery that I needed glasses. The discovery was actually quite startling for me. A note was sent to my parents spelling out that I was more than likely going to have trouble learning to read. Now they knew I could already read so they blew it off. Two weeks later they did routine eye screening; the woman gave me a Dixie cup and told me to cover my right eye and read the chart. My response was, “What chart?” A letter went home immediately telling my parents I am legally blind in one eye; reading ability no longer in question. She made me feel special about wearing the glasses, so I didn't feel like a geek. In the middle of that year her husband accepted a job in another state, and she left me. I was devastated. This is my poem about it.

Mother’s Day
As I sat in my first grade class
waiting for the time to pass,
I twiddled my thumbs and twirled my hair;
for the assignment of math, I didn’t care.

My beloved teacher had moved away.
How much that hurt I wouldn’t say.
Mrs. Schubert was gone, Miss Boils in her place.
The first one was kind, this one a rat face.
It was my job to drive her berserk;
from the day she arrived I refused to work.

The time for math over, now time for fun,
I wasn’t allowed, my math wasn’t done.
We were to make gifts for Mother’s Day.
I sat with my math, not allowed to play.

Colored popcorn and beans on a paper plate,
That I wasn’t included filled me with hate.
I sat alone facing her wrath.
I wouldn’t give in, I would do no math.

Everyone left carrying their prize,
I walked home with down turned eyes.
Looking down I found a wondrous thing;
I discovered a butterfly wing.
Oh, it was a beauty to behold
the delicate wing of black and gold.
My face lit up; the day wasn’t black.

Over the years, and looking back
on the gift I gave that day to my mother,
it’s the one she remembers above any other.


