Make Believe

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Memories of playing dress-up and tea party, just a young thing in a world of wonderment, an imagination without boundaries, escaping reality at every chance. But no, that’s not how life was. I was young once, and I had a vivid imagination, but nothing ever as innocent as princess tea parties and fairy godmothers. I dreamt of being beautiful, of belonging to a family that I resembled instead of the one that I wasn’t born into. A mother with the same tawny shaded skin as me, the same full lips and thick, dark, wavy hair.

I lived inside of fictional worlds, scrawling my soul onto pages as early as I can remember. Spiral notebook after notebook, stacked in neat piles until I reached the age where I needed something more, sturdy, fancy books whose pages I tore with my pens, hiding them on the top of closet shelves and under mattresses, underneath wardrobe dressers, wherever I could find some privacy.

The feeling of exposure when my privately written words were read by eyes they weren’t meant for. My soul being ridiculed and dreams being degraded and destroyed. Yet still I wrote. I never gave it up. Writing is what I do. It’s all I have.

I never dreamt of love, it was always a fairytale, a fable, fiction that was beyond my comprehension. I couldn’t even write a love story if my life depended on it. What is love? A mythical creature, the things nightmares are made of.

As an adult I continued to try to play pretend. I tried to be a wife and mother like those I read of so often in my beloved novels. One that is domestic and caring and dutiful and beautiful and all it got me was pain and pain and more pain. A madness so deep and dark that I prayed for it to end but it never did.

I pretended to be okay, I pretended to be alive. I pretended that I wasn’t pretending. I made myself into who I thought I was supposed to be, so many different sides of me, it was what I imagine being schitzophrenic must be like. While I was trying to find myself, it seems that I lost myself. And after I was done pretending, after I had run out of imaginary plotlines, after I had hit rock bottom, a brick wall, what I thought was the end, only then did I begin to live.

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Truth

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Did I say too much? Did my vulnerability and temporary moment of madness make you uncomfortable? I tried to hold it in, but it had to be let loose or I would’ve begun to slowly crumble like a cliffside weathered away by the ocean waters I love so much. I almost regretted letting you see that side of me, but it is who I am.

I lay in bed for so long, wishing for sleep to overcome me, for me to forget about the chaos that was bubbling inside, slowly taking over every part of me. And eventually, it did. After my tears had dried up and my heart calmed a bit, I was drug into the peaceful depths of sleep where the nightmares didn’t come and for that, I was thankful.

But then this morning I was worried. Maybe I shouldn’t have spoken those words. Maybe I should’ve tried harder to find a way out of that dark place. Sometimes it’s not that easy. Sometimes it feels like drowning. Like drowning while sailing through the air, waiting to hit rock bottom.

I tried to occupy my mind with videos and words and sleep. I tried to will myself to be at peace. And then I worried that I said too much. Did I say too much?

But those words were the most real. They were my truth. They were painful and dark but beautiful in their own way because they were my truth.

 

Imprisoned

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When it gets like this it frightens me how quickly the illness takes over, but really, can I even call it an “illness”? True, there’s a pill I can take to help diminish this sickness which I’ve only just swallowed down before I started writing this, but the illness, I don’t think I will ever fully recover from it. My teeth feel numb and the underside of my tongue tingles which has always been a warning sign of an oncoming episode. I keep thinking of those people in that waiting room, the one I always feel so out of place in, the people that I can’t decide whether or not I’m not as sick as because I cannot express my insanity as well as they do or that I’m sicker than for the same reason. I need to be held right now and told that I’m loved and safe but if this were to actually happen I wouldn’t believe the words anyhow. There’s a black sadness building inside of me that I know will turn into rage tomorrow and I’ll hate nearly everything that I know I truly love. My bed will be my sanctuary and my mind will be my prison and I’ll spend the next few weeks replaying every single moment between the last time and this time, trying to remember the offense I committed to deserve such a cruel punishment.

