Where I live
There is a psychology term I stumbled upon recently called Fugue State.
Fugue State can present itself in children experiencing extreme trauma. It is a clever mind trick that can disassociate the child from their environment when their environment is too stressful to endure.
All these years I had believed I was born and raised in the State of New York and could not figure out why the only thing I remember is my address.
It all makes sense now.
I have no futher details to share.
Life Fucks Us All
Q: Why does no one die a virgin?
A: Because life fucks us all
When I was four, my mother died.
She “committed suicide.”
I found the note in her pocket.
I don’t remember what it says anymore,
Even though I used to read the words over and over until tears smudged the page.
I had to turn it in to the police
Ten years later, it suddenly became evidence.
Evidence of my father’s guilt.
When I was five,
my father sold me.
He didn’t need the money.
He wanted me out.
He wanted me gone.
So he dumped me in a place where
Rough hands won’t let you go.
I watched everyone I love be torn away from me.
They wouldn’t let me have friends.
My purpose was to be a toy.
And so I was.
When I was eight, I escaped.
I don’t know how.
I just knew that I had to get out.
So I did.
I found a family
kind enough to take me in.
His name was Frank.
His wife’s name was either Deborah or Wendy.
They were in their sixties, but not yet retired.
In between work breaks, Frank took every opportunity to remind me
That I lacked what he had
And I would never be a real man.
When I was eight, I went to school.
I was behind in everything,
But it didn’t matter.
Because I met a girl.
She helped me.
Some days I wonder if she used me,
Taking in the new kid as a charity project,
Or, just like everyone else, using me for my body.
When I was eleven, I found my way back to my dad.
Because I thought anything he did to me would be
Better than foster care.
When I was thirteen,
I met another person,
who wasn’t quite a girl or a boy.
And they still keep helping me.
When I was fifteen,
I found a better family,
and tried to spend as much time with them as possible.
My dad was arrested for the first time,
and I dared to think that I might be okay.
But he got bailed.
And I was back with him.
When I was sixteen, me and my friend
devised a plan
to free me
from the slap of a belt.
They got it on video.
And we finally had a case.
And when I told them about my suspicions,
That Dad had murdered Mom,
And I showed them the note,
They finally convicted.
No chance of parole.
And the family I always longed for
I am now a part of.
When I was a kid,
Life fucked me.
And I couldn’t wait for death.
But now I think
I can be okay.
Even with the nightmares
That keep me up at night
Because I have someone by my side
Who helps me through my fright.
was what our teacher shouted, when we were 7
all in the room gulp, everyone quietens
we weren’t princes and princesses, it was apparent
was what filled the room, during our first exam
sweat trickles down our foreheads, hands tremble in fear
the clock ticks, everyone as quiet as lambs
was something at 10 we couldn’t quite understand
we listen to the books, to the papers, to the adults
around our throats, a hand tightly grips
was what came, receiving those papers marking you as a failure
"it’s not all about the grades, mom. that’s not the only thing that matters right?"
they see the number, they frown, they put you through more torture
as concepts are explained, we absorb them like sponges
no questions, no doubts, no debates
just pack up afterwards and go for your lunch
was something at 12, we begin to comprehend
we don’t talk back, we don’t get a say
we listen to their every command
was something we were taught, from the very start
the syllabus goes on, colour seeps through the cracks
suffocated by words, dreams no longer set us apart
and the rainbow veil of hope, now a grey tattered cloth
Shh, she’s coming. Quick, back to your seats...
Hunched over the scale like it’s a shrine,
My weight is the only God I’ve ever known
the plastic tube
where hateful words were scrawled in black sharpie
and elementary kids crowded around to
learn some new words
and giggle about the blasphemy.
his name was Joshua,
although you didn't know that yet.
you knew him by some other names,
Ethan and Rowan, for example.
he had tormented you for a few years
and you couldn't wait for fifth grade
because then he'd be in a different school.
in fact, he leaves in the middle of fourth grade
it's only partially your fault.
he was different from the other bullies,
because he didn't hurt you with words.
he attacked, he pushed you down,
made your elbows and knees bleed.
but you didn't care.
you didn't care.
you let it all wash away,
ignoring it like your Mama told you.
but then came The Day Of The Green Tube,
where you hid.
you curled against the side,
refusing to leave.
he would find you.
he always finds you.
even when you're not in school,
he haunts your neighborhood,
a malevolent ghost.
