Wednesday, August 10, 2016

To All My Single Ladies

When I'm not preoccupied my mind wanders-to him.
A mixture of hurt and hate make my heart race.
We haven't spoken since it happened.
Well I have, he hasn't responded.
I'm reminded of the time before and the other time before, and all the other times before when we ended things.
We've been on and off since January 2013.
I've spent most of the past three years trying to make it work.
I've spent it in full bliss, in what I believe was true love.
I've spent it in pure hatred, in what I believe was true heartbreak.

I've never regretted a moment of it.
Every tear, smile, frustration, was meant to happen to lead me here.
And where is here?

Here is a place in which I'm at peace with my breakup. Where I'm starting a journey to be at peace with myself.

And that sounds chill and all but what the fuck does that actually mean?

Well it starts with forgiving myself. Forgiving myself for not being able to give him what he needed. Forgiving my flaws that helped drive us apart. Forgiving my actions during the hard times.

Then it continues with accepting that he's not the person for me. Accepting that it's really over. This part is hard. Accepting that there could be so much love, dedication and work put into something that "fails".

Here means being able to look objectively at our relationship. Seeing that it's not all my fault as my demons would have me believe. And that I'm not too fucked up to be loved.

Here means being incredibly self-aware. Watching my actions and seeing how every time I indulge in attention, drinking, food, my appearance that I'm left empty.

It's accepting that the answer isn't out there. The thing that will fill me isn't a guy, it isn't a job, it isn't a lifestyle, or a weight. It is me.

I have no real clue what that looks like but here are somethings I'm trying:

Therapy
Acupuncture
Cutting guys out unless they are friends
Only going to "the club" with friends
Putting more effort into my friendships
Spending a lot more time by myself reading, crafting, meditating, yogaing, exercising, whatevering
Exploring what makes me me. Accepting who I am rather than trying to change her.
Finding out what makes me truly happy and not momentarily.

For once I'm excited to be on my own. It's scary and empty sometimes but there's also something incredibly freeing about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

You've Got To Be Comfortable Not Knowing.

"I feel shame," I say peering at my therapist over my over-sized, tan teddy bear that I've cleverly named Teddy.

"Stay with it, tell me more," she says from the massage table, I'm at my usual spot on the couch. It's itchy against my sweaty, bare skin in this hot weather. I have Teddy on my lap, my arms around his middle and my face buried in between his ears.

"I'm ashamed that I'm not normal," I say into the back of the bear's head as I try to hide further into it. "Aw man it's happening. I don't want to feel this." And then I cry and I let go of that tightness in my chest and I tell her things that I didn't even know I was feeling. It comes naturally, authentically, honestly.

"I'm ashamed that I have to go on walks religiously to get away from feeling trapped at work. I'm ashamed that the chewing and the talking and the typing makes me freak out on people. I'm ashamed that I hide what I'm eating from my co-workers. I'm ashamed I can't seem to show up on time no matter how hard I try. I'm ashamed that I'm inattentive at meetings and that I can't keep my focus for more than 10 minutes. I'm ashamed that I go through a day working so fucking hard but when it's 5 o'clock I haven't finished a thing. I'm ashamed that I bounce my legs in meetings and distract people. I'm ashamed that I glare at people when they eat in meetings. I'm ashamed that I wear the same two pairs of shorts everyday because I feel fat in everything else. I'm ashamed that I'm so far behind in life, at 28 my life is over."

She calls me back into the room. I had left, picturing every embarrassing moment, reliving it as I talked.

"I never realized how much effort I had to put into trying to be a normal person," I say. Relief flowing over me. ignited from realization and understanding.

"You spend so much of your time working to "be okay" that you don't have much time or energy for everything else," she tells me and I nod my head in agreement and another thought catches fire.

"And then I just look lazy. I mean if anyone were to ask me what was going on or why I'm always leaving my desk or why I feel the need to workout at lunch, maybe they'd understand. But they don't. They don't get what it's like."