Without Red

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Wrap me in a love that’s black, not red because I associate red with pain, no, it must be black because black is impenetrable. Love me with a love so black that nothing can tear my heart out and shred it to a thousand pieces like it’s been done too many times before. Wrap me in a love that’s black, not yellow because I associate yellow with happiness and for me, love is anything but happy. It’s emotional and nerve wracking and painful and if it doesn’t hurt it just ain’t love. On days like today when my insides hurt I hide beneath my blanket and let the anxious thoughts roll around in my head, rattling like tin cans blowing around outside in a hurricane and it’s anything but calm. Caress me with a love that’s black, not white like the cotton puffs of clouds in the sky, so delicate, so slow-moving, taking their time to make it from here to there. White reminds me of pureness and there’s nothing pure inside of me. The anxiety and depression and jealousy and rage leave no room for anything pure. There’s only room enough for destruction and I much more prefer it this way anyways. Adore me with a love that’s black, not pink because pink is for delicate, dainty, beautiful women. Women who are soft and tender and so many more things that I am not and can never be. Adore me with a love so black that I cannot see myself in it and who I truly am or the pink woman I can never be. Favor me with a love that’s purple, not red,  purple is my favorite color. I think of loyalty when I think of purple and loyalty is sometimes hard to come by. Favor me with a love that’s purple, more than you have ever or could ever favor another because my love is like no other. My love is neverending and can help you achieve your dreams. Favor me with a love that’s purple and see that I will always be by your side, through good times and bad, through sunny days and stormy ones because I am faithful. Consume me with a love that’s orange, not red, but the orange of an inferno. Yeah, I know, fire is usually associated with red, but not the fiery intensity of my love. No, the love I desire can only be accepted in orange, an orange so brilliant as it rages out of control that you have to shield your eyes from it’s magnificence. Touch me with a love so colorful that I have no choice but to believe in it’s truth. Love me colorfully but please don’t scorch me with a love that’s red.

OCD

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The thing with me is that it’s too far too easy for me to become stuck on something. Usually it’s words but sometimes it’s other things. I thrive in routine and this is what I blame for what seems to be my consistency. It’s soothing for me to always know what’s just around the corner, I’ve never been one for surprises. I’ve always had the luck to be cursed with unpleasant surprises, surprises that leave me wounded for long periods of time afterwards. I need to know what to expect so that I can prepare myself mentally and emotionally. I stumbled across a video on Facebook awhile back of a poet reciting a piece of his work and funny enough, it was titled “OCD.” I fell in love with these spoken words. Isn’t it funny how such a small thing can make such a great impact in our lives, causing us to abandon everything we previously held to be known as right and true? It’s usually had damaging effects on me afterwards, practicing these unpredictable behaviors and in the end I end up chastising myself, telling myself that I should’ve listened to my intuition, shouldn’t have strayed from my tried and true path because for me, wondering has always been less painful than knowing. I can always let go of those things that I obsessively wonder about over a short period of time but those things that I took a chance on and ended up hurting over, I hold onto those forever.

Phoenix

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“That’s a lovely shirt,” a friend says to me and I glance down at it briefly, saying “Thanks, I got it from one of the shelters I lived in briefly after I left the Ex,” and I can see her inwardly rolling her eyes and hoping that I don’t get set off on a tangent about life in the shelters versus life with that horrible man. I’ve told her a bit about it before, mostly after she commented that I was a difficult person to get close to and I can’t help but wonder why she wanted to get close to me if she didn’t want to hear my truths. But this is the way it is sometimes, sometimes what’s on the surface is so much easier to accept than what lies beneath it. She smiles a tight lipped smile and quickly lowers her eyes back to her phone’s screen, scrolling furiously. I take the hint and do the same. The truth can be so painful but in this moment it brings me no pain, it’s like watching a movie for me, watching a slide show. They’re just images, images that don’t make me feel anything. It’s not always like this, sometimes the nightmares are just as vivid as the reality of the events were, but I cope with them better these days. It’s difficult to appreciate the present without reflection on the past. I hold the past close to me so that I never forget what I rose from. Like the mythological Phoenix, I was reduced to ashes but I was reborn from those ashes. They are a part of me. They will always be a part of me.

Ordinary Woman, Extraordinary Love

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I’m just an ordinary woman, but with an extraordinary amount of love. I get told often, by men and women alike, that I am beautiful, but I hope it is what I hold inside of me that is what they see. I hope that my love brightens everything about me. I hope it reaches out and shines a light in the darkest times of need for those around me. I hope that it helps, even if only one person. I’m just an ordinary woman, but with an extraordinary amount of love.

I’ve been hurt a lot in the past, sometimes I know the sadness shows in my eyes. I know that I seem weary and others cannot understand that it isn’t so much a physical pain as it is an emotional and mental burden that I have carried for so long. I’ve tried and tried to let it go, through counseling and through written words, through acts of kindness and meaningful friendships. Many people think that they would have broken beyond repair in situations in which I had no other choice but to pick up my shattered pieces, hold them together as best I could and continue on- for myself, for those I love, for the future, for my sanity. Maybe I was wrong for searching inside myself for forgiveness towards those who hurt me tremendously, but I’m just an ordinary woman with an extraordinary amount of love.

