Wednesday, November 6, 2013


He's three minutes late.

I fidget with the hem of my mustard yellow chiffon dress.  It has a peter pan collar, which I love, and an empire waist that actually works in favor of the thirty pounds I've gained since I moved the six hours to school.  He's seven minutes late and the chairs in this lounge are really scratchy on my bare legs.

The lounge is long and fairly narrow with a wall of windows, which I hope will catch him on his way into the building so I can prepare.  A few window panes down, a man and woman are sitting with their backs to me.  Her head is on his shoulder and her blonde hair covers her back as well as much of his green shirt.  I am jealous her hair is so much longer than my short bob.  I let go of the hem of my mustard dress, I would hate for it to wrinkle.  He's twelve minutes late.

I notice the extra sweat gathering on the back of my neck just as he enters the room.  I stand up, smiling, and move a few steps forward to meet him with a hug.  He looks worried.  He is only a few inches taller than me and he still has traces of boyhood in his cheeks and walk.  He is wearing sweats and a university t-shirt but I'm not surprised.  His eyes are bloodshot.

"Hey! How are you?" I ask him as we sit back down on the scratchy chairs that face the windows.  He mumbles something semi-affirmative and we spend a minute watching people walk to their respective classrooms.  I have a chemistry test in forty-five minutes, maybe I'll be able to study for a minute beforehand.

"Chris, yesterday was..." I start, but I don't know where to go from there.  He doesn't look my way; he seems interested in the way the wind makes people bow their heads down into their fall jackets.

"What about it?" He finally says.  I continue to look at him, becoming more and more anxious as he refuses to look at me.  the mustard hem is weaving between my fingers again.  He checks his cell phone, setting it next to his legs as if I'm a teacher who can't see what he's doing.  I stand up, suddenly not interested in explaining myself.

"Yesterday was probably the best decision I've ever made. Have a nice life,"  I stood still for a moment because some part of me was hoping he would ask me to sit back down.  The unavoidable breath of disappointment stinks as its heat washes my face pink and I leave the sitting room.  

Down one flight of stairs is the campus coffee shop, and I stop to buy a pumpkin mocha.  Although I know it will burn my taste buds, I take a sip anyways.  A little bit of the brown liquid sloshes as I walk to my car, filling the crevices between my knuckles.  It burns and I drop the cup.  Sitting down in the dying grass, my vision blurs with tears, and I wipe them away.  I don't need a coffee anyways, I'm going to take a nap.

When I get home I tear the dirty sheets off my bed and the mustard dress off of my body.  Curling up in just my comforter and underwear, I watch the dark screen of my phone for hours, waiting for his number to pop up and offer me a reconciliation. It doesn't, and by the time I fall asleep I stop hoping for it.

this bit of fiction is linked with Jenny Matlock's AlphabeThursday.  Check out other writings here:

Thursday, September 5, 2013

hardships often prepare ordinary people for extraordinary lives

I didn't grow up normal. I didn't grow up with two happy parents. I didn't grow up in the same house or even the same city.  I didn't spend my childhood thinking my dad was the greatest thing on Earth.

I grew up in three different states, at least seven different homes, and five different schools (I think).  I was raised by the strongest woman I know, but my mother had some pretty wicked vices of her own.  I grew up with a father who, when not in prison, was full of booze and one drug or another.  I grew up fast.

When I see little girls, they are usually bright and outgoing and talkative. Sometimes they are shy, but they almost always warm up.  They are happy.  They like to play with their friends.  I liked to play by myself.  I didn't like other people.  I guess some things never change.

One of my first memories is of being awakened late at night during a sleepover at my grandpa's and having to huddle behind the couch, covering my brother's ears, as my dad and uncle beat each other bloody.  I grew up surrounded by yelling and harsh words and ultimatums and doors slamming shut in the middle of the night.  I grew up in a world where people yell if they want to be heard.  Today I would rather be run over than have someone raise their voice to me. It would hurt less.