"Not many people have as severe attachment trauma as you do, Kris. I'm here to tell you it's hard. All you want to do is one thing, to pay attention, to focus, to do good work, to be happy but no matter how hard you try you can't seem to calm your body, to feel safe in your body," she tells me as I realize I've stopped breathing. The relief of being understood is overwhelming.

"All they see is me going on walks, taking a long lunch, I even paint my nails at work because it calms me down but if anyone saw me doing that they'd be like what the actual fuck are you doing?"

I tell my therapist about all the triggering things at work. From the guy that chews ice and stomps around my office to the woman that is like Wilson on Tool Time, popping her head in on me asking me questions before I have even turned my computer on, to the group of co-workers that seem to have nothing better to do than talk about the last restaurant they went to for a half hour right next to my desk and a member of the senior team that sends me emails reminding me of protocols and procedures.

And she says the most beautiful words, "I am going to recommend you work from home at least one day a week."

I give Teddy a squeeze and immediately get embarrassed, avoiding this weird sensation of joy.

"But they'll just think I'm skirting work again," shame envelopes me, joy is gone as quickly as it came.

"I'll have to tell them about your experiences and your diagnosis but it's just so they understand."

"So they understand that I'm disordered," I say in a low voice to my feet. Shame. That fucker.

I change the subject to, "Well what do I do now? I mean in the mean time? Like this won't solve everything, do I still need to look for a new job? A new place to live? How do I cope with all of this (I gesture my hands and make a weird face the only way I can express how crazy I feel these days)? It's unbearable. Not knowing what I should be doing, feeling so sad and uncomfortable all the time, thinking I've got the answer one minute then changing my mind the next."

"Kris, you have to be comfortable with the not knowing."
"Fuck."
"Maybe this is your year of not knowing."
Silence.
"A FUCKING YEAR?"
"A fucking year."

And so now begins my year of not knowing and somehow not giving a fuck.

You've Got To Be Comfortable Not Knowing.

"I feel shame," I say peering at my therapist over my over-sized, tan teddy bear that I've cleverly named Teddy.

"Stay with it, tell me more," she says from the massage table, I'm at my usual spot on the couch. It's itchy against my sweaty, bare skin in this hot weather. I have Teddy on my lap, my arms around his middle and my face buried in between his ears.

"I'm ashamed that I'm not normal," I say into the back of the bear's head as I try to hide further into it. "Aw man it's happening. I don't want to feel this." And then I cry and I let go of that tightness in my chest and I tell her things that I didn't even know I was feeling. It comes naturally, authentically, honestly.

"I'm ashamed that I have to go on walks religiously to get away from feeling trapped at work. I'm ashamed that the chewing and the talking and the typing makes me freak out on people. I'm ashamed that I hide what I'm eating from my co-workers. I'm ashamed I can't seem to show up on time no matter how hard I try. I'm ashamed that I'm inattentive at meetings and that I can't keep my focus for more than 10 minutes. I'm ashamed that I go through a day working so fucking hard but when it's 5 o'clock I haven't finished a thing. I'm ashamed that I bounce my legs in meetings and distract people. I'm ashamed that I glare at people when they eat in meetings. I'm ashamed that I wear the same two pairs of shorts everyday because I feel fat in everything else. I'm ashamed that I'm so far behind in life, at 28 my life is over."

She calls me back into the room. I had left, picturing every embarrassing moment, reliving it as I talked.

"I never realized how much effort I had to put into trying to be a normal person," I say. Relief flowing over me. ignited from realization and understanding.

"You spend so much of your time working to "be okay" that you don't have much time or energy for everything else," she tells me and I nod my head in agreement and another thought catches fire.

"And then I just look lazy. I mean if anyone were to ask me what was going on or why I'm always leaving my desk or why I feel the need to workout at lunch, maybe they'd understand. But they don't. They don't get what it's like."