Sometimes people will get to know me and tell me that I’m a better person than they are because I don’t handle unpleasant situations with resentment and retaliation, because I take a breath and say a prayer and let it roll over me. I don’t deny that I sometimes wish for karma, but in these times I pray even harder, for forgiveness for me for having wished ill on another human, forgiveness for who has hurt me. I’ve been called a pushover more times in my life than I’ve probably been called by my actual name. Sometimes it’s used as an insult, sometimes it’s said in pity. It used to bother me, but it doesn’t anymore because I know I am an ordinary woman with an extraordinary amount of love.

I listen to people’s stories, their stories of pain and love lost, of regrets and fears and loss of hope for the future, and I try to help them see the silver lining, I try to help them see all that they have and can be grateful for now, even though oftentimes people don’t want to hear this. The human spirit is not easily broken, but once it is, it can be difficult to repair. I do what I can and say the prayers that I hold close and believe that one day, things will be better. I try and keep the faith. I’m just an ordinary woman but with an extraordinary amount of love.

Sometimes all my heart desires is to believe I am as beautiful on the inside as I am told I am on the outside. Sometimes it’s hard. Most times it’s hard. Sometimes I see it. Sometimes I try very hard to see it. I look around me and try to find the beauty in everything and everyone around me. Sometimes this is also hard. Sometimes it’s very hard. I am just an ordinary woman, but with an extraordinary amount of love.

💖

 

 

Sunrise

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Searching to find beauty in times that can be so dark, finding joy wherever I can get it. I used to hate taking pictures, especially pictures of myself because I used to feel as though I were being fake somehow, deceiving, only showing parts of my life that were filled with light and happiness instead of all of the moments in between in which I struggled and hurt and felt as though a part of me were dying a little bit. I told myself no one cared about those moments, that no one wanted to see and hear about these moments when everywhere in the world there are far too many moments like these already. But these moments of darkness are just as important as my moments of light. They are a part of what has made me Me. They are what have taken part in shaping me, molding me into who I am and so I only find it fair to share those moments as well. Something beautiful can be born out of something ugly and while at the time it can seem this will never happen, sometimes the sun rises on the horizon even when I think it has been snuffed out.

Dress Up

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Don’t tell me that I can be whatever I want to be, because what I want to be is innocent. I want to not have experienced firsthand the darkness that can live and thrive deep inside a person, darkness so great that sometimes it cannot even be hidden. Darkness so terrible that it’s stronger than any goodness I might possess. I want to be a person who wouldn’t be able to tell you what a heart broken from mental anguish and physical pain feels like. I want to be a person who couldn’t tell you what lonely, sleepless nights feel like when you have already promised yourself to another only to find out promises mean nothing in the world you’ve built together, a world you never truly belonged in. I want to not have nightmares of reality so much more terrible than anything the imagination could ever conjure up, even after a million horror movies, scary stories, well, nightmares in my world at least.

Don’t tell me I can be anything I want to be, because what I want to be is beautiful. I want to be able to look at myself every day in the mirror and have more days than not when I am not shamed by the past. I want to be able to meet my reflection’s eyes and see brightness and confidence and excitement more often than dullness and brokenness and yearning. I want to be the type of person who can always easily believe that all of the negativity about myself that’s been instilled in me for so long is not true. Not even close. I want to be proud of those almond-shaped eyes and full lips and naturally tanned skin speckled with freckles that so many find exotic but I find just wrong somehow. I want to feel comfortable in my skin.

Don’t tell me I can be anything I want to be, when what I want to be is hopeful. I want to believe that the future holds things greater than anything I’ve experienced in my life so far. I want to believe in forever-love and knights in shining armor who kiss me to life. I want to believe in happy endings. I want to believe in justice and I want to believe in karma. It may be wrong but some wrongdoings deserve retribution. At the same time, I want to be the type of person who believes in forgiveness. I want to be the type of person who believes that everything wonderful is right around the corner, just a little bit farther, is happening right now.

Don’t tell me I can be anything I want to be because what I want to be is at peace. I want to awaken joyous from beautiful dreams more often than I awaken from nightmares so terrible and violent that they leave me sobbing and affect my state of mind for weeks afterwards. I want to be able to regulate and maintain my chemical imbalances without the aid of medication. I want to be able to maintain a healthy state of mind without weekly therapy. I want to be able to walk into public without feeling as though I am looking over my shoulder. I want to let go of the resentment and hate and sadness that have held me in it’s grips for so long, diminished extremely, but still there nonetheless.

Don’t tell me I can be anything I want to be because all I know how to be is Me. An often paranoid, manic, anxious mess. Sometimes confident, sometimes joyous, sometimes thankful, other times resentful Me. Don’t tell me I can be anything I want to be, please just see Me and accept me.