Christmas A. D. (After Divorce)
The year my parents divorced I was eight years old. We moved, not once but twice in that year. We settled in an apartment in La Mirada, right on the line between La Mirada and Whittier. We were within walking distance of the home I had lived in the first eight years of my life. Money was tight, very tight. Mom had almost no money and it was getting close to Christmas. She sat us, my older brother and I, down for a heart to heart about what to expect at Christmas time. We were both past the age of believing in Santa. She was frank with us. We were not going to have a tree. There would be no presents. She would save what she could to make a nice holiday dinner for us. It was going to be a really poor Christmas. She was so depressed and she cried as she told us all of this. I, being the one who assumed the role of "fixer" in our family, decided I would have to do something to fix it for her.
We lived in an apartment on a street behind a Vons grocery store. They had their Christmas trees out the day after Thanksgiving. I went there to play in the trees, to pretend one was mine, all decorated and pretty. As I was playing there for the umpteenth time, I spotted this spindly little tree about my height. It had very sparse needles and it was kind of light green, not the rich green of a Plantation Douglas fir. I was reminded of the forlorn little tree in the Charlie Brown Christmas Story. I stopped to read the price tag. If I could afford this tree, I would help mom and make the tree not so lonely. It was only 75 cents, but for me it might as well have been $75. However, I decided I was going to try to get that tree. I hoped that being so sparse and all no one would want to buy it before I could gather that much money. The man in charge of selling the trees, or guarding them or whatever his job was, allowed me to put the tree way in the back, shielded by other trees.
I enlisted my brother's help. Asking him for help was not easy. I never knew if he would be nice or mean. He was nice this time. We began to scrounge through the dumpsters behind our apartments looking for returnable bottles. All pop bottles were returnable back then. Small bottles were a nickel, bigger ones a dime. We found some, but not enough. We got into mom's closet and looked through the bottoms of her old purses, where we found a few more pennies. We started expanding our dumpster search. He boosted me over the side and I would dig through the yucky trash looking for those bottles. It took us almost a week, but we came up with the 75 cents we needed. The tree was still there last I had checked, and I checked twice a day at least.
Mom must have known we were up to something because when we asked her if she needed anything from the store, she sent us after something cheap she didn’t really need. We ran off to the store. Mom was home watching TV. The tree was right where it had been all along. We paid the man and started carrying it home. Mom says she heard us giggling as we climbed the stairs to our apartment. We set the tree down in front of the door, knocked and hid behind the air conditioner.
Mom was flabbergasted. She cried. She couldn't think of what to say. She put her arms around us both and cried some more. I felt warm inside. Mom was happy and I hadn't seen her happy in a very long time.
Something in Mom changed at that moment. She went out and took out a loan against our home furnishings to make sure we had gifts that year. Our little tree dried up and died before Christmas; Mom replaced it with a larger, greener one. I was grateful for the gifts I got that year, though I cannot remember one thing I got. I only remember the gift I gave. It was year I learned that giving was the real gift at Christmas time.
Sixth grade
I moved in with my father, and for the 5th time in 4 years, I changed schools. At my new school there was a student teacher who read to us the book Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He made it come alive for me. He pointed out the symbolism and forever changed the way I read anything. I began to look for meanings beyond the words. But even more than that, he introduced me to Richard Bach, a writer and philosopher who has changed the way I see the world. I was very fond of the man, whose name I still remember, Mr. Dzerzhinsky (I am unsure of the spelling, but we all called my Mr. "D" anyway.). The day he was leaving for good I cried and cried. My friends all thought I had a crush on him, but I did not, I simply admired him and felt close to him in a father daughter kind of way. I was afraid to go see him while I was crying but my friends urged me on. So I went to him and as I got angry with myself for not being able to speak to him without crying, he spoke softly to me and said, "Remember this, it is better to feel things and feel them deeply than to never feel at all." I have never forgotten that and I have learned to forgive the tears I cannot always control. He changed my life forever.
High school
I actually got to go to three years of high school at one school. That was the record for me until college, three consecutive years at one school. So I started ninth grade, a geek, or a freak depending on who you asked. I was definitely not one of the "In Crowd." I had to ride a bus to school in Pomona; we lived in Diamond Bar at the time. At the bus stop there was a girl, a geek like me. She didn't wear the cool clothes. Her hair was pulled into to pony tails at the sides of her head. He hair was blond and her eyes a piercing blue. She had a full woman's figure, with hips and curves. I couldn't keep my eyes off her. I was shy, but in time we became buddies, sitting together on the bus every morning and every afternoon.
Over the course of a few months we got to be best friends. I was smitten with her. I was just beginning to understand the feelings that had made me feel so different from my school-mates all through the years of puberty. I was just learning about lesbianism and I knew it was finally a label that fit me. I was in love with, or had a major crush on my best friend.
There was an afternoon when we were hanging out in my room. We were listening to Neil Diamond. I leaned over and kissed her softly on the cheek. She turned to face me and I kissed her mouth. My heart was beating a mile a minute. I felt like I was going to fly into bits. I thought she would push me away, but she kissed me back, for a moment, and then the moment was gone. She said she couldn’t do “that” again, explaining that she had already had a lesbian experience and the guilt over it had eaten at her, so she just could never do it again. She was my first friend in a long time; I do mean close friend. She was the first person outside my family, and therefore required to, hug me. We so close through most of the three years I was at that school that my fantasy of her being in love with me almost became real to me. We never kissed again, but the kisses in my fantasies, wow, those kisses were dyn-o-mite. I mention her here not only to tell you of my being a lesbian, but also because Meri Lou, that was her name, was the first person to tell me I was smart. She encouraged me to excel in school. She got me into deep discussions about books we had read. She challenged me to be the "A" student I could be. I was still attached to the label of "stupid" my family had given me, but I think I began in that time to shrink that label if not yet to discard it.
It was in these, my teen years, that I also began to show signs of what would many years later be diagnosed as bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues. I had some rather spectacular psychotic breaks, one very memorable one at school. I don't know what spurred it, a whole chunk of time is missing and I was suddenly throwing my book bag at a boy's head and screaming at him that all men were disgusting and stupid. Then I started roaming the halls trying to find Meri Lou. I knew I would be okay, I could calm down, if only she were there. A campus proctor tried to grab me, but I pulled myself loose and kept moving. It eventually took two proctors to rein me in and get me to the Vice Principal's office. The school psychologist was called in. The nurse was there. They got out of my rantings and ravings about men and school, and whatever else I was ranting about, that I wanted Meri Lou. They got her from her class. We were allowed to go into the nurse's office and there she held me until I could calm down. My father was called and I was taken home. My father's reaction was not one of understanding, but of threats as to what might be my punishment should I ever "pull any crap like that again!" There were to be many more outbursts of that nature, and with them many depressions, with a few suicide attempts thrown in here and there. Neither of my parents, or anyone for that matter, ever tried to find out why I was having such outbursts and depressions. I was 35 before I was diagnosed and treated with medication. To give my mother credit she knew I was troubled back when I was 8 or so, and took me to see a therapist. The therapist kind of traumatized me by exposing her crotch to me. I was fascinated seeing a grown woman’s private pats and also so freaked out I puked on the way home.
My mental illness kept me from completing my education in a timely manner. It is still a factor. I have been going to college off and on since 1980. I took 3 years of Theatre classes and went out into the world to work as a stagehand. I have one AA degree that I got in 1995 with highest honors. I applied to Whittier College and was accepted, but could not afford the tuition because I had defaulted on an old student loan. I stuck around community college a while longer while I rehabilitated that loan then applied to California State University Fullerton and started attending classes there. My mental health became an issue as I tried to balance a relationship, a job, and school. I screwed up my GPA and dropped out of school to keep my job and relationship. I was blessed to have a very understanding and loving partner. My mental health was an issue in the relationship as well. At CSUF in my poetry writing class I wrote two sonnets, or attempted to; this is one:

Sonnet of the Mentally Ill

You know what it’s like to live in my head?
Connections aren’t made like they are for you.
More often than not you wish you were dead.
It’s hard keeping straight what’s what and who’s who.

Important things get lost in the jumble.
The pill drill can help, though not all the time.
Frustration at this can make you mumble,
But take them you must, or walls you will climb.

Some days it’s hard not to sink through the floor,
With mangled thoughts and twisted perception,
I don’t want to feel this way anymore.
Shrinks say they cure; what cunning deception.

Counseling may help, and the drugs do too,
But all said and done, I’d rather be you.

1998


The Chemistry Game

My brain chemistry
Plays games with me.
Day after day,
Level I can stay.
But one tiny bump,
Comes to my throat a big lump.
As I Choke on the rage
Too varied to gauge,
I fly off the handle,
And Flare up like a candle.
Then suddenly it drops,
The mania stops.
Falling out of control
Deep into a hole.
Passing ground zero,
No longer the hero.
Deep into the pit.
I’m tired of this shit!
My brain chemistry
Plays games with me.
We never have fun,
It’s a loaded gun,
Pointed at my head,
One slip and I’m dead.

2003

I wrote this one while staying in a mental health unit trying to get through a deep depression.

The Pillity Pop!

I've got lots of questions,
please don't tell me lies.
What happens inside me
when sanity dies?

Chemicals, Shmemicals,
how hard can it be,
Pillity, Poppity,
to find the right key?

What makes me so different?
Don't pretend its not so,
my pistons aren't firing
all in a row.

Chemicals, Shmemicals,
what kind of a mix,
Pillity, Poppity,
my brain it might fix?

How is it possible,
how can it be,
that taking a drug,
makes me more me?

Chemicals, Schmemicals
take this one to see,
Pillity, Poppity,
some semblance of me.

What can I tell you
I don't make the rules?
If this isn't real,
the doctors are fools.

Chemicals, Schmemicals,
I take a bite here,
Pillity, Poppity,
I'm shrinking, I fear.


Where did she come from,
my strange, evil twin?
Who opened the door
that let her walk in?

Chemicals, Schmemicals,
what else can I try,
Pillity, Poppity,
to make the twin die?



All of that doesn't matter,
what matters is this,
I act like I should,
if a dose I don't miss.

Chemicals, Schmemicals,
take them I must,
Pillity, Poppity,
or my sanity's dust.

2001

In 1996 I was first treated for depression and later for bipolar disorder. It was a memorable year in other ways too. I found what I thought was to be my soul-mate; I found the woman with whom I intended to spend the rest of my days. She is the most patient, understanding, loving, giving human being I have ever known; we are still good friends. Her life experience is not at all like mine and yet when we were together we fit together like a hand in a glove; or at least I thought we did. The trouble with emotional illnesses is that our perceptions are not the same as those of other people. I have written many poems to her and about her, but this one I think says more about what her love did in my life than anything else I could say.
All my love

All my love packed away in little boxes.
Saved for one day when Ms. Right would come along.
Stored unused, dusty, yellowed with age,
They sat so very long waiting for the "one."
Rusted to each other, pieces large and small, from the damp,
Dampness of tears shed over love that came and went,
Stunted in growth from lack of light and air.