"Not many people have as severe attachment as you do, Kris. I'm here to tell you it's hard. All you want to do is one thing, to pay attention, to focus, to do good work, to be happy but no matter how hard you try you can't seem to calm your body, to feel safe in your body," she tells me as I realize I've stopped breathing. The relief of being understood is overwhelming.

"All they see is me going on walks, taking a long lunch, I even paint my nails at work because it calms me down but if anyone saw me doing that they'd be like what the actual fuck are you doing?"

I tell my therapist about all the triggering things at work. From the guy that chews ice and stomps around my office to the woman that is like Wilson on Tool Time, popping her head in on me asking me questions before I have even turned my computer on, to the group of co-workers that seem to have nothing better to do than talk about the last restaurant they went to for a half hour right next to my desk and a member of the senior team that sends me emails reminding me of protocols and procedures.

And she says the most beautiful words, "I am going to recommend you work from home at least one day a week."

I give Teddy a squeeze and immediately get embarrassed, avoiding this weird sensation of joy.

"But they'll just think I'm skirting work again," shame envelopes me, joy is gone as quickly as it came.

"I'll have to tell them about your experiences and your diagnosis but it's just so they understand."

"So they understand that I'm disordered," I say in a low voice to my feet. Shame. That fucker.

I change the subject to, "Well what do I do now? I mean in the mean time? Like this won't solve everything, do I still need to look for a new job? A new place to live? How do I cope with all of this (I gesture my hands and make a weird face the only way I can express how crazy I feel these days)? It's unbearable. Not knowing what I should be doing, feeling so sad and uncomfortable all the time, thinking I've got the answer one minute then changing my mind the next."

"Kris, you have to be comfortable with the not knowing."
"Fuck."
"Maybe this is your year of not knowing."
Silence.
"A FUCKING YEAR?"
"A fucking year."

And so now begins my year of not knowing and somehow not giving a fuck.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Everyone Else Has An Opinion So Here's Mine

My Facebook is filled with her story, with his.
With opinions both well thought out and others thrown out with emotion.
This post will be thrown out with emotion.

When I first saw the story, about the athlete who was accused of / found guilty of rape (I do not know as I cannot bring myself to read the story but this is what I've pieced together) I didn't know what I was reading.

A friend whose posts I respect and enjoy reading made her status about the injustice of how the case had gone. A sentence or two into it I felt a pain my chest and I was having trouble breathing. I forced myself to stop reading.

I closed the page and distracted myself with something mindless.
And I forgot all about it--or 
well I tried.
But the internet isn't letting me.

This story is everywhere. And while it's great to see this topic being covered it constantly triggers me to have to deal with things I'd rather not think about. My own experiences with rape and sexual abuse. 

And while everyone else has an opinion and can voice their thoughts, I find that this story has silenced and paralyzed me. Well, until now.

Too painful to think about at work, and too scary to delve into on my own at home the thoughts of my past have been preying on my subconscious since I first began to read about her story.

I didn't think it was affecting me until I had a panic attack at the gym yesterday.

I was doing squats in front of the mirror and I see the guy to my left stretching his groin feet away from me. I feel uncomfortable so I turn away trying to stay present. Then the guy behind me begins to go to town on the punching bag. His muscles flexing, his testosterone flowing, grunting, he hits the bag harder. 

The two story, warehouse of a gym begins to close in on me. My heart races. My hands shake. I struggle to stay present.

"They cannot win. They cannot win. I will not stop my workout because I am triggered," I tell myself. "I've given too much of my life to my attackers and they will not ruin this for me." I say trying to be brave, thinking I'm doing what's right and noble.


But the more I try to be brave and make myself sit in an environment that has become threatening the harder it is to control my breath and my mind. 

To my right a bodybuilder begins to deadlift with an angry force. Jerking the bar up and down. Slamming the weights.