he will find you this time too,
drag you out of the tube by your foot,
and in the middle of biting winter,
he pulls your boot off
and throws it at your face.
the snow cakes to your skin,
the boot presses into your flesh,
and all that carefully crafted numbness
and for the first time since his torment started,
you tried so hard to stifle your tears,
refusing to show weakness,
the way you were taught:
Don't Be A Crybaby.
he acted shocked.
he said that it was the first time he saw you cry.
and that was true,
because no matter how hard he hit,
you laughed it off.
but not this time.
this time, you sobbed.
the charade was over.
yet you took his words as a compliment.
how fucking stupid.
why do you let his words warm your heart?
he does not deserve it.
he said that it was the first time you cried.
that he had never seen that before,
and you took that to mean
that you weren't weak.
you weren't a crybaby.
and between insults on the bus and crushing inner voices,
you were so thirsty for praise that
even his mocking words
seemed like the truest compliments.
and so, with tears drying on your face,
freezing in the winter air,
you felt good.
you enjoyed the pain.
because you succeeded.
you hid the pain.
and even though you reached your breaking point, it was okay.
and so you laughed with frozen tears and frozen mind
as you chased him down to get your shoe back,
one sock soggy with melting snow.
he finally gave it back.
all's well that ends well.
Secrets to My Little Soul
You are such a sweet and kind little thing. Yes, little. In fact, as I write to you at age 43, I weigh less little I did when I was in college; and I’m now taking much better care of myself. You will forever get picked on for being “skinny”, so don’t worry about that, for goodness sake. I know that’s your number one concern, at age 7. In fact, don’t worry at all. I do it now, and it solves nothing. If you start young, you can start practicing “letting go” and help us both out. As it turns out, aunt Kathy was right, even though you hated hearing it, “Life isn’t fair”. In fact, all the name calling and self-serving cruelty of children will be found in many adults.
Because, Secret #1) Many People Never Grow Up:
They take their experiences and the perspectives conceived by them; and carry both into the future like a little kid skipping down the lane books hanging in a satchel, tied to a branch. There is also an invisible satchel, however, and in it lies all the mental and emotional impressions seductively whispering to us; visions of who we are thus far. Many people coddle and store these impressions as though they were a fine wine; our essence distilled by wishes...and vanity. Yet, all too often the visions we create are poison in colorful bottles, they are irresistible. They inebriate us from sound decision, they discourage honest reflection and dissuade us from the most necessary changes. We grab at these bottles when we are children, not knowing the difference between the wholesome and the empty; but they grow into adult behaviors, often in the form of addiction. Whether to something tangible or simply an idea, it interferes with the growing up unless the poisons are discovered, and then drank little by little, as if creating an antidote, until finally, some people are able to digest them. It is then they are finally free of the invisible satchel, and lighten the other, only taking the knowledge from the books, and leaving both nearly empty, for new experiences and treasures to fill both. Those that don’t, become burdened and tired, angry and sad, and live a nightmare until death wakes them.
Secret #2) Boys and Alcohol both will Hurt You:
Your thinness will always cause women to dislike you and will not be sexually attractive in a world full off T and A, (Believe me, it gets worse)...so you will use alcohol to give you false courage and allow males to give you false hope. You will do this with men for around 20 years, and just a little longer with alcohol. Again, help us both out. Don’t. Drink. Ever. You aren’t like the others. In so many ways, my sweet, darling, innocent girl. You are so smart, so unique, and I know, you will always feel alone, so learn to love yourself, now. Growing up, you will hear our culture paints qualities such as “unique” in colors designed to make it seem like the unique person lives an endless day at an amusement park. But the experiences that create the unique individual are often far darker, more disturbing hues.
I know you were sodomized before you taught yourself to read, and just as you will be abused by so many people in your childhood, you will always find a refuge in books. Don’t settle for only being a consumer of books, the forge of your experiences demand that you be a producer of ideas and stories, as well. So keep your journals now. The good, the bad, keep it all. Great writing rarely comes from great times. Don’t lose your journal when you go to NYC in the early 2000′s and live on the carnival-like streets for 3 months. That journal will document far more haunted houses than fun houses, but losing this record will be like losing a friend that helped you through one of the trials of your life.