All my love packed away in little boxes.
Dragged out and dumped at your feet,
Smelling of mildew, and mold, in damaged boxes.
Given to you in one big heap,
For you to sort through, looking for the salvageable;
You, Ms. Right, receiver of half-forgotten bits of love,
Must somehow breathe new life into the dying love.

All my love packed away in little boxes,
Labeled, "father," "mother," "brother," etc.
The box labeled, "lover," far, far back on the shelf.
Boxes long ago given up on, never filling, always draining.
Convinced was I, that I would never use them again.

All my love packed away in little boxes.
You opened each one to see what it contained.
Handled each fragile bit with care,
Examined them in the light of your love,
Tossed out what was broken beyond repair,
Repaired all that you could with love of your own.
And after all you set aside as garbage,
I still need bigger boxes to hold all my love again.


I am still on my journey of love, of discovery, of education. In 2004 I was attending Cerritos College to pull up my GPA. I applied to CSUF and CSUDH. My wonderful partner that I thought I could not live without broke up with me. I had to move into my mother’s apartment. CSUF turned me down, telling me to keep going to the CC and pull the GPA up a little more, CSUDH said if I finished the classes I was in with Cs or better, I was in. I went to CSUDH the following Spring. I was determined to get my BA. I was told I would never finish it, but I did, straight through; even enduring the suicide of my younger brother during my first semester there.
I thought I wanted a teaching credential, but schools are laying teachers off. There are no jobs in teaching. I tried my hand at Management in graduate school, but I hated it and I knew I would never make it in management. I lost the job that I wanted the management degree for anyway. For once I did not lose the job over the economy or my mental health. I simply blew it and made a serious safety error that got me fired.
I’ve been told I can write. I have been given a gift. I love to put words on paper; stories, poems, creative non-fiction, essays, pretty much any opportunity to string together words in order to convey feeling. I have had not one, not two, but four creative writing instructors tell me I should pursue my talent by getting an MFA in creative writing. But I’ve always asked myself what in the hell could I do with that degree. The funny thing is I have told many, many people to do what they love and the money will follow. I love to write more than I love to read, and I never thought that was possible. Where the road will take me now is anyone's guess, but I am applying to an MFA creative writing program. When I get that degree I will figure out how to make it into a living.
My mental health is still a concern. I am still adjusting my meds. I have been given a diagnosis that makes perfect sense if you knew my whole story. It makes perfect sense if you know that from time to time I come to behind the wheel of the car not knowing where I am or where I am going. I have missing memories of most of my childhood. I have a lot of missing memories from my teens. I lose time here and there regularly. One minute I know where I am in a conversation and what seems like moments later is much later and I have no idea what I’ve said or if I have offended anyone. I use humor a lot to mask my fear. Did I mention I am afraid of everything? Some of my fears have no basis in anything, like being afraid I’ll skewer my eyeball on a straw by accident, or worse on purpose.
I know where I want to go, I want to be published and I want to teach community college. This time I can see myself getting there. Visualization is one of my favorite tools for learning. I visualize where I want to be, or how I want to be, or what I want to come into my life, and by repeated visualizations, I make those things come true. I love to use visualization, but for some reason I have drifted away from it. Perhaps because I can’t get my mind to be quiet, there are all of these alternate personalities trying to tell me their stories and share their memories. I don’t want these memories and stories. I don’t want to be DID. I don’t want to be sicker than I have to be.
When I do visualize I do the footwork, don't get me wrong; I don't expect magik to make my life better without getting off my ass and moving myself along my chosen path. The road doesn't move, so I have to! I will leave you with this thought:
Out of breath,
running just to keep up.
Fear like lead weights
holding down my feet.
Each stride, each step,
monumental effort.
Hills too steep,
climbing and stumbling
I fall further behind.
Another hurdle,
I trip and fall,
pick myself up,
start running again.
Worn out shoes,
blistered feet,
I want to stop,
just stop and rest.
Huffing and puffing,
I cry out,
Wait up!
No dice, no slowing,
Life just kept on walking.