cotton-candy nausea / and paper-shredder hands on mine / i have fought a thousand wars across the lumps and rolls of this skin, you know? / and all it’s left me with / is collateral damage / and wasted hope / because you will try, you will try, you will pour years of your life into the battle / you will kill in its name / but you will never win against yourself / only die in vain / and sometimes, i think about that, you know? / the fact that i am here today / and jesus christ, eleven is far too young to drink up your own pain / but i guess we grew up quickly, didn’t we? / fought for what we thought was ours / and left innocence at the front gate / i stare into the faces of people in clickbait articles / and wonder if that’s gonna be me someday / cause i make myself sick on the bad days / i do it on purpose / because i’m a scared little kid searching for home / because i’m screaming and i’m crying and i’m making demands / i am an absent dad / i am a tired working mom / so i say yes / i do what you say / i let you spin me ’til i’m dizzy / scribble out the scars on my ankles / and scream blue murder when you let go
my bones creak, like weary floorboards of an ancient home. and these things add up, you know–like, what do they say? straw that breaks the camel’s back? i feel kinda stupid, even saying that. ’cause there are so many things in my life i take forgranted, you know?
’cause i’m an ungrateful little kid, i’m arrogant and confused. i talk shit, and blend in, change my opinion to match a room.
and i use the wrong words all the time, when i’m trying to tell you that i’m sorry. sometimes it comes out like static, or a nightmare of wanting. sometimes it rattles my bones.
but i am trying not to let my opinions bake in an oven, and stay that way for the rest of eternity. and i just hope that i do good by the monsters under my bed, because i’ve lost too many years sitting in a graveyard, and watching myself become history from another person’s point of view.
but it’s been a while since it slammed into me, in burning yellow hue. oh you poor little bird. look at you.
In my photography course, we were learning about parallax–how everything looks different depending on what lens you look it. For example, if you close one eye and look through the other, than close that eye and look through the one you just close, you notice the world around you shift, just a little–but if you open both, it kinda meets somewhere in the middle. (I don’t know if this is common knowledge or not, but I just learned it and I think it’s so cool, please humour me.)
Anyway, I think it’s a really pretty word, and I thought there was a poem somewhere in that, and this is what I ended up making. I hope you like it. 🙂
trigger warning: implied self harm
fields of quivering yarrow. shaking fingers, and the burn of rubbing alcohol.
and if you listen too closely, you can hear the crickets scream. so i’ll try not to focus on the pound of my heartbeat. i won’t let myself sleep.
because i won’t be vulnerable; i won’t be weak. i won’t not let you in. because to do so is to accept defeat.
so i am the shriveled-up dandelion, crushed beneath your busy feet. and maybe it’s better that way. because i shouldn’t be make a scene.
but… i’m not built for pain. for eight-hour hikes through the pelting snow, or the pouring rain. and this body was not designed to sit still and watch, as the knife falls. because i’m not a fucking piece of meat. and i hate that… but it’s true. you know what i mean?
My mom has a really insanely high pain threshold. This is probably TMI, but when she gave birth to me, she didn’t take painkillers at all, and instead got through it with this self-hypnosis technique she learned. Which I respect the shit out of–honestly, I don’t think I could handle something like that.
My point is, I’m not like her. I mean, not now, anyhow–maybe when I’m fifty, I will be, but to date, I’ve always been sensitive. I’ll notice the moment I think someone’s breathing gets heavy, or when they slam down a bag of groceries, or any other hint I might be falling out of their favour… and sometimes, that’ll be enough to send me into a panic, even though I’m not in danger. I cry because I lost my keys, because I don’t know what to make for lunch, because my bike tire is flat… and because of more serious things, too. Because I’m scared of the world. Because I’m scared of myself. Because I don’t know what to do… and no matter how hard I try, I can never keep those feelings quiet from my friends and family for very long. I’m just not one to suffer in silence.
Sometimes, I think I’ve spent my whole life wishing I could be like my mom–able to put up with that much pain with no help at all. But that’s not who I am. I can’t just sit and ignore it, when I’m in pain, and wait for it to resolve itself. I seek help when I need it, because that is the kind of person I am. And I’m glad. Because, as frustrating as it can be to be this emotional, it’s also saved me from doing a lot of really dumb things before.
Lots of love,
tiny sparks. drifting into the night. and as the smoke clouds your lungs, you tell yourself that this is all right. if you just don’t think about it…
about the books going up in flames; precious word by word. let your hopes and dreams slip out of your hands, and onto the cold, hard dirt…
but i have to be dreaming. i have to be imagining this. and any moment now i’ll wake up, but this time…. it’ll be worth it.
beautiful. and perfect. as the birds chirp, and the sky begins to grow. and i am carried forward, by a thousand hands of people i don’t know. but as the heat grows stronger against my cracking cheeks… well, i think it’s pretty obvious how this ends.
but hey. maybe it’s not the worst way to go out. when it comes down to it.
there is a hole in my head. dripping out onto the floor. there is a hole in my head. and i don’t know what i’m going to do anymore.
there are forestfires, burning down my cheeks. and oh my god, does it sting…
there is asphalt in my stomach. wet, and placid. ruminating on all the wrongs i’ve done, as reality warps and bends in the midsummer air… and i just want to forget. could we please just forget?
because even after all this time, i still don’t know if i honestly deserve to be here.
and because there’s something controlling me. i can feel it. because i’m nothing more than a puppet on a string, even if these joints are weighed with the mistakes i’ve made. even if these strings are fraying, slowly.
there is a tunnel. a spiraling maze, you can die trying to follow. there is a grove of trees, surrounding me. their leaves starting to whisper sweet nothings, ever-so-softly. there is a tally mark on my wall, of all the things no one should ever have to know about me.
and there is a little closet in my room. where i like to pretend… that the cracks in my skull are something you can remedy.
Guilt has never been an easy emotion for anybody. Has it?
The summer of sixth grade, I lost three whole months to it, over a tiny error that plunged me into one of the darkest places I’ve been in for a long time. I never really got over it, in the conventional sense–there was no moment when I chose to forgive myself. Eventually, I just had to force myself to move on with my life. I did learn some pretty good coping strategies though, which I guess is something.
I haven’t had intense episodes of chronic guilt/self-loathing/what-was-probably-depression-but-I-don’t-know-I-was-eleven since, not to that level of severity where it was making it hard to sleep, and consuming my every waking hour. But it’s still continued to be a difficult emotion for me. Sometimes, I can’t even tell, whether I should be feeling guilty about something or not.
Other times, I know it’s ridiculous–I shouldn’t be beating myself up to the extent I do for such small, inconsequential things as forgetting to answer a text; apologizing to someone as though my life defends on it. And I do it anyway. Because… well, because I can’t help but feel that it’ll keep me safe. I guess that’s just anxiety for you. Sometimes, I do fuck up. I make a mistake, and I learn my lesson from it, and I apologize, and take all the steps I can to make sure it won’t happen again, and then proceed to cut myself off from all social interaction for two weeks because I’m the scourge of humanity now, apparently.
It’s something I and many other people never learned to regulate properly as a child, is what I’m getting at. But I’m working on it.
I don’t have an easy answer–and I don’t think there is one; the process of learning from mistakes is yours and yours alone. But I hope, wherever this post finds you, it brings you some form of relief–from whatever you might be going through.
Lots of love,