bad poetry

Life has been busy.
I’ve been working and spending time on myself, too.
There are a lot of things I’m processing.
I’m thinking a lot about boundaries and how to set them and maintain them without feeling selfish about it.
Meanwhile, I’ve also been doing some real housekeeping and found some old journals in boxes in the garage. I thought I’d share some of my old bad poetry. I didn’t date it, so I really don’t know how old it is. How bad it is will soon be obvious.

the back of the closet

I put on the “right” clothes
and I hung myself neatly on
a hanger and tucked myself away
in a plastic bag
in the back of the closet.

I spent years
trying on new clothes
and myself still hung there
getting mussed and wrinkled
there
in the back of the closet.

And years later I
pulled myself out
of the plastic bag to have
a laugh, a look
and remember.
But I didn’t laugh.
I remembered.

I remembered a song.

I remembered a lap.

I remembered a rainstorm.

I remembered myself.

I thought I’d try myself on
but I didn’t think myself would fit anymore.
It didn’t matter that it had stains and wrinkles.
Once it had fit.
Once it had been just right
and now I couldn’t remember why
I’d stuffed myself in the
back of a closet.

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man love

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Yeah, I don’t know why exactly, but yesterday was terrible.

I went to Divorce Care Sunday evening as usual and for the first time, I talked to the group about how I was feeling the day I chose to get the hell out of there forever. Maybe that’s what put me in the hole. And I talked about how disappointed I am that I’m pretty convinced I’m never going to find real love (man love, not Jesus, not my sons or friends, but man love) in this life. So I guess that means EVER because there’s no such thing in heaven. I know, Jesus is supposed to be enough. And I’m supposed to grateful that I have eternal life and happy that I wake up in the morning. But, although I know Jesus loves me and I cannot comprehend the magnitude of what He accomplished for me on the cross and how precious I am to Him, I want a man of flesh and blood to love me. And although I am joyful that one day I will see my beautiful Savior and live forever with Him in glory, I want some love right here in this world. Man love. And I am this amazingly great, loving, fun, patient, clever, caring person that would be a great companion to someone. And I really like sex. Like I said, man love. With someone healthy and kind, not a mean, abusive, controlling mofo.

And there’s no promise of that. As a matter of fact, the prospects look bleaker every day. It’s so sad that my man-friend doesn’t return my feelings, because we had fun and I thought we were a good match in a lot of ways. But he doesn’t. And there really is a part of me that just wants to say, “What the hell, life is short, enjoy whatever you can share with him.” People say not to “settle.” Well, what if there isn’t something I’m waiting for? What if God doesn’t have a man up His big sleeves for me? Why shouldn’t I enjoy my time with my friend and relax? I don’t like the fact that he occassionally sleeps with his ex-wife, but, oh well, I know he’s not in love with me anyway. Why not enjoy what I do have with him? It is better than being alone for dinner again. Sleeping alone. Waking up and doing it all over alone. Without any hugs or kisses or love.

Well, like I said, yesterday was terrible and last night was awful. I admit the tequila bottle in the cupboard is not as full today as it was yesterday. And I cried. Sobbed, really. And I broke down and called my man-friend. He actually answered. And he listened and asked questions and talked and eventually I heard his snoring. God, I MISS him. Makes my cry just writing it. He called me this morning because I asked him to. He doesn’t love me, but he cares. Is that enough? Probably not. Like I said, I want man love. I don’t know what to do…

tune in to your hunger

I’ve been working on eating right (ie: dieting) and getting exercise in an effort to pull myself together and put life on track. When you find yourself in real depression and despair, do you realize how utterly STUPID this advice is?

• Soothe your senses: “Find other ways to comfort your body besides food, such as taking a warm bath, wrapping yourself in a soft blanket, or sipping hot tea,” Albers suggests.

• Tune in to your hunger: When you think you feel hungry, Fain recommends pausing and asking yourself: am I really hungry or am I feeling something else? “You may find that what you’re really craving isn’t a cookie or a bag of chips, but a heart-to-heart talk with a friend or a loved one,” she says.

• Eat a varied diet: Nutritional deficiencies can make depression worse. So focus on eating a variety of foods, including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products. Consider meeting with a nutritionist who can create simple, balanced meal plans for you.

• Boost your energy: Seek activities that give you energy, such as going for a walk, playing with your dog, or listening to music. “When you do something that brightens your outlook and improves your mood, you’ll be less likely to overeat and make poor food choices,” Fain says.

Actually, No, I’m not really hungry, I’d like to just step off a cliff or will myself into non-existence. Sure, I’d like to soothe my senses with a bottle of tequila and a quick, fast drive into a brick wall. I’d like to take my cat for a walk but I haven’t been able to get out of bed for two days and it’s too much work to wash my fucking hair more than once every few weeks so I kinda look too scuzy to show myself in public. What the fuck is a vegetable? I might cut a nutritionist’s throat if she suggests something other than chocolate or caffeine.

Who writes this shit?

Dear God

Dear God,

I know that you love me. I know that you love me beyond my understanding. But…

I spent so many years loving my difficult husband and cherishing and raising my children. I put all my love and heart and soul into creating a happy home and family despite the often toxic atmosphere that my husband breathed out. I finally left because I could not survive another moment of his loathing and control.