The noise reverberates in my head and I have had enough attacks to realize when one is about to happen. I need to get out of here, but I am frozen. I am surrounded by things that feel threatening to me, how do I move when I am trapped?

The urge to run turns into an impulse. I turn up my music and I book it to the bathroom. I keep my head down. No longer able to control my tears, my body screaming to go to safety.

I bang open the bathroom door almost taking someone out. I muffle an apology and slam the stall door shut, I put my back against the wall, sink to the floor and curl up into a ball. 

Make me smaller, let me implode, let me escape. 

And I stay like this for I don't know how long, trying to steady my breath and stay in the room even though my brain throws memories violently to the forefront. 

It's not fair I think. It's not fair. The gym has become a place of recovery for me where I find myself feeling confident getting stronger mentally and physically but ironically it's also a source of powerful memories from a past I'd rather leave there.


The cold floor helps me mellow. I ask myself simple questions like where was I born and what did I have for lunch that day. And I distract myself until I am calm.

I avoid men as much as I can for the rest of my workout and I forget about this until today when I scroll through Facebook. There it is again. And again. 

And I go back to the avoidance and the distracting.

Everyone has had a voice in this, and I wanted to put mine in. While the victim is being very strong (from what I've gathered she's written a powerful letter to her attacker and probably spoken out as this is getting so much attention) and this story creating much needed attention to a serious issue it is also causing me a lot of pain. 

Everyone's opinion is out there about this story and this topic but I hadn't seen my perspective voiced and felt a need to, as I usually do when I write.

I don't know what most people have had to go through that have been posting their opinions about this so I could be completely off base but I feel jealous of all of you who can feel stronger by this story. I feel jealous that you can read these stories without having the reaction that I do. My past haunts me constantly and lately it's been brought to the forefront and I'm having a hard time coping. 

I can usually ignore it and forget that those things happened but not when there's reminders everywhere. And I'm just angry, and sad, and frustrated that this is a part of my life and who I am and always will be. And I can just hope that maybe one day I can read these stories and feel empowered but I'm just not there yet. Just another perspective to think about.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Silhouettes, Echos

Just press play.
Song is Silhouettes by Echos. Check it.
Then let's talk feelings.
Like feelings that overwhelm you.
I don't know where to start, let's deal with it later feelings.
Emo, Dashboard Confessional, black nail polish, I never belonged feelings.
And yet I try to adapt.



When I go to write my mind becomes as blank as the page.
Even though I'm exploding with thoughts.
Things I want to share with you.
Things I want to purge.
Things I want to forget.
Things I wish I never thought.
Things I wish I never felt.
Things I can't speak about.
And yet they scream from my skin.
Your traces burn and the smoke lingers.

The only time I feel centered is when I write.
When I rip the words out of my throat and slam them against the wall.
An unorganized, honest attempt at expressing myself.
At making sense of myself.
I dare you to tell me my worst fears.
Tell me I don't belong.
Tell me I'm too much.
Tell me you don't understand.

The memories cut, leaving me vulnerable.
I confess my wrong doings, my shame, my imperfections.
Everytime I write I stutter. 
I speak my truth.
And I want to fix it.
It can be better.

That's what my life has been.
It can be better.
I can be better.
And yet there's a voice in me that wants to accept me as I am.
I want to be as impulsive and imperfect as I am.
Is anyone else as confused as I am?

I feel like the unknown destination in front of me should be exciting.
Should give me hope.
But it gives me dread.
I fantasize about a life that isn't mine.
Toy with what self-acceptance looks like.

I never can escape 14 year old me.
The one who decided that starving herself was the way to live.
Limiting her food, bingeing on men.
And now I'm full of regrets.

I want to be someone.
I want to matter.
I cannot be no one.
Because then I will become as insignificant as I feel.
As deep as the hole in my heart is.

Wanting a father who could never be there.
And a mother who had no more to give.
And it's not fair.
And it'll never be fair.
Because the only person that can make it better is the one who caused it.

