Nothingness

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They come and go

washing over me

and over me

and over me.

Less like a gentle, rolling wave on a bright,cloudless day

and more like those that come with the storm on a dark, ominous night

crashing white and violent into the shore of my mind.

Each time a little clearer

a little bolder

a little louder.

Scaring me.

Pushing me under.

Paralyzing me with each crash.

They attack when my back is turned

as I rush to the shore

but can’t quite escape their wrath.

I cling to all that is good

hoping that will be enough to sustain me

and wait for the waves of thought to subside.

I’ve barely caught my breath

and

they

are

here

again.

I’m at their mercy once again and

hating that I have no control.

I hope that they do not take me over

because I do not know what would happen.

But, I do know what would happen,

and that is what scares me most.

I would cease to exist,

overtaken by the wave

at the mercy of its power and persistence.

No longer here nor there

but rather washed away at sea.

 

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In Flux

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I both feel everything and nothing at all. It is as if my soul, my very essence of being has retracted into the darkest depths of my existence, and I am no longer privy to its presence.

I both feel numb and emotional. Each day I know that surely I won’t be able to experience any more emotion, yet I have experienced so much that I have fulfilled my own prophecy. It was as if I felt everything all at once, then nothing at all.

I both feel secure and in flux. Everything and nothing has changed. I am a new person and my old self. I am here and there. I am. I am. I am.

I both feel awakened and exhausted. I am challenged and am growing, and I have grown into an exhaustion that seems perpetual. Yet, my soul, it is awakened in its dark place, and I feel more alive through the exhaustion.

I both feel loved and disregarded. She is my light and love. My heart aches for her when she is not here, yet I am sent away by others because of our love. My love lost other loves. I wonder if it all comes out okay in the end.

I both feel confident and anxious. I trust and disclose but not without the fear that always seems to accompany. Anxiety has become my companion and joins me in my confidence and trust. It hinders self-disclosure and protects me as I grow in confidence and vulnerability.

 

The Roles I Play

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I’m afraid that I have lost myself.

For I play so many roles

that I have forgotten which one came naturally.

For those concerned with my soul:

I am straight.

I am whole.

I am made clean.

I am a Christian through and through.

Church on Sunday,

Small groups,

and lies, lies, lies.

For those concerned with my sexuality: 

I am bisexual so

focus on the part that is heteronormative.

Pretend that I am in a phase,

that my girlfriend is someone to have fun with.

Blame it on her.

I know it’s easier for you to swallow that than the biological truth.

I love both.

Men and women.

For it does not matter to me what gender they are

rather if they are the person I want to be with forever.

Love is love,

but love is not loved.

For those concerned with my mental health:

I will not make you uncomfortable

with talk of anxiety and medication.

I will try to pray it away.

I will exercise more.

I will hand it over to the holy spirit.

I will cease to suffer from this imaginary ailment.

Please, tell me that it doesn’t exist,

for at least you will sleep well at night.

For those concerned about my education:

I know I am not supported by you.

No worries,

this I will figure out on my own.

I will achieve my dream,

and you will take credit.

You will be proud.

It’s not fair to reap the benefits

when you have not provided support in the process.

Tell me I’m wasting my time.

Tell me that psychology isn’t a science.

Then post on Facebook about how proud you are.

I want your friends to think you

have had something to do with my success.

But, it will not be you I thank.

For those concerned with my age:

Talk to my mom.

I am

whole

and broken. 

Determined 

and wavering. 

Confident

and anxious. 

Spiritual 

and not Christian. 

Loved

and not straight. 

Supported

and not accepted. 

I am living as I know how, 

and I no longer wish to play a role for you. 

 

 

Vulnerability

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Vulnerability is not my strong suit. In fact, I avoid vulnerability and the accompanying negative emotions and feelings of weakness at all costs. Even at the cost of my mental health.

A lack of vulnerability has allowed my past to get a firm grip on my life and to settle in for the long haul. I have never told a single person what happened within those four walls. Not a single person. In seven years I have never spoken the truth aloud. This has allowed it to grow and fester within me, affecting the most basic things about myself.

It has affected how I see myself, I how present myself to those around me, and how I behave. I lack the most basic feeling of belongingness. I wonder where I could belong if it was not in my family. I wonder who could love me if my own father didn’t. I wonder who I am supposed to be.

Everyone always told me how strong I was. How my mom needed me to be strong. How my siblings looked up to me because of how strong I was. I took that to heart. I knew I had to be strong to have value. My value was based in my ability to put on a smile and keep going. To keep living life when I had no desire to do anything. I learned to conceal my emotions and to show people what they wanted.

I found that people didn’t want to hear what happened. In fact, I found that people couldn’t even bring themselves to say domestic violence. I saw how uncomfortable it made them. I saw that they only wanted to ask me how I was as long as the answer was that I was good, fine, perfect, never better. They only wanted to see the side of me was okay.

They didn’t want to see a girl who cried herself to sleep every night. They didn’t want to see the girl who fell deeply into feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. They didn’t want to see a girl who questioned love and felt that she didn’t belong. They didn’t want to see a girl who fought with her mother and stopped talking to her father. That’s not what they wanted to see, so they didn’t.

So, I never told anyone. I let those around me hold on to the ideas of me that they wanted to had, and really, that’s how I wanted them to see me. I didn’t want to shatter that perception.

Now, I need someone to know. I need to tell someone what it was like. I need someone to know how it affected me. I just need to be vulnerable, but I don’t know how.

I’m tired is all.

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You ask if I’m okay.

I tell you that I am fine.

You tell me that I am not the same–that I am not even sporting my fake smile today.

And, I know it’s true.

I tell you that I am not feeling that well.

You ask if it’s mental or physical.

I tell you it’s both.

You ask if something has happened.

I tell you no. 

I wish that there were an excuse, I think to myself.

I’m just tired is all.

Extreme exhaustion can feel like depression you say.

Involuntary tears fill my eyes as you turn away. 


What I really wanted to say was yes. Not only has something happened, but everything has happened. And because of it nothing has been the same. Nothing will be the same. I am not the same.

However, I said no. And, no is the right answer. But, I’m still dealing with everything that has happened. You asked me before if it was still too painful. I told you no, but I lied. It is still too painful.

That night wasn’t the end as I said it was. It’s not that simple. Oh, how I wish it were. Because, in reality, it was only the beginning. The beginning of years of hurt. Years of trying to make sense of what was left behind. Years of sifting through the words that were said and the things that were seen. Years of figuring out who I am. Years of reliving moments, moments that time has not seemed to fade.

I so wish that I could let those moments fade away, but I cannot. They are always readily available. And, I get lost. Lost in thought. Lost in what could have been, and lost in what was and is. Knowing that it has made me who I am, but struggling still. Sometimes wishing it had not been and others grateful that it did.

So, I’m fine really.

No, nothing has happened. 

I’m tired is all.