I am trying to rebuild my life on the smoking rubble left behind. I am trying to lean on you and depend on you for strength. I had a man in my life for a year who made me feel better, but I had to make him leave because he wouldn’t take care of my heart. I could see it was hurting. But now I’m so alone. I can’t find a job, so I volunteer. I’m not making any connections there. I go to church but don’t connect. I tried dating online and it went nowhere. I go to Divorce Care, but I leave alone. I eat alone. I go to the movies alone. I walk alone and go for coffee alone. I wake up alone. I clean my house and no one comes over. I spend time learning my craft in art for no audience. I am so empty. I want to call the man I turned away, but I don’t want to hurt from the lack of love there.

I really don’t know what I am supposed to do with this ache and sadness that overwhems me. I’ve tried to love others, I’ve tried to do what you ask me to do. I try to chin up and keep going and trust you. But I’m so lonely and unhappy. I pray daily for your comfort and joy. I remind myself how my circumstances aren’t bad at all. That I have so much. I try to eat right and get exercise and do things I enjoy. And I am just so empty. I really don’t see the point in trying so damned hard to “get better.”I find myself right back where I was more than two years ago and wonder if it would be less messy to step in front of a bus or drink until I don’t exist. I am so empty.

f@%#

f@%#

there are so many thoughts and feelings i just can’t get them out.

bad thoughts about the ex-husband and his anger and cruelty and control.

bad feelings about not being loved and cherished by anyone.

i worked so f—ing hard for so many years to hold marriage, family, soul and mind together and now i have no one.

i feel so sad and lonely.

why is is so hard to find love in this world?

among the living

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I had two or three BAD days.

I haven’t had real depression in the last year, and I wasn’t anxious about Christmas or anything. But all the struggles in my life and the lives of those I love just overwhelmed me. I think the idea that I have to say goodbye to my man-friend is truly heartbreaking for me. And it left me too sad to cope with the rest of the tough stuff. I called my mom and cried. She just listened. It is amazing how sharing our hurt and feelings and burdens with someone is so therapeutic. Proof that we are meant to live in relationships. Human interaction and touch are healing to both body and soul. I feel as if she helped to take that load off of me and put it down. Now that the sack of sadness is in front of me instead of weighing me down, I can deal with it.

I got out of the house this morning and walked on the beach. I stopped at the coffee shop for a cappucino. I am among the living. I’m even writing my blog on my phone so I can be out in public. I’m making a list of things I want to accomplish today when I get home.

I realize that someone in serious depression isn’t necessarily capable of taking these little steps, or even helped by them, but I’m just depressed, which is an entirely different beast. And as it turns out, I’m not feeling so depressed anymore.

may i borrow a bandaid?

bandaid

This has been a good year. Really. For most of it I was working and rebuilding my world in a new place. I was happy with my man-friend and the fun stuff we did together. I moved to a lovely new home of my own (renting, but my home). My youngest son graduated from high school and began college. I finally got a divorce from my ass husband. Our house sold and I have a bit of money in the bank. It truly has been good.

However. In the process of rebuilding, I recognized that I was still replaying negative, hurtful messages that the ass husband had recorded in my heart. I thought I needed some talk therapy. I first looked into joining a small group at church. Not successful. (See reasons below). Then I found a Divorce Care group at another local church. It is an excellent source of support and healing. It is definitely bringing old wounds and new challenges into the light for me to deal with. That probably has plenty to do with the state I find myself in right now.

But I decided I needed a bit more. Any one person can’t monopolize the entire group meeting to share their pain, and talking is a huge part of healing for me. So I contacted our church about the lay counseling that is offered. I received an email yesterday:

We may be able to help you with one of our women counselors, but probably won’t be available till the week after this, January 5th or so to schedule. How are your support systems now?
I give strong encouragement to join as many of the activities our church, our women’s ministries in particular, offer if you haven’t already. The women’s bible study on Tuesday night or Wednesday mornings is so encouraging on Gods amazing love for us – such positive messages!
What I want to address is that “join as many of the activities our church, our women’s ministries in particular, offer if you haven’t already” part. If you have experienced genuine depression, not the blues or being depressed, you will understand.

This sweet woman is trying to help. And it is true that it can be helpful to get out of the house and enter the land of the living. But putting yourself in a social situation that will require your participation in reciprocal cordial dialog or adherence to acceptable group behavior can be excruciating if not downright impossible.

Bipolarsojourner describes his experience, “the awkwardness comes from trying to project a place where i am not. the forced smiles, the faked hello’s, the phony greeting hugs, they represent a facade, a fake front, like trying to force a victorian front onto a modern neo-classical building. it just doesn’t work for me.”

I belonged to a women’s bible study for many years while I was married and raising my children and being physically and emotionally abused. The women show up nicely dressed with their jewelry on and hair combed. They aren’t trying to fit a role that has been scripted for them, they are just getting out and being sociable and connecting. It is healthy. But I wasn’t healthy. So, although I was trying to pull myself into the real world to help myself feel normal, it felt like fraud. It felt fake and painful. At home I had this person who would alternately show kindness and then disembowel me with his words. I’d try to pack my guts back in and heal the wounds but he’d be back soon for more eviscerating. Showing up for any mingling required shoving my innards into place and putting a plastic smile on my face. If you were damned sure you belonged in the ER, what would you think if you found yourself hobnobbing at a dinner party? Not only are you slowly dying from a life-threating condition, you are standing there pretending everything is peachy.

 So, no, thank you, I don’t think I’ll join a small group or women’s bible study or the other activities the church has to offer. Thank you for your concern. May I borrow a bandaid?

It has been a good year. There is still pain and, apparently, still depression. But I’ll seek out real help, take care of my genuine needs and not fake it. This next year will be even better and I will do more of the things that make me happy and the wounds will heal.