All I want is you to say my name.
To see me.
Everyone else saw me but you.
And judged me.
And I was this thing.
This beautiful thing.
That never amounted to anything.

Starved, abused, confused.
You did this to me and now I'm captive.
Held by your actions and impulses.
Held by your sickness and weakness.
I don't want to be a grown-up anymore.
I don't want to have to stand tall.
I want to be held.
I want to be safe.

But my soul is housed in a graveyard.
And my body is my enemy.
And my mind plays tricks.
You stole something from me.
I'm paying debt to your sin.

I will never be safe.
I will never be home.
I will never be who I should be.
Because I can never escape who you made me.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Feelings and Shit

I see my movements getting repetitive.
I flail in frustration.
"You are not sexy. You are not good. You are failing."
I dance to release but it's not some beautiful, metaphorical dance.
It goes like this:
I get my outfit on.
I put my song on.
And I start off great.
Vibing, feelin' myself like E-40 and then it slowly turns.
The emotions I'm trying to suppress come to the surface as the frustration with my inadequacy boils over.
I lose control of my movements.
My emotions cloud my brain and I become the person I do not wish for anyone to see.
I am messy, awkward, ugly even.
I am not this put together, witty, beautiful girl all the time.
And at first I was going to say "I am not this put together...that I wish I was", but that's not true. I am her. I am witty and charming and pretty but I'm just not her all the time.
And that is something I have a very hard time accepting.
Recently I lost someone in my life who meant everything to me.
The silence between us leaves so much space for my thoughts.
AM I NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
What did I do?
What did I do wrong?
What didn't I do?
How did it go from I love you to this?
Why did I fall for this again?
It's like did you break down these walls just to see how fast they can go back up?
I was me with you, I was the person that it took a lot of courage to bring out. To believe I could be, the person who I believe I really am and want to be.
And when I showed that person to you you vanished.
And with you you took that piece of confidence I had worked so hard to get.
It's like showing your parents a drawing you did in school when you really think you suck at art but you fucking tried and they just throw it away.
My confidence is shot.
I want to destroy myself.
I want to binge and purge.
I want to drink.
I want attention.
I want anything that will fill this hole.
Because sitting with the feeling that you don't think I'm good enough makes me look at what's really the issue here, that I've never been enough for myself.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

They Say You're Supposed To Feel.

Feel they say, allow yourself to feel.
But how do you do that when it's as though that feeling will take you whole?
When the thoughts of him come and your body tells you to run.
When you forget how to breathe and and instead of gasping for air you grasp for him.
For his familiarity.
For his love.
For what you thought was real and true and was you.
When you lose composure and control of what comes out of you and what comes of you.
And the memories fly at you faster than you can handle.
Each one tearing at your heart.
Twisting it tighter, squeezing the life out of you.
The ones where you were so new and exciting to each other.
Where he made you dinner in his brother's apartment.
And showed you the one shelf he got in the fridge.
And you saw his family's pictures and wondered if you would ever meet them.
If they knew how special this person was to you.
Where hugs were awkward because you didn't know how you fit together yet.
When you can't believe that just last week you were in his arms casually planning your weekend.
Where his body is as familiar as your bed, as comforting.
When you're so exhausted you take naps at 7:30 at night.
And when you wake up you don't see the point in getting up.
And you go through this, the motions, the feelings that you're supposed to feel and you hit them as hard as they hit you because there's nothing that can hide you from them when they are this painful. This real. There is no avoiding the suffocating, heart wrenching emotion that comes with losing your best friend and with it years of your life.
Those seconds you took for granted.
Those memories flood you and consume you until you can't remember why you broke up in the first place because those memories seem more real than the reality that you are without the person that was your reality for so long.
And as you catch your breath and your eyes run out of tears and you realize your cat has been staring at you for the whole ordeal.
You realize that you allowed yourself to feel.