Yes, Sweetie, that will happen. Do you see the severity of the situation, yet? This three-month-long journey is the second you have taken at this point. The first was across country. That was when Grandpa died and you followed Further and Phish. The second was when your first love who was actually a sociopathic drug addict, broke your heart. You will also go twice to AZ with no real plan, to a beautiful place named Sedona. The last trip will almost work. However, Sedona will have changed, and you will still be drinking, so the decisions wont be clear and firm because you were will be so lost and will not see the opportunities, due to your foggy lenses.
But now, well, those masks that freaked you out in that comic? The ones worn in what you later figured out was a dark joke re nuclear war, well similar ones are required to go into stores now. Or you could get sick, or get others sick, and so many are dying. So you were right to be freaked out by that comic and you were right about something like this going down in your lifetime, but being right only means one thing...you should write more. So that you will not go through life feeIing like Cassandra, the unheeded prophetess, but being heard, like a Tall and Confident Oracle. Your voice is tiny but it is worthy. It took a little girl to teach the whole world that, when she embarks on a journey to save the environment. So, use your voice, because those boys will make you feel so unimportant, and you will let them, always holding an ember of hope that the next one will be different.
Little one, it gets really bad. What you allow to be done to you, the shame, the cycling, the increasingly frightening environments, as alcohol is no longer enough to kill the pain. Then the dark hours come. They will wash you out into the cruel sea and you will swim endless hours against riptides before you reach shore again, Your Beautiful Grandma will already be dead, and you will be barely living until it takes two DWIs to wake you up. Then she sends what looks like an Angel to guide you through. And he does, and you guide him. I ask you, have patience with this one more in the beginning. Trust him. Don’t do to him what the world has almost succeeded in doing to you. Because it is by not loving and trusting, but instead listening to your minds’ seditious whispering that will keep your hands grasping at poisons inside that invisible satchel take all your focus, that you put this relationship in a tenuous position, where it constantly feels like it needs saving, almost 8 years later. That brings me to my third and final Secret.
Secret #3) Find Yourself and Dont let Go:
You will not always have your Grandma. Know that, as you read this, that words not yet spoken are already written in a book. A book about living in harmony with yourself and nature, that we wrote. Keep reading the book you own, the one that teaches kids what they can do to save the planet. Then act on it. For you are right in fearing for our animals and plants, and you must start your mission to save them, now. For, as I write this I look back on all the time wasted chasing smoke signals, and you could have been creating your own light, and through that fire, lighting the whole world with the same compassion you hold for its voiceless inhabitants. You, being so brave and surviving so much, it doesn’t end; but the thriving may soon come. And, oh the stories we now have to write.
So, as you don’t recognize yourself as the author, for your name has changed, I know you do resonate with these words. I sent you this book to beg you to follow your own drum and don’t let them crush you. The book is written, but the ink is not yet dried; and in your innocence, you still have the ability to edit and change the path of your narrative. Start meditation, now, and continue not to eat meat. Don’t give in to a time period that does not comprehend you, yet, and perhaps never will. Take those art classes, and become who you are meant to be, instead of consuming knowledge in the form of more schooling only to accumulate debt. You did not have a father to install confidence in you, so you will have to do it yourself. It will make things so much easier. And oh yes, we will still have stories to tell, but in each one, you will be a hero, and never a victim. So, embrace your passions and morals, and inscribe them in your soul; then find out how to live that life. The one where you only have what you need and all you see is love.
P.S. Someone will steal your Curious George doll received from Santa, your 3rd Christmas; from your dorm in your second college. Don’t let them. You’ll miss him, and he goes on so many adventures with you before he goes away. Japan was his favorite. So was your Grammie, who you will hear, calling you, Jenny, once again. later on when you are finally able to hear past this noisy world. Right now, it’s so quiet. We are all, inside. I believe love will win, soon.
Once upon a time, there was a little girl who had huge dreams, bigger than her. She loved the world & everyone in it, until one day. The ones she thought loved her as dearly as she loved them, snapped at her. It was once so to the occassional thought. She soon came to learn they would only grow. Each day as she grew, so did the comments and acts of hate. Her big dreams squashed, shattered by the ones she called mom, dad, sissy, best friend. She was told she would never succeed in life, be a failure. She was told she was fat, ugly, worthless. A mere piece of trash. Thru years of abuse, she prevailed with high hopes of taking the bad an making it good. She thrived to prove them wrong. She did in most ways but the trauma that was inflicted upon her young wishful soul engraved it's name into her & will forever be stained on her sweet, soft, precious mind.