When bad things happen I never cry.  Grandparents die, dogs die, friends leave, boyfriends cheat, girls say mean things and I come up with a plan to deal with it.  I am a planner.  Not a doer, just a planner.  My counselor told me somewhere I must have realized that too much emotion just ends up hurting other people so I taught myself not to feel at all.

Not feeling at all is awful though, but my switch was rusted into the "off" position. I needed some source, any source, of emotion.  So I planned.  And I took apart a disposable razor until I got the thin blades separated, I broke one in half, and I cut my thigh.  Over and over and over. Every week, almost every day.  It's all I ever thought about because, you have to understand, it's the only thing I really felt.  Until I got caught, and even then I never really stopped.  Would you, if it was the only thing that made you feel anything besides absolute melancholy?  82 scars are still visible to anyone who looks close enough when I wear shorts.

God saved me once, or twice really.  I used to really, really be in love with him.  I was head over heels in love with my God.  I was also really, really in love with Sky, and J, D, and Derek.  I think I'm head over heels for anything that breaks the melancholy.  But I always, always ruin it. Even God.  If there were competition, I would win first place for how to ruin relationships.  So where does it end?

I'll let you know when I get there.  But for now, just try to understand.  Or at least try to be accommodating. Because there will be times you need me and I just can't be there.  And it's not going to be fair, but it's going to be me and it's going to be real.


I have never dreamed of growing old and wrinkly
Instead I dream of being chased,
or taunted,
or killed.
But of course, not really killed
because even our subconscious believes we are invincible.
We always wake up before all our blood drains
before we reach that dim light up ahead
it's just like hope to always sustain.
He was fifteen months and twenty-eight days of nightmares.
Night terrors and drifty day dreams
that drug me from conversations and straight into his grasp.
When I was finally shaken awake
it was just after my limbs were severed
but just before I bled out;
you know, that barely lucid state of being.
My brain was ready to give up on me,
no longer interjecting.
Self-preservation doesn't mean much to a placement
All it knows is being spilled on and cleaned back up
I am a yes man and an idea machine
I am constant and reliable
but I am not there
I am not anywhere at all
except floating above, watching,
wishing things were different
and that for once I would dream of growing old and wrinkly.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

To those who wish to feel nothing at all:

It's like being lost in a field on a cloudy night with no one around for miles.
It's the feeling of being surrounded by people and feeling completely alone.
It's participating without connecting.
It's hard and it's ugly and it sucks.

I am that girl who sits at a funeral and doesn't shed a tear.
I am that girl who is perfectly straight-faced during a traumatic moment.
I am that girl who breaks up with a boy without crying or apologizing or compromising or trying to make it easy.
I am that girl who doesn't look like she cares, because I simply don't feel anything at all.

It's this out of body feeling.  I know exactly what's happening and I know exactly how I'm supposed to feel, but for whatever reason I just don't feel anything at all.  And it's awful.

And after a few days or a few weeks or a few too many thoughts, it floods in and I don't know how to fix it or turn it back off.
And it makes me feel reckless enough to do some absolutely horrific things.

So excuse me if I impulsively punch the next person who doesn't want to feel anything square in the face.

Be happy that you feel the grass on your feet, the love of your family, the joy of hanging out with friends.
Even be happy about feeling the hurt of mean words, the threat of another pretty girl, or the anguish of death.
Because some people just feel nothing at all and then everything at once and they would give anything to feel whatever you are trying to get rid of.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


"How did you do this week?"
"I dunno...okay I guess..."
"...well what happened?"
"*insert semi-shortened version of a panic-attack, inability to do work, and general worthlessness"
"Okay, well what I need you to do is try harder.  You have to put one foot in front of the other.  Just tell yourself over and over you have worth and eventually you'll start to believe it."
"...okay, I guess."
"You don't seem like you really want to get better, what is it going to take to make you happy?"
"If I knew that I wouldn't be here.  I just feel so awful all the time. I feel worthless and like I don't deserve anything.  And even when I do have good times, like when he makes me laugh or something, I almost immediately feel bad about it because I don't deserve that moment of happiness.  I just don't care anymore and I don't want to be here.  I just want to be done."
"I know that depression is shitty.  I know you feel shitty.  But you need to do what I said and just tell yourself over and over that you are worthy or lovable and that'll help."
"Mmm..okay. See you next week."

And that's pretty much the content of my therapy session this week.  This is what I pay for.  
I feel like I'm stuck here and everyone around me can see that and wants to help but I can't give them proper instructions.  Which is my fault.  And I just don't see how I can ever be 100% okay. I just don't see how I can ever feel happy and not feel guilty about that.  

But I guess my only real option is to start here: 
 I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. I'm worthy and lovable. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

well...this is morbid

It doesn't matter.
If I feel okay for 580 days, on 581 I break.
And it happens, I just do it.
Over and over and over.
This stupid cycle never ends
If it were a substance people would call me an addict,
but it's not, so I guess I'm not.
I'm just a big girl
who was once a little girl
and I think I must have broke one day
but never figured out how to put the pieces back together.
All the duct tape in the world can't help me.
I guess I'm too difficult.
Too difficult to be loved,
or understood,
or heard (correctly anyway).
What's the point of all this
We are supposed to be good,
but why waste my time?
Why not just do what I want,
even if what I want hurts me?
In the end, we all end up as carcasses,
we all end up the same.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

magnifying glass

I get so wrapped up in myself sometimes.  I worry about myself and my needs and my insecurities and what I want so much that suddenly I look away from the mirror and realize I'm being a huge brat. And on top of my brattiness, I'm not even happy.

Who could ever be happy while taking a magnifying glass to all the imperfections in their own life?

No, I'm not getting a 4.0.
No, I'm not as skinny as I wish I was.
No, I'm not as funny or care-free as she seems to be.
No, I'm not perfect.

So what?  So what if I'm not "normal",  if I can't be "happy" like everyone else.  So what if I have to deal with this mind-numbing depression, this chronic anxiety?  Just because it's there doesn't mean I have to let myself be completely swallowed up by it. Just because its there doesn't mean I have to surrend to it.

My mind has this fantastic hobby of picking something or someone I have no control over and obsessing until even my dreams are consumed.  Past friendships that disappeared, past situations that could have ended differently, my boyfriends past relationship and how different it is than ours.  That last one gets me all the time, because I can't help but go crazy thinking that I'm not enough.  And isn't that what all this boils down to?

I don't ever think that I'm enough the way I am.  I tattooed the words "you are worth it" onto my body, praying it would remind me that I am, yet here I am blowing up snapshots of the darkest corners of my life, my character, and enlarging them until they completely overrun all of the good ones.

I don't like being a brat.  I don't really like being so focused on myself that I can't see the big picture or the people that love me any longer.  I just want to be happy and normal and I want to say "I'm great" and actually mean it.  I want to tell myself that I am worth it and not feel like I'm just kidding myself.  And maybe someday that will happen for me...but until then I need to figure out how to put down the pictures and the magnifying glass and just focus on the good.
I need to focus on the ones I know love me and figure out why so I can love me too.

I meant to write an at least semi-inspiring or positive post...but it is what it is.  I always try to write this for me, and I just hope that whoever reads this doesn't get too put off by my craziness.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


From the plastic bag inside of a shoebox at the bottom of my closet, my classic red TOMS are a time capsule.  The faded color, the holes where my big toes rubbed, and the worn-down rubber soles hold all of the secrets of growing up.  They are the sweat of hot high school classrooms.They hold the tunes of summer’s music festivals and the torrential rain that waterlogged our camping tent. They’ve entrapped the dirt of country walks at dusk and the grass stains of star gazing.  My red TOMS are the smiles I shared with him, and the tears when I finally walked away. They keep the prayers and dreams and wishes of a young girl growing into a young woman.  They hold blood. The tread-free soles are thousands of steps in the right direction. My red TOMS are heartbreak and sunny days and laughter and that echoing voice that tell’s a girl she’s either not good enough or the best thing in the world.